Planning your menu

The healthy foods and drinks available in the school environment can play an important role in shaping student’s lifelong eating habits.

Use the information and tools below to plan or review a menu that’s in line with the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy, including:

  • in-school food services, such as the canteen or tuckshop, curriculum activities, sports days, special events and breakfast clubs
  • external school food services that supply foods and drinks to students in Victorian primary and secondary schools, such as local businesses, cafes, milk bars, caterers and mobile food outlets
  • vending machines.

You can also learn more about the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy and how to make changes in your canteen with our FREE online or face to face training. Visit Training options for more information.

Or contact us for further support.


Menu planning resources

Introduction to the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy
The policy assists schools to provide a variety nutritious foods and drinks to students.

It is recommended for all Victorian Government schools, independent schools and Catholic schools.


Steps to increasing GREEN and removing RED items


Make money not waste (FOCIS, PDF)

Get some great tips on how to make money not waste whilst keeping fruit and veg the heroes of your menu.


Food safety and allergies

Get on top of food safety and food allergies in your school canteen with these helpful sites.


Breaking even and beyond: Tips for a healthy and profitable canteen

Get the low down on how to make healthy changes in your school canteen without affecting the bottom line.


Online training - Healthy Eating Advisory Service
Learn how to have a healthy and successful school canteen that meets the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy. You'll learn simple swaps for healthier recipes, winning meal and snack ideas, plus how to save time and money for sales success.


Online training - FOCIS (opens in a new window)
Learn more about setting up and running a school canteen, promotion and pricing, safe food preparation, and general healthy menu planning.

Cost: $90 plus GST



Recipe costing template
Use this template to work out the cost of making a food or drink item, and set a suitable selling price to make a profit for your canteen.


Choosing a new menu item

Simple steps to select the most appropriate, popular and cost-effective items for your food service menu.


Canteen health check (FOCIS)

The Canteen health check will guide your school through some self-analysis. By objectively considering the situation, you can identify the most important issues impacting on your canteen and then begin considering possible courses of action. 




Sample menus

Get some inspiration to plan your next healthy menu!

These examples meet the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy because they only contain Everyday (Green) and Select Carefully (Amber) options, without any Occasionally (Red) items or confectionery and high sugar content soft drinks (Black).





Marlborough Primary School


St Joseph's Primary School

  Lucknow Primary School

Sample primary school menu


Sample secondary school menu

Sample primary school menu   Sample secondary school menu    



Healthy eating and oral health policy
(Word document, opens in a new window)

Having a Healthy Eating and Oral Health Policy in your school will help ensure sustainable changes are embedding within your school.  

This policy template is editable, but we have also provided content that you can use in your own policy.

Developed in collaboration with the Western Australia School Canteen Association and The Victorian Healthy Schools Achievement Program




School canteen/catering/vending contract
(Word document, opens in a new window)

This template is an example of how you can include the Victorian School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy in tenders, contracts and leases with food service providers.


This policy template is editable, but we have also provided content that you can use in your own contract. 

Action plan template
After identifying areas for improvement in your school food service, use this practical template to plan what needs to be changed, how you will make those changes, plan your resources and estimate your timeline.


Phase in, phase out template
Helps you to identify how you will phase out foods and drinks from your school food service, and how new healthy products will be introduced.


'At a glance' food and drink planner (A3 poster)
This poster helps you select appropriate food and drinks for your school at a glance. It lists many common items under each category, plus information on confectionery and high sugar content drinks. 




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