Sugary drinks

Sugary drinks have been banned in NSW government schools since 2007. Sugar-sweetened drinks are not to be sold in canteens or vending machines.

Catholic Schools NSW and the Association of Independent Schools NSW strongly support the ban in their schools.

Examples of sugary drinks

Sugary drinks are those with any type of sugar added to them, except milk. These include drinks sweetened with regular sugar (sucrose), fructose, glucose, honey/syrup and fruit juice concentrates.

Examples include:

  • soft drinks such as cola, lemonade, ginger beer, lemon squash, orange fizz
  • flavoured waters (sparkling or still) or vitamin waters with added sugar
  • energy drinks
  • sports drinks, sports waters, glucose drinks
  • iced teas
  • fruit juice drinks (less than 99% juice), cordial, slushies
  • fruit juice with added sugar, sparkling fruit juice, apple cider
  • flavoured coconut water or plain coconut water with added sugar

Why sugary drinks can’t be sold

Such drinks contain energy (kilojoules) from added sugar and have no nutritional value. They can contribute to excess weight gain in children. Many sugary drinks are also acidic, which can damage children’s teeth.

Alternative drinks

Drinking water is the best way to quench thirst.  Tap water is the best drinking water for children.

Drinking mainly water prevents dental problems, and the fluoride in tap water (and some bottled waters) can help strengthen teeth.

Bottled waters are also suitable (for example, spring, mineral or sparkling).

Plain waters infused with fruit/herb essence or flavouring only (no fruit juice, no sugars and no intense sweeteners added) are suitable. These can be made in the canteen or commercially prepared.

Plain milk or milk alternatives with added calcium (e.g. soy or rice milks) are also healthy choices. Preferably reduced fat.

Other drinks to enjoy in small amounts

  • flavoured milk, milkshakes and smoothies, preferably reduced fat and no added ice-cream, gelato or sorbet
  • 99% fruit juice or vegetable juice (no added sugar).

Everyday and Occasional drinks

At least ¾ of the drinks in school canteen should be Everyday products. For example, in a school canteen with 12 different drink products (including all flavours and portion sizes), at least 9 should be Everyday.

No more than ¼ of the drinks you offer should be Occasional drinks. Occasional drinks should not be favourably placed in the fridge.

All Occasional drinks should have a HSR of 3.5 stars and above (diet soft drinks excluded).

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