Students serve up healthy canteen plan

HOT TAKE: Hunter River High student Gabrielle Rickard being interviewed as part of a video by the Department of Education about the Healthy School Canteen Strategy.
HOT TAKE: Hunter River High student Gabrielle Rickard being interviewed as part of a video by the Department of Education about the Healthy School Canteen Strategy.

Hunter River High’s switch to a healthier canteen has been videoed by the Department of Education to serve as an example to other schools.

Deb Dibley, principal at the Heatherbrae high school, said a desire to support students in achieving healthier lifestyles was what prompted the switch to the department’s Healthy School Canteen Strategy.

“There’s a lot of tradition around school canteens, but much of that doesn’t fit with what we now know about a healthy diet,” she said. “The Healthy School Canteen Strategy has great practical ideas about how to keep a school canteen’s offerings both attractive and healthy, for instance with much lower levels of fats and sugars.

“We’re delighted to have been picked by the department for an online piece about how to go about the change, because the more schools know, the better for students.”

The department’s strategy aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice by increasing the availability of healthy food and drink options in school canteens.

With NSW Health, the department is supporting canteens and their managers in meeting food and drink criteria which incorporate healthy menu options, serving sizes and how food is presented, helping students learn to make healthy choices that will last their whole lives.

Favourite choices at Hunter River High School’s canteen include fresh salads, butter chicken with rice and fresh fruit tubs.

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