The "Best Bites Nutrition and Healthy Eating" criteria are all about increasing the number of healthy options on your menu, and are informed by State Government research and guidelines.
There are a number of ways you can make sure you have plenty of healthy options, and you might already be doing a lot of these. A great way to start is basing your menu around fruit and vegetables by including them in each item on your menu. You can also make swaps within your menu items, using things like healthier oils, lean meats and reduced fat dairy.
It’s really important that water is easy to access and visible for your customers, especially over things like soft drinks. Keeping water at eye level is a great start.
To avoid adding too much salt to your meals, use things like spices, chilli or lemon juice to boost flavour instead.
If you are looking to make some of these changes to your menu, there is plenty of support available. You can visit the State Government’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service website to use their FoodChecker program, and contact Peninsula Health’s Health Promotion team for support with this.
The Shire in conjunction with Peninsula Health have prepared a short informative video for food businesses and community groups that serve food. Share it with your staff as a training exercise, or include it in your staff handbook.
So how does this information help my business get into the Best Bites Food Guide?
Each food business is routinely assessed by a Shire Environmental Health Officer each year. To qualify for consideration in the Best Bites Food Guide, the business must achieve the following:
- Obtain a score of 95% or above in the annual food premises assessment
- Safely manage food allergens and provide allergen information to customers on request.
A Shire Environmental Health Officer visits the business to validate a short list of key criteria across the five pillars of Access & Inclusion, Nutrition & Healthy eating, Smoke Free Dining & Alcohol Management, Recycling & Waste Initiatives, Energy & Water Efficiency. Businesses can be listed in one or more sections – they don’t have to be listed in all five, but the more areas your business is validated in, the more recognition and exposure your business gets! Each area validated will ensure the business is listed under that section of the Best Bites Food Guide.
The Best Bites Food Guide criteria for Nutrition & Healthy Eating are:
- Use healthy fats/cooking oils, lean meat and reduced fat dairy
- Base your menu around vegetables and fruit
- Add flavour without the salt – lemon juice, herbs, spices, chilli, pepper, vinegar
- Limit soft drinks and add different varieties of healthy drinks
- Offer wholegrain as standard
Read more about how to get into the Best Bites Food Guide and the other pillars of excellence, or get in touch with the Shire's Environmental Health Team to ask any questions. Phone them on 5950 1050 or contact the team online.
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