National School Meals Program / Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar (PNAE)

Law No. 11.947 (implemented 2009) set some principles for provision of school meals in Brazil, including that students have a right to school meals that provide them with food and nutritional security; that the food provided should be healthy, varied, and respect local culture as well as specific needs; and that nutrition education should be included in the school curriculum. Additionally, the law provided funding for the National School Meals Program (PNAE).

Resolution No. 6 of May 8, 2020 (implemented December 2020) modified the guidelines for allocation of PNAE funds, imposing the following series of restrictions:

  • Financial restriction for acquisition of processed and ultra-processed products (UPPs):
    • At least 75% must be used to buy fresh or minimally processed foods;
    • 20% at most can be used to buy processed and UPPs;
    • A maximum of 5% can be used to purchase processed culinary ingredients.
  • Maximum limits for certain UPPs to appear on school menus
    • For example, milk drinks with additives or sweeteners would be allowed twice a month at most; UPP meat twice a month at most; sweets once a month at most, etc.
  • A ban on adding sugar, honey, or sweeteners to culinary preparations and beverages aimed at children aged three years or younger
  • A ban on the use of funds to purchase the following UPPs: soft drinks and artificial refreshments, drinks or concentrates based on guarana or currant syrup, ready-to-drink teas, sweetened cereals or cereals with additives, candies, chocolate bars, stuffed biscuits, cakes with topping or filling, sweetened cereal bars with additives, gelatin, monosodium glutamate or sodium salts, mayonnaise and powdered or reconstituted food, among others.
  • Some guidelines on nutrition education, including social, financial, and environmental sustainability; respect of local traditions; autonomy and self-care.