A healthy start to school tool kit


A healthy start to school has been developed to help schools and staff working in the early childhood setting and outside school hours care services support families to provide healthy eating choices to their children when starting school.

A healthy start to school includes information to share with families to ensure children starting school are provided with the healthy food they need throughout the day to keep them active and to help them concentrate while learning.

The materials can be used to promote healthy eating in the school setting and support the implementation of the Queensland Government initiative Smart Choices, the Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools.

A healthy start to school has three parts:

Part 1: Healthy eating in the school setting

Smart Choices, the Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools, is a Queensland Government initiative aimed at improving the nutritional value of foods and drinks supplied to students in Queensland schools. Implementation of the strategy is mandatory in state schools and strongly encouraged in non-state schools.

Smart Choices is based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and classifies foods and drinks into three categories according to their nutritional value:

Green - Have plenty - encourage and promote these choices

Amber - Select carefully - do not let these foods and drinks dominate the choices and avoid large serving sizes

Red - Occasionally - not to be supplied on more than two occasions per term.

Smart Choices addresses all areas of food supply and promotion within the school environment, including the tuckshop/canteen and vending machines, the classroom and rewards given in the classroom, school events such as field trips, excursions, celebrations, school dances, fetes and sports days, on site sports clubs and school fundraisers.

Smart Choices parent information sheet

This sheet includes information about Smart Choices in schools and the positive outcomes of healthy eating. The information sheet (PDF, 586KB) has been translated into a range of languages other than English.

A healthy start to school parent brochure

Lunches and snacks play a big role in supplying children with their daily nutritional needs. Nearly half of a child's daily nutrition needs should be met during the hours they are at school.

The brochure (PDF, 445KB) can be distributed at Prep orientation events and information days or included in enrolment packs, to help families give their children a healthy start to school. It provides families with plenty of information and simple ideas to ensure their child gets the best start to school life by enjoying nutritious foods and drinks in their lunchbox.

Part 2: Healthy snacks and lunches

Healthy snacks and lunches give children the essential nutrients and sustained energy they need to concentrate throughout the school day.

A range of fact sheets provide information to families on how to make their child's lunchbox healthy, interesting and appetising.

Fact sheets

Part 3: Talking to families

Prep orientation events and information days are a great opportunity for your school to show families how healthy eating is being encouraged throughout the whole school.

Healthy eating at our school - sample letter to parents

It is important that schools outline their approach to healthy eating to all families when their children start school. This sample letter (DOC, 355KB) can be edited with your school information.

Additional information

Further information relating to healthy eating in the school setting can be accessed at NAQ Nutrition.​

Last updated 10 May 2024