General rules for selection – 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 Vegetarian 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.
Breads – all types including
White, wholemeal, multigrain, high fibre, wholegrain, Pita, Raisin bread/fruit breads, English muffins, Lavash, Lebanese, Mountain bread, Foccacia, Bagels, Rolls, Wholemeal Crumpets, Wraps.
Salad, Fruit, fresh/dried combinations (e.g. banana and date), Lean meat, lean chicken (no skin), Fish (e.g. tuna, salmon, sardines) in spring water, Creamed corn/corn kernels, Egg (hard boiled, mashed, sliced), canned spaghetti (reduced salt), Hummus, Baked beans (reduced salt), Cheese (reduced fat), Vegemite/yeast spreads (used sparingly), Peanut paste (according to school policy).
Whole fresh fruit in season (or cut portions), Fruit salad (fresh or pre-cut and unsweetened), Frozen or canned fruits (in natural juice), all may be served with fruit yoghurts as dip.
Water (tap, spring, mineral or sparkling – no added sugar), Milk or calcium enriched soy drink (plain, flavoured or fresh fruit milk shakes) reduced fat varieties encouraged, Fruit juice (100% juice, either chilled, frozen or sparkling – maximum serve size of 250mL), Drinking yoghurt (reduced fat).
All Garden vegetable mixtures, bean mix, tabouli, rice, potato, coleslaw and pasta based. Dressings should be low fat/salt. Salads may include lean meats, reduced fat cheese and egg. Chunky vegetable pieces with low fat/salt dips, Vegetable sticks (e.g. carrot, celery).
Jaffles/hot rolls/toasted sandwiches (fillings as for sandwich fillings above), Baked potatoes (cooked in skins, split and filled with one or more of the sandwich fillings above or savoury mince), Rice (savoury or boiled, stir fried and served with liberal amount of vegetables), Burgers using patties low in fat/salt (meat, chicken, fish, lentil, vegetable) with liberal salad, Pizza either bread based or commercial using low fat/salt toppings and liberal vegetables, Soups (reduced salt/fat), Toasts (bread, muffins, crumpets or raisin bread, thinly spread), Pasta (reduced fat/salt toppings), Wraps (fillings as for sandwich fillings or burgers with liberal salad), Reduced fat/salt meat, chicken or vegetable pastry lines (with at least one day pastry free).
Fresh fruit pieces (or frozen pieces), Vegetable sticks/pieces, Yoghurt, (fresh, frozen, plain or fruit), Toasted bread, thinly spread, Plain or fruit scones, Raisin or fruit bread, Low fat fruit muffins, Finger buns or English muffins thinly spread, Pikelets (plain or with fruche or fruit), Breakfast cereals, Cheese (reduced fat – sticks, cubes, slices or triangles), Garlic or herb bread (minimal spread), Bread sticks, Bruschetta, Popcorn (low fat plain), Rice cakes, Crisp bread, Dried fruit with nuts and seeds, Trail mix based on breakfast cereals (low fat/sugar types), Wheat biscuits or water crackers, Fruche, Icecream (plain), reduced fat encouraged, Custard, Fruit juice/milk based icy poles (those meeting Star Choice™ nutrition criteria for registration).
For further food ideas and recipes specific to school canteens see the ‘Canteen Cuisine’ Cookbook available from WASCA.
Adapted with permission from a document produced by NSW School Canteen Association Inc.
Revised July 2006