Goodbye, junk food! Zig Zag Public School has been recognised as the first official ‘green canteen’ in the Lithgow region.
After multiple meetings between Zig Zag Public and health authorities, the school has created a healthy canteen menu for its students.
The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy is a key initiative to support the ‘Premier Priority’ to tackle childhood obesity.
The priority’s aim is that, by having a healthy canteen, schools ensure to develop students’ healthy eating habits, which will have a long-term impact on improving their lives.
Zig Zag Public School administrative manager Tracey Dewar put in the hard work into getting Zig Zag Public to be a healthy school canteen.
“I had to send our old menu to Nepean [health district] and they advised us what we needed to change so I kept submitting different menus to NSW Health until we achieved the required outcome,” she said.
The new menu offers sugar free juices, ice blocks, corn cobs instead of nuggets and more fruit and sandwiches.
“We promote the healthier options. Sausage rolls and pies are still available but we don’t promote them, we offer salads and sandwiches instead,” Ms Dewar said.
She also said the decision to have a green canteen was an easy one to make.
“We’ve always been into healthy initiatives such as recycling, gardening and we’ve got our own chooks and also run the Stephanie Alexander kitchen program. It all goes together, hand in hand,” she said.
Ms Dewar also said the green canteen allowed students to get into healthy eating habits.
“It’s good for the kids to eat healthy at school and teaches them to continue it at home, it even introduces them to foods they might not always get to eat at home,” she said.
The school also receives $30 worth of fresh fruit from Woolworths Lithgow each week which allows kids who didn’t bring fruit in or didn’t like what they had, to still have a healthy nibble.
Zig Zag Public school principal Vicki Gillmore said she was thrilled to have the first official healthy school canteen in the Lithgow region.
“I am very proud and I’d like to thank Tracey for all her hard work in getting this done and Nepean Health for being very supportive of us. We are all about healthy living at Zig Zag Public.”
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