Nutrition in Schools Policy

All schools should promote healthy eating and good nutrition. School canteens are required to implement the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy that includes food and drink criteria.

Changes since previous version

February 2021 - Maintenance - Update of contact details in section 6 of policy statement

Superseded Documents

School Canteens – Guidelines for School Communities, 99/065 (S.045) The School Health Canteen Policy, Schools Directorate, Revised 1985;  Nutrition in Schools 2011 (updated 2014);  Fresh Tastes @ School NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy: Canteen Menu Planning Guide;  Healthy School Canteens Self Assessment Tool and Action Planner;  Developing a Healthy School Canteen;  School Canteens website

Document History

June 2020 - Updated contact details and minor wording.
2014 - Terminology updated to reflect new model of support to schools in 2014. Contact details, position titles and legislation also updated.

  1. Policy statement
    1. Healthy eating and good nutrition should be promoted in all school activities and programs which involve food and drinks.
    2. The teaching of nutrition education is part of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) key learning area and is mandatory for all students from Kindergarten to Year 10. Teaching and learning and class activities in other key learning areas should reinforce healthy eating and good nutrition wherever possible.
    3. School canteens are required to implement the Healthy School Canteen Strategy. This requires school canteen menus to comprise at least three-quarters ‘Everyday’ foods and no more than one-quarter ‘Occasional’ foods. Packaged occasional foods are required to have a Health Star Rating of 3.5 or above.
    4. Schools transition to the revised Healthy School Canteen Strategy over a three year period, 2017-2019. A school’s transition will be responsive to varying canteen operating arrangements, product availability, rural and remote locations and community and cultural expectations.
    5. All sugar sweetened drinks as outlined in the Sugary Drinks Fact Sheet of the Healthy School Canteen Strategy are not to be sold to students.
    6. Where school activities involve the provision of food and drink to the wider school community, consideration should be given to promoting healthy eating.
    7. All canteen operators are required to notify the local council of their food activity details. All canteens will provide a safe and hygienic food service and comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, Food Act 2003 (NSW) and Food Regulation 2010 (NSW).
    8. Schools with preschools are required to follow the protocols of the Education and Care Services National Regulations (Regulations 77-80) ensuring healthy eating practices are promoted.
    9. School activities that involve the provision of food will address the requirements of the Anaphylaxis Procedures for Schools.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. All NSW government schools and preschools, parents/caregivers, the wider school community.
  3. Context
    1. The health and wellbeing of students is relevant to their learning and is important to schools. The present and future health of students can be enhanced by quality learning and positive experiences at school.
    2. This policy contributes to the Premier’s Priority (2015) to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by five percent over 10 years to 2025.
    3. The Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) give advice on eating for health and wellbeing.
    4. Legislation
    5. This policy should be read in conjunction with:
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals:
      • oversee the implementation of school practices that are consistent with this policy and are responsive to local needs, including cultural diversity
      • include their canteen operations in the school planning process
      • enable canteen managers and canteen staff (including volunteers) to attend training opportunities relevant to implementation of the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy.
    2. Directors, Public Schools NSW monitor the local implementation of this policy and report outcomes of local implementation to their Executive Directors, Public Schools NSW.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Executive Director, Learning and Wellbeing is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness every three years.
  6. Contact
    1. Leader, Child Protection, Health and Mental Wellbeing
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