More food options, more healthy eating

What a delight to hear that more schools are offering wider and healthier food options in their canteens (Italian pasta, Tunisian kebab - all at school; May 14).

Students spend a large portion of their time in school. Most students stay back at least twice a week for co-curricular activities. They may have after-school activities on other days as well, such as supplementary lessons or project meetings.

These long hours translate into one or two meals being consumed in the canteen. The wider food options would encourage students to eat properly.

This is also a way to encourage healthy eating.

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In the past, students would often get tired of eating the same food and choose to snack instead.

In addition, "fried food day" was a much-anticipated chance for students to choose the less-healthy option - a much tastier alternative to what was usually available.

With the introduction of a wider range of food, students can alternate between cuisines.

This also reduces the need for vendors to find ways to make their food more appealing, such as through the use of more salt or oil.

Coupled with the Healthy Eating in Schools Programme, students can be shown that healthier food options are not necessarily less palatable.

Lee Wei Xin, 15,

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'More food options, more healthy eating'. Print Edition | Subscribe