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Guidelines for Food & Beverage Sales: Food Fundraiser Ideas for Schools

Last updated: June 1, 2014
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Offer healthier food at competitive prices:


kids running bake sale table
  • Let people know that your school supports healthy eating.
  • Consider doing a survey to see what parents, students and community members would buy in the Sell Most, Sell Sometimes or Sell categories of food and beverages.
  • List and score potential fundraising food and beverage menu options according to the nutrition standards in the Guidelines. Select items categorized as Sell Most or Sell Sometimes using the Nutrient Criteria for prepackaged food or as Sell using the Checklist for freshly made food.
  • For prepackaged food, aim for at least 50% of food and beverages on the menu to meet the Sell Most criteria and for up to 50% to meet the Sell Sometimes criteria.
  • All freshly made food and beverages being sold to students should score as Sell.
  • Price healthiest food and beverage items lower than other options.
  • Consider offering non-food items for sale and as prizes at events.

Act to support healthy eating:

  • Form a fundraising team with at least one representative from each of the following groups: administrators, teachers, parents, support staff and students to share the workload for planning for events.
  • Adapt favorite recipes to make food more nutritious by using resources such as Bake Better Bites and Tips and Recipes for Quantity Cooking.
  • Display healthier food and beverage choices more prominently and at student eye-level.
  • Communicate your school's commitment to healthy eating through promotional materials such as lunch bags and logos.
  • Offer sample products of healthy items to view and taste.
  • For catered events, work with caterers to ensure that healthy options are included on the menu with 100% of all food and beverages for sale meeting the Nutrient Criteria or Checklist.

Food for Thought

Fundraising events can include non-food items for sale and/or as prizes. Some examples are:

  • Cookbooks made from recipes submitted by students and parents
  • Flowers or hanging baskets
  • Seasonally themed items such as Christmas Tree decorations
  • Student artwork
  • Stickers
  • Cards
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Travel mugs
  • School spirit apparel such as scarves and t-shirts
  • School supplies like pens or glue sticks
  • Water bottles with school logo
  • VIP parking spaces
  • Puzzles
  • Ribbons and certifications
  • Key chains
  • School-made calendars

Provide healthier versions of favourite food:

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

  • Water, plain milk, fortified unsweetened soy beverage, reduced sugar chocolate milk, 100% fruit juices
  • Fruit - whole, dried, or canned in 100% fruit juice
  • 100% real juice popsicles
  • Fresh vegetable sticks (e.g. served with one tablespoon of Italian or ranch dressing)
  • Vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust
  • Baked potatoes with low-fat sour cream, cheese and chives
  • Plain yogurt with fruit (no added sugar or sweeteners)
  • Low-sodium 100% beef, turkey, or chicken dogs on whole wheat buns
  • Low-sodium vegetarian or non-breaded fish burgers on whole wheat buns
  • Chicken, black beans, corn and brown rice in whole wheat tortillas
  • Wholegrain crackers and cheese or tuna snack packs

Keep food safe:

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

  • Consult with someone who has Food Safe certification about how you plan to keep the food safe.
  • Store cool perishable food at a temperature of 4°C or cooler.
  • Store warm perishable food at a temperature of 60°C or warmer. Make sure that anyone preparing or serving food is handling the food properly (e.g. servers have hand-washing stations).
  • Use single use plastic dishes and cutlery, or make sure that dishes and cutlery are washed and sanitized to Food Safe standards.

Where Can We Find Out More?

© 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.