Public meals

Femdelad bild med en person i varje del - ett förskolebarn, ett skolbarn, en ungdom, en sjukhuspatient och en äldre person.

When it comes to public meals Sweden takes a leading role. In schools, as well as in hospitals and nursing homes, good, nutritious and varied food is offered. The meals are composed and cooked to meet high food safety standards and most meals are financed via taxes.

Sweden has a comprehensive and service oriented welfare system, where all citizens are meant to have the same opportunities for good and equal health. Meals served in public institutions such as schools, nursing homes and hospitals are considered an important part of that task.

Initially, the Swedish federal government was responsible for developing systems for meal services in public institutions. Today, each municipality, a total of 290, are in charge of the meals in preschools, schools and in elderly care, while as the 21 county councils are responsible for hospital meals.

The safety of all public meals is regulated by European and national food legislation. National nutritional guidelines are developed in Nordic collaboration and set the standards for the nutritional quality of public meals.

However, meals served in preschools, schools, hospitals and nursing homes shall not only be safe and nutritious, the food is to be tasty, prepared with good quality ingredients and served in a pleasant environment. The meal should also be eco-smart and contribute to environmentally sustainable development and the national environmental goals. To fully use the meal's potential it should be integrated into the core activities and be a natural part of the education and caregiving.

A graphic plate divided into six puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece has a unique word. Safe, Tasty, Integrated, Nutritious, Eco-smart and Pleasant.

The Meal Model developed by the Swedish Food Agency.

The Meal Model can be downloaded for free. Just remember to indicate the Swedish Food Agency as the source.

Reviewed 2023-08-09