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Health Chief: School Lunches Lack Nutritional Variety

Pekka Puska, director-general of the National Institute for Health and Welfare, says that some local authorities might be in violation of the law by offering school children school lunches with insufficient variety.

Puska says that the legal requirement to offer schoolchildren fully balanced meals is not necessarily implemented in all municipalities.

The newspaper Turun Sanomat notes that there are no minimums set for the various raw materials that should be used in school meals. However the quality of school lunches is defined by recommendations of the state consultative committee on nutrition.

The paper's comparison shows that the money spent on school food varies from one local authority to another. Tampere has the cheapest school lunches, costing 62 cents each. Among large cities, Espoo spends the most, 96 cents per meal.

Puska told the newspaper that if nutrition experts were to investigate the cheapest school menus, they would probably find violations of the law.

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