Feeding children in schools and kindergartens

Feeding a child is not only tasty, but also healthy – not an easy task. But in Russian schools and kindergartens they are trying to solve it and improve the menu every year. Let’s figure out what is important in compiling a children’s diet, what they feed kids and schoolchildren, and also how to arrange free meals.

The norms for proper nutrition of children in educational institutions are developed by specialists and established by the state; indicators differ depending on the age of students. Here’s what they’re built on:

  • nutrition should replenish the energy that the child spends;
  • balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as minerals and vitamins;
  • a variety of products and options for dishes;
  • tasty and easy to eat food;
  • correct cooking technology and heat treatment;
  • freshness of all food products and high quality;
  • the optimal mode of eating, suitable environment;
  • compliance with sanitary and hygienic requirements.

Nutrition in kindergarten

For full development and growth, the child needs a certain amount of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products every day. There are also forbidden foods, for example, canned food, marinades, milk with vegetable fats, carbonated drinks, fried, smoked and spicy. The calorie content of dishes in the children’s menu depends on age. So, children 1.5–3 years old are entitled to 1550 kcal, and the older group (4–6 years old) is already at least 1900 kcal per day. The composition of the diet:

  • carbohydrates – 55%;
  • fats – 30%;
  • proteins – 15%.

Meals have a different set of calories. Breakfast accounts for a quarter of the daily allowance – 25% of the daily diet. Lunch is the main meal and includes 40% of all calories, and 15% is allocated for afternoon tea. 20% is left for dinner, if the child does not eat in the evening in the kindergarten, you need to feed him at home so that he gets the necessary portion of energy. Meals for babies are usually prepared right before serving. Food that has stood for more than two hours is considered unsuitable for baby food. The intervals between meals in kindergarten are 2 hours.

For breakfast and dinner, kids eat milk porridge, cottage cheese casseroles or vegetables. The first dishes that are given for lunch are broths, meat, fish and vegetable soups. On the second – meat in different variations: cutlets, rolls, meatballs, goulash, stew and roast, vegetables, pasta or cereals are served as a side dish. For a snack, second breakfast and afternoon snack – yoghurts, fruits and buns. From drinks – juice, compote, jelly, milk or tea.

The daily diet for preschoolers is varied and balanced, it includes meat, fish, milk and dairy products, eggs, butter, vegetables, fruits, bread and cereals.

Approximate meal schedule and menu for a preschooler:

8:30–9:00 breakfast : milk rice porridge, a loaf with butter and cheese, tea with milk;

10:30-11:00 second breakfast: peach juice;

12:00–13:00 lunch : vegetable salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, greens), fresh cabbage soup in beef broth, mashed potatoes with chicken cutlet, dried fruit compote, bread;

15:30–16:00 afternoon snack: bun, milk;

17:00–17:30 dinner: vegetable stew, beetroot salad, tea with sugar, bread.

Nutrition for schoolchildren

The norms that regulate the nutrition of students are in many ways similar to the norms of the diet of preschoolers. The basis is the balance of calories, safety and nutrition.

The school menu is developed by employees responsible for nutrition, they take into account the seasonality of products and the necessary calorie content of the daily diet of children and adolescents. For breakfast and dinner, 25% of the daily allowance is allocated, for lunch – 35%, and afternoon tea is 15% of the diet.

The student’s menu includes:


  • mushrooms and dishes from them;
  • raw smoked sausages;
  • spicy and smoked;
  • carbonated drinks, chips, sweets.

For breakfast at the school, they give various cereals with milk, cottage cheese casseroles, egg and vegetable dishes, buns, pancakes and pancakes, cheese sandwiches and yogurts. Students drink tea, coffee, cocoa and compotes. For lunch, soups are offered: borscht, pickle, cabbage soup, pea. For the second, you can take stewed vegetables, pasta, mashed potatoes, buckwheat, rice, meatballs, goulash, baked chicken or fish. Salads – vegetable, olivier, vinaigrette; as an appetizer – pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut and squash caviar. Most students eat breakfast and lunch and have dinner at home. Students’ favorite food:

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  • scrambled eggs, pancakes, cottage cheese casserole;
  • potato casserole, meatballs, chicken with mashed potatoes;
  • borsch, dumplings with broth;
  • sweet buns and sausages in the dough.

Who is eligible for free meals?

The state provides free meals to preschoolers and schoolchildren of the following categories:

  • children from large families;
  • children who have lost one of their parents and receive a survivor’s pension;
  • children from low-income families;
  • disabled children.

In case of food failure, you can receive monetary compensation. When studying remotely, students receive dry rations or a payment equal to the amount of the benefit. You can apply for free meals for children at the social security, the MFC or at an educational institution.

Students with disabilities will be fed free of charge

On September 1, the corresponding law came into force. The party “United Russia” will follow its implementation. The bill was prepared with the support of the party, the document states that all students with disabilities in Russia, regardless of the form of education, will receive free meals or monetary compensation .

“It is important that the law works from the first days of the new academic year. Together with our public receptions, we will monitor the implementation of these norms. We will also continue to actively interact with parents. Indeed, it is thanks to parental control that we receive independent and up-to-date information about emerging shortcomings in order to intervene promptly, ” said Anna Kuznetsova, Vice Speaker of the State Duma.

She stressed that this measure of support is necessary for Russian families; earlier, parents of children with disabilities often applied to the foster parties of the United Russia due to the fact that schoolchildren were not provided with hot meals.

“Parents of children with disabilities often contacted our public receptions on the issue of violation of children’s rights. Somewhere the children were provided with hot meals, somewhere they were given dry rations, and somewhere – nothing at all. In order to achieve justice, we had to contact the prosecutor’s office, to deal with each specific case, ” said Kuznetsova.

Recall that the task of providing elementary school students with hot meals was set by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his message to the Federal Assembly in January 2020.


  1. EP will take control of the implementation of the law on free meals for schoolchildren with disabilities, website .
  2. Catering for students, website .
  3. Hot meals in schools: we figure out what they feed children at school, website .
  4. Nutrition in kindergarten: norms and rules, site .