New school year approaches

Kurdistan region issues lists of approved and banned foods for school cafeterias

ERBIL, August 28 — The Kurdistan region’s Ministry of Education has announced a list of approved — and forbidden — foods and drinks for school cafeterias, with the start of a new academic year in the coming days.

The Directorate General of Education in Erbil issued instructions mandating school canteens provide suitable and healthy food during the 2023-2024 academic year. All schools are required to display food menus as follow:

Prohibited Foods in School Cafeterias:

  • Fried food sandwiches (liver, potatoes, meat)
  • Grapes
  • Energy drinks
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Gum, chocolate, artificially-colored popcicles
  • Instant noodles
  • Sumac and citric acid
  • Colored popcorn
  • Artificially colored potato chips

Permissible Foods:

  • Sandwiches containing cucumber, tomato, boiled chicken, boiled egg, boiled potatoes, and falafel, on the condition of not reusing cooking oil
  • Fresh fruits
  • Dried fruits (banana and apricot), almonds, nuts, and peanuts
  • Canned milk
  • Milk-based ice cream
  • Water, natural juices, tea, coffee, cappuccino
  • Biscuits, chocolate, cake, custard, and pastries
  • Qamar al-Din (apricot fruit leather)
  • Non-colored popcorn, beets, lentils, chickpeas
  • Non-colored potato chips
  • Rice and stews