As students return to school, parents are facing their own challenge- what to pack in their child’s lunchbox. Heading to platforms like TikTok and Instagram, parents are met by videos of elaborate bento boxes and aesthetic offerings, but the Federation of Canteens in Schools (Focis) reminds parents that they don’t have to do it all.

No longer just a place for a Friday lunchtime treat, the school canteen provides healthy lunch and snack options.

“We want children to be eating healthy foods every day. You can still use canteens as a treat because there are lots of healthy foods that are also treat foods. Hot dishes on a cold winter’s day which is just not going to work in a lunchbox such as a stir fry, curry or casserole, something like that can be an absolute treat and still be healthy,” says Leanne Elliston, nutritionist and chairperson of Focis.

Focis is a national organisation dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing in school through the provision of healthy food. Their goal is to see schools across the nation come together, collaborate and operate under the same healthy food guidelines.

“We want to try and encourage the states to mandate that, some states do have food and drinks policies, but they’re not necessarily mandated. We know when they are mandated, there’s that means of measurement and we can assess and find out what schools are doing well and what schools need support to provide those healthy options.”

Read the full article here: Not just a treat, school canteens offer healthy options | Canberra Daily