Healthy Nutrition Approved by Children
Within the week dedicated to upbringing and development of children, experts from different fields share about how adults can take care of a happy future of children on our web-portal.
Schoolchildren should have a rational day regime and a healthy lifestyle in order to cope with multiple pressures. One should pay special attention to nutrition. It must be diversified, rich in protein, micronutrients, and vitamins. Kemerovo has a unique system of school nutrition. Anastasia Pankova told more about it.
Anastasia Pankova - Director of School Nutrition municipal autonomous institution in the city of Kemerovo, Chairperson of the Committee on Agricultural Policy, Ecology, and Land Management of the Council of People's Deputies of Kemerovo Oblast
School Nutrition organisation Kemerovo was founded more than 10 years ago as part of a federal project. The technological equipment in dining rooms has been fully updated, the spaces of dining rooms have been renovated, and an innovative cooking and technical processing system has been introduced over that time. The experts created a special cyclic menu in addition to the system of quality control and nutrition regime for schoolchildren from different forms. Today, the project covers about 70 dining rooms where 58 thousand children daily have breakfast and lunch.
Only children-friendly cooking techniques and products were used when developing the menu. Specialists managed to create a nutritious, healthy, and tasty ration approved by children. The menu includes modern dishes popular among schoolchildren. For example, sandwiches made of verified, high-quality, and healthy products.
“Our main task is to organise nourishing and balanced meals for school students. It is important to instill a culture of proper nutrition in children from an early age. We must show them that simple products can also be tasty and bring use to human health”, says Anastasia Pankova.
It is important that School Nutrition meals are cheap and affordable to every schoolchild. That became possible thanks to wholesale purchases of products. After special processing on the shop floor, the products are delivered to school dining rooms. The dishes are cooked 4 times a day to ensure that schoolchildren’s meals are fresh.
According to Ms. Pankova, the project actively engages modern technologies Thus, the electronic diary, which is accessible to every school student, has a section called ‘Nutrition’. Thanks to it, Kemerovo schoolchildren and their parents can choose menu for the week and pay for school dining room’s food. This saves much time and ensures the transparency of the system. Thus, mothers always know what their children eat.
The project’s team jointly with Sberbank of Russia have done considerable work to provide the opportunity of online payment for school nutrition. The majority of parents use this opportunity today.
It must me noted that School Nutrition institution was the first in Siberia to put this IT project into practice.
Anastasia Pankova is also proud of another achievement of the institution. This is a mobile app called School Nutrition. One of its functions is receiving feedback from consumers. Schoolchildren can leave a comment about the personnel’s work and the quality of dishes. “We instantly receive information and take measures if users notice any drawbacks. This helps us improve the quality of our service and create space and product liked by children”, says Ms. Pankova. Thanks to the app, school students take part in polls, surveys, and contests, choose new dishes for the menu, and share their ideas.
Personal Cards of Schoolchildren is another IT project of the organisation launched last year. Personal cards thanks to which children can pay at school’s dining facilities were introduced on the basis of the existing system of non-cash payment.
The project’s team pays much attention to promotion of healthy nutrition in addition to interaction with parents and the public. Parents can take part in tasting of dishes from their children’s menu and attend meetings and excursions. In addition, there are business breakfasts and creative contests held specially for schoolchildren. By taking part in workshops, children can cook not only school menu’s dishes but also different desserts.
School Nutrition personnel (the organisation has upwards of 800 employees) have excellent opportunities for upgrading their qualification and professional growth. Additional education, internships, and contests are only a small part of motivation provided by the institution.
Best School Chef professional contest has been held for three years already and became extremely popular. Its participants upgrade their professional level and climb the career ladder: chefs become production managers of school dining rooms; contestants take part in menu development.
At the First All-Kuzbass Congress of School Principals, it was concluded that the experience of holding the Best School Chef will be taken as a basis when conducting the contest at the regional level. The successful experience of introduction of IT projects by School Nutrition institution will also be used in the region.
Anastasia Pankova was educated in economics and management. She started working at School Nutrition 6 years ago when the main phase of system modernization was already finished. Together with her colleagues, Ms. Pankova had a task to develop the project, improve the existing techniques and principles of work.
Anastasia Pankova is led by two main rules in her work and life:
- one must run to stay where one is but one must run faster in order to move forward;
- one must daily strive to be better, at the same time it is necessary not to follow other role models but to focus on oneself.
Recently, Ms. Pankova was on internship in Japan within the Presidential Programme of Managerial Staff Training. Many enterprises have the following rule there: it is important to daily make small improvements in what you create. The same idea became the rule of School Nutrition project.
The project’s team constantly thinks through how to make their dining rooms more comfortable and attractive to schoolchildren. Love for children here is felt in every detail. The best paintings by students are even printed on the table covers.
“We want to give the best to our children. The project’s team amounts to over 800 people. Women are the majority of them. We are mothers, that is why we know very well what children need. It is important for us that they are healthy and happy. We try to instill the culture of nutrition in them from their school age”, emphasized Anastasia Pankova.
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Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov