Assess a school canteen menu

How to:

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

When you review your school menu in FoodChecker, 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 your menu is doing well, and it includes recommendations for healthier changes.

We recommend that you learn more about the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy before using FoodChecker. We have provided a very brief summary below:


About the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy

The Victorian Department's of Education and Training's School Canteens and Other School Food Services 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.

You can learn more about the School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy 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

  1. Sign in
  3. Select “Assess full menu”
  4. Enter a name for the menu, and select “Retail” or “Catering”

To enter recipes and individual items

  1. Click ADD A RECIPE
  2. Select the category.
  3. Enter the recipe or item name such as “chicken stir fry” or “apple slices”.
  4. Enter the number of serves, and answer any Yes/No questions on screen.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.)


Drinks fridge

Diet Coke, 1 position = add to menu once
Just Juice, 2 positions = add to menu twice


Display case

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

  2. Search the list for the recipe you want, then click ADD.
  3. A recipe will appear and you can edit the name, serves, ingredients or quantities.
  4. Click ADD TO YOUR MEALS when finished.

To add branded products

  1. Click ADD A PRODUCT
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.

  4. When you have finished, click ADD TO PRODUCT LIST

Using a saved product

  1. Click ADD A PRODUCT, and select the category
  2. Click the SAVED PRODUCT tab, and find the item you want from the list, then click ADD.

To finish assessment

  1. 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.)
  2. Your assessment report will appear on screen. 
  3. Click SAVE ASSESSMENT AS PDF to save a copy of this report.