Parents are confused after one mum was told this food item was not an acceptable lunch box snack, despite what the note actually advises.

The note received quite clearly states that fresh/dried fruit and vegetables ARE an acceptable lunch item.  So why was this mum told that sultanas were unacceptable because they were high in sugar?


In March we shared that a Melbourne mum was told her daughter’s greek yoghurt and vegemite biscuit snacks were deemed unhealthy according to her kindergarten’s policy.

In the past parents have expressed concern that constant policing of children’s food will encourage an unhealthy relationship with eating at a young age. Other parents say schools are setting unreasonable expectations, and what matters is that children are getting fed – not what’s on the menu.

Of course there are some food items that should never be in a children’s lunchbox – as this mum discovered!

We do know that more than 30,000 Australian children are severely obese, according to a national study into childhood health.

Previously we shared that a UK Principal was disappointed that parents send their child to school with a “cold McDonald’s” for lunch.

We also recently shared that school groundskeepers have been ordered to dob in overweight state school students to welfare workers with the Education Department saying obesity is a ‘child protection issue’. Read that article here.

Healthy eating policy

The Right Bite and healthy eating policy classifies food and drink into three categories according to their nutritional or ‘healthy eating’ value.

Green foods

Green category foods and drinks are the healthiest choices. Schools and preschools are encouraged to provide as many choices as possible from this category.

Amber foods

Amber category foods and drinks are more processed with some added salt, sugar or fat. Schools and preschools are encouraged to select carefully from this category.

Red foods

Red category foods and drinks are highly processed, energy dense and nutrient poor. These are banned from sale in government school canteens and vending machines at all times.

Find a full list of the foods here. We were quite shocked, to say the least, at some of the items in red and amber. Including, honey, jam and vegemite. Plus tomato sauce and mayonnaise!

What does your child usually have in their lunch on a regular basis? Does it pass the healthy eating policy?

Share your comments below.

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  • they can make their guidelines and recommendations but then back off and let the parents deal with it


  • My youngest son would be given a vegemite or cheese sandwich for lunch with a fruit box and a muesli bar. I always gave him what he asked for but he would only eat the muesli bar.


  • Mum made our jam and she never put as much sugar as the recipe stated. She only put in about 2/3 of it in. When I was old enough I sometimes helped to cut up the fruit and took turns in stirring the jam while it was cooking. She always made large batches in a large container – Mum called it a Jam Pan – in imperial weight it was 12 pounds of fruit in one batch. It had to be boiled for an hour. ( “bubbling” for an hour after it started to boil – no so fast that it splashed).


  • So glad my children are adults now …school lunch boxes would give me a brain drain.


  • So sad to see the PC police interfering in the child’s lunch box. Most mothers only put in what is good for their child in moderation – bet it wasn’t in there every day.


  • A child in my eldest daughter’s class has a gold Macca’s burger in her lunchbox at least twice a week!!!


  • I’m actually not surprised jam is a no no. Very high in sugar! But generally I think schools should offer general advice in school newsletters and stay out of individual lunch boxes.


  • I’m forever thankful to my Mum who, back in the 50’s schooled my tastebuds to prefer savoury flavours. My lunch box included cold pieces of steak, cold chops, cold sausages, cold roast, pickled onions, dill cucumbers (thanks to the pickling skills of our German next door neighbour), cucumber, lettuce, celery, carrot, cheese, cold boiled potato “sandwiches” (slices of potato sandwiched with a smear of butter) and 2 or 3 pieces of fruit. Obviously not everything every day. Occasionally there were also a few pickled olives (courtesy of an Italian neighbour) and a slice or two of Mum’s homemade potato, herb, tomato or cheese bread (not just cheese sprinkled on top). Even today I keep a large jar of dill pickles, celery, carrots and cucumber on hand for snacking. Never liked jam. Only keep a jar in the cupboard for visitors.


  • Dried fruit by it self can be very sweet. Though it is still better then some of the other foods served. I prefer fresh fruit as more fibre .


  • Leave the kids lunchbox alone. Let the kids eat whatever their parents deem suitable for them to eat (excluding allergy-type foods). A school/teacher has no right to judge the situation that has led to that lunchbox. We should be celebrating those that have a lunchbox and be more concerned about those kids that don’t have any lunch.


  • Totally silly. Sultanas are not that bad.


  • Sometimes I have to put naughty foods in my sons lunchbox he has always been a picky eater & i have to choose between no food all day or something naughty
    I still put healthy food in with the naughty ( i can always hope)


  • Saltanas are better than a mars bar. Pick your battles.


  • Personally I think sultanas are indeed high in sugar. I don’t mind to use them here and there in a home baked fruit loaf, but I wouldn’t give a hand full of sultanas to my kids.
    I’m amazed that some of these foods are seen as healthy (like English muffins, pita bread, crumpets, custard, canned fruit).
    These list should just be used as a guideline. And some people might want some education on this, but I don’t think you can force this on people


  • Schools have taken food policing way to far!!! How about teaching the kids to read and write? That would be a nice change . I have had to teach my grandchildren to read as it seems this is no longer classed as a teachers job. Nor do they get taught how to spell.


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