Posting this just because a self-reflection is just similar to how I write my other blog post. Just because I always post my written opinion on my blog. So... if you don't mind... ... enjoy? ... hehe :P
On Friday, 18 May 2012 I went to help at Bentley Primary school canteen. The school canteen is run by volunteers. When I went there, I met Hayley and Kyla. They are two mothers who are volunteering to run the school canteen. The school canteen operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There were 3 mothers who are regularly volunteered themselves to run the school canteen. But the other mother only comes on Monday because she is working on the other day.
When I first came in, the volunteers were taking orders from the children, parents and school teachers for their lunch. The lunches were made to orders. After that I went to help them prepare for the lunches and the recess foods. I helped cut the vegetables for the hamburger and egg salad. The vegetables were fresh but the patty for the hamburger was frozen.
While I was doing that, the two ladies were heating up food for the recess snacks. The snacks that were served that day are popcorn, cheesies, mini pies, lasagna bites, stuffed potatoes, hot chocolate and quiches. They also sell hot chocolate under the recess food menu. The popcorn is made on that day. Cheesies is a slice of hamburger bun and melted cheese. This is also prepared on the day. Mini pies, lasagna bites and quiches were frozen and they were just reheated on the day. The stuffed potatoes used potatoes that had been baked before and the stuffing was frozen. There is an interesting story behind this hot chocolate. They used chocolate milk in the box and reheat it in the microwave. Then they put in those take-away coffee cups. They used those cups because the children don’t really buy them when they used it on ordinary foam cups.
In recess time, the cheesies were sold out. Some bought milk, hot chocolate, lasagna bites and pies.
Between recess and lunch time, we made apple and blueberry stuffing for the apple and blueberry pie. We also made beef stuffing for the lasagna bites. Those stuffing are then frozen and will be reheated when they are going to be served.
During lunch times, children will take their orders. Most children ordered pizza and some bought sandwich. Some left over snacks from the recess will be sold again. At lunch time, they sell ice cream. Surprisingly, despite the cold weather ice cream was an item that many children bought. According to the school canteen regulation, ice cream can only be sold during lunch time.
From what I observed and my conversation with the volunteers, the school canteen followed WA School Canteen Association. They follow their accreditation program known as Star CAP. Based on their menu, they have more than 77% green categorised food and about 23% amber. As described above, they don’t sell any red food items such as soft drinks. The canteen also has a coordinated whole school approach to promote health. The teachers, school staff and parents promote good eating habit by eating healthy food provided by the school canteen.
Their priority is giving the children good and nutritious food while at school. Therefore, they sell the food at an affordable price for the children. They did not take much profit from the sales but just enough to keep the canteen business going on.
In conclusion, school canteen is an important setting for public health nutrition policy because the school canteen is a place where the children can learn and understand about healthy food choices as well as the food group that is not supposed to be eaten so often. The school canteen that is accredited with Star CAP can help the kids to have healthy food habits.