Caraterização e avaliação da composição nutricional das refeições de três pré-escolas através da comparação com as recomendações nutricionais para crianças dos 24 aos 72 meses distrito da Ilha de Moçambique, Moçambique

  • Filipa Tavares Fortuna (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mozambique has presented one of the world’s highest proportion of children under five years old suffering from stunting and Nampula province accounted for the highest prevalence rates. In fact, stunting may affect both the children’s physical and cognitive development which is then becomes hard to recover. Additionally, for pre-school aged children they may already have their cognitive ability compromised by previous nutritional deficiencies. For this reason, school meals programmes may bring short-term and long-term benefits for children encouraging the healthy eating education. The school therefore is a major mean to provide knowledge and food. The research aimed primarily to study the existence of inadequate nutritional content (energy, macronutrients and micronutrients) of the meals provided by three preschools located in Ilha de Mozambique district (Centro Infantil da Ilha de Moçambique, Escolinha Pérola do Lumbo e Escolinha Filipe Magaia). The work was based on the nutritional recommendations for children aged from 24 to 72 months. A nutritional assessment was carried out on school children and it was performed a survey to the children’s parents/legal guardians (P/LG) (n=125). In addition, a comparison was also made between the nutritional composition of the three preschools’ meals (n=25) and the nutritional references regarding to 20% and 30% of the daily requirements. Finally, based on the diagnosed needs, recommendations and suggestions were prepared to improve the nutritional content of the meals provided. The children presented 29,6% of some type of malnutrition and 24% was diagnosed with stunting. According to the survey, on average, 83,5% of P/LG attended school (8,1% attended higher education), the number of people per household was 6, 75,3% of the sample was Islamic, the dominant language at home was the Émakua (78,23%) and 75,96% of the households had electricity. Regarding the diversity and feeding frequency of the children, 85,12% and 80,3% met the requirements, respectively. Moreover, when the nutritional compositions of the meals were compared to 20% of the daily requirements (1 meal), the 3 schools presented inadequacies against the reference values. However, Escola de Magaia was the one that presented the lowest amount of inadequacies. Comparing to the recommendations for 30% of daily requirements (2 meals), Escola do Lumbo and Centro Infantil exhibited more adequate meals, nevertheless, there were still inadequacies, especially in vitamin A values. It is expected that the recommendations provided throughout the work project may be taken into consideration for school meals to become a vehicle for health improvement and information.
Date of Award22 Oct 2018
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorArtur Fernando dos Santos (Supervisor) & Elisabete Araújo Catarino (Co-Supervisor)


  • Mozambique
  • School meals
  • Food composition
  • Nutrition
  • Preschool
  • Stunting
  • Food fortification
  • School feeding
  • Nutrition guidelines
  • Micronutrients deficiencies


  • Mestrado em Biotecnologia e Inovação

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