Healthy Choices guidelines

The Victorian Government has developed the Healthy Choices guidelines to help make sure that healthy foods and drinks are offered and promoted in places like hospitals, health services, sport and recreation centres, parks and workplaces.

The following Healthy Choices resources are available:


Food and drinks classification guide

The Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide uses a traffic light system to classify foods and drinks as GREEN (best choices), AMBER (choose carefully) or RED (limit).

The guide describes foods and drinks in each category and explains how to decide which category a food or drink fits into.

Read more about the traffic light classification system, and what each category means. 


Guide to counting foods and drinks in menu assessments

Use this guide to understand how to count food and drink items when doing a retail outlet menu assessment in FoodChecker.

This will ensure the percentages of GREEN, AMBER or RED food and drinks are calculated accurately according to the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines.


Policy guidelines

There are different policy documents to help you apply the Healthy Choices guidelines in hospitals and health services, workplaces, sport and recreation centres, and parks.

You can find them at

The policy documents discuss important issues such as:

  • providing healthy foods and drinks in retail outlets, vending machines and catering
  • the importance of organisational policy and contracts about healthy foods and drinks
  • food and drink advertising, promotion and display
  • using foods and drinks for fundraising, prizes and give-aways
  • sponsorship by food industry.

NOTE: The Healthy Choices policy documents were rebranded in December 2016. The majority of the nutrient criteria and guidelines in the Healthy Choices classification guide remains the same. There are some minor changes to some smaller details of the content and an additional nutrient criteria for classifying breakfast cereals as RED.

Please contact us for more information about these changes.


Online information

This website provides information and advice about putting Healthy Choices into practice, classifying foods and drinks, planning a healthy menu and recipes and food ideas.

Visit the workplaces or hospitals and health services sections of this website for practical advice about how to follow the Healthy Choices guidelines in your organisation.


Additional nutrient criteria

Since the latest version of the Healthy Choices food and drink classification guidelines, there have been some additional provisional classification updates.

These provisional classification updates should be used in addition to the current criteria found in the Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide.

These classifications are reflected in the FoodChecker tool and hope to make it easier for manufacturers, suppliers and health professionals to understand the rationale for the Healthy Choices classification of their products.

They will be considered in the context of the next formal review of Healthy Choices guidelines.


Food  Classification update
Breakfast cereals not containing dried fruit
(assess as dry weight)
Breakfast cereals not containing dried fruit and has greater than 25g of sugar per 100g are classified RED.
Breakfast cereals containing dried fruit
(assess as dry weight)
Breakfast cereals containing dried fruit and has greater than 30g of sugar per 100g are  classified RED.
Trail mixes Trail mixes are classified using the Mixed Meal criteria from page 25 of the Healthy Choices Classification Guide 


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