Parents in South Australia have been shocked as a new school term begins with a new ban on a beloved snack: fairy bread.
The state’s Department of Education has issued a guideline warning the delicious snack should not be provided at canteens or brought to school in children’s lunch boxes.
While the decision is just a guidelines and not an all-out ban, parents are still urged to keep the snack out of lunch boxes.
The state has launched new ‘Right Bite’ guidelines where foods have been divided into four categories.
Green foods are listed as the best option, while Amber foods should be chosen “carefully”.
There are two Red categories – Red One where foods are only available twice a term at school events and Red Two, which includes foods that should never be sold or supplied.
Foods in the Red One category include butter, pies sausage rolls and pasties, schnitzels, sausages, biscuits, chips, jam and honey.
Meanwhile food in the Red Two category include deep-fried meats, deep-fried chips or hashbrowns, coated muesli bars, ice creams with confectionary, soft drunks and hundreds and thousands such as fairy bread.
The move comes after the WA Department of Health reconfigured its “traffic lights” system for classifying food and drink in schools, moving ham and other processed red meat from an earlier “amber” label to “red”, limiting its sale in canteens.
WA School Canteen Association chief Megan Sauzier told NCA NewsWire on Monday the move to red had caused workers at canteens, a majority of whom are volunteers and parents themselves, “concern” and confusion.
“They are a little confused, I think would be fair to say,” she said.
“They need things that are easy to prepare and when that (a ham-and-cheese sandwich) is served alongside a broad range of other healthy green items, like fruits and vegetables and meals and pastas, then ham as an amber, we see as being acceptable.”
A list of ‘red’ items, which includes unhealthy offerings like soft drinks and chocolate bars, are completely off the canteen menu and have been banned since 2007.
Ms Sauzier said she was proud of her state’s policy on healthy eating at schools, but expressed concern the new ‘selected red’ category could see kids’ health going “backwards”.
Other items classified in the selected red group include pastries, pies and sausage rolls.
A fact sheet released by the department states the reclassification of some foods from amber to red was designed to align schools Australian Dietary Guidelines, the Australian Curriculum and a federal government health council guide to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and drink.
Originally published as South Australia introduces new limits on iconic fairy bread at schools