Serving Local Fish in School Meals: The Nutritional Importance of Consuming Oily Fish
The European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020 encourages Member States to promote local affordable and healthy dietary initiatives to support a sustainable food system, particularly in schools and public institutions where advertising on eating behaviour and food preferences is needed. In Italy, the promotion of healthy and sustainable diets, including the consumption of oily fish, is at an early stage. Based on the success of a unique Italian educational campaign in school lunch
... school lunch programmes, the aim of the present study was to compare the nutritional composition of locally caught anchovy and of imported frozen fillets of farmed Vietnamese pangasius, to observe the potential implications of this dietary substitution. Anchovy showed a significantly higher fatty acid and protein content than pangasius, and contained five times more lipids, mainly n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. As previous studies confirmed, a diet providing large amounts of these fats is therefore recommended especially during childhood. The present findings highlight the high nutritional value and healthiness of serving locally caught fish in school meals, which plays a strong role in teaching good dietary habits for a lifetime. Further initiatives are needed to encourage responsible fish consumption during early life to promote a sustainable food system.