School Confectionery Guidelines

The School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy was released in October 2006. It explains the guiding principles - including food selection, food categories and food safety - and the role of the school council in developing a school food services policy. In response to concerns raised by both parents and schools about the issue of healthy eating and the lack of nutritional value of confectionery, the policy states that:

"Confectionery is of minimal nutritional value. From 2009, no confectionery should be supplied through school food services".

The School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy applies to food services within the school environment, for example school events such as celebrations and sports days, vending machines and foods used in curriculum activities.

For a complete copy of policy see: School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy

What is confectionery?

"Confectionery can be defined as a small snack, chocolate or lolly - often sized for individual consumption - of minimal nutritional value and with sugar as a main ingredient. Common names for confectionery include lollies, candy or sweets. Confectionery comes in a variety of shapes, textures from jelly-like, soft and chewy to hard and brittle."

The definition of confectionery used here has been tailored specifically for the use of school food services and has taken into consideration the definitions used by a variety of sources, including canteen food registration programs, school canteen associations, government agencies and industry and academic texts and references 1,2,3,4,5 as outlined below in the Rationale for the introduction of the School Confectionery Guidelines.

The sugar can be in any of its possible forms, some of which are sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, dextrose, maltose, maltodextrin, glucose syrups, fruit sugar, syrups, sugar-derived products such as molasses or treacle, icing sugar and invert sugar.

Confectionery can also be made with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol, isomalt and polydextrose. Confectionery may consist of a blend of sugar or artificial sweetener, milk powder, hardened vegetable oil and various flavourings. All lollies and chocolates, containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, are included in this definition of confectionery.

There are also products, such as small tubs of jelly that may not necessarily have sugar as a main ingredient, but have minimal nutritional value. They are often sold in a small serve size and marketed as lollies. These types of products are also considered to be confectionery within this definition.

For a list of examples see: Examples of Foods Considered to be Confectionery (PDF - 76Kb) (pdf - 76kb)

Invert sugar is a mixture of equal parts of glucose and fructose resulting from the hydrolysis of sucrose. It is found naturally in fruits and honey and produced artificially for use in the food industry.

Implementing the School Confectionery Guidelines

For guidance on implementing the School Confectionery Guidelines including tips and answers to frequently asked questions, see: Implementing the School Confectionery Guidelines (PDF - 358Kb) (pdf - 357.87kb)

Rationale for the introduction of the School Confectionery Guidelines

A review of the literature has been undertaken to inform the development of the School Confectionery Guidelines, see: Rationale for the Introduction of the School Confectionery Guidelines (PDF - 104Kb) (pdf - 103.91kb)

More information

To view the Food Planner as a complete document, see: Download Healthy Canteen Kit

See also, Food Ideas for Home and School to find some of the healthy recipes from the canteen manual.