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UNICEF Supports New Nutrition Standard at Georgia’s State-Kindergartens

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, January 23
(TBILISI) - The United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF supports introduction of a new food menu to Georgia’s state kindergartens, which caused parents' discontent, claiming the menu is of less variety than before.

UNICEF says the new menu is in line with the UN standards and complies with the regulations adopted by the European countries.

The new nutrition standard was adopted in October 2017 but it took effect on January 1, 2018. According to the standard, the amount of bread, cookies and other products that contain more than 15% of fat was reduced to the minimum.

The standard also prohibits regular consumption of such products which contain high rate of sugar, salt or fat. Moreover, the new menu includes more meat, dairy products and fruit.

Maia Kuparadze, UNICEF Head of Education Programs in Georgia, explains that a special group was set up in the Ministry of Health, which was staffed with food specialists, doctors and UNICEF representatives, who decided that the old standard had to be replaced by a new, better one, which is absolutely healthy for the children and is approved by the United Nations (UN).

“The main aim of the group was not the reduction of products but offering the kids better and high-quality nutrition,” she added.

Kuparadze says the old menu looked more diverse because it was full of products which contain sugar, yeast, salt or much fat. She added the current menu is much healthier as it consists of balanced food which contains enough proteins and natural carbohydrates.

“The novelty is that the new menu contains more beef and chicken. It also contains more fruit, vegetables and dairy products. The current menu is perfectly aligned and focused on a very balanced nutrition,” she claimed.

Tbilisi Mayor KakhaKaladze also commented on the issue, and assured concerned parents not to worry about the new menu.

Kaladze claims the changes in menu are targeted to better health and vitality of kindergarten children.

“I would like to assure the parents that their children eat absolutely healthy products at the state kindergartens. It is a lie that we have reduced the number of products in the menu,” the Mayor said.

Kaladze added the City Hall has tightened monitoring of kindergartens in order to ensure maximum healthy and safe environment at preschool educational institutions.