Canteen Support

Council helps P&C-managed school canteens with resources, advice, and referrals to other helpful organisations.

If you have a question about running your canteen which isn't covered below, please contact us.

Topics on this page:

Running your canteen - getting the admin and business-side organised
Your staff/volunteers
The menu
Promoting your canteen and foods
Food safety including food allergies
Learning from other ACT canteens - network, sharing expertise.

Running your canteen

ManualCover

Running a canteen is a major undertaking. Luckily there is help available with the business and administative side of things:

  • The ACT Canteen Business Essentials manual is a comprehesive guide to running your canteen. It will step your P&C through everything from regulations you need to comply with to information on finances, staffing, purchasing and putting together a healthy menu! Has loads of useful templates and sample documents, spreadsheets, surveys and more to.
  • Council's Canteen Information Sheet
  • FAQ on Canteen Deeds between P&Cs running canteens and the Education Directorate
  • Sample Terms of Reference for your canteen sub-committee
  • The Healthy Kids Association (HKA) provides extensive, authoritative support and advice for canteens (there is a membership fee).

See also our article on reducing waste from your canteen.

Alternatives to running your canteen - If your school would like to have a food service but the P&C does not wish to run it, there are a number of options. These include using an external canteen provider, an onsite business, a hub service from another school or a local food business. ACT Health’s Fresh Tastes team can provide your school with more information to help decide. Contact them to talk through the options on 02 5124 9516 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your staff/volunteers

The menu

Menu ideas and advice
  • Food provided by canteens must comply with the Education Directorate's Food and Drink Policy.
  • Nutrition Australia's Nutrition Support Service offers a menu review and advice service to help you comply with the Policy. You can contact one of their dietitians for answers to your food and menu questions on 6162 2583 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also follow them on Twitter (@ACTNSS) and Facebook for tips and useful information.
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  • ACT Health have a fabulous Go For Green guide and now a short interactive online course which explains the Traffic Light System. The guide and course step you through the process of working out if your recipes are Green or Amber and how to improve them, and includes an extensive list of ingredients and their classification.
  • Healthy recipes from Nutrition Australia
  • HKA have healthy recipes with matching professional food pictures (for your newsletter or menu) and videos on how to make them look great.
  • The National Allergy Strategy has free online food allergy training for staff and volunteers working in schools. FOCis have information on Allergies and Anaphylaxis.
  • Make your menu look more professional with the menu template and matching promtional items below.
  • See also this article about Boosting the flavour in Green items.
Suppliers of foods meeting Healthy Food and Drink Guidelines

Promoting your canteen

Professional stickers to jazz-up your healthy options.
  • Available with three different messages ("Good Fuel Food", "Boost your Brainpower", "Good Fuel = Play Longer")
  • Each message available in purple, green or black & white
  • Already set-up at the printer, ready for you to order at approx $140 per 1000. (Unfortunately, our free stocks have all gone!)
  • For printer details, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 PackagingSM

CanteenStickers1CROPSM

 Menutemplate
Menu and specials board Banners to match stickers.
Marketing guide!

All the information and tips canteen managers need to  promote the canteen's food and drink (and boost sales!) is in a this guide - Marketing food at school: use the 5Ps.

 3Ps
Posters!

Fabulous posters to print and display at your canteen. Each healthy message and image has been tested with students so we know they are understood and have a real impact on students choices! They come from a project with ACT Health and others in response to canteen feedback that many students were still prefering less-healthy options. Six dfifferent posters:

posters

Food safety

AAA Schools Home Page

  • Nutrition Australia run training courses a couple of times a year, qualifying canteen managers as nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisors
  • ACT Health Protection Service have this useful Factsheet on food safety for schools and one for school canteens
  • The National Allergy Strategy has free online food allergy training for staff and volunteers working in schools. The 1-1.5hour course will help you understand more about food allergies and how to keep kids safe and covers managing allergies, communication tools, reading labels, and avoiding cross contamination of food allergens when preparing and serving food.

Learning from others