Nutritional Guidelines for School Lunch Programs: A Survey of Islamic Schools and Recommendations for Creating a Culture of Healthful Eating
Keywords:lunch, Islamic school, child nutrition, menu planning
Objective: To determine the status of lunch programs in Islamic Schools in the United Sates and develop recommendations for improving them.
Study Design: The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) conducted a survey of lunch programs by mailing questionnaires to 100 Islamic schools in the United States. Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition (MIDAN) developed lunch menus using American and ethnic foods conforming to nationally recommended guidelines.
Results: Forty-eight Islamic schools responded to the survey, revealing that 20 schools follow guidelines and only six have dietitians advising on menu planning. Based on this survey, IMANA, with the assistance of Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition (MIDAN), has developed a summary of guidelines that schools could follow. These guidelines include sample menus of American and ethnic foods, recommendations for creating an environment for healthful eating, and sources for funding school lunch programs.
Conclusions: IMANA and MIDAN, recognizing the religious and scientific relevance of nutritious diet, have developed these recommendations. This information is provided to aid Islamic schools in implementing guidelines for nutritionally balanced school lunch menus and in creating a culture that fosters a healthful lifestyle.
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