Healthy School Canteen Recipe Collection

This Healthy School Canteen Recipe Collection was developed to provide all Victorian school canteens with ideas to help further develop canteen menus so that they can provide healthy, convenient and budget friendly foods that comply with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy.
By collaboratively working together and sharing ideas, we aim to:

  • offer a variety of nutritious foods and drinks
  • make it easy for students to choose healthy snacks, drinks and meals, and
  • promote foods that are consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Schools involved in creating this recipe collection had to do a lot of work including directly liaising with Healthy Together Mildura and Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS).  Each recipe has been assessed to ensure they are correctly classified and in fact a healthy recipe. Many thanks to the schools and canteen managers who contributed these recipes and ideas.

To assess the menus, HEAS have followed the Healthy Choices Guidelines and have used a ‘traffic light’ rating system. Only canteen made recipes with a ‘GREEN or AMBER’ rating have been included in this collection.


Food and drink categories:

Everyday category- (GREEN)

Food and drinks within the ‘everyday’ category are the best choices for the school canteen menu as they contain a wide range of nutritents and are generally low in saturates fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt). 

‘Everyday’ foods and drinks should be included as the main choices available and be made available every day. As a general guide, Everyday items should ideally represent more than 50 per cent of the menu.
Typical foods found in this category are whole foods such as fresh fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean cuts of meat, legumes, canteen made soups, and reduced fat dairy products.

Select Carefully category (AMBER)

Foods and drinks within the ‘select carefully’ category contain some valuable nutrients, but may also contain higher levels of saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt). 

‘Select carefully’ foods and drinks should not dominate the menu. These items are often processed and therefore should be offered in smaller serving sizes. As a general guide, ‘select carefully’ items should ideally represent less than 50 per cent of your menu items. They can be made ‘greener’ by partnering with ‘everyday’ foods.
Typical foods found in this category include commercially prepared pastas, noodles, soups, meat products, dairy desserts, and fruit juice.

Occasionally category (RED)

Foods and drinks within the ‘occasionally’ category should not be on the regular canteen menu or be regularly available in other areas of the school such as vending machines, foods used in curriculum activities and school events such as celebrations and sports days.

Foods and drinks that are categorised ‘occasionally’, are typically have high levels of saturated fat and/or sugar and/or sodium (salt).
Schools should limit the availability of these foods and drinks within the school to no more than two occasions per term.
Confectionery and high sugar content soft drinks should not be supplied through school food services at any time, under the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy. This includes energy drinks and flavoured mineral waters with high sugar content.

If you would like further information, please contact Rachael Longeri, Healthy Together Mildura, E: or Ph:(03) 5025 9604.



Click on the links below to view recipe card



Other catering tools:

Healthy Catering Handbook
The Healthy Catering Handbook aims to make healthy catering easier by providing a list of local healthy catering providers, along with a menu of available healthy options.
The handbook was originally developed in response to requests from workplaces wanting to offer healthier options at catered events and meetings, but it is a great guide for anyone hosting an event or get-together.


Healthy BBQ Kit
The Healthy BBQ Kit is designed to provide tips and ideas for making easy changes to the traditional barbeque, providing nutritious options suitable for events, workplaces and families.


Local Butchers
In a state first The Meat Hub has had a range of  barbeque items assessed by Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service.


Health Directory
Need help to get your started? There are a lot of great resources and services available to help you make healthier choices where you live, learn, work and play.

Cancer Council
‘Guidelines for Serving Healthier Foods at Local Council Meetings, Functions and Events’

The Heart Foundation
Catering & preparing foods’

The Better Health Channel

Healthy Fundraising Ideas
Cancer Council –