The City of Dubrovnik, through the competent Administrative Department for Education, Sport, Social Welfare and Civil Society of the City of Dubrovnik, contacted the Croatian Institute for Public Health to create a menu for elementary school students of the first and second grades. The menus are designed to provide a balanced diet for children between the ages of seven and nine who are provided with lunch and snacks as part of their extended stay.
During the extended stay of students in six primary schools in the City of Dubrovnik, children are served lunch and an afternoon snack, which presents 45 percent of the recommended total daily energy intake of substances needed for growth, development and maintenance of normal tissue and organ function. The menu is made up of four basic types, one for each week of the month. According to food categories, children consume milk and dairy products, cereals and cereal products, seasonal fruits and vegetables, natural spices and liquids every day. Protein in the form of meat, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds are also consumed daily, with meat up to five times a week. The fish is contained in the menu once to twice a week, and foods with a high content of sugar, fat and salt up to twice a month.
Malnutrition is one of the major risk factors in the emergence and progression of chronic non-communicable diseases: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and malignancies, which is why it is important to encourage the adoption of proper eating habits from an early age. Elementary education is a period when children are developing physically, and school nutrition, in addition to meeting the nutritional needs of children, includes a process of education about proper and balanced nutrition.