Queensland schools are facing tighter restrictions on tuckshop classics like choc-chip muffins and potato chips raising concerns that school P&Cs will lose revenue.
Stringent new tuckshop rules will see the enforcement of foods like chicken nuggets being sold with some kind of vegetable or salad, whilst all items with added confectionary being classified as “red” and sold only twice a school term. The new guidelines will come into effect in term 3 in Queensland.
Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) executive services manager Chris Ogden said tuckshops were advised to avoid selling red items completely.
“I do think ultimately it will be better for schools. This will encourage a lot more cooking on site which means volunteers and workers will know the quality of the ingredients going into the products,” she said.
But P & Cs Queensland Chief Executive officer Kevan Goodworth said he was concerned tuckshops would lose thousands of dollars in revenue, which would affect the running of the whole school.
“We need to have healthy tuckshops but it’s really a complex issue in that many secondary schools have other food outlets just outside the front door,” he said. “If they can sell things that tuckshops can’t then the students will vote with their feet.”
This is the first change in 10 years to the Smart Choices guidelines for Queensland tuckshops, and they have been made to more closely align the strategy to the current Australian Dietary Guidelines and the National Healthy Schools Canteen Guidelines.
Nutrition Australia Queensland dietitian Amelia Webster said it was important tuckshops provided healthy food, and showed how it could be tasty and appealing to children.
“Schools have a role in promoting healthy eating and providing an environment that supports healthy choices,” she said. “The availability of healthy food in schools reinforces the healthy eating and nutrition messages taught in the classroom.”
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