School going children face a complicated period of growth and development, remarkably affecting their health and productivity. School feeding programmes were assessed using three levels of assessment based on guidelines of school feeding and nutrition: (i) Conducting 11 key informant interviews, (ii) Conducting 45 focus group discussions and (iii) Using 24 h recall and food frequency questionnaires to evaluate the dietary and nutrient quality of school meals among 225 school going children. Two forms of feeding programmes: Parent led and home grown, were implemented concurrently. About 90% of the learners ate food items from 2 to 4 food groups. Children in all categories of schools had sub optimal daily nutrients (energy, proteins, vitamin A and iron) from school meals. Nationally, school children were only accessing 28% of their energy needs, 64% proteins requirements and 42% of iron requirements. School meals provide about 40-≥ 100% vitamin A requirements, 40-62% of iron requirements and about 30% daily energy requirements. In order to improve school feeding, there is need to enhance coordination and stakeholder engagement, strengthen local and community engagement, improve the nutrient content of school meals and engage stakeholders to change their attitudes and practices toward healthy eating.
Key words: Education, dietary quality, school feeding, agriculture.
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0