School dinner

School dinner

A school dinner is a meal (usually dinner or lunch) provided to students at a school. It is usually served at sometime around noon.

Some schools have theme days whereby food is served in a particular style. For example, the school might serve Chinese cuisine to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

chool dinner by country

United States

The National School Lunch Program was created in 1946 when President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act into law. The National School Lunch Program is a federal nutrition assistance program operating in over 101,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential care institutions. Regulated and administered at the federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it currently provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to more than 30 million U.S. children each school day. In its 60 year history, the program has expanded to include the School Breakfast Program, Snack Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program and the Summer Food Service Program. At the State level, the National School Lunch Program is usually administered by State education agencies, who operate the program through agreements with school food authorities. Generally, public or nonprofit private schools of high school grade or under and public or nonprofit private residential child care institutions may or may not participate in the school lunch program. School districts and independent schools that choose to take part in the lunch program get cash minimal subsidies and donated commodities from the USDA for each meal they serve. In return, they must serve lunches that meet Federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. School food authorities can also be reimbursed for snacks served to children through age 18 in after-school educational or enrichment programs.

School lunches must meet the applicable recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which state that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school lunches to provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. School lunches must meet Federal nutrition requirements over the course of one week's worth of lunches served, but decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities. The 2001 School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment II (SNDA II) study based on research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the 1998–1999 school year found that students in 91% of secondary schools and 82% of elementary schools had the opportunity to select lunches that were consistent with dietary standards for fat and saturated fat.

School nutrition programs are increasingly using more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and lowfat dairy in school lunches. Efforts such as the Local School Wellness Policies required by the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act have involved parents, students and the school community in efforts to promote healthy eating environments and increased physical activity throughout school campuses.

United Kingdom

School dinners became a big topic in the UK in 2004 when chef Jamie Oliver spearheaded a campaign to improve the quality of the meals. School dinners at state schools are usually made by outside caterers whose incentive is increasing their profits. Since many of the requirements for nutritional content were removed in the 1980s, there is little reason for caterers to sell anything other than the most profitable food, which will be the cheapest that children will eat. After a television documentary was shown on Channel 4 ("Jamie's School Dinners"), the public showed support for the increase of funding for school meals, causing the government to create the School Food Trust. The topic became a factor in the 2005 UK general election.

The term "school pudding" has become a common colloquialism in the United Kingdom for certain types of pudding traditionally (historically) served with school dinners in both state schools and private schools. Examples include tarts such as gypsy tart and manchester tart and hot puddings such as spotted dick and treacle sponge pudding. [British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay discusses [ school puddings as comfort food] in the on-line (London) Times newspaper.]


In Japan, 99% of elementary school students and 82% of junior high school students eat "kyūshoku", or school lunch. [ [ Investigations about school dinner 学校給食実施状況調査, 文部科学省, 2004 (in Japanese)] ] Parents pay 250 to 300 yen per student for the cost of the ingredients, with labour costs being funded by local authorities. The tradition started in the early 20th century. After the war – which brought near-famine conditions to Japan – the provision of school lunches was re-introduced in urban areas, initially with skimmed milk powder and later flour donated by an American charity. School lunch was extended to all elementary schools in Japan in 1952 and, with the enaction of the School Lunch Law, to junior high schools in 1954.


Usually, all meals provided on a given day are identical for all pupils of a Japanese school. The menu is planned by dieticians and changes daily. The average menu has gone through a large deal of change since the basic meals of the 1950s, as Japan grew economically.

School lunches were traditionally based on bread or bread roll, bottled or cartoned milk (introduced from 1958 to replace milk powder), a dessert, and a dish which changed daily. Popular dishes from the early days included inexpensive protein sources, such as stewed bean dishes and fried white fish. Whale meat, another cheap protein, was common until the 1970s. Provisions of rice were introduced in 1976, following a surplus of (government-distributed) Japanese rice, and became increasingly frequent during the 1980s. Hamburg steak, stew and Japanese curry became staples as well. Today, school lunches are a diverse affair, including soup and side dishes. Dishes range from Asian dishes such as naengmyeon, tom yam and ma po tofu, to western dishes such as spaghetti, stew and clam chowder.


Free school dinners in elementary and secondary schools have been served nationwide since October 9, 1948 [TV Newscast 2008-10-09, MTV3 channel] . In some cities poor people were offered free school dinners from the beginning of the 20th century (eg. from 1902 in Kuopio, extending to all students in 1945 [ [ 1872: Daily life in Schools: Free School dinner in Kuopio. City of Kuopio, 1997.] ] ).

In Finland also the lunches in Higher Education are subsidized. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland compensates 1,67 euros per student's daily meal.

Special diets based on religious, cultural or ethical choices or restrictions due to allergies are served with no extra cost.


School dinner has been free in Swedish elementary and secondary schools since 1973. Normally, the lunch is prepared like a buffet, where pupils serve themselves as much as they want (mainly potatoes/rice, meat/fish and vegetables). Milk and water are usually offered as drinks.


"See also Mid-day Meal Scheme"

Under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), government schools and partially aided schools, along with Anganwadis, provide mid-day meals to the students attending such institutions, known as the Mid-day Meal Scheme. The meals served are free of cost and meet guidelines that have been set by the policy. The history of the program can be traced to 1925, making it one of the oldest free food programs for school children.

A single afternoon lunch usually contains a cereal which is locally available, made in a way acceptable to the prevailing local customs. Vegetables cooked as curry or soups and a portion of milk is allotted for each child. The menu is occcasionally varied to appeal to students.

ee also

*Free school meals
*Personal, Social and Health Education
*School dinner
*School Food Trust
*School Health Education Study
*School health services



External links

*Channel 4 site for " [ Jamie's School Dinners] "
*" [ Food matters] " site by BBC
*Mississippi Teacher Corps Focus Paper on [ School Lunch]
*" [ RCS FreeToEat - Info on Rawmarsh School]
* [ Food Stories] — Explore a century of revolutionary change in UK food culture on the British Library's Food Stories website

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • school dinner — UK US noun [countable] [singular school dinner plural school dinners] british a meal that a school provides for students in the middle of the day Thesaurus: types of mealhyponym …   Useful english dictionary

  • school dinner — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms school dinner : singular school dinner plural school dinners British a meal that a school provides for students in the middle of the day …   English dictionary

  • school dinner — school dinners N VAR School dinners are midday meals provided for children at a school. [BRIT] Overcooked greens are my most vivid recollection of school dinners. (in AM, use school lunch) …   English dictionary

  • school dinner — ➡ meals * * * …   Universalium

  • school lunch — school lunches N VAR School lunches are midday meals provided for children at a school. Syn: school dinner …   English dictionary

  • dinner — noun 1 main meal of the day ADJECTIVE ▪ delicious, excellent, good, gourmet (esp. AmE), slap up (BrE, informal), sumptuous ▪ We were treated to an excellent dinner with every kind of seafood imaginable …   Collocations dictionary

  • dinner — din|ner W2S1 [ˈdınə US ər] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: diner, from diner to eat ; DINE] 1.) [U and C] the main meal of the day, eaten in the middle of the day or the evening to dinner ▪ Perhaps we should invite them to dinner . for… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • dinner — noun 1 (C, U) the main meal of the day, eaten in the middle of the day or the evening: Would you like to come over for dinner on Friday? | We re having fish for dinner tonight. | Sunday/Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner etc (=a special meal eaten on… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • dinner — n. 1 the main meal of the day, taken either at midday or in the evening. 2 a formal evening meal, often in honour of a person or event. Phrases and idioms: dinner dance a formal dinner followed by dancing. dinner jacket a man s short usu. black… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dinner theater — (sometimes called dinner and a show) is a form of entertainment that combines a restaurant meal with a staged play or musical. Sometimes the play is incidental entertainment, secondary to the meal, in the style of a sophisticated night club, or… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”