Identifying a healthier choice item
Our team of Accredited Practising Dietitians assess every food and drink item included within the program against evidenced-based criteria.
Eating out venues
In eating out venues, such as cafes and restaurants, we assess the entire meal. We look for items that contain vegetables and/or fruit and are limited in less nutritious ingredients such as deep-fried items, processed meats and confectionary. When an item meets the criteria requirements, it is considered a healthier choice item.
Healthier choice meals:
- Include fruit and/or vegetables (about a handful) AND
- Does not include:
- deep-fried items
- high saturated fat items (processed meat, pastry, cream, sour cream, butter, coconut milk, coconut cream, ice cream and animal fats)
- confectionary or added sugar.
Healthier choice drinks:
- still and sparkling water (with no added sugar)
- juice (with no added sugar)
- tea and coffee
- plain or flavoured milk (includes calcium fortified milk alternatives such as soy, almond, rice, oat).
Healthier choice drinks do not contain confectionary, cream, ice-cream, coconut milk or alcohol.
Children’s healthier choice drinks are limited to 250mL for juice-based and 375mL for milk-based.
Supermarket items are assessed a little differently, as often the items you are purchasing are ingredients rather than a ready to eat meal. Some categories are assessed by ingredient and portion size, whereas others are assessed via the Health Star Rating System. These are the types of foods and drinks you may see promoted as healthier choice items:
✔ Fruits and vegetables
✔ Dairy and calcium-fortified plant based milks
✔ Wholemeal and grain products such as breads, rice, pasta
✔ Unsalted nuts and seeds
✔ Some cheeses, yoghurts and dairy desserts
✔ Some breakfast cereals and drinks
✔ Some snacks, biscuits and muesli bars
How can I learn more about Healthier Choices Canberra?