School canteen at primary school (kindergarten and elementary)

Verified 23 November 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Your child eats at his school canteen and you wonder about the organization of this service? The municipality is responsible for the school catering at the primary school. Attendance conditions, rates, course and composition of a meal: here are the rules to know about the school canteen in primary school.

No, the municipality is not obliged to provide school catering in the primary schools.

When the school catering service is available, you can register your child there. It is a right for all children in school.

The municipality must specify the conditions for access to school catering. However, your social situation should not be an obstacle to the registration of your child. For example, it is illegal to reserve access to the school canteen for children whose parents are working.

The rates from school canteen to elementary school are fixed by the municipality.

The municipality may charge the fare on family quotient. This makes it possible toadapt the price of the meal to your income and expenses.

In some municipalities, you can benefit from aid to pay the canteen fees. Ask your local council for more information.

Who shall I contact

In some departments, if your child is attending an elementary school far from your home and has to stay in the canteen, you can get help. Ask the principal at the beginning of the school year.

The meal should last at least 30 minutes, not including the possibility of waiting for the service.

Menus must respect a nutritional balance. Portion sizes are tailored to your child's dish type and age group.

The school lunch consists of the following:

  • 1 main course
  • 1 trim
  • 1 milk product
  • 1 starter and/or 1 dessert

Please note

meals must be made up of 50% sustainable quality products (20% of which are organic).

Water and bread must be freely available.

Salt and sauces are served according to the dishes. They are not freely accessible.

The municipality is responsible for the composition of the menus.

School menus are generally available on the city's website.

Who shall I contact

Depending on the municipality, meals are prepared on site, in a central kitchen or by a collective catering company.


morning snack at school is not mandatory.

If your child has a specific diet due to state of health, the school can offer adapted menus. For this, a individualized reception project (IAP) can be set up.

You can also prepare packed lunches for your child. You are then responsible for the provision of the meal, packaging and transportation. Your child will eat his or her lunch basket in the canteen.

Who can help me?

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