Vietnam’s health and education ministries on Thursday launched an online platform allowing schools to design nutritiously balanced meal plans for students from a bank of 360 dishes.
The platform, accessible at buaanhocduong.com.vn, comprises of 120 pre-designed meal plans featuring 360 unique dishes for use throughout the year.
The meal plans are categorized by age groups and regions, with each category showcasing dishes with appropriate nutritious values for that specific age group, using popular ingredients of that region.
The software also allows schools to compile their own meal plans based on the available dishes, calculate the nutritious values of their current meal plans, and estimate the costs for such meals.
The platform is part of the ‘School Meal’ project, which aims at eradicating nutrition-related diseases and physical shortcomings among Vietnamese children by providing schools with balanced meal plans.
Launched since 2012 by the Vietnam branch of Japanese food maker Ajinomoto, the Vietnamese ministries of health and education, ‘School Meal’ has helped more than 2.6 million students at nearly 3,700 schools countrywide get access to balanced diet.
Ngu Duy Anh, head of the Student Affairs Bureau under the education ministry, said the project’s foremost mission is to raise awareness among schools in Vietnam on the importance of nutrition for children.
According to statistics provided by Vietnam National Institute of Nutrition, the country is fighting a two-front war in improving nutritious health of its younger generation, as children in rural areas have been suffering from malnutrition while those in the cities are facing risks of obesity.
Micronutrients deficiency is common among both groups of children, the institute noted.