School operations

Canteens, Healthy Eating and Other Food Services

Guiding principles for food selection

The following principles should inform the selection of foods sold in school food services:

  • a range of foods are included from each of the 5 food groups outlined in the Australian Guide to Healthy EatingExternal Link
  • fresh food is provided rather than processed
  • a range of portion sizes are offered that cater for varying energy use and developmental requirements
  • foods offered reflect the multicultural diversity of the school community.

A healthy food service:

  • makes it easy for students to choose healthy snacks and meals
  • offers a variety of nutritious foods
  • promotes foods that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in AustraliaExternal Link
  • can be an avenue for consistent and continual health education
  • complements the diverse elements of the school curriculum
  • involves students, parents and the wider school community
  • is an integral part of the entire healthy school environment.

Students are encouraged to:

  • enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods
  • eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
  • include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
  • include milk, yoghurt, cheese
  • choose water as a drink
  • limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
  • choose foods low in salt
  • consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars.
Guidance chapter on selecting healthy foods for school food services

Reviewed 20 May 2024

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