National Healthy School Canteens

Participant’s Workbook

Topic 2: The NHSC food categorisation system

Page last updated: 23 October 2013

Overview

This topic provides you with the skills required to assess foods and drinks against the NHSC food categorisation system.

The following table is the recommended serves for children based on The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGTHE) and is provided for your information to assist you with answering the next question.

This information is also supplied in the NHSC Guidelines for healthy foods and drinks supplied in school canteens on pages 2-3.

Boys (Food Groups)Number of Serves (4 – 8 years) Number of Serves (9 – 11 years)Number of Serves (12 – 13 years)Number of Serves (14 – 18 years)
Vegetables4 55 5
Fruit1 222
Grain (cereal)4567
Lean meats and alternatives1 2 2 2
Dairy and alternatives22 3 3

Girls (Food Groups)Number of Serves (4 – 8 years) Number of Serves (9 – 11 years)Number of Serves (12 – 13 years)Number of Serves (14 – 18 years)
Vegetables4 555
Fruit1 222
Grain (cereal)4457
Lean meats and alternatives1 2 2 2
Dairy and alternatives1 33 3

*Note: Additional serves of the five food groups or unsaturated spreads and oils or discretionary choices are needed only by children and adolescent who are taller, more active or in the higher end of a particular age band, to meet additional energy requirements.

Activity: AGTHE activity

How many serves would the following be?Use the serve size table below to work out the number of serves of different foods listed on slide 42.

Food GroupsServe Size
Vegetables –
different types
and colours, and
legume/beans
  • cup cooked green or orange vegetables (eg broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
  • cup cooked dried or canned , peas or lentils
  • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables, cup sweet corn, medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava), 1 medium tomato
Fruit
  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
  • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
Grain (cereal)
foods, mostly
wholegrain and/or
high in fibre
  • 1 slice bread, medium roll or flat bread,
  • cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur or quinoa
  • cup cooked porridge, 2/3 cup cereal flakes, cup muesli
  • 3 crispbreads, 1 crumpet, 1 small English muffin or scone
Lean meats and
poultry, fish,
eggs, tofu, nuts
and seeds, and
legumes/beans
  • 65 g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo (about 90-100 g raw)
  • 80 g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100 g raw)
  • 100 g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish
  • 2 large eggs (120 g), 1 cup (150 g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick peas or split peas
  • 30 g nuts*, seeds, peanut* or almond butter *or tahini or other nut or seed paste
Milk, yoghurt,
cheese and/or their
alternatives, mostly
reduced fat
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk, cup (120 ml) evaporated milk, 2 slices (40 g) hard cheese, such as cheddar
  • cup (120 g) ricotta cheese
  • cup (200 g) yoghurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) soy, rice or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml

*Check your school policy regarding the use of nuts and products containing nuts

NHSC - The AGTHE - How much is a serve?

How many serves would the following be? (Workbook, p.12)

2 Apricots -> Serves
1 Cup of milk -> Serves
1 beef sandwich with -> Serves
2 slices of bread -> Serves
1 Slice of beef -> Serves
3 Slices of tomato -> Serves
1/4 cup of cucumber and lettuce -> Serves
2 Teaspoons of margarine -> Serves

Activity: Sample menu – Sorting foods

Decide if each of these foods and drinks may be sold in the school canteen.

Refer to pages 6, 7 and 8 in the Guidelines for healthy foods and drinks supplied in school canteens to determine if these items are categorised as Green, Amber or Red. Place a tick in the appropriate column below. Items you are not sure about will be assessed using the Food Tables or Nutrient Criteria Tables later in the session.


ItemGreen (Category)Amber (Category)Red (Category)Not Sure (Category)
Drinks
Full-fat plain milk (375mL)
Iced tea
Low-fat flavoured milk (375mL)
Water
Lemonade
Orange juice (200mL)
Apple juice (600mL)
Snacks
Raisin toast
Icy-pole (lemonade)
Pizza flavoured snack biscuits
Doughnut
Cheese & crackers
Fresh fruit salad
Muesli bar
Main meals
Hamburger
Sushi
Two minute noodles
Ham sandwich
Pizza
Tuna sandwich with salad
Beef pie

Activity: Assessing menu items against NHSC criteria using provided food labels

This activity will give you the opportunity to practise assessing commercial food items using the NHSC Nutrient Criteria Tables on pages 10 and 11 of the Guidelines for healthy foods and drinks supplied in school canteens.

Work in small groups with the food labels provided.

Group discussion: Moving items categorised as Amber towards the ‘Green’ end of the spectrum

Brainstorm ideas about how you could move each of the menu items towards the ‘Green’ end of the spectrum.



Group discussion: Sodium content

How can you reduce the sodium content of dishes?


Group discussion: School canteen menu

Working in small groups, discuss how to maintain a balance of nutrition and variety in seasonal menus.

How do you incorporate variety into your canteen menu?



How can students be included in decisions regarding the school canteen menu?




What changes would you make to the sample menu on page 16 of your workbook?



School Canteen Menu

Sandwiches

Cheese.................................................... $2.00
Egg & lettuce........................................... $2.50
Tuna........................................................ $2.50
Ham......................................................... $3.00
Roast chicken......................................... $3.00
Rainbow.................................................. $3.00
Carrot, beetroot, capsicum, lettuce and tomato
Salad + meat........................................... $4.00
Ham, chicken, tuna
Mini Salad Tub........................................ $1.50
NHSC Wrap............................................ $4.00
Tortilla with salad plus your choice of Chicken, Ham or Tuna with avocado, hommus or margarine

Snacks

Rice Cakes....................................... $1.00
BBQ or Chicken
Popcorn ........................................... $1.00
BBQ, Chicken or Plain
100% Fruit Juice Jelly Cup.............. $0.60
Cheese & Crackers.......................... $1.20
100% Fruit Straps............................ $0.60
Raisin Toast..................................... $2.00
Low-fat Yoghurt................................ $1.50
Vanilla, Apricot or Strawberry

Drinks

Plain Milk (300mL)........................... $1.00
Light Flavoured Milk......................... $1.60
300mL Chocolate or Strawberry
Water 400mL.................................... $1.20
Juice – 100%................................... $1.20
Apple/Blackcurrant, Apple, Orange

Daily Specials

Monday
Grilled chicken burger with salad......$4.00
Chicken pattie, lettuce & light mayo Vegie pattie, lettuce, tomato & sauce

Tuesday
Sushi.................................................$2.70
Chicken or Vegetable

Wednesday
Vegie pasta bake .............................$3.50

Thrusday
Baked potato and savoury mince.....$3.50

Friday
Hokkien noodle stir-fry......................$3.00