In order to ensure safe and healthy food for children in schools across India, India’s food regulator FSSAI has prescribed norms to ensure safe and healthy food for children.
Named Food Safety and Standards (Safe and Wholesome Food for School Children) Regulations, 2018 the proposal seeks to prescribe standards for food items sold or supplied in school mess, kitchens and eateries run by food business operators or even vending machines.
Schools will be asked to distinguish between eatables marked with green, yellow and red. While green will mostly comprise of fresh food, yellow will imply packaged food and red color will mean food items high in salt, sugar and fat. The draft suggests that food and beverages with a green or yellow label should be more on school menus.
The proposal also says that a balanced diet should provide about 50-60 percent of the total calories from complex carbohydrates, about 10-15 percent from proteins and 20-30 percent from both visible and invisible fat. It should also provide non-nutrients such as dietary fibre and antioxidants that bestows positive health benefits.
The draft regulation also says that the school authority selling or catering school meals must obtain a license or be registered as the food business operator from the concerned licensing authority under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.