Frankston City Council’s new Healthy Choices Policy will see more healthy food and drink options available at Council-run venues and services.
The policy was adopted at the last Ordinary Council Meeting (Tuesday 28 January) and will allow Council to gradually introduce healthier options in line with the Victorian Government’s ‘traffic light’ classification system.
Frankston City Council Mayor, Sandra Mayer, said the policy would make it easier for local community groups, sporting clubs and businesses to provide visitors with healthier options when using Council-owned or managed facilities.
“This policy is not about removing junk food from the shelves or telling people what they should eat or do,” Cr Mayer said.
“Rather, Healthy Choices is exactly that – providing people the choice of selecting a treat or a fresher option containing more nutritional benefits.
“When it comes to Council-operated services and facilities, we believe we have a responsibility to provide this kind of variety,” Cr Mayer added.
The traffic light system recommends menus offer up to 50 per cent ‘green’ (best choices), 30 per cent ‘amber’ (choose carefully) and 20 per cent ‘red’ (limit) foods based on nutritional value.
Council has successfully trialled the traffic light system at local venues including Peninsula Aquatic and Recreation Centre (PARC), Pines Aquatic Centre and Frankston Library’s Book and Bean Café.
PARC and the Pines Aquatic Centre both introduced the new options as part of the Nudge Trial, with support from Council, Peninsula Health and the Frankston Mornington Primary Care Partnership.
During the two-year trial these cafeterias offered significantly more ‘green’ and ‘amber’ menu options and promoted these more prominently than the ‘red’ options.
Rachel is a regular visitor to PARC and said she loved the healthy changes.
“It gives me more options to eat when I come down to the pool… and I’m loving all the fresh produce in the cabinets,” Rachel said.
Several local sporting clubs, including Frankston Little Athletics Centre and Frankston District Netball Association, have also embraced introducing healthier menu options, with more expected to follow suit.
The policy, which aligns with national and Victorian standards, will eventually be rolled out across all Council services including Meals on Wheels and kindergartens.
“Young children and some of our older residents rely on us for their nutrition so it is imperative that we give them healthy food to eat. This policy will make that easier.” Cr Mayer said.
The move comes as health surveys reveal just 7.6 per cent of locals eat the daily recommended serve of vegetables, while 15.4 per cent consume sugary drinks each day.
To view the Healthy Choices Policy visit: frankston.vic.gov.au/Policies