Alterations to the way WA schools encourage balanced ingesting for kids have prompted considerations that junk food stuff such as chips, delicate drinks and lollies could creep back on to college canteen menus.
The Wellbeing Office not too long ago awarded a $3.7 million contract to Victorian-primarily based organisation Nourishment Australia to supply a “whole of university healthy having program” — snubbing the WA College Canteen Association, which has sent the Condition Government’s healthy food items and drink coverage in educational institutions for the past 15 decades.
Whilst the new program is expected to go on a targeted visitors mild program categorising food alternatives as green for wholesome, amber for occasional, or crimson for junk, there are fears the new provider will change WA’s criteria.
“At a school degree, that might mean the wellbeing of our youngsters is impacted due to the fact we could have some harmful products coming into schools which have at this time not been there,” WASCA chief government Megan Sauzier reported.
“The website traffic light program is a bit distinct in Victoria. Pink foods, for example, which are comfortable beverages, lollies and chips, are off the menu in WA and have been off the menu from 2007, whereas in Victoria you’re permitted to have red foods two times a term.”
Nutrition Australia is nevertheless to release whole aspects of its strategy, but insists there would be no speedy alterations to WA’s website traffic light-weight standards.
“We will implement the conditions the WA government would like us to apply,” Nourishment Australia’s Victorian nutritious consuming advisory company system supervisor Margaret Rozman reported.
Ms Sauzier mentioned the conclusion to disregard WASCA’s exceptional monitor record and knowledge to award the tender to an interstate organisation intended its funding had been slashed by 41 for each cent, significantly decreasing its capacity to assist faculties and assess their canteen menus.
“We glimpse ahead to viewing what is designed . . . but right up until that company is set up, we’re not sure what that will look like and there’s likely to be a hole in the providers universities are applied to obtaining,” she claimed. “Anything that improves the load on school or canteen team is most likely to have a destructive effect.”
Pania Turner, president of the WA Council of State Faculty Organisations — the peak physique for P&C groups which run most school canteens — has composed to Wellbeing Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and Overall health Department director-standard David Russell-Weisz to express her “disappointment at the absence of consultation”, incorporating: “I have issues that assist for developing healthy foodstuff cultures in faculty communities will be much less.”
Ms Turner mentioned canteens were an critical university service. “It is very important that they have accessibility to pro support from individuals who understand WA colleges and the complexities that appear from jogging canteens which are mostly staffed by volunteers,” she mentioned.
A spokeswoman for the Wellness Department stated it done an open up, competitive tender approach to select a program service provider in accordance with WA Government procurement coverage to roll out a complete new whole-of-college wholesome eating method for all WA schools — community and non-public.
“A new internet site for faculties with resources, curriculum products, on the internet coaching and an on line FoodChecker recipe and menu assessment software will be sent, as effectively as telephone, e mail and encounter-to-deal with aid for all school and canteen personnel,” she explained.
“Terms 3 and 4 are a changeover stage, even though the new application is rolled out in total by the get started of the 2023 faculty 12 months.”
The spokeswoman stated supporting West Australians to halt rising obesity concentrations was a important priority for the department.
“Helping young children establish healthier consuming habits while in school is in an essential aspect of the concerted hard work to help the total WA local community reach this goal,” she stated.
The Schooling Division explained the service provider would need to assistance educational institutions to enact the prerequisites of the Healthier Foods and Drink in Community Colleges treatments.