National Healthy School Canteens

Participant’s Workbook

Topic 3: Special dietary and cultural needs

Page last updated: 23 October 2013


This topic covers special dietary requirements that may concern the school canteen.

Group discussion: Role of the school canteen with regards to special dietary needs

What do you think the role of the school canteen is in regards to special dietary needs?

Group discussion: Acknowledging cultural differences

How many different cultures are represented at your school?
Does your canteen menu cater for different cultures and cuisines?
Why should you do this?

Group discussion: Ethnic food days

What foods could you cook on these days?

Note: Your trainer will provide you with a list of contacts (dietitians/nutritionists, medical specialists or other relevant people), who are able to assist you to confirm and/or identify, where appropriate, the dietary and cultural requirements of different target groups.

Web resources

Children Nutrition Topics (Victorian Government Health Information)
This website provides fact sheets and information about nutrition for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and children at school. (This website link was valid at the time of submission)

Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) – Smart Eating For You: Nutrition A–Z
This guide covers nutrition information presented in an A-Z format and includes information on vegetarian diets. All material available on this website has been written and regularly reviewed by Accredited Practising Dietitians. (This website link was valid at the time of submission)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand Government Website
The Food Matters section of this website contains information on food allergies, additives and other information in relation to standards set in Australia and New Zealand for food. The News Room link provides fact sheets, media releases, speeches and presentations.

Fresh for Kids
This website provided by the Sydney Markets, includes information on seasonal produce, as well as fun things for kids to do relating to healthy eating.

Go for 2&5
This website promotes the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables and gives loads of tips and recipes on how to reach the recommended targets.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
This website provides inspiration and ideas for starting a kitchen garden in your school.

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
This is the peak professional body of Clinical Immunologists and Allergists in Australia and New Zealand. The website gives up-to-date information on allergy and immune diseases, including asthma.

State and Territory Canteen Associations

These websites provide tips on how to successfully run a school canteen.

Healthy Kids Association

QLD Association of School Tuckshops

TAS School Canteen Association

VIC School Canteen Association

WA School Canteen Association