Healthy Lunch At School

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Healthy Lunch At School
Healthy Lunch At School
Video: Healthy Lunch At School
Video: BENTO BOX LUNCH IDEAS | for work or back to school + healthy meal prep recipes 2023, February

Lunch at school

Children spend a large part of their time in school. Many of them also have lunch at school or in the after-school care center. Lunch should take into account the age-appropriate nutritional needs of the children and shape healthy eating behavior. Environmental aspects and sustainability can also be conveyed in this way by educators. This includes topics such as regionality, seasonality and the use of organic and fair-trade products and fish from sustainable fisheries or aquaculture.


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  • Recommendations for lunch at school
  • Explanations of preparation and meal design
  • Implementation of health-promoting school meals

The “Austrian Recommendations for School Lunch” offer school catering providers, school administrators, cooks and interested parents orientation for the implementation of a menu. These minimum requirements were drawn up by the National Nutrition Commission. They define which food groups should be offered and how often on 20 catering days, i.e. one month. In addition, there are further guidelines or supporting initiatives in some federal states. More on this under School: Advice & Help.

Recommendations for lunch at school

Ideal for


Frequency (four-week

meal plan, 20 days)

Examples of food
Cereals, cereal products, potatoes at least 18 times, of which: at least 4 times with at least 25 percent whole grain, and: rarely (maximum 4 times) semi-finished and finished products made from potatoes such as mashed potatoes, croquettes, french fries, wedges. Grain loaves, casseroles, pasta dishes, risottos, pan-fried dishes, side dishes such as boiled potatoes, parsley potatoes, potato salad, baked potatoes. Buckwheat, bulgur, millet, rolled barley, polenta, cous cous, parboiled rice. Whole-grain pasta, brown rice, spelled rice, green spelled, whole-grain bread / bread with wholegrain, wholegrain rye bread, cereal flakes, dough with wholegrain.
Vegetables and / or salads at least 20 times, of which: at least 8 times raw vegetables or salad

Vegetables on the side, stuffed vegetables, vegetable sauce, vegetable lasagna, vegetable patties, vegetable pizza, vegetable casseroles, vegetable pancakes, vegetable wraps, wok vegetables, vegetable puree and vegetable cream soup.

Raw vegetables as a side dish or to nibble. Salads made from different types of vegetables (e.g. cucumber, tomato, cabbage, carrots, green beans, beetroot).

legumes at least 4 times Rice with peas, stews, lentil soup, salads made from various legumes such as beans, lentils, green beans, chickpeas etc., lentil curry, chili con / sin carne, spreads, hummus, soy (products).
fruit at least 8 times, of which: at least 4 times fresh fruit whole or cut to size Carrot and orange soup, red cabbage with apple, mixed salad with fruit components, e.g. apple, pear, orange, fruit sauce, fruit puree, compote.
Sweet main course a maximum of 4 times (maximum 1 time per week). Sweets always contain: milk (products) and / or fruit. Fruit dumplings, Kaiserschmarrn with fruit parsley, rice pudding, semolina pancakes, curd cheese and millet casserole, curd cheese strudel, poppy seed and nut noodles, etc. (each with compote / fruit puree). Apple strudel, cherry strudel, blueberry strudel etc.
dessert at least half of all desserts based on milk (products) and / or fruit and vegetables and nuts. No sweets such as chocolate, muesli bars, sweets etc. as dessert. Homemade curd or yoghurt cream with fruit, curd cake, fruit / vegetable cakes, semolina or curd casserole, pudding, whole fruit, nut cakes, fruit (butter) milk.
milk and milkproducts at least 8 times Curd pudding, casseroles, soups, sauces and desserts (see desserts) based on dairy products.
Meat and meat products a maximum of 10 times (including soup inserts with meat components), of which: at least a third of dishes with a whole piece of meat. And: a maximum of one third meat products Rice meat, stews (ragout, chili con carne, curry), cabbage meat, minced patties. Natural schnitzel, roast, boiled meat, chicken drumsticks, roll roast, Frankfurt, Augsburg, sausages, meat loaf, smoked meat, ham steaks, Tyrolean dumplings, nuggets.
fish at least 2 times Fish fillet, fish pan, fish patties, fish balls, fish goulash, pizza with fish topping, fish lasagne, fish sauce, herring salad. Prefer high-fat sea fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring or domestic cold water fish such as char and trout.
fats and oils prefers vegetable oils Use vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, pumpkin seed oil and linseed oil alternately. Use spreadable, baking and frying fats such as butter, margarine or lard sparingly.
Breaded and fried foods a maximum of 2 times French fries, Wiener schnitzel, baked cheese, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, baked vegetables, baked peas, baked mice.
Nuts and seeds at least 4 times Flax seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. As a supplement to salads, in bread and baked goods, in patties, spreads and curries, as crusts (e.g. for casseroles), in desserts and sweets. Prefer unsalted and unsweetened products.
beverages Tap water and / or mineral water available at all times Prefer tap water.

Source: Recommendations of the National Nutrition Commission "Austrian recommendation for lunch at school"

Explanations of preparation and meal design

Cereals, cereal products and potatoes

Whole grain products are ideal. If extract flour ("white flour") is used for cooking and baking, this can be mixed with whole wheat flour. Low-fat preparation methods are recommended. Potatoes should preferably be freshly prepared. When choosing cereal products, variety and variety are important.

Vegetables and salads

Nutrient-friendly and low-fat preparation methods such as steaming and stewing are beneficial when using vegetables. Dressings can also be prepared with high-quality oils yourself.


Legumes are very suitable for vegetarian dishes. Soups and sauces can be tied with pureed red / yellow lentils or white beans instead of flour.


A low-sugar preparation is ideal (e.g. compotes, fruit puree).

Sweet main course

If there is a sweet main course, vegetables (e.g. soup, raw vegetables or salad) should be served as starters. Again, low-sugar preparation and the use of whole grain products are recommended.


Pay attention to a low-sugar preparation and low-sugar products and use whole wheat flour if possible. Prefer low-fat dough such as yeast dough, strudel dough or sponge dough.

milk and milkproducts

Replace particularly high-fat products such as whipped cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche with less high-fat products such as yoghurt, milk or sour cream.

Meat and meat products

Prefer low-fat products and pay attention to low-fat preparation methods such as braising, boiling, roasting or stewing.


Low-fat preparation methods such as roasting, stewing or steaming are recommended. If possible, give preference to fish from sustainable fisheries. You can find more information at

fats and oils

Low-fat preparation methods such as stewing, roasting in the oven instead of deep-frying or breading are recommended. Rapeseed oil is recommended as the standard oil due to its fatty acid pattern.

Implementation of health-promoting school meals

If you, as a school management, responsible for school catering, buffet operator, etc. need advice or help with the implementation of health-promoting school catering, you can find more information under School: Advice & Help.

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