Fresh Food Kids in Hawkesbury Schools

Air-popped popcorn, frozen pineapple rings and grape kebabs are just some of the new healthy options being provided at both Kurrajong East and Glossodia Public Schools; helping the schools to meet the ‘NSW Healthy School Canteens Food and Drink Criteria’. These two schools partnered to help make healthy choices the easiest choices for students. Both schools have now been awarded the status of a Healthy School Canteen.   

Working together, the schools swapped ideas and recipes, and then combined food orders to meet minimum requirements from the suppliers. The resulting menus include more fresh and healthy choices and ensure that students have access to the essential nutrients that they need to learn and grow everyday. The addition of best selling items such as Bolognese Pasta, salad boxes,  freshly made air-popped popcorn, canteen-made custard pops and frozen pineapple rings, ensure that canteen business is going strong. 

‘I am extremely impressed  with how the students have taken to the changes so well…kids are  really adaptable, and given the chance they will surprise you in the most wonderful ways!’

Nicole Coyte (Canteen Manager @ Kurrajong East Public School) said that the students have responded really well to the changes. ‘I am extremely impressed with how the students have taken on the changes so well. When we first presented the frozen pineapple as a healthy snack, there was hesitation at first. We offered a free sample day, and now the kids are licking the pineapple bags clean’.  

Helen Auditore, Glossodia’s Canteen Manager, added ‘kids are really adaptable, and given the chance they will surprise you in the most wonderful ways’. 

Back Left: Michele Miller – Kurrajong East Principal                                                                         BackRight: Nicole Coyte – Canteen Manager

‘I’m extremely happy with the dedicated team that runs our school canteen, and very proud of their achievement. Our Canteen Manager and all those great volunteers  are making the healthy recipes themselves. Like many other school canteens the hard working volunteers are just  ‘doing it for the kids’.  This definitely shows with Nicole and her wonderful team of volunteers’ said East Kurrajong Principal, Michele Miller.

Kurrajong East and Glossodia Public Schools are supported by the Live Life Well @ School team from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District; and have been encouraged to introduce the  Food and Drink Criteria into their school canteen. The criteria involves identifying ways to increase ‘EveryDay’ food choices into the canteen, and to promote EveryDay foods to students.

‘Like many other school canteens, the hardworking volunteers are just doing it for the kids.’

Glossodia Principal, Jo-Anne Dorahy says that working on the Canteen Strategy with Joel, the local Health Promotion Officer, has opened up classroom conversations  about what healthy food actually means. She says the whole process has had many unanticipated and surprising outcomes for staff and for the children. 

‘Kurrajong East and Glossodia Public Schools have done a wonderful job of creating a healthy school environment to give their kids a chance to make healthy choices and set up some healthy habits for life’. said Joel from the Live Life Well @ School Team.

The Healthy School Canteen Strategy supports the Premier’s priority to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by 5% before 2025. All NSW Public School canteens are transitioning to the new strategy over a 3 year period, with all canteens expected to meet the criteria by December 2019. 

The Live Life Well @ School  Team supports all Schools and their Canteen Managers, Principals, P&C / P&F groups to achieve the new Canteen Strategy. 

If you are involved with a Primary School in the Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blue Mountains or Lithgow LGA and would like more information, please contact  Joel on 4734 4881 or send an email to the Team

The strategy document is available on the NSW Healthy Schools Canteen website. 

Banner Picture features: Left: Jo-Anne Dorahy – Glossodia Principal   Right: Helen Auditore – Canteen Manager

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District