A Better Choice: Healthy food and drink catering guidelines

A Better Choice Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Health Facilities (A Better Choice) aims to increase the availability of healthier foods and drinks in hospitals, community health centres and office buildings. The strategy applies to all situations where foods and/or drinks are supplied to staff, visitors and the general public including: canteens or kiosks, vending machines, catering, fundraising activities, events or prizes.

Foods and drinks have been classified into GREENAMBER and RED categories according to their nutritional value:

The GREEN category includes foods and drinks low in saturated fat, sugar, and/or salt and rich in nutrients such as breads and cereals; vegetables; fruit; reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese; lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes, and water.

The AMBER category includes foods and drinks that are mainly processed and have some sugar, salt and/or fat added to them. Large servings should be avoided and they are not to dominate the menu choices.

The RED category includes foods and drinks that contribute excess energy (kilojoules) to the diet and have minimal nutritional value, such as soft drinks, confectionery, fried foods and pastries. These foods are limited to no more than 20 per cent of the choices displayed and cannot be stocked in vending machines, supplied at functions or meetings, or used for fundraising purposes.