Food and drink ideas – Canteen snack ideas

school children eating fruit

Fresh ideas

Quick snack ideas

  • Pieces of cut up fresh fruit
  • Bunch of grapes – try serving frozen!
  • Dried apple rings or dried apricots
  • Tablespoon of sultanas
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals
  • Reduced fat cheese pieces/cubes
  • Plain rice crackers

More ideas...

  • Yoghurts: buy reduced fat yoghurt in bulk and scoop out into plastic cups. Try adding 100% fruit puree on top.
  • Air popped popcorn: serve in patty cases or paper bags.
  • Raisin toast fingers: cut into three fingers and use a thin spread of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine instead of butter or dairy spread.
  • Garlic toast fingers: mix olive oil, minced garlic and chopped parsley. Brush onto wholemeal bread, cut into three fingers and lightly bake – very popular and highly profitable.
  • Fruit bread pieces/apple scrolls: cut fruit bread, banana bread or un-iced fruit buns/apple scrolls and sell in snack-sized serves.
  • Mini muffins: make or buy small, reduced fat, high fibre fruit muffins from a local bakery.
  • Googy Faces: shell hard boiled eggs, thread onto icy pole sticks (optional), wrap egg in cling wrap and draw smiley faces on the cling wrap with a permanent pen.

TIP – For extra profit, buy rice crackers when they’re on sale. Display them on a tray at recess and dish out with tongs straight into students’ hands. It’s environmentally friendly and there are no packaging costs. Replace daily to keep fresh.

Fruit snacks

Fruit is the ideal healthy snack for students. It’s a terrific sweet snack, yet it’s free of added sugar while being high in fibre and vitamins.

Serving chilled, colourful fresh fruit, peeled or chopped makes it fun and easy to eat. If not sold by the end of the day, serve them frozen the next day or use in muffin recipes!

Two young girls eating fruit

Fresh ideas

Traffic lights

Thread cubed kiwi fruit (or honeydew melon), pineapple (or banana) and a strawberry (or watermelon) onto an icy pole stick or a kebab skewer.

Banana bubbles

Peel bananas, cut into small pieces and thread on an icy pole stick, dip in reduced fat yoghurt and roll in rice bubbles. Serve fresh (make just before serving).

Fruity cones

Cut up fresh fruit in a variety of colours. Drain and place in ice cream cones. Serve immediately to stop the cones going soggy.

Jelly jumbles

Put tinned or fresh fruit in small plastic cups, cover in sugar-free jelly and set. Great combos are green grapes with green sugar-free jelly; tinned two fruits (in natural juice) with orange sugar-free jelly or strawberries with red sugar-free jelly. Serve with a spoon.

Strawberry alohas

Thread strawberries (minus husk) on an icy pole stick. Can also be served frozen.

Traffic light bags

Serve watermelon, honeydew and rockmelon balls in small zip lock bags.

Tinned and dried fruits

Tinned fruit (in natural juice) in single serve tubs are a great, easy snack for the canteen. Dried fruits can be bought in bulk and stored in glass jars on display.

Vegetable snacks

Corny cobs

Steam corn on the cob (buy frozen bulk bags). Offer flavourings like sweet chilli sauce, lemon juice or herbs.

Nibble mix

Mix air-popped popcorn, breakfast cereal and dried fruit. Serve in bags or patty cases.

Sticks n dip combo

Offer crunchy veggie stick combos in a clear cup with reduced fat dip in the bottom e.g. tzatziki, tomato salsa or hummus. Give this menu item a catchy name like ‘crunchy sticks’ or ‘sticks ‘n’ dip’.

Ants on a log

Fill celery sticks with low fat cream cheese or hummus and place sultanas across the top.

Sticks n dip combo

Offer crunchy veggie stick combos in a clear cup with reduced fat dip in the bottom e.g. tzatziki, tomato salsa or hummus.

For more information please phone 1300 22 52 88 or email

Except where otherwise indicated, the images in this document show models and illustrative settings only, and do not necessarily depict actual services, facilities or recipients of services. This document may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In this document, ‘Aboriginal’ refers to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Koori/Koorie’ is retained when part of the title of a report, program or quotation. Copyright © State of Victoria 2016

Written and reviewed by dietitians and nutritionists at Nutrition Australia, with support from the Victorian Government.

Nutrition Australia and Victoria State Government logos

Featured recipes

Explore more recipes
Schools Main meal
Zesty pesto pasta salad
g Best choice
Schools OSHC Snack
Bliss Balls
a Choose carefully
Schools OSHC Main meal +1
Oodles of noodles
a Choose carefully
Schools OSHC Snack
Mini muesli muffins
a Choose carefully
Schools OSHC Main meal
Hearty veggie soup
g Best choice
Schools OSHC Main meal
Mexican salad
g Best choice

Want to assess your menu?

FoodChecker - opens in a new tab