Green light goes on at tuckshop

COCA-COLA, meat pies and mini-pizzas won't make it across the starting line in Central Queensland state school tuckshops this year.

Under the new Smart Choices policy, all food is subject to a traffic-light policy, with only food choices that get the "green light" available at all times.

Tuckshop lady Clare Thwaite said Glenmore State School had introduced the program last year with remarkable results for teachers and students.

"They dearly would love their chocolate and their Coke, but they've accepted it and go with what's there," Ms Thwaite said yesterday.

"The takings have stayed the same, the profits are the same, we haven't noticed the difference."

Ms Thwaite said teachers of younger students had noticed their charges were far better behaved and had better concentration since the dietary changes had taken effect.

"They've mentioned they're better behaved without the big sugar intake."

She said this was particularly evident when the tuckshop stopped selling "red-light" foods before school in the morning.

Foods that get the nutritional green light include wholegrain breads, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish.

"We used to sell a lot of pies and sausage rolls, but now I make a lot of toasted sandwiches and salad sandwiches.

"They're also eating a lot of the daily special, we have one every day, either meat, fish or chicken."

Amber foods, such as full-fat dairy products, processed meat, cakes, muffins and fruit juice will be available in smaller quantities, and only on certain days of the week.

"We used to sell 50 gram packets of chips, and now we only sell 28 gram packets."

Ms Thwaite said local suppliers got behind the efforts, with McHugh's Pies cooking up low-fat pies and sausage rolls.

However under Smarter Choices policy, even low-fat bakery treats will only be served twice a term.

"Red light" foods included soft drinks and deep-fried snacks.

Ms Thwaite said she had seen the popular UK TV show Jamie's Kitchen, and said unlike her UK counterparts, the students at her school had really embraced the healthy eating program.

"They do go across the road (to the shops) sometimes though," she said.

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