- The NSW Government has FINALLY released its new school canteens strategy…
- … but problematic foods like cakes, chips, diet soft drink and margarine are still allowed.
- With 25 per cent of Aussie kids overweight, we need to try harder.
The new criteria, based on the flawed Health Star Rating system, still recommends low-fat dairy, vegetable oil and margarine. These “light” options are often chemically processed, potentially inflammatory and can contain a raft of weird ingredients. What’s wrong with butter?
Even worse are the “occasional” foods (which should be at least 3.5 Health Stars). We understand they should only comprise ¼ of the menu and can’t be promoted in school… but what’s stopping kids from buying hot chips and cake every day if they can?
“There is no clear indication of how implementation is to be monitored,” says registered nutritionist and healthy schools campaigner Dr Kieron Rooney.
“We learnt from the last guidelines that if schools are left to self-regulation then implementation will fail, along with it the hopes and dreams of this policy.”
Granted, there are some good points – fresh food is a focus, and sugary drinks are still banned (except for “small amounts” of pure juice and flavoured milk).
We just can’t avoid issues, like the allowance of diet soft drinks, which set back the entire strategy. (You can read the full info here.)
We need tough canteens that don’t “limit” junk food in schools, but ban it outright. And you can bet we’ll continue to fight for it!
Are you happy with the new NSW school canteens guideline, or do you think they need to be stricter?