25 September 2023

Food review tucks into school canteens

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An assessment of canteen foods at ACT public schools by the Fresh Tastes Working Group on Food at School has found them to be healthiest they have ever been.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry said the assessment found that more than half of the food and drinks served in canteens were ‘green’.

She said this was up from the 32 per cent reported in 2015-2016.

“It’s really great to see so many schools taking action and making sure their canteens are offering healthy, fresh food to students so they can eat well and get the nutrition they need to learn and play,” Ms Berry said.

“This is a real credit to the Fresh Tastes Working Group on Food at School, which represents organisations that play an important role in supporting ACT school canteens and schools to provide a healthy food and drink environment.”

She said that through the promotion of healthy choices, ACT school canteens were contributing to, and driving positive lifestyle habits for Canberra’s children, and helping to make sure all children had access to fresh, healthy food.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris said that with children consuming 32 per cent of their total energy needs during school hours, the food and drink choices available at school, including in the canteen, were an important influence on the development of attitudes, behaviour and habits towards food.

“A wide range of ACT Government and community initiatives are helping to support schools to create healthy food environments such as the ACT Government Fresh Tastes initiative which has 93 primary schools participating,” Ms Fitzharris said.

Fresh Tastes has been integral to helping schools achieve fundamental shifts to their whole school food and drink environment over the past few years, and create stronger links with canteens and better health and education outcomes for students.”

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