Department of Health

Healthy eating strategies, policies and guidelines

To take action and improve healthy eating in the community, the Victorian Government has developed healthy eating, prevention and public health strategies, policies and programs. These are driven by key national and state strategies and guidelines.

Victorian strategies, policies and guidelines

Health 2040: advancing health, access and care

Health 2040: advancing health, access and care is our vision for better health, better access and better care for Victorians. It focuses on the wellbeing of Victorians and on the Victorian healthcare system.

In achieving "Better Health", and maximise the health and wellbeing of all Victorians the plan focuses on:

  • prevention
  • early intervention
  • community engagement
  • people’s self-management.

Victorian public health and wellbeing plan

The vision of the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan is for a Victoria free of the avoidable burden of disease and injury.

This would enable all Victorians to enjoy the highest standards of health and wellbeing.

Tackling climate change (and its impact on health), and increasing healthy eating are two key focus areas of the plan.

By integrating climate change (and its impact on health) into other key focus areas such as increasing healthy eating and active living, benefits can come to all focus areas. More information can be found on the plan's website page.

Guidance is available for community areas to help them implement actions for these key focus areas.

Healthy kids, healthy futures

Healthy kids, healthy futures is the Victorian Government’s five-year plan to support children and young people to have healthier futures.

It focuses on supportive environments for healthy eating, active living and mental wellbeing.

Korin korin balit-djak: Aboriginal health wellbeing and safety

Korin korin balit-djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017–2027External Link is an overarching framework aimed at improving the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal Victorians.

Healthy eating guidelines for early childhood and education care services

Victoria’s early childhood and education care services have access to a range of Victorian menu planning, food and drink guidelinesExternal Link .

These services include:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • outside school hours care
  • pre-schools/kindergartens.

These guidelines can be found on the Healthy Eating Advisory Service websiteExternal Link .

By following these guidelines, these services can provide nutritious and varied foods, drinks and menus that also meet the cultural, health and religious needs of each child.

School canteens, healthy eating and other food services

The Victorian Department of Education and Training also aims to ensure that school food services provide healthier food and drinks. This contributes to a more supportive and healthier school environment.

The Canteens, healthy eating and other food services policy, guidance and resources for schools can be found on the Department of Education websiteExternal Link .

Healthy choices

Healthy choices is a framework for improving the supply and promotion of healthier foods and drinks in a range of Victorian community settings.

It includes policies and guidelines to support the implementation of the framework in hospitals and health services, sport and recreation centres, workplaces and parks and recreational reserves.

Healthy and more sustainable food procurement

Victorian Government departments have changed the way they purchase food and drinks for the benefit of people and the planet. The Department of Health has developed a policy template and guide to support Victorian organisations wanting to adopt healthy and more sustainable food procurement practices. For more information visit the Healthy and more sustainable food procurement page.

Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024: improving cancer outcomes for all Victorians

The Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024 identifies priorities to:

  • prevent cancer
  • increase survival
  • improve the experience of the cancer treatment and care system
  • achieve equitable outcomes for all Victorians with cancer.

The plan includes the following goal:

  • That at least 80 per cent of hospital and health services' retail outlets and vending machines meet the recommended Victorian Government food and nutrition standards (Healthy choices) by 2024.

Victorian action plan to prevent oral disease 2020-30

The Victorian action plan to prevent oral disease 2020-2030 sets a vision to achieve good oral health for all Victorians. It also aims to reduce the gap in oral health for those at higher risk of oral disease.

It includes actions to embed healthy food and drink policies in key settings, such as:

  • early childhood and education care services
  • schools
  • health services
  • residential aged care services
  • disability settings.

There are also a range of oral health planning resources tailored to Victorians to help promote good oral health.

National strategies and guidelines

  • The Australian dietary guidelinesExternal Link provides evidence-based advice about the types and amounts of foods needed to:
    • support health and wellbeing
    • reduce risk of chronic health problems.

  • The Australian guide to healthy eatingExternal Link is a visual guide to the recommended daily consumption of the five food groups required for a healthy life.

  • The Infant feeding guidelinesExternal Link assist health workers in providing consistent advice to the general public about breastfeeding and infant feeding.

  • The Australian national breastfeeding strategy 2019 and beyondExternal Link outlines the priorities of Australian governments at all levels to improve the health of infants and young children.

    It recommends doing this by protecting, promoting, enabling and monitoring breastfeeding throughout Australia

  • The National Quality Framework (NQS) and standardExternal Link is a government framework developed to:

    • ensure high-quality early childhood education and care
    • drive continuous improvement and consistency in Australian early education and care services.

    It includes the NQS quality area 2.1, relevant to supporting nutrition and healthy eating.

  • These guidelines and a suite of resourcesExternal Link can be used in school canteens and other school activities where food is provided or sold. It is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

    Note that Victorian schools should refer to the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s School canteens and other school food services policy.

  • The Nutrient reference valuesExternal Link are a set of recommendations for nutritional intake based on current scientific evidence.

  • The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991External Link aims to protect public health and safety by regulating the composition and provision of information about food and drinks. It does this by enabling consumers to make informed choices (e.g. food labelling, nutrition claims).

  • The Food Standards CodeExternal Link is national legislation that regulates how food companies manufacture, prepare, handle, store and serve food and drinks.

  • The National preventive health strategyExternal Link 2021-2030 aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians at all stages of life.

    It does by providing a wholistic approach to prevention that:

    • addresses the wider determinants of health
    • reduces health inequities
    • decreases the overall burden of disease.

    Improving access and consumption of a healthy diet, and increasing physical activity are key focus areas.

  • The National obesity strategy 2022-2032External Link is a ten-year framework designed to prevent, reduce, and treat overweight individuals and obesity in Australia.

    It focuses on prevention, but also includes actions to support Australians who are overweight or living with obesity, to live their healthiest lives.

Reviewed 09 January 2024


Was this page helpful?