Healthier food and drink swaps

Boost the number of healthier foods and drinks in your school food service by offering healthier versions of popular items.

Try swapping some commercially-prepared items (which are often Red or Amber for healthier canteen-made alternatives.

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Pies and savoury pastries
Egg sliceCottage pie with lean mince
Frittata or quiche with:
  • lean ham and tomato, or
  • lean chicken and mushroom, or
  • try our egg slice recipe.


Filo pastry squares or triangles with:

  • ricotta and spinach, or
  • savoury mince, or
  • roast pumpkin and feta.
Hot dogs, frankfurts, sausage rolls, Chicko RollsTM 

Schnitzel rollHot meat rolls with:

  • lean meat kebab sticks (skinless chicken, beef, pork, lamb or fish)
  • lettuce, tomato, onion or beetroot
  • reduced fat cheese, on
  • wholemeal or multigrain rolls.
Hard taco shells with fillings

Burrito - Image courtesy of KEKO64 / FreeDigitalPhotos.netBurritos or soft tacos made with:

  • Mexican beans, corn and reduced fat cheese, or
  • lean chicken, spinach leaves, avocado, salsa, or
  • lean mince, lettuce, tomato and reduced fat sour cream.
Nachos  made with corn chips

Homemade nachos made with any cobination of:

  • pita chips
  • tomato salsa
  • kidney beans or Mexican beans
  • ccorn kernels, green or red capsicum (cubed), and
  • reduced fat cheese or reduced fat plain yoghurt.

Pizza facesHomemade pizza – mix and match any combination of:

  • mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, capsicum, spinach leaves, corn, or roast pumpkin
  • skinless/lean roast meat, or lean ham
  • reduced fat mozzarella/feta/parmesan cheese or Greek yoghurt, and
  • herbs and spices.


Homemade ‘open grills’ on an English muffin or toast base, with a variety of toppings similar to pizza toppings above.


Gourmet toasted sandwiches made with a choice of the fillings, such as:

  • savoury mince or chilli con carne mix with grated carrot, or
  • bean mix, with corn and reduced fat cheese, or
  • chicken, spinach, onion and sweet chilli sauce, or
  • lean ham, tomato, reduced fat cheese and pineapple.


Fried chips/wedges

Baked potatoBaked potatoes with a choice of fillings such as:

  • bolognaise/chilli con carne sauce, or
  • mix of tuna, corn and light sour cream, or
  • mix of tomato paste, crushed pineapple, ham and reduced fat cheese.


Oven baked homemade wedges dusted with mixed
herbs/paprika, served with:

  • tomato salsa and a sprinkle of reduced fat grated cheese, or
  • reduced fat Greek yoghurt, or reduced fat sour cream and a little sweet chilli sauce.

Chicken and vegetable pasta bake in take away tray

Pasta dishes made with:

  • a selection of  penne, fettuccini, gnocchi, or macaroni pasta (wholemeal pasta is best)
  • commercial tomato-based pasta sauce or evaporated milk
  • a variety of vegetables (e.g. sautéed onions, mushrooms, grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, broccoli, capsicum, zucchini, or chickpeas)
  • chopped lean meat, skinless chicken or seafood
  • flavouring such as garlic, mixed herbs or basil, and
  • topped with a sprinkle of grated reduced fat cheese.
Fried rice 

Take away tub of fried riceHomemade fried rice made with:

  • basmati rice or brown rice
  • chopped boiled eggs (or sliced egg omelette) and chopped lean ham or shredded skinless chicken
  • corn kernels, green peas, diced tomatoes, capsicum, and/or onion/shallots
  • a small splash of light soy sauce.


Cold foods

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White bread sandwiches/wraps/ focaccia with processed or crumbed meats


(e.g. sausage, frankfurt, salami, bacon)

sushi rollsSushi (no deep fried ingredients)


Rice paper rolls with any combination of:

  • soaked rice noodles
  • sliced skinless chicken, roast beef, lean ham, tuna in spring water, or sliced boiled eggs
  • grated carrot, bean shoots, chopped bok choy/spinach, and
  • a little sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Chicken burger


Wholemeal sandwiches/rolls/wraps with any combination of:

  • lean meats (e.g. skinless chicken breast or thigh fillets, reduced salt ham, tuna in spring water, or roast beef)
  • salad/cooked vegetables (e.g. sliced tomato, red onion, mushrooms, beetroot, grated carrot, lettuce leaves, roast pumpkin or capsicum), and
  • reduced fat cheese.



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Popcorn (highly salted, butter, caramel etc)

Corn cobs on sticksCanteen-made popcorn (plain or lightly dusted with cinnamon).


Corn cobs with dipping sauce.


Canned baked beans/spaghetti.


Reduced fat cheese sticks.


Wholemeal rice or corn cakes/crackers served plain, or with any combination of toppings such as:

  • canned tuna in spring water, lean ham, chicken
  • tomato and avocado
  • reduced fat cheese, or
  • banana and cinnamon.

Pita chipsReduced fat cheese and grainy cracker packs


Pita chips with dips such as:

  • tomato salsa, or
  • reduced fat tzatziki, or
  • hummus and sweet chilli, or
  • reduced fat Greek yoghurt, or
  • reduced fat sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.

bag of trail mixDried fruit and nut mix (in zip lock bags or patty cake cases)


Seasonal fruit and apple slinkies


Mixed fruit salad (serve in cups or ice cream cones)


Fruit kebabs with reduced fat yoghurt (as a dipping sauce)


Canned fruit in natural juice.

Sweet cakes/ muffins/slices Fruit crumble - click for recipe

Fresh or canned fruit (in natural juice), with reduced fat yoghurt or custard.


Reduced fat yoghurt with muesli topping.


Reduced fat rice pudding.


Un-iced fruit/currant buns.


Warm fruit toast or English muffin base with:

  • ricotta, sliced banana and cinnamon, or
  • light spread of margarine.


Fruit crumble - try the following method:

  • bake fruits such as apple, berries, peach, banana, nectarines or pears
  • top with natural muesli and cinnamon or mixed spice (before baking), and
  • once fruit is cooked (soft), serve with reduced fat custard.
Ice creams/ice blocks Frozen fruit cup, and fruit pieces on a stick

Reduced fat yoghurt and fruit pops (made on site).


Frozen fruit pieces.


Frozen 100% fruit juice pops (no larger than 125ml).



High sugar content soft drink

Plain, mineral and soda water.


At least 99% fruit juice (no added sugar and no larger than 250mL)

Full fat plain or flavoured milk

Cups of fruit smoothiesReduced fat plain or flavoured milk (containing no more than 900kj per serve sold).


Smoothies, made with any combination of:

  • reduced fat milk
  • reduced fat yoghurt (plain, vanilla or fruit flavoured)
  • fresh, frozen or canned fruit in natural juice (e.g. bananas or peaches) and cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice.
Flavoured or sports water Plain water (Still or carbonated)


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