School meals are usually served between 10:30 am and 1 pm. Meal times vary from school to school. The meals consist of a warm dish; vegetables either grated, diced or in a salad; a drink; a piece of bread and some spread. Every day, the children can choose between two main dishes.
Any information held about a child’s special diet does not, unfortunately, automatically transfer to school from the daycare centre or child health clinic. More information on special diets.
Ingredients currently in season are favoured when planning the menus. Food themes and holidays that are part of Finnish food traditions are reflected in the menus. Annual food theme weeks have included organic and locally-sourced food, harvest time and favourite foods. The children learn about international cuisines and customs through different country themes.
Seasonal festivities evident in the menus include Finnish Independence Day, Christmas, Easter, Labour Day and the last day of school in spring.
A fee-based snack
Many schools in Helsinki sell afternoon snacks. Practical arrangements for the product range and providing these snacks are negotiated separately with every school. The snack selection consists of three daily options – various types of sandwiches, drinks and fruit.
The snacks are usually paid for with a snack card. Schools and school cafeterias will provide more information on these snacks.
Varied and regular meals are beneficial to a child