• France's news in English

More fruit, fewer chips on school canteen menus

Matthew Warren · 3 Oct 2011, 08:59

Published: 03 Oct 2011 11:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2011 08:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Six million school children may notice a change in their school canteen menu after new rules were announced by the government on Sunday to improve the quality of lunchtime menus.


The guidelines are aimed at improving the choice and healthiness of food and will insist on at least four dishes each day for pupils to choose from including red meat and fish at least once a week. 

Chips will only be allowed once a week in the new menus and a dairy product, such as yoghurt, cheese or milk, should be offered on a daily basis. 

The minister responsible, Bruno Le Maire, said in an interview on Sunday with newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that France should be setting an example to the world when it comes to food, starting with children.

"Six million children eat in school canteens every day, but half of them are hungry when they leave," he said. "Nutritional rules are not followed or controlled. We will make them obligatory and we'll be checking menus."

"There should be more dairy products, more fruit for dessert and as few chips as possible, with a variation of meat and fish during the week."

To most foreigners, the typical menu on offer in French schools would not look out of place in a smart restaurant. 

Last week, one primary school in Paris was offering its pupils starters including "saucisson à l'ail" (garlic sausage) and "salade de betteraves et d'endives" (beetroot and chicory salad). This was followed by main courses including "poulet basquaise" (chicken with a sauce of tomatoes and sweet peppers) and "rôti de veau" (roast veal). A cheese course followed  and then desserts including "entremet au chocolat" (a layered chocolate dessert) and "mirabelles au sirup" (plums in syrup).

Under the new rules, schools will be required to keep "a register showing the meals served in the last three months" as well as documents describing "food products and suppliers."

Parents' association FCPE welcomed the changes. Newspaper France Soir reported its president, Jacques Hazan, as claiming the new rules were a "victory" after years spent demanding "guidelines on the nutritional balance of school meals."



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available