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Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Procedures


These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to principals in public schools.

3. Procedures

3.1 School-based healthy food and drinks

Principals will:

  • promote healthy eating within the school community; and
  • develop and implement a school-based policy for the provision of healthy food and drinks which meets, or preferably exceeds, the minimum standard for ‘green’ food and drinks mandated in these procedures and which incorporates the following:
    • Students will be supplied ‘green’ and ‘amber’ foods in school settings, including classroom rewards, classroom cooking activities, school camps and excursions.
    • Students will only be supplied ‘red’ foods on limited occasions and in small amounts and only when it is essential to the learning program.
    • Permission to use a school’s premises for use as a canteen/food service will only be granted on the basis that the Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy and Procedures are implemented.


Healthy eating can be promoted by:

  • adopting the Health Promoting Schools Framework which is a planning framework for schools that includes the physical, social and emotional needs of all members of the school community; with members working towards providing students with positive experiences and structures that promote and protect health;
  • including advice in the school newsletter;
  • organising whole school events such as a health/nutrition campaign/event, theme day or school breakfast; and
  • inviting appropriately qualified guest speakers to address, students, parents and staff.

Schools are encouraged to adopt a whole-school approach when developing the school-based policy.

The school-based policy on healthy food and drinks should be inclusive of the cultural mores held by students, parents and staff, reflect local circumstances, and be informed by the Student Health Care in Public Schools policy.

For further information, refer to the:

Parents and Citizens’ Association fundraising is exempt from the requirement to only use ‘green’ and amber’ food and drinks however consistent messages are encouraged.  For information on healthy fundraising initiatives refer to:

When parents provide foods to be shared during classroom activities, the best practice is that teachers inform parents prior to the event of the heating/cooling facilities available at the school so that final preparation of high risk foods is catered for appropriately.

3.2 School canteens

3.2.1 Use of school premises

Principals will only give permission to use a school’s premises for use as a canteen/food service on the basis that the Healthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Procedures are implemented.

3.2.2 Canteen/food service menu

Principals will ensure the canteen/food service menu promotes a wide range of healthy foods and that it:

  • consists of a minimum of 60% ‘green’ food and drinks;
  • consists of a maximum of 40% ‘amber’ food and drinks;
  • only offers savoury commercial products that are ‘amber’ foods a maximum of twice per week; and
  • contains no ‘red’ food and drinks.  


Refer to What’s on the Menu for information on canteen/food service menu choices.

Colour coding menu choices ‘green’ or ‘amber’ can help students and parents make informed selections.

The Star Choice™ Buyers’ Guide is a useful reference.  It is a register of manufactured products that meet the nutrient criteria.  Products in the Guide have been colour coded ‘green’ and ‘amber’ for easy reference.

Where food and drinks not included in the Star Choice™ Buyers’ Guide meet the nutrient criteria, they may also be used.

The Western Australian School Canteen Association (WASCA) is available to conduct assessments of products and recipes to confirm they meet the nutrient criteria and provide advice on where to source healthier foods and healthier food ideas.

Schools catering for students with special learning and/or dietary needs should promote the consumption of ‘green’ and ‘amber’ food and drinks as part of students’ modified learning programs.

3.2.3 'Traffic light' training

Principals will ensure canteen/food service managers/supervisors and/or employers (for example, Parents and Citizens’ Association representatives or food service owners) have completed ‘traffic light’ training or a higher standard of training.


WASCA has been contracted to deliver ‘traffic light’ training on the ‘traffic light’ system of green, amber and red food and drinks and the requirements of the Healthy Food and Drink Policy and Procedures.

WASCA is also available to conduct networking groups for canteen workers, free workshops for students and parents on healthy lunchbox choices, assistance on canteen management issues such as making food preparation more simple and attracting and working with volunteers.

A higher standard of training would include an accredited chef or cooking qualification, including but not limited to the TAFE Canteen Management Course.

The Western Australian Council of State School Organisations (WACSSO) can be contacted for information and advice on operating a successful canteen.

3.2.4 Food safety and hygiene

Principals will ensure canteen/food service workers and volunteers have completed FoodSafe Food Handler training or its equivalent.


Training should be completed in a timely manner, preferably prior to commencing work.

FoodSafe Food Handler packages are available from Environmental Health Australia and some local councils.  Many local councils also provide free online food safety training that is consistent with FoodSafe.

The Food Act 2008 (WA) and the Food Regulations 2009 (WA) require that:

  • all food services apply for registration with the local council as a food business (a fee may be applicable);
  • schools notify the local council prior to conducting a charitable or community event involving food (ie a cake stall or sausage sizzle); and
  • food prepared for sale is only made in approved premises, for example a food business approved by the appropriate enforcement agency.  Food prepared in a home that has not been approved as a food business must not be sold in a canteen.

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code requires that:

  • food handlers’ personal hygiene practices and cleanliness minimise the risk of food contamination.  Risks can be minimised by the wearing of hats, hairnets and aprons provided by the canteen/food service; and
  • the preparation, cooking, transportation and serving of food is done in such a way as to retain nutrients and minimise bacterial contamination.

Young children accompanying paid workers, or volunteers and enrolled students working in a canteen, could constitute a hazard.  The Occupational Health and Safety Act (1984) requires all practicable measures are taken to minimise exposure to hazards in a workplace. 

WACSSO advises against students undertaking tasks in the canteen for insurance reasons.  However, there are exceptions where the work is part of the educational program for the student/s (section 24; section 29 or section 11G School Education Act 1999).

4. Definitions

Are good sources of nutrients, contain less saturated fat and/or sugar and/or salt and help to avoid an intake of excess energy (kJ). 

Have some nutritional value, contain moderate levels of saturated fat and/or added sugar and/or salt and can, in large serves, contribute to excess energy (kJ).

Lack adequate nutritional value, are high in saturated fat and/or added sugar and/or salt and can contribute excess energy (kJ).

5. Related documents

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Student Engagement and Wellbeing

Policy contact officer: 

Principal Consultant, Student Wellbeing

T: (08) 94026133


Western Australian Council of State School Organisations (WACSSO)

T: (08) 9264 4000


Western Australian School Canteen Association (WASCA)

T:  9264 4999





7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Procedure version no.
4 February 2014 2.0
Major review undertaken and split into policy and procedures. Endorsed by Corporate Executive 2 December 2013.
4 February 2014 29 August 2014 2.1
Contact details updated. D14/0417804.
4 February 2014 16 February 2015 2.2
Contact details updated. D15/0057184
4 February 2014 19 March 2015 2.3
Contact information updated to reflect change in position from Director, Office of the Director General to Executive Director, Organisational Governance. D15/0085666
4 February 2014 4 August 2015 2.4
Updated contact information D15/0260244
4 February 2014 15 April 2016 2.5
Transfer of policy ownership and update contact information. D16/0209811 and D16/0209818
4 February 2014 3 August 2017 2.6
Update broken links D17/0329199
4 February 2014 3 October 2018 2.7
Minor changes to update contact information D18/0437694 and reference to Public Schools D18/0151652
4 February 2021 27 October 2021 2.8
Minor changes to links D21/0617744

8. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFHealthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Procedures v2.8

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this procedure.

Supported policy:

Download Policy PDFHealthy Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy

Procedure review date

4 February 2017

Procedure last updated

29 October 2021