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School canteens give your child a chance to practice making independent food choices. Children that make healthy food choices at home tend to make better healthy food choices independently when away from home.

Healthy Canteens 

The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy is now in place, requiring school canteens to have at least ¾ of the canteen menu made up of healthy everyday foods, such as: 

  • Sandwiches 

  • Salads  

  • Sushi 

  • Fresh made soups 

  • Pasta and rice with meat and vegetables 

  • Fruit 

  • Yoghurt 

  • Cheese and wholemeal crackers 

  • Popcorn 

  • Raisin or fruit bread 


When choosing food from a canteen or when eating out, here are few simple tips to follow:  

  • Avoid choices that are deep fried or have pastry 

  • Fresh soup or pasta dishes are a good hot food alternative to pies or Sausage rolls 

  • Limit cakes, confectionery and soft drinks and other sugar sweetened beverages 

  • Choose multigrain wholemeal or high fibre breads 

  • Choose foods that have salad or vegetables. 

Tips on avoiding unhealthy food and drink purchases

While unhealthy food choices may be available in vending machines around the school, it is a good idea to pack an extra piece of fruit as a snack in case your child gets hungry. This avoids children relying on the convenient options which may not be the best choice. 

You can save money and take a refillable bottle of water instead of buying drinks which may contain large amounts of sugar.  Free water stations are becoming more readily available in schools and around the community. Keep an eye out for free water stations when you’re next out and about.  

Takeaway foods can be costly and have extra fat, sugar, and salt that your body does not need. Work out what you are getting from your junk food and how much it is costing you with this Junk Food Calculator.



[Source: Better Health Victoria; WA Government – Live Lighter]