Calculations on the energy and nutrient content of kindergarten menus in Estonia

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Pitsi, T. ; Liebert, T. ; Vokk, R. (2003)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Food & Nutrition Research (issn: 1654-661X, eissn: 1654-6628)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/fnr.v47i4.1492
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education

Objective: To evaluate kindergarten menus in the frame of the National Health Programme for Children in Estonia in order to guarantee optimal food intake for children. Design: Five kindergarten menus were calculated in Tallinn and in a rural area in Estonia from February 1999 to December 2001, including both Russian and Estonian kindergartens with more than 700 children. The study was conducted using a Micro-Nutrica programme, the database with 700 foodstuffs and 900 ready-to- eat meals, with 56 characteristics of nutrients. Results: Estonian kindergarten menus provided the recommended amount of food energy. The percentage of energy derived from saturated fatty acids was too high and that from polyunsaturated fatty acids too low. There was an insufficient content of vitamins C and D and dietary fibre in all kindergarten menus, and the content of other micronutrients differed from menu to menu. Conclusions: The energy content of menus on different days should be ba lanced. There is a need to alter the balance of carbohydrates and fats in favour of increasing starch and lowering saturated fats. Insufficient amount of vitamins C and D in meals should be supplemented by adding casseroles, fruit juices and fish dishes. A correction should be made in favour of calcium and iron, and for a lower sodium content. Keywords: children’s nutrition; daily kindergarten menus; energy and nutrient content; Micro-Nutrica
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