Promoting healthy food and nutrition in schools
Regulations will replace the soon to expire National Administration Guideline (NAG) 5(b) which currently requires schools to promote healthy food and nutrition.
It was proposed that a new duty be added to the regulations so primary schools provide only healthy drinks. Consultation earlier this year however showed strong support for all schools, not just primary, to promote healthy food and drink.
Whilst many primary schools already voluntarily adopt healthy food and drink policies, only a minority of secondary schools are doing the same. Work is beginning to better understand the barriers that may hinder secondary schools’ adoption of a healthy drink policy. The intention is to have the duty introduced in primary and secondary schools at the same time.
This means there’s no immediate change for schools, which should continue to promote healthy food and nutrition without disruption. The submissions can be found on this page.
The regulations, however, will not prevent schools from having policies over and above the duty to promote healthy food and nutrition. Ministry of Health resources are available to guide schools keen to adopt a ‘water and milk only’ or healthy food policy.
Consultation feedback also called on government to think more broadly about the wellbeing of learners and to consider the provision of healthy food in schools and kura. In response we will look to develop a joint programme with the Ministry of Health on supporting schools and kura to do this. A report to Government on the joint programme is due at the end of 2023.
Health and nutrition promotion information is available from Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand. Schools can also contact the National Public Health Service(external link) for further assistance.
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