The Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink (HFD) in Public Schools policy promotes food drinks and snacks being available in schools that support the consumption of a diet consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Childhood and adolescence are important periods of growth and development and for these to occur optimally, adequate energy and nutrients must be eaten.

For a menu to meet minimum compliance with the HFD policy it must contain:

  • Minimum of 60% green items
  • Maximum of 40% amber items
    • Amber savoury commercial products limited to two days per week only
  • No red items

When planning school menus, emphasis should be given to the following foods that contribute significantly to meeting students’ nutritional needs:

  • Breads and cereal foods, e.g. rice, pasta, especially wholegrain varieties
  • Fruit – preferably fresh, but including frozen and canned
  • Vegetables – fresh, frozen and canned
  • Reduced-fat varieties of milk, cheese, yoghurt and calcium fortified alternatives
  • Lean meats, skin-free poultry, fish, eggs, baked beans and other legumes
  • Plain water

Always include a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, bread, pasta and rice choices; use spreads sparingly; select reduced fat/salt/sugar products and choose varieties which are good sources of dietary fibre/calcium/iron where appropriate. If catering for vegetarians in your school see our great  Plant based diets fact sheet for some suggestions as well as the recipes page for loads of ideas that will suit both non vegetarians and vegetarians alike. Plus see our Catering for young athletes fact sheet for ways to ensure students get all the nutrition they need.

When determining what a serve of fruits and vegetable are use this handy What is a serve checklist, it also has a great Fruit & Veg September: 30 day challenge calendar.

Use the Star Choice™ Registered Products to select products, such as soups, salads, pastries, hamburger patties, frankfurters, muffins and snacks that meet the nutrient criteria and are categorised as Green or Amber.

What’s on the menu provides an overview food and drinks classified as green, amber or red according to the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools policy.

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