Q: We want to get rid of some of the unhealthy items that our canteen sells, but are meeting lots of resistance. How can we get started on this?”

Posted on: July 18th, 2013

If you are a Government school, you must comply with the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink Policy which has been mandated for Government Schools since 2007. All food and drinks classified as RED should be removed from the menu. Schools should now be fully compliant with the policy. RED food and drinks should not be sold at all. As of 2009 Catholic Schools should also be compliant with the Catholic Education Office’s policy ‘Healthy Food and Drink Choices.

Rather than just tackling the menu and what is being sold from the canteen, we recommend that you start by developing a policy for the canteen, or by reviewing your policy if you already have one. If your school has a health committee, this could be a good project for the committee, but health coordinators, physical education teachers and school nurses are also often good allies for instigating change. By developing or reviewing policy, it allows everyone within the school community to put forward their ideas and the issue of what the canteen sells will be discussed in a far less emotive manner. Policy guidelines have been developed for the Government strategy.

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