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 2019-2023 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. 

Koolin balit Aboriginal Health Strategy

Koolin balit: Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012–2022 is our plan to help meet the health needs of Aboriginal Victorians through:

  • planning and strategic development of the health system
  • building relationships through improved practices. 

The vision of the strategy is a 'Self-determining, healthy and safe Aboriginal people and communities' in Victoria.

Korin korin balit-djak

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

It also provides the plan for implementing the Victorian Government's vision for the Koolin balit: Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012–2022.

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 guidelines

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 website

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 and Training website

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.

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 guidelines 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 eating is a visual guide to the recommended daily consumption of the five food groups required for a healthy life.

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

  • The Australian national breastfeeding strategy 2019 and beyond 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 standard 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 resources 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 values are a set of recommendations for nutritional intake based on current scientific evidence. 

  • The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 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 Code is national legislation that regulates how food companies manufacture, prepare, handle, store and serve food and drinks.

  • The National preventive health strategy 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 2022-2032 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 22 July 2022

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