Occasional food and drinks list
Occasional foods are mostly high in saturated fat, sugars and/or salt and often have little nutritional value. They are not needed as part of a healthy diet and should only be enjoyed 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 selecting with a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 Stars or above
- use the Healthy Food Finder to find HSR for foods and drinks
- keep to the recommended portion sizes
- sugary drinks should not be sold in NSW schools
Use the Healthy Food Finder to find Occasional foods with a Health Star Rating of 3.5 and above
- sausage rolls
- muesli bars
- potato wedges
- crumbed/coated chicken
- salty snacks
These Occasional foods rarely 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 tea
- flavoured mineral water
- 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)
- iced coffee flavoured milks
- 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.
Examples of Occasional food and drinks
|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 items.
Examples of Occasional meals
- crumbed chicken tenders and lettuce sandwich
- salami and cheese sandwich
- tempura prawn sushi roll
- beef and bacon burger
- smoothie with milk, banana and ice-cream
- pepperoni pizza
- nachos with beans/mince, salsa, etc