Food preferences become established by our early eating experiences. Consistently providing healthy options for special events like classroom celebrations or as a treat, helps reinforce learning programs and messages about healthy eating.
Twice a term schools will be able to choose to exempt food and drinks sold at fetes, fundraisers or school events from the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines (refer to the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015). This should not limit the number of classroom celebrations schools may enjoy. On these occasions, schools are strongly encouraged to consider having healthy alternatives.
The following is a list of ideas for special occasions such as classroom celebrations:
- Guacamole or hummus with vegetable sticks and pita bread
- Fresh fruit platter with fruit yoghurt for dipping
- Fruit kebabs
- Milk-based ice blocks
- Homemade popcorn
- Mini-pizza or quiches
- Mini or pinwheel sandwiches
- Meatballs in tomato sauce
- Low fat sausages in a mini-wholemeal roll topped with grated cheese and tomato sauce
- Homemade sausage rolls
- Chicken tenderloin sticks, crumbed and baked
- Homemade soft drinks using fruit juices and soda water
- Smoothies using low fat milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt
- Provide water, juice or flavoured milk instead of soft drinks
- Hire or purchase a fruit slushie machine
Why are there no food rewards and incentives at school?
In a learning environment, praise and positive reinforcement are the preferred methods for encouraging students. This does not mean that food and drink can't be a part of class or school celebrations and events.
Canberra Hospital and Health Services, ACT Government, TuckerTalk Fact sheets.
Queensland Smart Choices Fact sheet No. 13, Healthier school discos, (adapted with permission from Nutrition Australia – Queensland Division) 2010.
WA Department of Education and Training, Healthy Food and Drink Choices in Schools, Ideas for non-food rewards for students Fact sheet.