Use FoodChecker to assess and plan healthier menus and vending machines that meet the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines.
After entering all of the foods and drinks in the menu or vending machine you will get a summary of your results on screen, plus a detailed PDF report that you can download and save. Your report will contain feedback on where you're doing well, and it includes recommendations for healthy changes.
We recommend that you learn more about the Healthy Choices guidelines before using FoodChecker.
About the Healthy Choices guidelines
The Healthy Choices guidelines classify foods and drinks based on their nutritional content:
- GREEN (Best choice) foods and drinks are the healthiest category, and they should make up at least 50% of the menu.
- AMBER (Choose carefully) 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 be provided in smaller serving sizes.
- RED (Limit) foods and drinks are the least healthy options. In retail outlets and vending machines, no more than 20% of foods and drinks should be from the RED category. RED foods and drinks should not be provided in workplace catering.
In general, the guidelines require the following:
- Retail outlets and vending machines: At least 50% of the foods and drinks available must be from the GREEN category, and less than 20% of them can be RED .
- Catering in the workplace: Only GREEN and AMBER items should be provided and no RED items.
You can learn more about the Healthy Choices guidelines here.
Before you begin an assessment, we suggest you have the following:
- All recipes written down with the ingredient names, types and quantities.
- The names and nutrition information for any packaged products that you use or offer for sale.
Start new assessment
- Sign in
- Click START NEW ASSESSMENT.
- Select “Assess full menu”
- Enter a name for the menu, and select “Retail” or “Catering”
To enter recipes and individual items
- Click ADD A RECIPE
- Select the category.
- Enter the recipe or item name such as “chicken stir fry” or “apple slices”.
- Enter the number of serves, and answer any Yes/No questions on screen.
- Start typing the first ingredient. A list of matching options will appear. Click on the option that best matches your ingredient. You can type a little or lot of the name. For example, “chick”, “chicken”, “thigh” or “chicken thigh”.
- Enter the amount and unit of measurement.
For example, for 500g type “500”, then select “Grams” from the list. For a 6 apples type “6”, then select “Whole” from the list.
- To add another ingredient, click ADD MORE INGREDIENTS and repeat the steps above.
NOTE: Include all condiments, seasoning or finishes used in the recipe, including salt, sugar and oils/butter.
TIP: Click SAVE TO RECIPE BANK to store this recipe/item.
- Once you have entered all the ingredients, click ADD TO YOUR MEALS.
Fridges and display cases
If a food or drink appears multiple times in a fridge or display case, it must be added to the menu multiple times.
We count the number of ‘positions’ the item takes up, which is the number of times the item is at the front of the display. (It doesn’t matter how many items are in the fridge/case in total.)
Diet Coke, 1 position = add to menu once
Just Juice, 2 positions = add to menu twice
Berry yoghurt, 1 position = add to menu once
Passionfruit yoghurt, 1 position = add to menu once
Fruit salad, 2 positions = add to menu twice.
To add a saved recipe or common recipes
- Click COMMON RECIPES or MY RECIPE BANK.
- Search the list for the recipe you want, then click ADD.
- A recipe will appear and you can edit the name, serves, ingredients or quantities.
- Click ADD TO YOUR MEALS when finished.
To add branded products
- Click ADD A PRODUCT
- Start typing the name of the item. You could enter the brand name, the product name, or the flavour.
For example, if the ingredient is ‘Sample Brand strawberry muesli bar’, you could type any combination of “Sample”, “Brand”, “muesli bar” or “strawberry”.
- A list of matching options will appear. Find your product in the list and click ADD.
If you can’t find your product, click ASSESS NEW PRODUCT.
a) Select the category.
b) Enter the product name.
c) Answer the questions on screen using the nutrition information panel and other information on the packaging. The questions will change depending on what category you have selected.
TIP: Click SAVE PRODUCT to use it in future assessments.
- When you have finished, click ADD TO PRODUCT LIST
Using a saved product
- Click ADD A PRODUCT, and select the category
- Click the SAVED PRODUCT tab, and find the item you want from the list, then click ADD.
To finish assessment
- When you have finished entering recipes and products to the menu, click SUBMIT FOR ASSESSMENT.
(If relevant, answer any question on the next page, then click FINISH ASSESSMENT.)
- Your assessment report will appear on screen.
- Click SAVE ASSESSMENT AS PDF to save a copy of this report.