- Increasing nutrition requirement
“Overweight but undernourished” means consuming diets that are high in saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium, but low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat milk. It has become a prevalent health concern as obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In response to this issue, the food providers have to follow the Principles of Healthy Eating (3 Low 1 High) and adjust their menu to accommodate students in a way that will provide adequate nutrients and meet the needs of growth and development.
(Source: Department of Health)
- Quality of raw ingredients
People in recent years are more aware of the food safety due to the frequent food poisoning incidents like gutter oil. Food providers are required to pay more attention in sourcing the raw ingredients – ensuring the raw ingredients meet the standard and are safe to eat.
- Drop in student enrollment
With a relative low birth rate, it is foreseeable that there will be a fierce competition in the industry. Food providers have to improve their own competitive advantages for example price and taste to increase clients’ (schools and parents) satisfaction to get the contract.
- Menu planning: balancing cost and nutrition
Food prepared based on the nutrition requirement must be appealing to attract students’ attention so as to retain the guests’ continuous participation. At the same time, meals must also be affordable. The dilemma occurs as the costs become the barrier to meal improvement. Food providers usually operate on a rather tight budget, and healthy food costs a lot more than junk food.
 USDA School Meal Programs Face New Challenges, from http://www.choicesmagazine.org/magazine/print.php?article=83