Col­lege gets healthy can­teen


Re­mov­ing more than half a tonne of sugar from an In­ver­cargill school’s can­teen is just one of its changes to­wards health­ier lunches.

Each week fresh sand­wiches, sal­ads, rolls and wraps are made, pots of soup are cooked and sushi is de­liv­ered to James Hargest Col­lege.

The food op­tions are all part of the school’s goal of pro­vid­ing health­ier food for its staff and stu­dents.

The process started about two years ago, when dis­cus­sions took place be­tween the school, Healthy Fam­i­lies In­ver­cargill and the Heart Foun­da­tion about how to re­move sug­ary drinks from the menu.

Since then, the school has re­moved 17 kilo­grams of sugar a week, 680kg in a year, from its can­teen.

Water and milk are now the only drinks sold.

The school has moved to­wards not only re­mov­ing the sug­ary drinks, but also re­mov­ing most of the less healthy food items from its menu and re­plac­ing them with health­ier op­tions.

Can­teen man­ager Sharon Fos­ben­der said ini­tially there were some con­cerns that stu­dents would not be on board, and tak­ings would be down, but that has not been the case.

At the start stu­dents had asked about cer­tain prod­ucts, but those queries had died down, and now they sim­ply ac­cepted the new menu hap­pily, she said.

Staff had worked with the stu­dents while im­ple­ment­ing the new op­tions, and there was also an ideas box for stu­dents to make sug­ges­tions about healthy food op­tions.

Pre­vi­ously the menu had in­cluded pas­try-based items such as pies and sausage rolls but they had been mostly re­moved and re­placed with items such as salad wraps and rolls, sushi and veg­etable soup.

It had also dropped from sell­ing eight boxes of pies to less than one each week.

School as­so­ciate prin­ci­pal Na­dia Rose said it had been a com­bined ef­fort of staff and stu­dents.

‘‘We see this as an on­go­ing process of ed­u­ca­tion and evolv­ing the pro­vi­sion of healthy food.’’

Healthy Fam­i­lies In­ver­cargill man­ager Jared Cap­pie said the ‘‘awe­some’’ changes the can­teen made in the school en­vi­ron­ment meant the healthy choice was now an eas­ier choice.


James Hargest Col­lege stu­dents Mah­noor Ka­mali and Madi­son McKen­zie show what 17kg of sugar looks like.

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