The aim of the National Quality Centre for Nutrition in Daycare Centres and Schools (NQZ) is to ensure that children and youngsters eat well and enjoy eating in all daycare centres and schools in Germany. In order to achieve this, we need
“better quality food and drink in daycare centres and schools”.
In order to improve the quality of the food and drink provided in daycare centres and schools, the following applies:
- Standards need to be established regarding the quality of the products in terms of their taste and nutritional value. These standards should be based on scientific research.
- The nutritional and habitual value of the food and drink in daycare centres and schools should be used as a basis to promote health and prevent illness.
- The educational value of food and drink for the individual, social communities and society as a whole should be presented within a pedagogical approach.
In addition to these objectives, it is vital that stakeholders and partners across all levels and from all fields are brought together to hold constructive discussions, to connect, and to form strong bonds. Hurdles and obstacles can only be identified and overcome by working together.
The key focus of the NQZ is to coordinate and develop measures and initiatives around the topic of good food in daycare centres and schools in Germany. Improving, assuring and monitoring the quality of the catering services is of key importance here.
In order to guarantee quality, both the requirements facing the nutritional-physiological and sensory quality of the food and the potential for learning and education regarding food and drink need to be taken into account. It is not just the home, but the childminding services, the daycare centre and school settings too that shape the eating habits of young people in view of their own responsibility and the way they treat food, their bodies and their health. As such, the NQZ also works to support relevant target audiences in achieving good nutrition and nutritional knowledge.
It is thus necessary to ensure a permanent transfer of information and knowledge across all levels. This task is, on the one hand, achieved through consultancy with various committees and working groups. It is also achieved through transparency, which is in turn ensured by the commissioning of surveys and analyses, as well as through the monitoring of catering in childminding services, daycare centres and schools. The focus here is on links with science and business, and close co-operation with our partners.
Structure and institutional integration
In 2008, as part of the German federal government’s IN FORM initiative https://www.in-form.de/, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) worked together with the federal states to create networks for catering in schools in all 16 federal states. To date, these networks have been extended to also include catering in daycare centres in thirteen federal states. The NQZ was set up at the federal level in 2016 to act as a central, national point of contact and partner for the networks. Its headquarters are in Berlin. It currently has five positions.
The NQZ is part of the legally independent Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), within the BMEL division. Within the BLE, the NQZ is assigned to the Federal Centre for Food (BZfE), within the Networking and Strategy department.
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