Find out if your menu meets healthy food and drinks guidelines, by getting it assessed by the Healthy Eating Advisory Service.
- Long day care services can use FoodChecker to plan healthy menus online according to the Victorian Menu planning guidelines for long day care.
- Outside school hours care services can send us their menus to be reviewed by our experienced dietitians, according to the Food and drink guidelines for OSHC.
You will receive a detailed report highlighting areas where the menu meets the guidelines, and specific recommendations to help you make healthy changes where needed.
Having a menu assessment will help your early childhood education and care service towards achieving:
- Quality Area 2.1.3 (Healthy Lifestyle) of the National Quality Standard
- Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations
- the Healthy Eating and Oral Health Benchmarks of the Achievement Program*
- Smiles 4 Miles award.*
* Achievement Program and Smiles 4 Miles
The Victorian Government recommends that Victorian long day care services use the Healthy Eating Advisory Service’s FoodChecker to plan their menus.
To learn more, read this Victorian Government position statement.
Long day care
FoodChecker is the new way to assess your own menu online, and get instant feedback!
You can assess one day or one week of your menu at a time to see if it meets the Victorian Menu planning guidelines for long day care.
When you assess your menu on FoodChecker you will receive a report containing your results, plus recommendations for healthy changes. You can read your report on screen or save it as a PDF.
Once you have made changes to your centre menu, you can reassess it on FoodChecker to see if it meets the guidelines.
FoodChecker is currently the only online menu planning tool that will help you plan menus for 0-5 year old children according to the Victorian Menu planning guidelines for long day care.
The Victorian Government recommends that Victorian long day care services use FoodChecker to plan their menus.
Victorian long day care services that are registered with the Achievement Program and/or Smiles 4 Miles must provide a FoodChecker menu assessment report which confirms that the menu meets these Victorian guidelines. Using feedAustralia will not provide this requirement.
"FoodChecker is awesome! I can assess outside of work hours which is great because I'm always on the floor, and it means I can do it rather than the director."
- Long day care cook
You can also use FoodChecker to plan future menus that meet the Victrorian Menu planning guidelines for long day care. PLUS you can download a copy of your menu to display, and print a shopping list with all of the ingredients you’ll need for the week.
Tip: Visit Getting Started for the steps we recommend before assessing your menu, such as doing our free online training and making these priority changes. You can also use the menu planning checklist to quickly self-assess your menu.
These steps will help make your menu healthier before using FoodChecker, but you can use it at any time to assess your menu.
Have the following information ready to start using FoodChecker:
- your menu for one day or one week
- every recipe featured on the menu that you’re going to assess
- a quantity for each ingredient (eg, grams, kilograms, litres, etc)
- the number of children you are cooking for (over 12 months of age)
Outside school hours care
Are you planning your next menu?
Let us assess it now to make sure it meets the Food and drink guidelines for OSHC straight away!
Before having a menu assessment, make sure you have visited the Getting started page to see the recommended steps to having a healthy menu.
- demonstrated commitment and leadership from management
- having a healthy eating policy which is applied across the service
- learning more about the Food and drink guidelines for OSHC
- making healthy changes to your menu in priority areas.
Once you have completed these steps above, then you can submit your menu for an assessment:
Gather copies of the following:
- Your current menu, including information about the foods and drinks provided at each meal and snack time.
- The quantities of all foods and drinks provided at each meal and snack time. For example, the number of whole pieces of fruit on a fruit platter, or the quantity of milk per serve per child.
- All recipes featured in the menu including the quantity of each ingredient used.
Submit your completed booking form, plus menus, recipes and any additional information to:
Healthy Eating Advisory Service
Early childhood services
118 Cardigan St
Carlton VIC 3053
Or email heas.earlychildhood[at]nutritionaustralia.org
Please note: Due to high demand, menu assessments for OSHC can take 4-6 weeks to complete. One of our team will contact you when your submission has been received.