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Healthy School Canteens – at a glance

The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy supports schools to address childhood obesity by increasing healthy food and drink options in canteens.

The strategy introduces simplified canteen guidelines, including minimum criteria for food and drink options in all NSW public schools. These changes are aligned with the latest Australian Dietary Guidelines.

The food and drink criteria under the strategy requires that:

  • ‘everyday’ food and drink options make up at least 3/4 of the canteen menu and are affordable
  • ‘occasional’ food and drinks make up no more than 1/4 of the canteen menu, have a Health Star Rating of 3.5 stars of above, and are not promoted at point of sale
  • food and drink items meet portion limits, where applicable
  • sugar-sweetened beverages are not sold.

All NSW public schools will transition over a 3-year period (2017 to 2019).

The strategy was developed by the Department of Education in collaboration with NSW Health and the Department of Premier and Cabinet, as well as school communities across NSW.

For more information visit Healthy School Canteens.

The revised Healthy School Canteen Strategy replaces the Fresh Tastes@School Strategy in NSW schools that was commonly known as the traffic light system.

The strategy has been informed by research and consultation with canteen managers, school leaders, health professionals, the food industry, school students and parents.

The strategy also responds to the Premier’s Priority to reduce childhood overweight and obesity by 5% by 2025.

28 February 2017

The department is working with its partner agencies on several initiatives to support schools and canteens to make the transition throughout this period. This includes several initiatives that support early transition to meet the targets under the overarching Premier’s Priority.

All NSW public schools must transition in line with the strategy by the end of 2019. This allows a 3-year transition timeline for canteen providers that face barriers to implementation.

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