The ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015 The ACT Government has developed a school food and drink policy with supporting guidelines to support public schools to implement the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines 2013 (NHSCG).
Why develop this policy?
It is widely accepted that schools can make a major contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of students and staff. This policy builds on existing policies and ACT Government initiatives to increase the supply of healthy food and drink in schools.
How will it do this?
The new ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015 replaces the School Canteens Policy 2012 and the ACT School Canteens Policy Implementation Procedures and broadens the scope to a comprehensive, whole school approach to food and drinks. The policy and its associated supporting materials will assist schools to implement the NHSCG in a consistent way across the whole school.
WHAT does the policy mean for schools?
Schools will apply the NHSCG to all events and activities, continue to deliver health and nutrition education, consider students with food intolerances and allergies and consider religious and cultural practices at school events that involve food and drink. Schools will refrain from using food and drink items as rewards and incentives.
Staff are encouraged to support the policy by refraining from consuming Red category food items (ie. foods that may contain excess energy and/or saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium) in view of students. Principals in consultation with School Boards will provide Parents and Citizens Associations with the opportunity to operate the school canteen where viable.
School canteens will work under contract with schools to comply with all relevant legislation and the policy. School canteens will be supported by regular menu reviews, training on the NHSCG and a range of reference materials.
WHAT support may schools access?
A series of fact sheets and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available to support the implementation of the policy in schools.
Fact sheet topics include:
- The Healthy Weight Initiative
- Canteen Licences
- The traffic light system in schools with Green, Amber and Red Food and Drink fact sheets
- Food labelling in Canteens
- The new ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015
- Healthy lunchboxes
- Healthy treats
- Sugary drinks are phased out
- Choose tap water
- Fresh Tastes
- Resources for schools
- Resources for canteens
- Resources for families
References and resources
The Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013 https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-dietary-guidelines
The National Healthy Schools Canteen Guidelines 2013 and the complete suite of guideline material http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phd-nutrition-canteens
Resources available include:
- Guidelines book
- Quick reference and pocket guides
- 2013 updates in line with the release of the Australian Dietary Guidelines
ACT Health: http://health.act.gov.au has Information and services for parents and schools.
- Kids at Play and TuckaTalk have information Fact sheets for parents
- Fresh Tastes: Strategies to support the creation of a healthy food and drink culture in ACT schools, including information on Canteen Fresh services for canteens
- Food&ME™: Nutrition Education resource for schools
Nutrition Australia ACT information: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/act/act-school-programs
Healthy Kids Association information for ACT school canteens and parents: http://healthy-kids.com.au