Foods have been categorised based on The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and according to their nutritional value.
Always on the Menu - The Green Category*
Select Carefully - The Amber Category*
Not Recommended on the Canteen Menu - The Red Category*
Green - Always on the Canteen menuFoods and drinks categorised as Green are the best choices for the school canteen menu as they contain a wide range of nutrients and are generally low in saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt). These foods and drinks should be:
- available every day
- included as the main choices on the canteen menu
- presented in attractive and interesting ways
- promoted as tasty, good value choices.
Amber - Select Carefully
Foods and drinks categorised as Amber contain some valuable nutrients as well, but may also contain higher levels of saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt). If eaten in large amounts these foods may contribute to excess energy (kilojoules) being consumed. These foods and drinks should be:
- sold in smaller serve sizes
- less prominent on the canteen menu
- moved towards the ‘Green’ end of the spectrum at every opportunity.*
Red - Not recommended on the canteen menuFoods and drinks categorised as Red are low in nutritional value and may contain excess energy (kilojoules) and/or saturated fat and/or sodium (salt) and/ or sugar. These foods and drinks should:
- not be provided in healthy school canteens.
Always on the Canteen Menu
The Green category - 'always on the canteen menu'Foods and drinks categorised as Green are consistent with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines and are based on the five food groups shown on The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating ‘plate’. These foods and drinks are the most suitable to be sold in school canteens and should be available on the canteen menu every day. Foods and drinks in this category offer a wide range of nutrients and are generally low in saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt).
|Drinks||Low or reduced-fat milk and soy drinks, plain and flavoured.
|Bread and alternatives||Bagels, burritos, crumpets, English muffins, foccacia, gluten-free, lavash, Lebanese,|
multigrain, pita, rye, tortillas, Turkish, wholegrain, wholemeal, white high fibre, white.
Raisin and fruit bread, un-iced fruit buns, glazed hot cross fruit buns.
Plain and savoury scones, pikelets and pancakes.
|Breakfast cereals||Wholegrain, wholewheat flakes, wholegrain puffed cereals, porridge, wholewheat|
biscuits, low in added sugar, higher in fibre and without added confectionery.
|Rice, grains, pasta||Plain rice, noodles, pasta, burghul, cracked wheat, polenta, couscous.|
Plain air-popped popcorn with nothing added.
|Yoghurt, custard and|
cheese (including soy
|Low or reduced-fat cheese without added confectionery. Low or reduced-fat plain|
or fruit yoghurt and custard without added confectionery.
|Fruit||Fresh, in-season is the best choice. |
Frozen, pureed or canned in natural juice (does not include dried fruit).
|Vegetables||Fresh, in-season is the best choice.|
Frozen or canned without added flavourings.
Chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, baked beans (dried or canned), lentil patties and
falafels (grilled or baked).
|Lean meat, fish, poultry|
|Unprocessed lean beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, fish.|
Canned tuna, salmon, sardines.
Eggs, nuts* (un-salted, un-roasted, dry roasted).
*Check your school policy regarding the use of nuts and products containing nuts.
The Amber category - 'select carefully'Foods and drinks categorised as Amber also contain some valuable nutrients, but may be too high in saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt) to be categorised as GREEN. If these foods are eaten regularly or in large amounts, they may contribute to excess energy (kilojoules) being consumed.
|Drinks||Full-fat milk and soy drinks, plain and flavoured.
Fruit and vegetable juice.
|Breakfast cereals||Higher in added sugar and lower in fibre.|
|Yoghurt, custard and|
cheese (including soy
|Full-fat cheese without added confectionery. Full-fat plain or fruit yoghurt and custard|
without added confectionery.
|All types. Fruit leathers must be 100% fruit. Keep the serve size small.|
|Fruit ice blocks, fruit|
jelly desserts, ice
crushes and slushies
|At least 99% fruit juice and no added sugar.
|Meat products and|
|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 hot food|
|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 or 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.
milk-based ices and
|Low or reduced-fat ice creams (not chocolate-coated), milk-based ices, custards and|
|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 pastes, yeast spreads, dips, salsa, relishes. Use sparingly.|
|Sauces||Tomato sauce, tomato paste, mustard, sweet chilli, BBQ, soy, satay. Choose low|
or reduced-salt products and use sparingly.
|Toppings, syrup, jam,|
|Small amounts, use sparingly|
*Foods and drinks categorised as AMBER may require assessment against the AMBER Nutrient Criteria Tables.
Not Recommended on the Canteen Menu
The RED category – ‘not recommended on the canteen menu’Foods and drinks categorised as RED are not consistent with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines and should not be sold in a healthy school canteen.
They are low in nutritional value and may also be high in saturated fat and/or added sugar and/or added sodium (salt). They may also provide excess energy (kilojoules). There is ample opportunity for children to consume these foods outside school hours at the discretion of their parents.
|Drinks||Soft drinks, iced tea, cordial, sports waters, sports drinks, flavoured mineral water, energy drinks, sweetened waters.|
|Any product containing intense (artificial) sweeteners* with the exception of flavoured milk, fruit yoghurts and custards.|
|Caffeine and guarana||Any product containing guarana.|
Coffee-style products (including flavoured), mocha, latte, cappuccino or similar, with
the exception of coffee-style milk drinks.
Coffee-style milk drinks (including flavoured) in primary school.
Coffee-style milk drinks greater than 375mL serve size in secondary school.
|Fruit/vegetable juice||Less than 99% juice and/or added sugar and/or greater than 250mL serve size.|
|Jelly desserts, ice|
crushes and slushies
|Less than 99% fruit juice and/or added sugar and/or greater than 200mL serve size.|
|Icy-poles and fruit|
|Less than 99% fruit juice and/or added sugar and/or greater than 125mL serve size.|
|Cakes and slices||Iced cakes and slices, doughnuts, Danishes, croissants, cream-filled buns/cakes.|
|Confectionary||All types: sold separately or added to products including; boiled lollies, carob,|
chocolate (including choc chips and chocolate-coated), chocolate spreads, cough
lollies, 100s and 1000s, juice jellies, icing, liquorice, soft lollies, yoghurt/ carob-coated.
|Deep-fried food||All types.|
|Fats||Cream, coconut cream, coconut milk, butter, copha, ghee, lard.|
*Code number and prescribed name for intense (artificial) sweeteners include:
950 (acesulphame potassium), 951 (aspartame), 952 (cyclamate), 953 (isomalt), 954 (saccharin), 955 (sucralose), 956 (alitame), 957 (thaumatin), 961 (neotame), 965 (maltitol or hydrogenated glucose syrup), 966 (lactitol), 967 (xylitol), 968 (erythritol)