Occasional food and drinks list
These are mostly foods high in saturated fat, sugars and/or salt and often have little nutritional value. They are not needed as part of a healthy diet, so should be enjoyed only sometimes and in small amounts.
These foods and drinks are always Occasional – even when you make them yourself in the canteen using an approved recipe and ingredients e.g. a carrot cake made with Everyday ingredients and items from the 'Essentials shopping list' is still an Occasional food.
- limit Occasional foods and drinks to no more than ¼ of your menu.
- select the healthiest version of Occasional foods and drinks:
- Choose those with a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 Stars and above.
- keep to the recommended portion sizes.
- sugary drinks should not be sold in NSW schools.
You should be able to find the following Occasional foods with a HSR of 3.5 and above
- sausage rolls.
- muesli bars.
- potato wedges.
- crumbed/coated chicken.
- salty snacks.
Few, if any of these Occasional foods have a HSR of 3.5 and above
- sweet biscuits.
Sugary drinks are those with any types of sugar added to them, except milk
These include drinks sweetened with regular sugar (sucrose), fructose, glucose, honey/syrup and fruit juice concentrates. Examples are:
- soft drinks.
- iced teas.
- flavoured mineral waters.
- sports waters/drinks.
- energy drinks.
- fruit drinks containing less than 99% fruit/vegetable juice.
- cordials with added sugar.
Read our factsheet on Sugary drinks for more information.
Caffeinated drinks should not be sold in primary schools because caffeine is not recommended for children
- coffees (latte/cappuccino/mochas and iced coffees).
- cola or other caffeinated soft drinks (including diet soft drink).
- energy drinks.
Read our factsheet on Caffeinated drinks for more information.
Energy drinks should not to be sold in primary or secondary schools.
Table showing examples of Occasional food and drinks
|Occasional food and drinks category||Examples |
Choose products with a HSR of 3.56 stars and above
|Hot potato products and savoury pastries (do not deep-fry)|
|Savoury breads and instant noodles|
|Cakes, muffins, sweet pastries and biscuits; chocolate and confectionery|
|Snacks: flavoured savoury biscuits, savoury and sweet snack foods|
|Desserts and ice-creams|
Foods made with any of the above items are Occasional meals.
Examples of Occasional mixed meals
- chicken tenders and lettuce sandwich (crumbed chicken).
- salami and cheese sandwich (salami).
- tempura prawn sushi roll (crumbed seafood).
- beef and bacon burger (bacon).
- smoothie with milk, banana and ice-cream (ice-cream).
- pepperoni pizza (processed meat).
- nachos with beans/mince, salsa, etc. (corn chips).
Find out more
- Find more examples of Everyday and Occasional foods and drinks at our Ready reckoner