Canteens: Looking for fresh ideas?
Check out what support is available for your canteen through Fresh Tastes.
All ACT school food services - from P&C-run canteens to local businesses - need to follow the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines (NHSCG). These Guidelines use a ‘traffic light’ system to categorise food and drinks. ‘Red’ food items are not permitted to be sold and must be limited at school events and fundraisers.
If your school food service needs to move to a healthier menu to meet the Guidelines and your school’s food and drink policy, you’ll find plenty of support available. Students across ACT schools are learning about how to make healthier food and drink choices. This is great news for school food services and canteens – it’s helping increase the demand for food and drinks that are good for our bodies. A canteen full of healthy food and drink choices really does help to reinforce learning in the classroom.
Canberra’s school canteens have been busy! All ACT public school canteens met the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines in 2020. A big congratulations to all schools in the ACT for their efforts in making healthier food and drinks a part of everyday life at school. Keep up the great work!
Choosing a school canteen model
The ACT Health Directorate and the YMCA commissioned the Sax Institute to examine the various school canteen models operating in ACT primary and high schools.
The case studies of sustainable school canteen models in the ACT: summary report.
The summary report contains a simple, practical reference guide to help your school choose a type of canteen that suits your environment and tips to optimise your school canteen.
All school food service providers can have their menu assessed for free by qualified nutrition experts at the ACT Nutrition Support Service. They’ll offer advice on how to ‘green up’ your menu with healthy options classified by the ‘traffic light’ system. Contact the ACT Nutrition Support Service to ask about your canteen menu assessment.
Canteen support and advice
The following organisations offer ongoing help to maintain a more health-conscious canteen:
ACT Nutrition Support Service: School food service providers can access free, ongoing advice and support from ACT Nutrition Support Service delivered by Nutrition Australia ACT. Advice includes menu ideas, recipes and recommendations for suitable products to meet the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines and ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015. Subscribe to the ACT Nutrition Support Service email list to receive news and events relevant to ACT schools and canteens. For more information call 02 6162 2583 or email. There is also a new texting service - text 0468 734 436 with any canteen enquiry.
Healthy Kids Association: All ACT school canteens can become members of the Healthy Kids Association. Members can access recipe assessments, menu help, newsletters, business consultations, business support workshops, the Healthy Kids School Canteen Buyers’ Guide and ongoing phone and email support. Contact the Healthy Kids Association to check if your school is already a member or organise a membership for your canteen or school.