Incorporating the Healthy Choices: Policy directive in your organisational policy template

Health services
numerous small dishes of meat and vegetables with plastic spoons in each


Use or adapt this template to include the Victorian Government’s Healthy choices: Policy directive in your health service’s current policies.

The Victorian Government’s Healthy choices: Policy directive for Victorian public health services directs health services to ensure that healthier food and drinks are sold, provided, and promoted at their facilities.

This directive applies to all vending machines, any ‘in-house’ managed retail food outlets, items purchased by staff and visitors from patient/resident menus, and all catering* provided by the service to staff and visitors.

(Health services are encouraged to apply this policy to all of their retail food outlets –to help meet the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 state-wide target).

Including the Policy directive in your health service’s policies will:

  • show your health service is committed to promoting good health
  • help make sure your efforts in supporting healthy eating are long term and sustainable
  • incorporate healthy eating into your health services culture
  • ensure healthy eating is promoted across the whole health service (for example, hospitals, residential aged care, integrated community health services)
  • provide clear direction and support to everyone involved in making healthy changes.

*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) for staff/visitors in waiting rooms/staff rooms.

Additional points for your policy (use as needed)

  • Commercial or private retail food outlets are encouraged to follow this policy (if not already included formally in your policy above).
  • This policy will be communicated to external user groups that use the health service’s facilities to encourage them to also provide healthy catering.
  • Free drinking water (for example, water fountains, jugs of tap water) is readily available and promoted for staff and visitors.
  • Staff rooms and staff kitchens must have facilities to prepare healthy meals and snacks brought from home.
  • Breastfeeding will be supported and encouraged.
  • GREEN food and drink options will be promoted, and RED options will not be used for prizes, giveaways, awards and vouchers
  • Engagement in healthy fundraising and sponsorship activities is encouraged.

For more information about the Victorian Government’s Policy directive visit

For more information about the Healthy Choices guidelines, visit

The Healthy choices: healthy eating policy and catering guide for workplaces provides more information on developing and implementing a healthy eating policy in your health service.

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.

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