Research has shown that food preferences are generally acquired during childhood and that eating habits acquired after adolescence are more resistant to change.

The school environment plays an important role in nurturing and sustaining good eating habits. Most students consume at least one snack or one meal in their school canteen on most days of the week over a period of several years.

In view of this, the Healthy Meals in Schools Programme (HMSP) seeks to enhance the availability of healthier food and beverage choices in schools through an integrated programme involving teachers, canteen vendors and students. The Health Promotion Board (HPB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), actively encourages schools to participate in this programme.

Canteen vendors from participating schools are expected to follow food service guidelines which aim to encourage canteen vendors to cut down fat, sugar and salt and serve wholegrains, fruit and vegetables in the meals; and serve healthy set meals. These healthy set meals incorporate food from the four main food groups – brown rice and wholemeal bread, meat and others, vegetables and fruit – thereby helping students receive the right nutrients necessary for their growing needs.

The following are the HMSP guidelines (effective from Jan 2019).

For reference, we have also compiled:

Schools are encouraged to monitor the food and beverages sold in the school to ensure the adherence to the guidelines. To monitor school canteen vendors' compliance with HMSP guidelines, participating schools are assessed by nutritionists and dieticians commissioned by HPB. A report is given to schools after assessment to help canteen vendors improve their compliance with HMSP guidelines.

In addition to the assessment of food and beverages sold in schools, HPB supports participating schools by:

  • Organising culinary training for the canteen vendors to equip them with knowledge of healthy nutrition and culinary skills to prepare healthier meals using healthier ingredients

  • Conducting briefings for the School Canteen Committee to guide them in monitoring the food sold in schools

  • Providing educational resources which encourage students to eat healthily

  • Healthy Meals in Schools and at Home – Parents’ Booklet​ 

For more information or to register for this programme, you can email Nimrta_kaur_sandhu@hpb.gov.sg and Muhammad_faizal_abdul_aziz@hpb.gov​​.sg.

Click here to find out more about how your child is benefitting from the programme.
Click here to see what other parents and children have to say about HMSP.
Click here to see how you can plan your meals using My Healthy Plate