Beginning next year, Israeli schoolchildren who are served subsidized lunches in school will notice a change in menu – and some of their favorite foods are likely to be cut out. New guidelines from the Education Ministry will cut out high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar content and nitrite-laced processed foods such as: cakes, cookies, croissants, wafers, french fries, hot dogs, kebabs, and even national favorites like schnitzel and Bamba.
In their place will come lighter, healthier fare, including: hard boiled eggs, yellow cheese with up to 9 percent fat content, cottage cheese, 5 percent spreadable white cheese, tahina, tuna, and low-fat hummus.
According to the Ministry, the changes are being made in accordance with a 2014 law which mandates that a healthy diet be instituted in schools. The Ministry said that the job of the education system is to educate children, among other things, about healthy eating, and to ensure proper conditions for the successful development of physical and mental capacities.
In schools where lunches are served, the food is generally supplied by outside caterers, who have been prepared for the changes, the Ministry said. Subsidized lunches are served at a cost of 5 NIS ($1.35) per meal, but children are not required to participate in the program. For those children who bring lunch from home, the Ministry said that it would increase education and awareness of healthy eating, and make specific recommendations on what to bring from home.