How does your canteen measure up?
A Menu Health Check by the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) can help you identify the strengths of your current canteen menu and provide ideas on how to make it healthier.
The Menu Health Check uses the NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy to rate your menu on availability of healthy choices.
All you have to do is provide your canteen menu, and you will receive:
- A report that is easy to understand.
- Information about your current menu.
- If changes to improve the menu are identified, suggestions on how to make these changes will be provided.
- Recommended changes to menu for things like:
How much does it cost?
School canteens in the Northern Territory can access the Menu Health Check Service for $100 (inc. GST).
Once the below form is completed, the QAST team will send an invoice to the nominated email address, and once paid, the Menu Health Check will be completed within 5 business days.
Request a Menu Health Check
About menu ratings
|1||Menu is not consistent with NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy. (AMBER menu items dominate. RED items present)|
|2||Menu is not consistent with NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy. (Minimum 50% GREEN. RED items present)|
|3||Menu meets the minimum requirements for consistency with NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy. (50% to 64% GREEN. No RED items)|
|4||A good menu – exceeds the minimum requirements for NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy. (65% to 74% GREEN. No RED items)|
|5||An outstanding menu – well exceeds the minimum requirements for consistency with NT School and nutrition healthy eating policy. (75% or more GREEN. No RED items)|
|0||Doesn’t contain enough data for a rating to be applied. More information is needed.|
Menu planning recommendations
After some general advice for improving your menu? Here’s some overall guidance:
Your menu should be centred around canteen-made meals that can be made in bulk batches and portioned. Typically these meals are made in advance and frozen, unless you are in a small school or do not have sufficient storage space. These include options such as pasta bolognese, butter chicken, curries, fried rice, burritos or pizzas. These meals can be efficient, profitable and nutritious.
These main meals can be complemented by a small number of items that require assembly, such as burgers, sushi bowls, wraps and sandwiches.
GREEN snack options include fruit, vegetables and dairy snacks, like fruit salad cups, veggie sticks and dip (e.g. hummus or tzatziki), corn cobs, reduced fat custard and yoghurt, boiled eggs, plain popcorn or snack boxes that contain a combination of these options.
AMBER snack options include fruit-based muffins, frozen fruit juice sticks and ice-creams that do not contain confectionary in small portions.
- Low or reduced-fat milk and soy drinks, plain and flavoured.
- May contain intense (artificial) sweeteners.
- Suggested 375ml serve size or less.
- Plant-based milks e.g. almond, must be calcium fortified.
- Water: plain, unflavoured (tap, spring, mineral or sparkling).
Meal deals and specials are a great way of attracting attention to certain menu items or to increase variety and sales. Always focus these on canteen-made meals that are more efficient to produce, profitable and nutritious.