Free school fruit in the Oslo schools

School Fruit OsloThe Oslo city council members, Tone Tellevik Dahl and Inga Marte Thorkildsen, together with the student council leaders, Olivia Solli and Viana Torkzad. All agree that nutrition and learning are interrelated and that free fruit at school is a good investment to provide youngsters with healthy food options. Photo: OFG

Free school fruit for lower secondary students in Oslo

Oslo municipality has decided to offer free school fruit to all lower secondary school students. All applicable municipal schools, totalling approx. 17,000 students will offer fruit at least two days a week. The first schools start up now.

“Free school fruit is an important tool for promoting public health and equalising social differences,” Tore Angelsen states. He is Project Manager of the school fruit scheme at the Norwegian Information Office for Fruit and Vegetables (OFG).

School fruit for all will reduce the social gap between the students

A survey conducted by Skuterud & Kløvstad, on behalf of OFG, shows that only 46% of the students in the Norwegian primary schools bring packed lunches. It further reveals that 51% of the boys in the lower secondary school never bring fruit or vegetables in their lunch box.

“Many bring too little food to school in order to keep their energy level up to scratch through the entire day. A snack is a then a good solution when the stomach rumbles,” Gerd Byermoen of OFG, points out.

The municipalities’ responsibility to facilitate good conditions

The Public Health Act gives municipalities, county municipalities and state authorities the responsibility for promoting public health. Just a little over 30 municipalities in Norway have used this instrument, to good effect. The experiences from the pilot schools are splendid. The teachers find that the students are more concentrated and that the social environment improves.

“All Norwegian municipalities should locate the necessary funds for school fruit to all children. It is a good investment for learning, well-being and future good health for all residents”, Gerd Byermoen believes.

The current school fruit scheme website,, is operated by the Information Office for Fruit and Vegetables on behalf of the Directorate of Health. The offer to subscribe to fruits and vegetables applies to all Norwegian primary schools. It can either be a parentally paid scheme or the school creates a joint order that is paid by the municipality, school, FAU or others.

© OFG / #Norway Today