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Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2015, 66(4): 367-371

Compliance of menus with nutritional standards in state and private kindergartens in Croatia.
[Compliance of menus with nutritional standards in state and private kindergartens in Croatia.]

I. Matić, V. Jureša

ABSTRACT
Background. It is necessary to ensure a variety of nutrients in weekly menus in kindergartens according to the recommendations and standards currently in effect. It is also important to follow the energy value of macronutrients, which is usually carried out by the relevant institutions quarterly in every kindergarten. However, the quality of menus in relation to the representation of different types of food is not monitored.
Objective. The aim of this study was to estimate the quality of meals in relation to the representation of different types of food in state and privately owned kindergartens in one of Zagreb district in Croatia.
Material and Methods. Weekly menu’s daily meals served in kindergarten groups for children (4 - 6 years old) were analysed and compared with the Croatian Health Care, Hygiene and Balanced Diet Programme for Children in Kindergartens and with Food Plan Standards for Children in Kindergartens - Menus and Standards. The studies were performed in state and privately owned kindergartens in Zagreb, district Maksimir.
Results. Except in the serving of dairy products, which were in comparison to the proscribed standard overrepresented, other foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, pulse were underrepresented. Grains, except in a smaller number of servings, were statistically underrepresented in state owned kindergartens in comparison to the privately owned ones. The largest discrepancy was shown in the low number of fish servings, equally so in the state and privately owned kindergartens.
Conclusions. In recent years strides have been made to harmonise menus provided by kindergartens with standards based on scientific research on the prevention of obesity. However, further harmonisation of “old” and “new” foods intended to achieve a more substantial balance of the consumption of certain foods and the adequate amounts of their nutritional values is necessary.

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