What is more important nutrition or education

Nutritional education in school

The prerequisite for developing healthy eating behavior is a wide range of skills relating to eating and drinking. The school setting, especially in full-time operations, is not only a learning space, but also a living space where theory and practice can be successfully linked. Over the many years of schooling, children and young people can learn health-promoting behaviors, but they can also change unfavorable behavior patterns in a favorable direction if catering and nutrition education are viewed as a holistic approach to health promotion.

Understand education and catering as a unit

Nutrition education and health

Nutritional education describes a lifelong process that predominantly takes place in everyday life without a specific pedagogical concept. Schools as educational and care facilities are learning and living environments in which learning is designed responsibly in an educational context. Over at least 10 years of schooling, the children and young people acquire important skills and receive valuable impulses for their personal eating and drinking behavior. They learn a lot about nutrition in the natural and social sciences, as recommended by the Standing Conference for the design of curricula (1). Both the subject-specific and interdisciplinary lessons as well as the learning experiences with and while eating and drinking in school provide the basis for nutritional education. Only when schools perceive catering and meal arrangements as important learning opportunities can they fully fulfill their obligation to provide children with a healthy environment (2). This makes eating and drinking an indispensable element for sustainable school development.

Nutrition education in the subject canon

The European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS European Network of Health Promoting Schools) has formulated in its criteria for school nutrition education, among other things, that interdisciplinary nutrition education should be guaranteed for all pupils. Against this background, as part of the transnational project REVIS (health-oriented R.eform of E.nutritional and Vconsumer education in S.chulen) has developed a reference framework for nutrition and consumer education that can be used independently of the specific structures in the individual federal states (3). The developed curriculum, one of a total of four components of the reference framework, covers nine educational goals, including, for example, the design of a healthy diet, safe behavior in the culture and technology of food preparation and meal design and the development of a positive self-concept through eating and nutrition. For the development and revision of the competence-oriented curricula in the federal states, the REVIS frame of reference offers a comprehensive basis for all nutrition education subjects, especially nutrition and consumer education.

In 2013, the Conference of Ministers of Education decided on recommendations on nutrition education as part of consumer education (1). As the joint report of the KMK and the Consumer Protection Conference (VSK) shows, the recommendations are implemented very differently in the educational plans in the federal states (4). Since there are often no specific requirements specific to the federal state, the schools have a great deal of creative leeway, which is used very differently.

Eating and drinking as a quality feature for schools

Following the educational mandate of schools, what the pupils learn in class should ideally be lived in school. Due to its relevance to everyday life and its value orientation, for example with regard to health or sustainability, nutrition education offers a lot of potential for this. The REVIS reference framework provides a suitable basis for this holistic approach. How everyday nutrition education is actually designed and to what extent it plays a role in catering can be determined by schools themselves in their guiding principles. As part of quality development, they have the opportunity to successfully combine educational content with catering. In order for this to succeed, the school management should get all the actors involved on board. Because for the creation of a catering concept that should endure in practice, the understanding and acceptance of all interest groups are essential. Joint working groups or cooperation in a catering committee are important places for exchange and for the further development of measures on the way to high-quality school catering. The DGE quality standard for school catering provides orientation and impetus for a holistic approach to catering, but is not mandatory in most federal states. The school catering network offices offer advice and support on the standard and its individual fields of action.


(1) Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of September 12, 2013 - Consumer Education in Schools www.kmk.org/fileadmin/veroeffnahmungen_beschluesse/2013/2013_09_12-Verb├╝bersbildung.pdf

(2) Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of November 15, 2012 - Health Promotion and Prevention in Schools

(3) aid (Ed.): REVIS - Nutrition and Consumer Education in Classes (2013)

(4) Joint working group of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Conference of Consumer Protection: Report on the consumer competence of schoolchildren (2015)

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