Working with caterers and self-catering

Healthy catering in the workplace is an important part of helping staff, clients and visitors to be healthy. Workplaces may offer catering for a number of reasons, for example during meetings, conferences, events or social activities. 

To get you started, the video below introduces you to healthy workplace catering. It includes an overview of the Healthy Choices: healthy eating policy and catering guide for workplaces, and the 'traffic light' system for classifying foods and drinks. You’ll also discover healthy and delicious catering ideas and tips for making healthy changes to your workplace catering.

You can find out how the food and drinks you offer through catering are classified under the Healthy Choices guidelines, with a free online menu assessment


What are the guidelines for healthy catering?

For healthy catering in the workplace, the Healthy Choices guidelines recommend:

  • foods and drinks from the GREEN (best choices) category are the main choices offered
  • GREEN choices are promoted and encouraged
  • RED (limit) foods and drinks are not provided.

For healthy catering, you can offer AMBER (choose carefully) foods and drinks, as long as the majority of choices are from the GREEN category. Remember, AMBER choices should not be encouraged at the expense of healthier GREEN options.

Healthy choices: Policy directive for public health services

If you're a public hospital or health service the Victorian Government's Healthy choices: Policy directive for public health services has new requirements for the supply of food and drinks in your organisation (including food retail, vending and catering). Click here to read more. 

Catering applies to staff procuring food and drinks with health service (government funds) for meetings, functions, and events. This includes occasions such as workshops, conferences, community events, launches, celebrations and ceremonies, as well as client or community education, information, or training programs. It also includes food/drinks provided (free) on the ward or in staff rooms/waiting rooms for staff/visitors  (e.g. tea/coffee, water, fruit, biscuits, lollies).

Whilst not included in the Policy directive, health services are encouraged to promote and communicate their healthy catering policy to any external groups using their facilities, for example community support groups.

Providing healthy catering

Making sure the policies in your organisation include requirements for healthy catering is an important part of the whole of setting approach to supporting healthy eating. The Healthy choices: catering and policy guidelines for workplaces includes a healthy eating policy template that you can adapt for your organisation.

The simple actions you can take to provide healthy catering in your organisation depend on whether or not you currently have a catering provider, or a set process for ordering catering.


For workplaces with a catering provider click here.

For workplaces without a catering provider click here.

For healthy food and drink ideas and recipes for workplace catering click here.


If your organisation provides alcohol at catered functions and is having difficulty achieving the Healthy Choices targets as a result, please call 1300 22 52 88 or email us to discuss.

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