Theme day ideas for the school canteen

Send a healthy message with healthy eating days! Here are some ideas for fun and healthy food themes.

On this page:


Top tips for success

  • Plan a calendar of promotions at the start of each year or term
  • Plan well in advance and promote extensively to ensure their success
  • Link in with the curriculum to reinforce nutrition messages taught in the classroom
  • Don’t underestimate the amount of food and extra hands you’ll need
  • Get an estimate of food required by taking pre-orders
  • Decorate the canteen to get everyone excited


Health days

Your calendar of promotions could include weekly activities or one-off events, such as:

Fruitilicious Fridays

Offer additional fruit snacks and drinks

Fruit snack cups

Fruity Friday

Trial a different fruit each Friday

Veggie or Veg Out Wednesdays

Trial a different vegetable recipe each week, such as stuffed eggplants or pumpkin pie

Wrap It Up! Day

Trial a new wrap or roll filling, such as chicken satay and salad wrap

Super Smoothie Day

Trial making smoothies one day a week, using fresh or frozen fruits – a popular combination is fresh strawberries with half a banana, a dollop of reduced fat natural yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and reduced fat dairy or soy milk.


Cultural events

Noodle box

Explore the Orient

(e.g. for Chinese New Year in February)

  • Stir-fried noodles with vegetables, served in a noodle box with chopsticks
  • Chicken and corn soup
  • Steamed vegetable spring rolls, sushi/nori rolls or Vietnamese rice paper rolls

A ‘Taste of Italy’ day

  • Healthy pizzas made from pita bread, tomato pasta sauce and healthy toppings, such as plenty of vegetables, lean meat and reduced fat cheese
  • Vegetarian wholemeal pasta served with a bean bolognaise sauce and sprinkled with a reduced fat cheese (ricotta or cheddar)
  • Garlic bread fingers: bread lightly brushed with olive oil, with crushed garlic and then toasted

Lettuce tacos

Mexican Fiesta ‘Amigo Amigo’

  • Make burritos with Mexican style lean beef mince, salsa, avocado and a squeeze of lime
  • Mexicana toasted sandwiches with salsa, black beans and grated reduced fat cheese
  • Taco boats that use an iceberg lettuce leaf for the taco shell, served with guacamole and toasted tortilla triangles
  • Ask everyone to bring Mexican hats

Greek day

  • Offer a Greek salad of cucumber, tomato, reduced fat fetta, pitted olives and dressing
  • Dip and foccacia pack: featuring a small piece of focaccia with hummus and tzatziki dips on a paper plate
  • Souvlaki wraps: made from lean chicken, mince patties, sliced steak or lamb with salad and tzatziki served in pita bread

‘Bon Appetite’ day 

A celebration of French cuisine


  • Baguettes filled with cheese and salad, or meat and salad
  • Vegetable quiche (pastry free)
  • Ratatouille served with couscous
  • Crepes with fresh fruit and yoghurt, or a drizzle of honey

Multicultural day

Cruising around the world

Offer a variety of different multicultural foods and link with the curriculum, i.e. include food studied in history class.


Sporting events


Finals Fever

Name menu items such as a lean beef salad burger after the winning AFL team or player (e.g. Buckley Burger after ex-Collingwood player Nathan Buckley or Hawka Hamburger, named after the Hawthorn mascot) 

Olympic Games or Commonwealth Games 

Fruit in jelly cupsA ‘Green and Gold’ food day:

  • Olympic Pizza or G’day Mate Pizza, with green and gold toppings, such as spinach, capsicum, pineapple and reduced fat cheese
  • Canned fruits in natural juice set in yellow jelly, or green grapes in green jelly
  • Pineapple pieces in natural juice with low fat custard
  • Banana smoothies made with low fat milk

Aussie Supporters’ Pack

Lean beef salad burger with a 100% juice

Gimmicky names

Such as High Jump Ham Sandwich or Shot Put Salad

The Sullivan Roll

After swimmer Eamon Sullivan: chicken, lettuce and avocado

Printer-friendly version