Healthy Changes for Canteens

CanteensChildren doing sports can burn a lot of energy and will be hungry afterwards or even during the sporting activity. Unfortunately many of the food and drink choices on offer at sporting events and venues are high in fat and sugar and offer little nutritional value. Like their sporting heroes, whilst engaging in sports children can learn valuable messages about the role food plays to perform at their best both in their sport and every day living. Regardless of if they are just attending a sports event with their family, coming along for lessons, participating in club sport for fun or attending a major event for young atheletes, this is a valuable opportunity to support the development of lifelong lessons for a healthy lifestyle.

What can I do?

  • Support your young sports people and their families by offering and promoting healthy choices at your canteen
  • Encourage the development of a healthy food policy by your committee or managers for everyone to follow at sports events
  • Do a “Health Check” on your canteen using the checklist available here
  • Be open to trial new ideas and take action to make changes to the items you stock or have on your menu

Making a change…

Canteens around the country in our schools and already at some sports venues have successfully moved to providing delicious healthy choices that are both popular with children and profitable. Some steps they have taken include:

  • Including healthy choices and products across all areas including drinks, snacks and meal options
  • Replacing existing packaged products with healthier alternatives that meet guidelines
  • Decreasing the number of items on the menu or offered to make operating the canteen more manageable with limited volunteers
  • Using suppliers who support your goals to offer healthier choices
  • Including salad ingredients as a standard accompaniment for all meals and also as a stand alone meal option
  • Eliminating less healthy choices that will compete with sales for healthier options eg replacing pies with jacket potatoes rather than offering both
  • Introducing a meal deal to promote a new healthy meal choice
  • Promoting healthy options by placing them in prominent positions on counters and stands, in fridges and in displays
  • Removing unsuitable items from the visibility of children eg confectionery, chips, soft drinks and energy drinks being placed out of sight
  • Offering pre-ordered healthy lunch packs for visiting teams and for large events like regional sports meets
  • Offering non food items for sale as rewards for children eg small trinkets, stickers, lucky dips
Made by QMG