Healthy canteen menu keeps kids happy

HEALTHY CHOICES: Cowper Public School canteen co-ordinators Ian Versace (left) and Sherrie Piper (right) with students and healthy tuck shop options.
HEALTHY CHOICES: Cowper Public School canteen co-ordinators Ian Versace (left) and Sherrie Piper (right) with students and healthy tuck shop options. Jarrard Potter

WHILE the chocolate cupcakes and chips may be off the menu at the Cowper Public School canteen, the empty bowls and long lines are proof the students don't seem to mind the healthy direction the tuck shop is taking.

Since taking over as canteen co-ordinators, Ian Versace and Sherrie Piper have made an effort to adopt the NSW Department of Health's Healthy School Canteen strategy, and the school officially signed on to the program on Friday last week.

"Everything that they had on the Healthy Canteen program was what we were doing anywhere, so we thought we'd definitely get on board with it,” Mr Versace said.

"We get a lot of the recipes from the Healthy School Canteen website, and we modify them if we need to. Things like burgers and chicken burgers, you can put a lot of veggies in them and the kids won't know about it. I think it's about making the food healthier for them without beating them over the head with it.”

Mr Versace said while at first there was some resistance, the change has now been welcomed, with fresh home-made baked goods and weekly changing specials a hit among kids and parents alike.

"We like to try something different, and we have a seasonal menu too,” he said.

Topics:  cowper public school healthy canteen healthy food school canteen

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