Healthy food and drink guidelines for Queensland school tuckshops

The Queensland Government’s Smart Choices- Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools is mandatory for all state schools and strongly encouraged for non-state schools.

In 2016, changes were made to the way some food and drinks are classified under Smart Choices to align more closely with the National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines and the Australian Dietary Guidelines. These changes are reflected in the Updated 2016 Smart Choices Ready Reckoner. State schools are encouraged to implement these changes when they are able.

Smart Choices classifies food and drinks using a spectrum of GREEN, AMBER or RED. Items identified as RED are not suitable for tuckshop menus and their supply is limited to no more than two occasions per term. This applies to all situations where food and drink is supplied in the school environment including vending machines, school excursions, school camps, fundraising, classroom rewards, school events such as celebrations and sports days, and food used in curriculum activities.

For more information on Smart Choices, visit the Department of Education website.

QAST welcomes the opportunity to work with members of the food industry. We provide a Smart Choices Nutrition Advisory Service, which advises suppliers how their products are categorised within the Smart Choices strategy. We also provide opportunities for suppliers to advertise products to members – visit our Food Industry page to find out more.

Quick links for tuckshops

Current Smart Choices strategy document

Ready reckoner of commonly supplied food and drinks

RED food and drink criteria table

Smart Choices Across the School

Let’s Talk Tuckshops Presentation

Smart Choices Checklist

Guides for determining if a product is GREEN, AMBER or RED

Using QAST’s eMenu Smart Choices online calculator

Step 1: Visit the Smart Choices calculator on eMenu

Step 2: Select the product type if the item is a served as a hot meal, drink or snack. For all other items use the search function on the same page or refer to the Smart Choices ready reckoner.

Step 3: Refer to the category examples to identify which calculator to use from the drop down list and make your selection.

Step 4: Enter the nutritional information requested and click on the ‘Find my rating’ box.

Using Smart Choices documents:

Step 1: Refer to the ready reckoner and find the appropriate category that best matches the product.

Step 2: The coloured dots identify where the product is likely to be on the food and drink spectrum of GREEN, AMBER or RED. Refer to the comments for additional explanation or exemptions.

  • Items with a GREEN dot only or RED dot only do not require any further assessment.
  • Items with multiple coloured dots eg. an AMBER and a RED dot, require further assessment. Refer to the comments section for clarification or to identify which RED criteria table to use.

Step 3: If required, refer to the RED food and drink criteria table and use the nutritional information for the item to determine if it is RED or AMBER.


You must be logged in to view member resources.