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Revista de Nutrição

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SOUSA, Anete Araújo de; SILVA, Ana Paula Ferreira da; AZEVEDO, Elaine de  and  RAMOS, Mariana Oliveira. Menus and sustainability: Essay on the guidelines of the National School Food Program. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2015, vol.28, n.2, pp.217-229. ISSN 1415-5273.

The National School Food Program is one of the Brazilian public policies which has established an intimate dialog with the principles of the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Agroecology. Execution guidelines aligned with the theme of sustainability were established in the program via Law nº 11.947, enacted in July 2009, which stipulates resources for the purchasing of food (preferentially organic) produced by family farms, demonstrating environmental and social concerns as well as those related to the development of the local economy. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the theme of menu design incorporated in the execution guidelines of the School Food Program with emphasis on the elements that can highlight school meals as a promoter of ecological food systems and local sustainable development. It is noted that despite the advance represented by the guidelines, there is a need to strengthen the strategies to recover food habits and for the production of foods compatible with these guidelines, along with actions related to menu planning considering the diversity and seasonality of regional food products and the mapping of ecological farmers to guide the programmed demand and supply of these products. The management of the purchasing and logistics, government support of the program and its social control by the school community, along with constant raising of awareness and training for professionals acting in the area of school meals are fundamental for school meals to enter a dialog with sustainability. Successful experiences and research based on the analysis of these guidelines should be encouraged to enable the strengthening of the program.

Keywords : Sustainable agriculture; School feeding; Guideline adherence; Menu planning; Food security; Nutrition programs and policies.

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