School Meal Program (SMP)

What is SMP ?

The School Meal Program (SMP) is the raison d’être for FEF. Everything that we are presently doing or will do in the future under our banner will be built upon the foundation of our SMP. Through this program we provide freshly cooked nutritious meals to children in schools on every school day. Our overarching aim is to improve the cognitive and physical health of the children. Some of the benefits of the SMP are:

  • Reducing malnutrition among children in schools
  • Prevention of classroom hunger
  • Increase in enrolment in schools
  • Increase in attendance in schools

Our program started in February 2020 at Pasban-e-millat school located in Orangi Town, Karachi. At the time there were 260 children attending the school.

In developing our School Meal Program, we studied Pakistan’s Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition which were developed by WHO (World Health Organization) and the Government of Pakistan in May 2018. At the same time, we also looked at similar programs in other parts of the world. In determining the meal menu, we had to consider the local dietary habits of the children in our target ages and of course cost of the meal had a significant impact in deciding what to deliver. As we move forward, we will continue to tweak the meal menus to improve its nutritional value and the cost of the meal.

SMP Menu Plan

Following are the various menus that are served on a typical school day.

Monday - Thursday

Chickpeas and Rice/Biryani*
Seasonal Vegetable with Naan**
Daal^ and Rice
Chicken Biryani
Chicken Curry with Naan
Potatoes with Seasonal Vegetables and Rice
Potato Biryani
Daal and Vegetables with Rice
Paratha^^ and Egg Omelette


Seasonal Fruit and Boiled Egg

*Biryani is a mixed rice dish with various spices and can be made with meat and or vegetables
**Naan is a bread usually made up of wheat and cooked in clay oven
^Lentils/pulses of various types
^^paratha is flat bread made of wheat and cooked in vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)


For reference we are also giving below the recommendations of
Pakistan’s Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition:

Children 3 - 10 Years

Growth and development of children 3-10 years continue at a moderate pace but there is a continuous demand of nutrients to meet the body needs. In general, children gain about 2-2.5 kg body weight/year and 5-6cm height/year. Mean body weight and length of boys is generally greater than their corresponding age girls. Energy requirements for boys and girls are estimated at 80 kcal/kg/day and 77 kcal/kg/day at age 3 but decreased to 67 kcal/kg/day and 61 kcal/kg/day at age 10 for boys and girls, respectively. Recommended protein requirements for children 3-10 years are estimated at 1.2 g/kg/day.

Children 10 - 19 Years

Adolescence period is accompanied by increased physiological and psychological changes with rapid physical growth and development that require increased amounts of nutrients to fulfill the body requirements. At puberty and at peak weight and height accretion, adolescents gain about 3-5 kg/year weight and 6-7 cm/year height, respectively. After the age of 17 years, weight and height gain of adolescents reduces substantially to 1.5-2 kg/year and 0.5-1 cm/year, respectively. Adolescents by and large attain 50% of adult weight and 25% of adult height for which optimal nutrition is essential. Energy requirements for adolescent boys and girls are estimated at 55-65 kcal/kg/day and 45-60 kcal/kg/day, respectively. Recommended protein requirements for adolescents are 1.1-1.2 g/kg/day.

Recommended Food and Portion Sizes for Children in Pakistan (3 – 19 years)


 No. of Servings/dayPortion size and description
Food Group3 – 10 Years10 – 19 Years
Milk and milk Products2 – 33 – 41 serving=1cup of milk or 1 cup of yogurt or 1 slice of cheese or 1 cup of kheer or feerni or other milk-based products equivalent to nutrients supplied by 1 cup of milk. 1 cup of whole milk will provide 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 8 g fat and 150 calories.
Cereals2 – 45 – 61 serving= 2 slices of bread (toast) or 1 chapatti or 1 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of cereals equivalent to nutrients supplied by 2 slices of bread. One serving of cereals bread(2 toast x 28 g=56 g) shall provide 30 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 0-2 g fat and 160 calories.
Vegetables1 – 22 – 31 serving= ½ cup of cooked non-starchy vegetables or ½ cup of vegetables juice/soup or 1 cup of fresh vegetables/salad. One serving of vegetables will provide 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein and 25 calories. One serving of starchy vegetables (1 potato (100 g) or maize (1/2 cup) or peas green ½ cup) will provide15 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 0-1 g fat and 80 calories.
Fruits1 – 22 – 31 serving=1 medium size banana or 1 apple or 1 peach or 2-3 plums or 3-4 apricots. Each serving will provide 20 g carbohydrates and 80 calories.
Meats & Pulses1 – 22 – 31 serving of meat (28 g lean meat=2-3 small pieces of meat or 1-2 pieces of fish or 1 egg, or ½ cup of cooked pulses). One serving of lean meat will provide 7 g protein, 3 g fat and 55 calories. One serving of meat with medium fat will provide7 g protein, 5 g fat and 75 calories. One serving of meat with high fat will provide 7 g protein, 8 g fat and 100 calories.