The Lennox Head Public School P&C Canteen has received a prize in the ‘Quality Award in the Keeping People Healthy’ category from Health NSW, Northern NSW Local Health District.
By the start of 2020 all schools in NSW have to comply with the Implementing the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy. The new system moves from an old ‘Traffic Light’ system that rated canteen food on a basis of green (good /always), amber (everyday) and red (occasional / treats), to a new healthier ‘everyday’ menu where the kids make their own call on selections.
Principal Deb Langfield said, ‘The school has always valued and supported healthy catering and physical activity with our student body, so when approached by nutritionist and local Health Promotion Officer Anna Huddy of NSW Health, the P&C prioritised our canteen as the test-school for the Northern Rivers.’
The challenge: create healthier menu options, that not only fit the new guidelines but the kids would actually like to eat. With Anna’s guidance and assistance offering nutritional information, Canteen Supervisor Sue Tatum got to cooking-up trial menus to test with the kids.
Sue said, ‘The kids at the experimental tastings were very willing to have a go at a variety of different things they might not have tried before, and while they did especially like many new items, this did not necessarily convert to actually moving off the shelf when selling at the canteen, so more tweaking and changes were required.
‘And, so on it went, until we found the best menu-balance of nutritional, appealing and popular. The success of the new menu, particularly the tasty salads, even also has more school staff now purchasing lunches from the canteen.’
The award is a testament to Lennox’s effort to move so quickly (within 2 Terms) to become the first school in the state to submit and have their menu approved, and now is the benchmark for other schools to follow.
Deb concludes, ‘The award was an additional bonus. I am incredibly proud of the continual tireless team efforts of Sue’s work, the P&C committee, along with all the parents and even grandparents who voluntary contribute to help to make our canteen a great success’.