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Emilia Cloud: financial analyst, mother of three children
and Marta Kierzkowska Grzybek, nutritional advisor, moderator of the Healthy Przedszkolak.org project, mother of six
Sosrodzice.pl: How do children eat in kindergarten?
Marta: Children should eat the least processed, natural and high-quality products. There are too many potatoes and white flour products in kindergartens, and not enough groats (cereals should constitute 40-60% of the daily food).
Emilia: Children eat a lot of sweet and fried dishes, get ready cheese, candy bars, cookies, pate sandwiches, nutella challahs, frankfurters, colorful sweetened drinks. According to parents, such food is not good for their health.
Sosrodzice.pl: I have the impression that those responsible for making decisions say that they are given what children enjoy ...
Marta : Of course it is, but it does not mean that they are candy bars, fries, chops. Healthy, natural food is most delicious, you only need to prepare and serve it properly. We need time for everything (read: changes), and we should start working on it ourselves. Children take an example from us, adults, so there must be cooperation in several fields: parents, institution, dietitian / authorizing officer. You can prepare delicious delicacies in the facility, bake a carrot cake with raisins, make a jelly with fruit mousse and potato flour, bread paste and pancakes. Children through fun, culinary workshops, the right approach of adults, without putting pressure and pressure, they are willing to try new things themselves. Let's not assume in advance that it will fail, that children will not eat millet, lentil and pumpkin seed paste or meatballs with zucchini and carrots. Let's make every effort, change our beliefs and habits. It is really worth it, because there is no better investment in the future than our and our loved ones' health
Sosrodzice.pl: I agree. So: what is missing in the menus?
Marta: The source of protein should not be only meat and dairy products. Fish (fish paste, fish meatballs, steamed fish) and legumes - beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas (in soups, in pastes, in the main course) should appear more often. You should use seasonal vegetables and fruits, use native crops and, above all, use fresh products instead of frozen foods. Generally, there are too few vegetables and fruit on the preschooler's menu, and should be an addition to any meal. Too rare breakfasts are served hot - porridge, millet, etc. Tea time is most often sweet and in the form of "ready", eg sweet yogurt and wafer. To drink sweetened black tea, sweet drinks. It is necessary to introduce natural fruit or fruit and herbal teas, still water, water with lemon and mint in the summer season. Dried fruit, nuts, stones - these are healthy snacks and natural sweets, which, unfortunately, are also missing in many establishments.
Sosrodzice.pl: Do kindergartens buy good quality products?
Emilia Over the past few months we have been analyzing tenders announced by Wrocław food supply outlets. The data is available to everyone, often published on the websites of branches.
And these analyzes show that large quantities of sugar, white flour and sweet snacks are ordered. In the tender specification you can define the terms of the order, what the cheese is to be, the composition of the sausage, but unfortunately it is rarely used, as a result the supplier decides which product he will bring, with preservatives and dyes or without. There are such orders: Tyrolean luncheon meat, canned fish salads, frozen fish fillets already in batter, extra virgin olive oil.
Processed products, ready-made spaghetti sauces or powder jars dominate, even vegetables in the form of puree from pickled cucumbers or already cooked beets. Some establishments order peeled potatoes, even though they have a well-equipped kitchen, including in vegetable peelers.
Another example: several nurseries ordered min. 100 kg of white borscht soup and sour soup, another school and kindergarten team almost 300 kg of ready sauces and soups and mixtures of powdered spices.
Meals are prepared with frozen food all year round in many establishments. Tons of frozen Italian, ready vegetable soups are ordered in tenders, frozen plums are bought in September and frozen strawberries in June.
One of the kindergartens doesn't buy raw beetroot at all, but 530 kg of beetroot in vinegar was ordered in the tender.
Analyzing orders in tenders, you can find, for example, 7,000 PLN chocolate bear wafers, 280 kg of powdered drinks! and even for the supply of 1250 kg of potato dumplings and lazy dumplings from a delicatessen company to a school that has its own kitchen professionally equipped. One kindergarten planned 400kg of rice and groats for the whole year, of which as much as 305kg of rice and groats in hundred bags !! And then 80 plastic bags with rice are cooked in a cauldron ...
Not only poor quality is a problem. Directors of institutions often explain that the quality of meals is not the best because of the low nutrition rate. Only that all processed products are much more expensive than basic products.
We requested access to purchase invoices and it turned out that: for 1 kg of cooked and grated beetroots, the kindergarten paid PLN 7, and fresh ones could be bought for PLN 1. Frozen strawberries in the season cost PLN 22 per kg, and fresh ones are much cheaper!
In one school, we also compared prices from tenders to market prices and it turned out that most products are bought much more, even by 200-300%. And, as a result, this low nutritional rate is often wasted on very expensive, processed products.
Sosrodzice.pl: Terrifying ... Is this evidence of ignorance, ill will, convenience, or inadequate management? Should people choosing products that are several times more expensive, not to mention quality, not suffer the consequences of their choices?
Emilia: When announcing a tender, the school must decide on the best offer (the main criterion is price). It often happens that only one bidder entered the competition and then its price is automatically considered the most advantageous. We had such a case in the tender for frozen food, which after market valuation should cost about 30 thousand. PLN, and the only bidder proposed 56 thousand. PLN and the tender won! And yet it is a real loss of 26 thousand. zł! You can protect yourself against accepting such unfavorable bids in the tender by applying the relevant provisions (in accordance with the Public Procurement Act). However, tenders at school tend to have a lot of other responsibilities, no one analyzes or compares prices. Most importantly, everything is legal. It's just that under the law you can pay an apple for a penny and PLN 100, but is it compatible with rational financial management?