Health & Safety

Healthy School Canteens

The Healthy Canteen Kit – Food- Planner can assist in selecting foods and drinks for school canteens and other food-related school activities.

The planner divides foods and drinks into three categories.

EVERYDAY CATEGORY (GREEN FOODS)
Foods and drinks in the Everyday category are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia and are most suitable for school food services.

Foods and drinks in the Every- day category are based on the basic food groups and include:

  • breads and cereals, rice, pasta,noodles
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • dairy foods – reduced or low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese
  • lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts* and legumes (dried beans and lentils)
  • water.

Schools should:

  • encourage and promote these foods
  • provide a wide range of these foods every day
  • take every opportunity to include foods in this group as the main choices on the canteen menu
  • promote these foods as tasty, fresh and good value choices
  • present these foods in attractive and interesting ways
  • include as the main choices at school events and activities involving foods.

SELECT CAREFULLY CATEGORY

(AMBER FOODS) Foods and drinks in the Select Carefully category contain some valuable nutrients, but may also include unhealthy ingredients.

They are mainly processed foods that have fat, sugar or salt added.

Schools are encouraged to limit the availability of these foods. They should not be promoted at the expense of foods and drinks from the Everyday category. Foods and drinks in the Select Carefully category include:

  • full-fat dairy foods, low-fat ice- cream
  • 100 per cent fruit juices and 100 per cent fruit-juice based ices
  • artificially sweetened drinks
  • reduced-fat processed meats
  • commercially prepared hot foods • reduced-fat, high-fibre snack foods
  • margarines, oils, spreads, sauces and gravies..

OCCASIONALLY CATEGORY (RED FOODS)

Foods and drinks in the Occasionally category are not consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia and are not recommended for school food services.

Schools should limit the avail- ability of these foods and drinks to no more than two occasions per term.

Foods and drinks in this cate- gory are defined in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating as ‘extra foods’ and include:

  • sugar-sweetened drinks–sports drinks, cordial, fruit-flavoured drinks
  • deep-fried foods
  • pastry-based or crumbed hot foods
  • savoury snack foods – crisps, chips, biscuits
  • ice-creams and ice confections – chocolate-coated and premium ice-creams, icy-poles and ice crushes
  • cakes, muffins, sweet pastries, slices, biscuits and bars.

From 2007, high sugar content soft drinks should not be supplied through school food services.

This includes energy drinks and flavoured mineral waters with high sugar content.

Confectionery is of minimal nutritional value. For this reason the sale of confectionery through school food services will be phased out from 2007–09.

From 2009, no confectionery should be supplied through school food services.

For an explanation of these categories as well as a detailed list of food and drink items that fit into each of the categories refer to the Healthy Canteen Kit – Food Planner.

For more information visit education.vic.gov.au

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