Introduction or gari (3 out of 20 meals), yam

Introduction

Food is a principal product and it plays
important roles in the hospitality businesses 1. According to 2 food
quality includes the sensory, health, convenience and process dimensions.
Consumers are clear about what kind of food quality they want, which has led to
the growth of food industries as well as institution catering. 3 pointed out that food quality as an ultimate
component of a dining experience because his assumption is that people visit a
food industry purposely for buying food. Thus, customers are satisfied if they
get the food they want 4.

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5
stated that a meal comprised of protein, fat, and sugar will prevent drops in
blood sugar for several hours, whereas, a meal of just starch and sugar will
sustain a child for only about two hours. A meal that included food from
several food groups was the best for a child who was expected to perform at his
or her best in school, educationally and physically. 6 asserted that particular attention should be
given to the Nutritional and Academic Performance of the children in the school
food programmes so that the meals given to them in their various schools will
be able to supply them with the needed nutrient requirements which improve
their academic performances.

Nutrients are not only essential for growth
and development, but also provide young children with the energy to perform
physical and metabolic functions. Nutrition also influences the efficiency of
educational programs 7
Adequate nutrition is therefore vital during the school-age years because
nutrition and health influence a child’s cognitive development 8, 9. 10
assessed the impact of the Ghana School Feeding Programme in 4 districts in
Central Region, Ghana. He observed that the weekly meals consumed in the
schools in the 4 districts consisted of the staple foods rice (9 out of 20
meals), beans or gari (3 out of 20 meals), yam or banku (twice of the 20
meals), and/or plantain (once alone, and once combined with beans). In
addition, Fruits were only served as a dessert 3 times in Mfantseman district
and meat was never included in the preparation of the school lunches. All
stews, except for the groundnut soup, are made on the basis of oil (vegetable
oil or palm oil), onion and tomatoes (fresh and/or tinned). When the stew is
named e.g. garden egg-stew, this means a 4th ingredient has been added, namely
garden eggs.

Education is a driving force for economic,
social, and political development and prosperity. It creates avenues for people
to reduce poverty, inequality and diseases 11. 8 asserted that education creates a dynamic workforce and well-informed
citizen that is able to compete and participate in the global economy.
Therefore, in the view of 8, the decision to send a child to school and to ensure his or her
regular attendance to school is influenced by many factors. These factors
include the perceived value of education, the availability of employment
opportunities, the cost of schooling and the availability and quality of school
facilities.  According to 12 food
incentives offered to students in Osun State in Nigeria such as school meals
compensate parents for direct educational costs. They further stated that the
implementation of SFP is associated with increase in enrolment, particularly
for girls. 14 in his
study on school feeding programme in Eastern Cape in South Africa indicated
that school feeding program has actually increased school enrolment in the
basic level of education and the performances levels of the school children.

One major success in the Ghana school feeding program has been an
increase in school enrolment by 20.3% in the pilot schools as against 2.8% in
the schools without the feeding program 15. For instance, children between the ages of 6-11 years saw an increase
from 69.2% in 2005/2006 academic year to 81.1% in 2006/2007 academic year at
the primary school level. Enrolments for pilot schools increased by 16% as
compared to schools without the feeding programs, while attendance also rose to
15% more than the control 16. Similarly, 17 in their
study of the GSFP in the Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East region of
Ghana observed that the program has increased “gross enrolment rate by 24%
among participating schools but decreased by 7% in non-participating schools”.