Lunches at school

Eating well and being active are critical to children’s health and wellbeing.

Research indicates that eating well and being active are critical to children’s health and wellbeing in both the short and long term. They also have a direct impact on children’s performance at school.

The school day is busy, filled with learning, concentration and physical activity. Food is fuel for our bodies and healthy food provides your child with energy and nutrients to get them through the day.

Healthy eating habits begin at home, but schools and their canteens play a role in supporting you and ensuring children understand the importance of making healthy food choices.

Children should eat a wide range of foods so that they have the energy for learning and growing. A new, easy-to-follow ‘traffic light’ system has been introduced to help schools plan menus full of healthy, nutritious and affordable food and drinks.

The new standards require that foods in the:

  • Green category are encouraged. Schools should aim to fill their menus with these healthy foods.
  • Amber foods should be selected carefully and eaten in moderation.
  • Red food and drinks are off the menu and will not be available in public schools.

Nutrition and physical activity messages are being taught in the classroom to promote healthy lifestyles. The new standards for healthy food and drink choices in schools are consistent with these curriculum messages and will apply to canteens and food services, class treats, school camps and excursions.

Parents are also encouraged to use the Green, Amber, Red system at home.

Find out more at the Department of Education website and download the healthy eating fact sheets

Resources – Packing a healthy lunch

Starting school – choosing the right lunchbox