A primary school’s canteen in Rockingham has been rated as the healthiest among Catholic schools in Western Australia.
Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School has been awarded a four-star rating in the Star Canteen Accreditation Program 2 (StarCAP2) Accreditation with a 93 per cent score.
The rating placed the 722-pupil school second overall in the state.
StarCAP2 is a program that awards schools for operating healthy canteens by using a star rating, based on best management practice and current legislative requirements.
Tracy Skipworth, Star of the Sea Canteen Manager, has worked tirelessly over the past two years to produce a wide selection of healthy food and her hard work has paid off with the recognition and reward of the four-star status.
Principal Steve Dowie said the students benefitted from the introduction of a school-wide healthy eating program, which removed all “red light” food from the school’s canteen menu by significantly reducing sugar and salt from the available food items.
“We are also very proud of our parents and school community who have supported and promoted a healthy lunch box initiative, eliminating unhealthy snacks and processed foods as well as supporting waste wise initiatives that reuse, recycle and reduce,” he said.
“School canteens are significant sources of food for many students.
“They should not only provide foods which supply essential nutrients to ensure normal growth of children, but should also reinforce the nutrition component of the school curriculum in a manner consistent with the health promoting school framework.”
Mr Dowie said school canteens provide a positive role model to students who are developing their eating habits.
The Healthy Food and Drink “Traffic Light” Choices Policy was introduced in 2006 by the WA Government.
StarCAP2 provides guidance about which processed food products are suitable for sale in school canteens and has since been colour coded to “green” or “amber”.
The schools accredited demonstrate that the majority of sales are from “green” foods; only food recommended by StarCAP2 will be sold by the Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School’s canteen.
“Food produced from our Student Sustainability Program and School Garden Centre is also used in our school canteen. Waste food is collected by our children and composted, or fed to our worms or chickens,” Mr Dowie added.
“Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School supports a broad and balanced curriculum and as part of guiding our students in the way of truth and goodness we encourage self-esteem, respect, good choices and healthy nutrition to feed the body and the mind.”