Tuckshop Convenors – How is your menu faring?
As school tuckshop/ canteen convenors, many of you will have just gone through the process of preparing your menus for term 1 2013! No doubt you are all now fully in the swing of preparing these menus in your tuckshop. It is however, it is a good idea to review your menu 2-3 weeks into the term to check how it is going. Here are some things to consider: What is your situation and capacity to prepare and store potential menu items. Reflect on your menu, are you managing ok? If not, consider making some of your more involved menu items, weekly specials. You could also reduce the size of your menu by cutting out some AMBER items.
Double check your menu is consistent with the Smart Choices Strategy.
Label reading can be confusing and products can change composition. Sometimes items or ingredients you thought were AMBER are actually RED. It is good practice to double check that you are not supplying any RED items. Pay particular attention to the serve size of your packaged snacks and drinks. Contact our Food Smart Schools team on (07) 3257 4393 or via email – [email protected] if you need some assistance.
Is your menu dominated by GREEN items?
By reducing AMBER items and having more GREEN items on your menu you decrease the “competition” against GREEN items and send the right message to students and parents.
Our top tips to make sure your menu is dominated by GREEN items are:
- Reduce the number of amber items on the menu
- Make some AMBER foods only available on certain days of the week
- Offer more variety by including a variety of daily green style specials to reduce the amount of preparation work needed each day
Items are unlikely to sell if you do not promote them. Think about:
- Promotion (eg – specials, meal deals, catchy names, posters, photos)
Are the products you sell at your canteen/ tuckshop in line with the intent of the Smart Choices Strategy?
When developing the Smart Choices strategy it was difficult to know in advance all the types of products food industry would develop and adapt for schools. So when making a decision about whether to include a product on your menu, ask yourself “Is this in line with what the strategy is trying to achieve?” If you can not easily answer this question, the product probably is best left off your menu.
Check Your Menu – Food Smart Schools Menu Reviews
Food Smart Schools tuckshop and canteen menu reviews are the most comprehensive in Queensland. Schools are provided with:
- An individualised written report, highlighting areas of success and detailing any areas for improvement.
- An outline of your current menu composition
- Meal, snack and serving suggestions tailored to your school.
Food Smart Schools Dietitians can provide ongoing support to assist you with implementing suggested changes following the menu review. Visit our menu review page for more information today.
Food Smart Schools understands the importance for school tuckshops and canteens to be recognised for their hard work in improving menus. Schools that have had their menu reviewed by Food Smart Schools may have the opportunity to display the Food Smart Schools menu review stamp on their menu.