School Nutrition Guidelines around Australia
School nutrition guidelines, for canteens and other food settings within schools, are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents and The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Currently the guidelines differ from state to state, however a national system for nutrition in schools was launched in July 2011 called the National Healthy School Canteens Project.
Many states have adopted a traffic light classification system in which foods and drinks are categorised as GREEN, AMBER or RED according to their nutritional value.
GREEN foods are ‘everyday foods', such as fruit, vegetables, lean meats and grains.
AMBER foods provide some nutrients, but can be high in energy (such as a burger).
The RED category differs from state to state but generally includes food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and sodium (salt), as well as soft drinks. Some states allow red items at certain times during the school year, whereas others have banned some or all red foods.
Whilst the existing guidelines are not mandatory in every state and territory, they have become 'best practice' for all schools.
For more information on the school nutrition guidelines in your state, click on the appropriate icon below.