The menu in capital?s school canteens has taken a healthy turn. With Delhi high court ordering the central government to ban all types of carbonated beverages and junk food from school and college canteens, students are now feasting on healthier options.
Rita Rajen Kumar, principal Hans Raj Model School, Punjabi Bagh, informs, ?We switched to healthy options even before the order was passed. We?ve stopped serving aerated drinks and even chewing gum is banned. We provide students with juice, flavoured milk, lassi, lemonade, cold coffee, coconut water. Also, we don?t serve chips, wafers, samosas and bread pakodas. We have on our menu sprout chaats, bhelpuri, chana chaat. Fruits can also be purchased in the canteen along with kulcha matar, pao bhaji. We have an in-house canteen and a committee of teachers and students look after the hygiene.?
Kumar adds, ?There?s also a certified food planner who chalks out the food plan for students upto Class 6. If students bring noodles, we advise parents to put lot of vegetables in it.?
For Class 11 student Gautami Khanna of G.D. Goenka Public School, nothing tastes better than the delicious rajma chawal served in the canteen. ?Our menu is quite different, we are not served any soft drinks. There are no burgers, samosas and no Maggi as well. We get vegetable sandwiches, cupcakes and brownies (which aren?t too sweet) and lemonade, coffee and even green tea. Our favourite is however rajma chawal.?
Rajiv Sharma, administrator, G.D. Goenka Public School, adds, ?We are one of the few schools in the city to have implemented no junk food policy. Our students have no problems, it?s just about educating them.?
Having no canteen is a benefit feels V.K. Sharma, HOD, science department, Vasant Valley. He says, ?We encourage students to bring their tiffins. We also have an option where students can subscribe to food from school on a monthly basis, we serve balanced food ? similar to a thali.?
With samosas and patties being an old favourite of students, Anshu Sahi, principal, Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan reiterates that stricter measures will be adopted this year. She says, ?Though we don?t serve soft drinks and have alternate options like nimbu pani, students can?t let go of samosas and patties. We also serve noodles but they?re made of wheat and not flour.?
For Anita Sharma, principal of S.D. Public School, Pitampura fruit breaks for students and staff is one of the most important features of the day. She says, ?We encourage students to make healthy choices and don?t serve burgers in the canteen along with carbonated drinks. They have lunch options of puri subzi, kadi, rajma and chhole chawal along vegetable spring rolls. We encourage everyone to have a fruit at the starting of the day.?