Nordic Food for children and youth

Goes to a person or an organization, who has developed an idea or a concept which notably has contributed to develop future generation knowledge and skills in relation to Nordic food and food culture.

Iceland – Matartíminn

Create a better future for children through food

Matartíminn (e. The Mealtime) was established in 2017 by vegetable farmers of the Horticulturalists’ Sales Company. The primary objective of Matrartíminn is twofold. On the one hand, we are working to reduce food waste by fully utilising the harvest from Icelandic vegetable farmers. On the other hand, Matartíminn gives Icelandic school children better access to fresh and healthy nutrition.

Our task is to win the hearts and minds of young people by giving them an early taste for fresh and juicy Icelandic vegetables. Today, we serve an average of 4,500 children per day in preschools and elementary schools. We strive to meet the needs of all our kids, but the most vulnerable groups, children with allergies and special needs, get our utmost attention. Matartíminn employs chefs with expertise in allergy assessment. Solid and good relationships with parents of children with special needs aid us in mapping the child’s needs. Getting a clear picture of the child’s allergy history helps the parents feel at ease, knowing that their children are in safe hands.

Our chefs have a way to find delicious solutions to special needs, whether caused by food allergies, religions or beliefs. We span the entire spectrum in a diverse range of healthy and good food. Vegan meals are always on the menu, both in preschools and primary schools, not least at the teenage level, where demand has increased in recent years. Finally, we have added a delicious salad bar to the service in Matartíminn’s primary schools better to meet our children’s different tastes and needs. 

Matartíminn’s menus are published on our website four weeks in advance. We list all the ingredients and information about allergens, nutritional value, reference value, and various other information, including better ways to reduce food waste.

One of the main goals of Matartíminn is to reduce food waste, so it is especially gratifying to know that some of our schools have integrated projects on food waste into their mathematics teaching. The children weigh leftovers, convert them into percentages and keep so-called food waste accounting. This way, we create a positive stimulus to increase awareness of sustainability and food waste. Children do not take more on the plate than they need to get their stomach full. 

We emphasise offering our local food, lactose-free dairy products, fish, meat, and delicious and fresh vegetables from Icelandic vegetable farmers. We prepare the ingredients at SFG’s headquarters before Matartíminn’s distribution system takes it to school, where our chefs cook the food and serve it with gusto.

On top of offering fresh vegetables all year round, Matartíminn has served as a powerful way for vegetable farmers to make full use of the harvest. The products of Icelandic vegetable farmers are all carbon offsets and locally grown in the surrounding countryside. 

By reducing food waste, minimising the impact on the environment and keeping sustainability as a guiding principle in all our activities, Matartíminn creates a better future for our children.