Healthy Choices guidelines

Workplaces & Tertiary education Sport & recreation Food industry

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.

Hot food behind a glass display

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.

Policy guidelines

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 on the Healthy Choices guidelines and implementation you can access these resources:

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.

CategoryCurrent criteria

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

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 all recipes
Early childhood services OSHC Main meal
Chicken, potato and sweet corn soup

Want to assess your menu?

FoodChecker - opens in a new tab