5 Benefits of nutritional consulting in public schools & hospitals


The controversial 2016 law has removed some of the most harmful health products from the public national hospitals vending machines. Snacks such as snacks, pastries, sandwiches and sodas, among others, were left out of the machines. According to the law, contracts with food suppliers cannot include foods with high levels of fat or processed sugars.

In addition, the government has banned foods with more fat, sugar and salt from advertising for children. This means that we are slowly moving towards healthier eating in public health institutions and even in advertising. However, many of the public hospital canteens that serve patients, visitors, and professionals fall short of expectations in providing balanced and complete meals. The same is true in school canteens. In 2018, 854 complaints of poor service were filed in school canteens, according to a report from the Ministry of Education. About 160 of these complaints fall directly on the poor quality of food.

As state institutions of education and hospital treatment, both schools and hospitals must promote healthy eating habits. And this is not just about placing food-wheeled posters in the waiting rooms or banning bad food from vending machines. Promotional work, choice of healthy ingredients and healthy and simple cooking techniques are required. 

The short- and long-term advantages are unlimited. In the case of schools, in addition to keeping children nourished and well-fed throughout the day, they promote food choices that will remain in adulthood, minimizing future health problems. The same applies to hospital service users. Promoting healthy eating is preventive medicine in action.

To provide a high-quality service in public health and education institutions, the help of professionals is imperative. The nutrition consultancy provides all the necessary knowledge to offer varied, healthy and balanced meals, assisting in the creation of the menus, advising on the best ingredients and cooking techniques. See how institutions can benefit from nutrition consulting in their canteens and cafeterias:

1. Satisfied Customers

Nutritional consulting services offer a return from the first bite. In addition to the health benefits, nutritional advice contributes to the satisfaction of service users, helping to create not only healthy but delicious meals.

2. Short, medium- and long-term health benefits

In addition to assisting in the elaboration of complete and delicious menus that guarantee the satisfaction of users and students, the main benefits are long term. Maintaining a healthy diet prevents diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as other diseases associated with being overweight. In this way, the national health system can further reduce hospital costs for these patients in the future.

3. Increased credibility with the community

With the help of qualified nutritional consultants, you will achieve high quality and appealing menus that will accredit the institution to the community where it operates.

 4. Facilitates the work of field professionals

By receiving clear guidelines on food choice, menu design, ingredient selection, and cooking, hospital canteen and school kitchen professionals have their work made easy. Nutrition professionals work closely with employees, contributing to their training and appreciation and providing clear lines of action. Not only will you get happy and healthy customers, as well as motivated and dedicated employees.

5. Improves canteen and refectory service

There is no miracle recipe in nutrition consulting. Before moving on to any plan, nutrition professionals can assess the needs of meal areas not only in number of users, but also in the eating habits practiced so far. Prior assessment is made for menu design to ensure that the institution’s objectives are met, and that healthy and varied meals are provided.

Auren Portugal has a team of consultants specializing in the area of food safety and nutritional advice. Contact us to find out how we can support your company or organization.

Vitória Pinhão, Auren Partner, Head of Consulting at Auren Portugal