In accordance with the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015, the provision and sale of all food and drinks in ACT public schools must meet the National Healthy School Canteens: Guidelines for healthy foods and drinks supplied in school canteens 2013 (NHSCG). Under the NHSCG Amber category foods and drinks have some valuable nutrients but contain considerable amounts of saturated fat, added sugar and/or added salt. They can contribute to excess energy (kilojoules) intake. Do not let these foods dominate the menu or displays and avoid large serving sizes.
Portion size and nutrient criteria are used to define Amber foods and drinks and to distinguish them from Red foods and drinks. The criteria take into consideration the saturated fat, sodium (salt), fibre and kilojoule profile of the food, and apply to either a serve size or per 100 grams depending on the category of food.
Amber food examples – select carefully
Full fat milk and soy drinks, plain and flavoured
|Breakfast cereals||Higher in added sugar and lower in fibre.|
Full fat cheese without added confectionery*. Full fat plain or fruit yoghurt and custard without added confectionery*.
|Dried fruit, fruit|
|All types. Fruit leathers must be 100% fruit. Keep the serve size small.|
|Fruit ice blocks,|
fruit jelly desserts,
ice crushes and
At least 99% fruit juice and no added sugar.
|Burgers, patties, strips, balls, nuggets, sausages, frankfurts, saveloys (crumbed and not crumbed), stews, casseroles and curries.|
Lean processed luncheon meats, fritz, devon, chicken loaf, free-flow chicken, cured meats ( for example: ham, bacon), chicken drumsticks and wings.
|Savoury pastries, filled breads, pasta dishes, pizzas, oven baked potato products, dim sims, spring rolls, rice and noodle dishes.|
|Sweet and savoury|
|Baked snack biscuits, breakfast bars, rice/corn crackers and cakes, crispbreads, fruit filled bars, flavoured popcorn, muesli bars, nut** and seed bars, sweet and savoury biscuits.|
|Un-iced cakes, muffins|
and sweet pastries
|Some un-iced cakes and muffins that are small in serve size or have been modified to reduce the amount of saturated fat and/or sugar or with added fibre.|
|Icecreams, milk based|
ices and dairy desserts
Low or reduced fat icecreams (not chocolate coated), milk based ices, custards and dairy desserts.
|Fats and oils||Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils and spreads and use sparingly (for example: sunflower, safflower, corn, soya bean, olive, canola).|
|Spreads, dips, relishes||Nut** spreads, fish/chicken/meat paste, yeast spreads, dips, salsa,|
* Confectionery includes; boiled lollies, carob, chocolate (including choc chips and chocolate-coating), chocolate spreads eg Nutella®, cough lollies, 100s and 1000s, juice jellies, icing, liquorice, soft lollies, yoghurt or carob-coating.
** Be aware of any school policies for the management of food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Acknowledgement: National Healthy School Canteens: Guidelines for health foods and drinks supplied in school canteens, updated 2013.
The NHSCG has detailed information to distinguish between Amber and Red items and Amber and Green items. Refer to the NHSCG resources at: www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phd-nutrition-canteens
A User Guide, specifically for the ACT, will provide a step by step guide to understand and apply the NHSCG. This resource is being developed by ACT Health in consultation with school users and will be available in term 2, 2015. For updated information go to www.health.act.gov.au/freshtastes