Choose Foods at Canteen Wisely

Hi Kids! How do you usually spend time during your recess at school?

If you often go to the canteen to grab a bite during this time, remember, this meal is not meant to replace either your breakfast, or lunch. Instead, it’s to fill up on a nutritious snack that can give you enough energy for your activities in school!

Nutritious snacks can help to keep you satisfied till it’s time for lunch. More importantly, it can also give you the energy needed to get through the day at school. But only if you select foods that are nutritious!

Use the guide below to help you make appropriate food selections ?which of them you should eat more of, less of, and which to avoid!

Pick these snacks MORE often...

  • Choose foods that are less oily and less sweet, and yet providing useful nutrients such as sandwiches made with wholemeal bread and with egg, meat, sardine, or tuna filling, kuih apam, steamed pau, clear mee hoon soup with vegetables and meat. Fruits such as bananas, guavas, and apples are good choices too.
  • Choose beverages that are less sweet and yet more nutritious such as milk, soya bean milk, freshly squeezed fruit juice and yoghurt drinks.

These foods can be eaten daily or several times a week. But take only in small portions, so that you don’t feel too full to eat your main meals (lunch or dinner).

Choose these OCCASIONALLY...

Some foods and drinks can be taken occasionally as they contain some valuable nutrients, but may also be high in fat. Take only small portions of these foods, and limit eating these to only 1-2 times a week. Examples include:

  • Nasi lemak, fried rice or fried noodles/mee hoon/kuey-teow.

Pick these snacks LESS often...

There are also foods and drinks that are high in calories, fat or salt, and some of these are low in nutrients. It is best to limit eating these types of foods to not more than once a week. Examples include:

  • Foods that are oily and high in fat and salt, e.g. fried burgers, sausages, nuggets and French fries.
  • Foods and drinks that are sweet, and high in sugar such as, syrups, fruit cordials, carbonated drinks, sweets, ice lollies and sweet kuih-muih.
  • Foods that are high in salt and flavouring, e.g. crispy chips/kerepek/
    keropok and snacks with artificial flavouring.

Lastly, remember these few tips:

  • Always make sure that the foods you choose are fresh and clean. Do not purchase cooked foods that are not properly covered.
  • Do check the expiry dates on packaged foods to avoid eating foods that may be spoilt!

If your canteen does not offer enough healthy choices, you can ask your parents to prepare healthy snacks to bring to school instead. Lastly, besides eating right, don’t forget to keep your body moving by playing some sports, or games that you like such as badminton or football with your friends!

Simple Guide to Choosing Snacks

More Often

(Daily or several times a week)

(Not more than 1-2 times a week)
Less Often

(Not more than once a week)
  • Wholemeal sandwiches (filled with egg, meat, sardine, or tuna)
  • Kuih apam
  • Steamed pau
  • Clear mee hoon soup with vegetables and meat
  • Fruits, such as bananas, guavas, and apples
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt or yoghurt drinks
  • Soya bean milk
  • Freshly squeezed juices
  • Nasi lemak
  • Fried rice
  • Fried noodles/ mee hoon
  • Fried kuey-teow
  • Fried burgers
  • Fried sausages
  • Fried nuggets
  • French fries
  • Fried chips or crisps e.g. kerepek pisang/
    kentang/ubi, keropok lekor, keropok ikan
  • Ice lollies
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Syrup and cordial drink
  • Sweet and fried kuih-muih e.g. doughnut

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