On Monday, the Maharashtra state education department issued a government resolution instructing all the schools to strike off junk food from their canteen menu.
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On Monday, the Maharashtra state education department issued a government resolution instructing all the schools to strike off junk food or foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) from their canteen menus. The resolution contains a list of food items which should not to be sold in school canteens.
Students encouraged to consume natural food
As per an Indian Express report, the government decision comes almost a year after the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development issued letters to states asking them to ban HFSS foods and encourage students to consume natural foods.
Banned food items
The banned food items include wafers (fried products), chips, noodles, pizza, candies, chocolates, jams, jellies and aerated and non-aerated drinks, among others. Locally-manufactured food items are banned too.
About the resolution
- The schools have been instructed to make healthy substitutes available in the canteens, such as chapati, rice, pulao, tamarind rice
- For sweets, the department recommends kheer, phirni, lassi and fruits
- Coconut water is recommended against aerated drinks
- The schools should pick the items based on the geographic location and eating habits of the area
- The resolution says consuming HFSS foods can cause laziness and deficiency of nutrients, and cause tooth decay, diabetes and affect the heart too
“The decision is binding to all schools, including CBSE and ICSE schools,” said Education Secretary Nand Kumar, adding that the state wanted to ensure that children were provided with nutritious food.
Last year, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had issued a circular asking schools to take junk food off their canteen menus.