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Guidelines for Food & Beverage Sales: Boosting the Sales of Nutritious Food in Schools

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Place Sell Most or Sell items in the spotlight:


cafeteria lineup with food trays
  • Score your food and beverages using the Checklist for freshly made food or the Nutrient Criteria for prepackaged food.
  • Stock a lot of water, plain milk and fortified unsweetened soy beverage and place them at the front of the beverage coolers and/or at eye-level.
  • Put the healthiest options at the front of the food tray line or a food section (e.g. as the first hot entrées or the first dessert the student sees).
  • Keep convenience and processed items like chips and cookies further out of students' reach or available by request from a food service worker.
  • Place fruit near cashier and in full view.

Promote Sell Most and Sell items through signage and verbal cues

  • Have food service workers ask students which vegetable option they would like after they have been served an entree.
  • Have cashiers up-sell healthier items, for example, by asking students if they would like to buy some fruit as they go to pay for their meals.
  • Create signs at the entrance of the cafeteria promoting a featured entrée that has been scored as a healthier option.
  • Place healthiest meals and snacks at the top of the menu.

Food for Thought

Make the healthiest choices attractive and convenient through placement and promotion in the school cafeteria. This will promote good nutrition with little to no effort or cost.

Make Sell Most and Sell items more appealing:

A few examples of healthier food and beverages to serve and sell at school fundraising events include:

  • Place fruit and vegetables in attractive containers and bowls.
  • Package fruit and vegetable slices so they can be taken "on-the-go."
  • Give the healthiest options more exciting names to increase visibility.
  • Price healthiest food and beverage items lower than other options.
  • Create combo deals, combining Sell Sometimes items with popular Sell Sometimes items.

Act to support healthy eating:

A few examples of healthier food and beverages to serve and sell at school fundraising events include:

  • Partner with students to choose and promote healthy and tasty choices. Student involvement in menu planning is successful in increasing sales of healthier items.
  • Engage students through activities such as creating the names for healthier menu items (e.g. "Crunchy Carrot Bites").
  • Ensure that all prepackaged food items sold score as Sell Most (at least 50%) or Sell Sometimes (less than 50%) and no items from the Do Not Sell category are sold.
  • All freshly made food and beverages being sold to students should score as Sell.
  • Turn popular choices such as pizza and burgers into Sell Most, Sell Sometimes or Sell items by using whole grain buns and crusts and other healthy ingredients.
  • Refer to the Nutrient Criteria and Checklist for more tips on how to create healthier options.

Where Can We Find Out More?

Last updated: June 2014

© 2013 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counseling with a registered dietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.