Fairy bread, hot chips and ice cream should not be offered at South Australian schools, according to the Department of Education in a new healthy eating overhaul.
Other classic Australian menu items such as meat pies, sausage rolls, biscuits and honey should be limited to no more than twice a school term “as part of whole-school celebrations or fundraising events”.
That’s according to the new ‘Right Bite’ guidelines designed by the Department of Education aimed at school canteens and out-of-school-hours care providers.
The guidelines also apply to school excursions and camps where food is provided, in-class events and whole-school celebration days.
It comes after changes to the Western Australian guideline saw ham and cheese toasties classified as a ‘red’ or banned menu item at school canteens.
The move sparked criticism from the WA School Canteen Association.
The association’s CEO Megan Sauzier said she understood the changes but warned it could deter students from purchasing from canteens.
“To group ham and cheese toasted sandwiches in that group is not what we would recommend,” she said.
“There is a lot of confusion there.”
The new ‘traffic light’ system for South Australian schools divides foods into four categories.
Foods in the ‘green’ category should make up at least 60 per cent of menu items and include fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, low-fat dairy products and wholegrains.
‘Amber’ foods should make up no more than 40 per cent of the menu and include foods such as yoghurts with added sugar, lightly salted popcorn and healthier homemade muffins or cakes.
Foods that made the ‘Red category 1’ list – which should be limited to no more than twice a term – include many lunch box staples such as chips and biscuits as well as hot foods such as pies, pastries, sausage rolls and hot dogs.
‘Red 2 category’ foods ought to be banned from schools altogether, according to the guidelines, and include deep fried foods, soft drinks, chocolate and confectionary – including the 100s and 1000s on fairy bread.