Background Establishing good eating habits during childhood are important since these lay the foundation for the future. Having a balanced and healthy diet is associated with a better learning ability. Research shows differences in intake of energy and nutrients between boys and girls.
Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate possible differences between boys and girls referring intake of school lunch and to compare them to Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) with a focus on content of energy and nutrients.
Method This study was established through a partnership with ProMeal. Data was collected during five days through a weighed and photographed food record of school lunch among 29 children in the 5th grade. The participants’ portions of food were calculated concerning contents of energy and nutrients through the computer program DietistNet. Data was statistically analyzed in order to detect differences in intake of energy and nutrients between the sexes. A comparison between the participants’ energy and nutrient intake and the NNR was made.
Results This research showed no statistical significant difference between boys’ and girls’ intake of energy (p=0,226). Regardless of sex the participants’ median intake of energy was lower than the estimated energy demand for the age group according to NNR. There was no statistical significant difference between boys and girls concerning the intake of energy from macronutrients. The share of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fat was relatively even distributed between the sexes. In comparison boys had a significantly higher intake of dietary fiber (p=0,008), iron (p=0,037) and vitamin C (p=0,034) than girls.
Conclusion Overall the participants had a noteworthy low intake of energy and micronutrients in relation to the estimated demands and recommendations of NNR. During five days there was no statistical significant difference between boys and girls concerning intake of energy. Further research is needed.