Healthy Choices guidelines

The Victorian Government's Healthy Choices guidelines help make sure that healthy foods and drinks are offered and promoted in places like sport and recreation centres, hospitals, health services, workplaces and universities.

The Healthy Choices framework includes:

  • a classification guide that explains the Victorian Government's traffic light system for classifying foods and drinks as GREEN (best choices), AMBER (choose carefully) or RED (limit)
  • policy guidelines to support the implementation of Healthy Choices in hospitals and health services, sport and recreation centres, workplaces and universities.

Healthy choices: food and drink 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. 

Policy guidelines

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

You can download them from

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.

*The Healthy choices: policy directive for Victorian public health services now applies to all public health services across all of their sites and facilities (such as hospitals, integrated community health services and public residential aged care services). The Healthy Choices guidelines can still be implemented by private health services and public health services with externally managed retail food outlets. For more information on the Policy directive and applying the guidelines in hospitals and health services click here.

For more information click here.

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, hospitals and health services, sport & recreation centres and parks, and universities, TAFEs and colleges sections of this website for practical advice about how to implement the Healthy Choices guidelines in your organisation.

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.

Additional nutrient criteria

The criteria below should be used in addition to the existing criteria in the Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide.

These additions have also been applied to FoodChecker, so you can assess your foods and drinks according to the most up to date criteria for Healthy Choices.

Current criteria (in Healthy choices: food and drink classfication guide)
Updated/additional criteria
Dairy-free or vegan cheeses (coconut oil based)


Classified RED due to their high saturated fat content and low protein, calcium and vitamin B12 content compared to dairy cheeses. This is consistent with the Healthy choices classification for coconut-based yoghurts.


Cheese and cracker products that include vegan or dairy-free cheese are also classified RED.


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