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Vladimir Chernigov: "SIFI and the Government of the Leningrad region cooperation is a guarantee of high-quality school meals for our children"

The Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI), under the agreement signed with the Government of the Leningrad Region, has begun to implement measures to prepare for the "presidential breakfast" which means hot free meals for all primary schoolchildren from September 1, 2020. SIFI President Vladimir Chernigov talks about the principles of forming the menu for Leningrad schoolchildren and plans for working with the Leningrad region.

- Is it known on what principles the menu of Leningrad schoolchildren will be based?

- The task is profile, interesting and unusual. The fact is that the Leningrad Region is one of the three regions known to us, where there will be two free meals a day. Our joint task is to organize this work in the new conditions of federal subsidies, to make a quiet revolution in the plate of primary school students.
Our work was interesting and deep. Without revealing all the secrets, I will say that the basic methodological recommendations of the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights give general recommendations and some sample menus. But, as you understand, one pill cannot cure the whole country, as well as one plate cannot feed. Therefore, our task was to test it specifically in the Leningrad region, because in Sosnovy Bor they feed differently than in Vsevolzhsk, etc. What we offer on the menu should allow to adapt it without changing the chemical composition - without removing the usefulness, energy value and without going beyond the specific recommendations. We will provide an opportunity in municipal districts, and even in a particular school, to select a menu.

For example, minced meat means chops and meatballs. That is, without violating the chemical composition and amount of protein, you can choose from these options different dishes both in cost and in taste, because sometimes children are not interested in a chop, but meatballs eat with a bang. And in another case, vice versa. In this matter, we look forward to working with parents. As part of our joint work with the Leningrad Region, we are planning a number of events, including a round table with the participation of the parent community. It should become an impulse for cooperation in order to avoid a situation where parents are ready to criticize, but are not ready to get involved in improving school meals for their own children. We will strive to take into account all parental opinions and build a dialogue with them.

- What about the seasonality? For example, in September there are watermelons, but in December there is no point in giving strawberries, there are no vitamins in it

- There is a document - guidelines for all residents and parents of the Leningrad region. We compare two menus: from the guidelines and what we made, and let the parents judge for themselves. Option on method recommendations for the whole country. Meat dishes - one is offered, we are offering two. Poultry dishes - none offered, we offer one. Liver dishes - none offered, but we believe that children need to be taught to eat them, we offer one dish. There are two cereal dishes - porridges, we believe, they need none, there are enough carbohydrates for children.

- But what should be given for breakfast, if not porridge?

- We'll tell you later. Now the side dishes - greenhouse vegetables, in the version of the method recommendations there is one, we offer six, it seems to me that there should be more vegetables in the child's plate. Fruit - none offered, we suggest four. And the baking options with low calorie products - none offered, we offer four, very different, plus the presence of milk, which is given to children in the Leningrad region, this is just a wonderful story from the point of view of the final balance. In addition, when forming the menu, we take into account the so-called "eatability", what the head of the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights called "the index of inedibility" - even the most wonderful food children will not want to eat every day.

- Will the menu be prepared for a week?

- No, it will be two or three week menu, but I believe that by the end of a month, maximum two, it is necessary to do an analysis for disposal, which we will find out from the analysis of waste. It will be necessary to raise the question of how to replace this dish without violating the usefulness. This is the proposed approach, the work has just begun.

- Besides the formation of the menu, what other events are planned under the cooperation between the Institute and the Government of the Leningrad Region?

- In addition to round tables and conferences with the involvement of a wide range of professional experts and those who are directly interested in the quality of school meals, we plan joint visits to schools. In the first ten days of September, the governor of the Leningrad region will take part in the so-called "governor's" breakfast - in one of the regional schools, together with schoolchildren, teachers and parents, he will taste by himself how the breakfast prepared under the Federal Law No. 47 differs from what children ate before.