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Long day care

What policy or guidelines will my menu be assessed against?

Long day care menus are assessed against the Healthy Eating Advisory Service’s Menu planning guidelines for long day care.

These guidelines outline criteria for main meals, morning tea, afternoon tea and drinks to plan a menu for children aged 1-5 years old. 

Read more about long day care menu assessments.



Can I assess my menu for outside school hours care (OSHC) service, family day care, pre-school or kindergarten?

Not at the moment. For guidelines, advice and support with providing healthy food and drinks in early childhood services, visit our website.



Can I assess just one recipe on my long day care menu?

FoodChecker looks at all the foods and drinks supplied on the menu for one day or one week.

For advice and suggestions on making individual meals and snacks healthier, visit our website.

Read more about long day care menu assessments.



How do I add a second course to my long day care menu?

If your long day care centre provides a second course after lunch, enter this meal in the 'lunch' section. When asked, select 'no' to the vegetarian meal question.




What policy or guidelines will my menu be assessed against?

Use FoodChecker to plan healthy canteen menus that meet the Victorian Government’s School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy.

The Policy classifies foods and drinks based on their nutritional content:

  • Everyday (Green) foods and drinks are the healthiest options, and they should make up at least 50% of the menu.
  • Select carefully (Amber) foods and drinks provide some nutritional value, but they can also be higher in energy, and contain added fat, sugar and/or salt. They should make up less than 50% of the menu, and they should be provided in smaller serving sizes.
  • Occasionally (Red) foods and drinks are the least healthy, and they should not be on the regular canteen menu. Occasionally items should be limited to being available in the school no more than twice per term.
  • Confectionery and high sugar content soft drinks should not be provided in schools at any time.

Learn more about the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy here.



Retail food outlets, catering and vending machines

What policy or guidelines will my foods and drinks be assessed against?

FoodChecker assesses retail food outlet menus, catering menus and vending machines against the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines. These guidelines use a traffic light classification system to categorise foods and drinks as GREEN, AMBER, or RED based on their nutritional content.

Retail outlet menus, catering menus and vending machines should have at least 50% GREEN food and drinks items, and no more than 20% RED. And only GREEN and AMBER food and drinks should be supplied in catering.

Read more about assessing retail outlet menus, catering and vending machines.



How do I count the number of items in my retail food outlet menu, drinks fridge or vending machine?

Use this guide  (PDF 778KB) to understand how to count food and drink items when doing a retail outlet menu assessment in FoodChecker.

This will ensure the percentages of GREEN, AMBER and RED food and drinks are calculated accurately according to the Healthy Choices guidelines.



Product assessments

How are products classified? What criteria are used?

FoodChecker classifies products as GREEN, AMBER, RED or BLACK using criteria from the Victorian Government’s School Canteen and Other School Food Services Policy and the Healthy Choices guidelines.

There are two ways to find out a product’s classification in FoodChecker:

  1. Search the database to find products that have already been classified
  2. Assess a product yourself by entering information from the packaging, such as serve size, energy, sugar, sodium, etc. How to classify products.

Find out more about the criteria below:



I think a product is classified wrong

We have taken care to ensure that classifications are accurate, however product information can change, and unforeseen errors may occur.

If you believe a classification is incorrect please first check the product’s information against the classification criteria below to confirm if whether or not it is classified correctly:

If you still believe a product classification is incorrect, please report an error here. We will review your report within 3-5 business days and let you know if any action needs to be taken.



I want to provide feedback on the classification criteria

Please note: The School Canteen and Other School Food Services Policy and the Healthy Choices guidelines were developed and are managed by the Victorian Government, not the Healthy Eating Advisory Service or Nutrition Australia Vic Division.

If you would like to provide feedback to the Victorian Government on the School Canteen and Other School Food Services Policy and/or the Healthy Choices guidelines, please send an email here and your comments will be passed on to the appropriate contact.



I can't find a product in the database – now what?

If you would like to assess a product that is not in the database, you can classify it by entering some information from the packaging. 

From the ‘Search product’ screen, click ‘Assess new product’, then select a category and complete the form. (TIP: If you are logged in, click ‘Save product’ to use it again in future.)

How to assess products.



I’m from a food or beverage company and would like to have my product range included in your database – can you help me?

If you are interested in having your company's foods and drinks listed on FoodChecker, please complete this expression of interest form.



I'm from a food or beverage company and our product/s have been classified. Where did you get the product information from?

Most information about the branded food and drink products in FoodChecker are supplied by an external database, but we also add other products at our discretion.

All product information is either sourced direct from the company or via publicly available information, such as packaging and websites.

If you would like to report an error, or to query a classification, please contact us.



Why are there multiple versions of the same item which I search for products (e.g., 1 bottle and 1 serve)?

In December 2019, we upgraded our product database to add thousands of branded food and drink products to FoodChecker.

Initially you’ll see multiple versions of most items, such as ‘1 bottle’ and ‘1 serve’ of an orange juice, or ‘1 bag’ and ‘1 serve’ of chips, etc.

Our main priority has been to provide you with a larger range of products to search from. Now that’s done, over the next few months we’ll make a few more improvements so it’s even easier to find the products you’re looking for.

We appreciate your patience as we put the cherry on top of this impressive upgrade!

Learn more about the database upgrade.




Can someone from Nutrition Australia complete my assessment for me?

We hope that this tool will be easy and simple enough for you to complete your assessment yourself. However if you’d prefer us to complete the assessment, please contact Nutrition Australia Vic Division on 03 8341 5800 or email us. Please note this service will attract a fee.