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Food for Sale: Creating a healthier school environment

ACT public schools follow the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015. Food for Sale can help public schools implement this Policy. The policy requires schools to stop selling or providing ‘red’ food items (see the traffic light system) and to limit the number of ‘red’ items used at your school’s events and fundraisers.

The goal of Food for Sale is to ensure that food and drinks sold by the school to students, including through the canteen, fundraising activities and school events, meet the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines and the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015.

The fact of the matter is, Australian children aged 5-16 years consume 32% of their total energy needs during school hours through meals, snacks and drinks.

In the ACT, school canteens follow the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines. These Guidelines use a ‘traffic light’ system to categorise food and drinks.

In September 2017 we celebrated the successes of ACT public school canteens on the tremendous progress they have made towards ensuring that healthy food and drink choices are the easy choice for ACT children at school. Audit data told us that in 2017;

  •  49% of all canteen menu items across the ACT are GREEN (up from 10% pre-policy)
  • 57% of school canteens have no RED items on their menus (up from 16% pre-policy)
  • 30 school canteens (this is 42% of schools) have met the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines.  This means that 50 % or more of their menu items are GREEN and they have no RED.

Congratulations keep up the fabulous work!

There’s support available to help your school’s canteen provide delicious healthy food and snacks while staying financially viable.

The Food for Sale action area


  • Canteen support and advice
  • Resources
  • Training on how to apply the traffic light system


  • Helps public schools implement the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy
  • Provides ideas for delicious healthy food and snacks
  • Healthy canteens can reinforce learning in the classroom
  • School canteens and events offer opportunities for parents, carers and students to gain hands-on healthy cooking skills

Your Fresh Tastes school can access support, resources and discounts provided by our partners. You’ll find more information in the Fresh Tastes Action Planning Guides that are provided to participating schools. If your school isn’t yet involved in Fresh Tastes, contact us today.

We’ve put together some success stories about how some of our Fresh Tastes schools have approached this action area and achieved some great results!

Healthy Fundraising Guide

School fundraising doesn’t have to involve unhealthy food – you can still raise those vital funds using healthier food options or swapping food for non-food items. Check out the Healthy Fundraising Guide for some fresh fundraising ideas. 

Healthy BBQ Guide

Offering healthier options at your next BBQ fundraiser or event can be simple with the right planning, preparation and promotion. Check out the Think outside the snag - a guide to planning healthier BBQs for inspiration.