Healthy Food & Drink Policy
Childhood obesity is now recognised as a world-wide epidemic. In Western Australia the number of children and young people who are overweight or obese has tripled since 1985, with a quarter of boys and a third of girls aged 7-15 years overweight or obese in 2003. Young people who carry excess weight or are obese have a greater risk of a number of immediate and long-term health and behavioural issues.
The Healthy Food and Drink Policy has been developed as part of the Australian Better Health Initiative. The policy is underpinned by a whole school approach and the recognition that:
- the primary role of a school canteen/food service is to provide a healthy and nutritious food service to students and staff, and
- a variety of foods are to be enjoyed every day
The policy applies to all food and drink provided to students in the school setting-i.e. canteens, school rewards, school camps, fundraisers and excursions.
To guide Lynwood Senior High School staff, students and parents in regard to the choices made in the canteen, classrooms and excursions. It may also assist students and parents with food choices outside of the school environment.
The school recognises the “Traffic Light System” (see Department of Education – WA Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy) as a way of defining the health and nutritional status of food. This system should be considered when introducing foods to the school.
Staff will …
Explicitly teach, and regularly review, via the curriculum, information about making healthy food choices.
Consider the following statement (from The Department of Education- WA Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy) before introducing foods:
“Red” foods should only be included as part of the curriculum in line with the ‘Australian Guide to Eating’, that is, on limited occasions and in small amounts across the course of study. Including the preparation and presentation of “red” foods can indirectly promote consumption of these foods and should be avoided where possible.
Consider alternatives to “red” foods when rewarding students, eg. stickers, canteen coupons, stationery.
Include pertinent information, seek feedback and report on achievements via the school newsletter.
Demonstrate, encourage and allow students to drink water regularly throughout the day.
The school canteen menu must:
- have available, and promote every day, a wide range of foods that comprise the majority of a healthy “green” diet.
- have available only sometimes, use healthier alternatives and avoid large serving sizes of foods that should be eaten in moderation “amber”.
- not include foods that do not meet specified minimum nutrient criteria “red”.
- have menus which promote “green” food and drinks and ensure they are available every day.
- work towards exceeding minimum standards of “green” foods.
- have a Canteen Manager who is required to use the “What’s on the Menu?” resource when menu planning.
All canteen staff/volunteers must:
- complete the Food Safe Food Handler Training Program or equivalent.
- wear hats, hairnets and aprons which will be provided by the canteen.
- not sell foods made at home through the canteen.
- prepare, cook, transport and serve food in such a way as to retain nutrients and minimise bacterial growth and contamination.
- consider providing a variety of food options for students who suffer from allergies, diabetes or are vegetarian, or on a restricted diet for either cultural or religious reasons.
Lynwood Senior High School students should:
- be given consistent and factual information throughout the curriculum
- demonstrate a greater understanding of healthy food choices which may impact on the choices they make with food and drink consumption
Should be given consistent and factual information via the school newsletter to:
- support the school, where possible, in our attempts to maintain a policy of healthy food and drinks
- demonstrate a greater understanding of the impact of food choices on children, families and communities.
View the WA State Government’s information sheet: What’s on the Menu.
Environmental Sustainability – Waste Management and Reduction
Lynwood Senior High School aims to build its engagement with all aspects of sustainability and the school canteen run by the P&C is a key player in enhancing the social, environmental and economic outcomes for the school. The responsibility for meeting school canteen requirements rests with the principal.
At present the canteen staff flattens and recycles all cardboard, and vegetable waste is removed to feed chickens. A waste audit of the outside bins used by the students completed in August 2012 identified that 37% of waste was compostable food waste, 7% was non-recyclable waste and the remaining 56% was recyclable. While parents provide food in recyclable containers, much of the waste in the school bins emanate from the canteen. The canteen and school staff will continue to identify and implement strategies to reduce waste that ends up in landfill.
This policy will be reviewed by the school leadership, staff, and School Board as needed.