Back to program homepage

Canteen Support

School canteens in Canberra today must follow the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines. If your school canteen needs to move to a healthier menu to make sure it meets the Guidelines, you’ll find plenty of support available.

Menu assessments

All school canteens can have their menu assessed for free by qualified nutrition experts at the ACT Nutrition Support ServiceThey’ll offer advice on how to ‘green up’ your menu with healthy options classified by the ‘traffic light’ system. ACT public school canteens need to have their menu assessed to meet the ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy.

Contact the ACT Nutrition Support Service to ask about your canteen menu assessment.

Canteen support and advice

The following organisations offer ongoing help in maintaining a more health-conscious canteen.

ACT Nutrition Support Service:  Canteens can access free, ongoing advice and support via website, telephone and email by qualified nutritionists from Nutrition Australia ACT. Advice includes menu ideas, events, recipes and recommendations for suitable products to meet the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines and ACT Public School Food and Drink Policy 2015.

Your canteen can subscribe to the ACT Nutrition Support Service email list to receive information about news and events relevant to your school canteen.

The ACT Nutrition Support Service offers a two-hour workshop for canteen managers to learn about healthy menu planning and how to apply the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines to the everyday running of a canteen. For more information about training call 02 6162 2583 or email.

Healthy Kids Association:  All ACT school canteens can get a free Healthy Kids Association membership. Members of the Healthy Kids Association (HKA) receive a range of services:

  • four free recipe assessments per year
  • two free menu reviews per year*
  • regular newsletters
  • one business advisory consultation
  • business support workshops
  • quarterly Healthy Kids members’ magazine
  • Healthy Kids School Canteen Buyers’ Guide
  • telephone advice

*All school canteens need to access a free full menu assessment from the ACT Nutrition Support Service before having a menu review. See above for details on menu assessments.

Plus, the HKA website has advice on running canteens, recipe ideas, food safety, marketing ideas and much more.

The HKA has over 1,100 member canteens in the ACT and NSW and offers plenty of information and ideas to keep the menu and finances healthy!

Contact the Healthy Kids Association to organise your canteen’s free membership.

YMCA of Canberra:  Nutri-Y’s Food Service project is about supporting schools and school canteens to provide viable, sustainable food services, which meet the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines. The project will run through 2016-2018 and is funded, under ACT Health - Healthy Canberra Grants. Contact YMCA of Canberra if your school wants to get involved. Note that intake numbers are limited each year.

Business Support Workshops 

There are workshops available for canteen managers and committees about various aspects of operation. These workshops will help keep your canteen thriving as you move towards a healthier menu.

These workshops are free for Healthy Kids Association members.  Contact the Healthy Kids Association to register your interest in the workshops.

Buying power

Tom’s Superfruits offers Fresh Tastes school canteens wholesale discounts for fresh fruit and veg.  Why not become a Fresh Tastes school and enjoy the savings.

If you’re a P&C canteen, you can sign up to NSWBuy, to buy canteen supplies at government prices. To join NSWBuy, head to the ACT Council of P&C Associations website.

Girl writing on blackboard