Buckley Park College

Buckley Park College has been able to maintain a financially viable canteen since implementing the Victorian School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy.

Key to its success were establishing a nutrition committe, conducting school community surveys to find out food preferences and making simple healthy changes to the canteen menu. Watch this short video to get the full story.


Buckley Park College, with a population of 900 students, began its quest to promote healthy eating to its community in 2013. The school successfully achieved a menu which meets the Victorian School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy that same year. Watch this video case study to hear about the changes Buckley Park College has made to achieve a healthier menu.


Steps to a successful healthy canteen

Successful healthy eating changes were achieved based on a whole of school approach which included:

  • Developing a nutrition committee comprised of six students and staff members to lead the changes
  • Updating the school nutrition policy and promoting it through the school’s website and handbooks to ensure the community was aware of the healthy eating priorities and changes to the canteen are supported and long term.
  • Surveying many students, families, volunteer parents and teachers to see what new food and drinks trialed they preferred. This resulted in a high uptake of the new healthier menu items.


Healthy (and delicious) menu changes

Since starting the process, Buckley Park College has incorporated many changes into its menu that were desired and supported by the 700 students who attend the canteen daily!

Popular new foods on the canteen menu include:

  • Fresh fruit, including watermelon
  • Carrot with Tzatziki dip and hummus dip
  • Sushi (which is delivered twice a week)
  • Yoghurt with berries
  • Poached chicken and salad sandwiches


The financial impact

Since 2013, Buckley Park College has found their canteen has not undergone any negative financial impact by implementing and supporting a healthy canteen menu. If anything, sales have slowly increased. Students haven’t noticed many of the changes, as only minimal foods were removed from the menu and instead healthier choices and more variety were included so the students have been more willing to go and purchase from the canteen. 


Ongoing strategies for success

  • Specials or healthier items are promoted on the canteen blackboard or through pamphlets.
  • Year 10 food technology classes are involved in new menu item development and trialling.
  • Small and regular healthy changes continue to be made to the menu.
  • Student involvement in the canteen continues to be encouraged which ensures they feel involved and have some control over the changes.
  • Preparing and cutting up food in advance helps to make it available in a short time-frame.
  • Being familiar with weekly special catalogues from the supermarket/distributor ensures food sold is cost effective.