September 27, 2023

Making it easy to make healthy choices

Northern Health staff, visitors and patients will soon have healthier food options on offer.

In a state-wide effort to improve the availability of healthy food and drink choices at public hospitals and health services, the Victorian Government is leading the Healthy Choices Policy Directive for Victorian Public Health Services.

Through specific guidelines and targets, the policy ensures a greater number of healthy food and drink choices are on offer at health services, with the policy aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, visitors and patients.

In September 2022, changes were made to all vending machines and catering services across all Northern Health sites, ensuring they offer more healthy drink options, do not sell high-sugar drinks and limit artificially sweetened drinks.

Following on from this, and from Saturday, 30 September 2023, vending and in-house food retail outlets will offer at least 50 per cent ‘green’ food options and no more than 20 per cent ‘red’ food options available. These changes are in line with the policy directive targets in offering healthier food and drink options.

Lisa Cox, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and Executive Sponsor for Healthy Choices at Northern Health, is working with key Northern Health staff to ensure healthier food and drinks are offered across all our vending machines, catering and food retail outlets.

“The Healthy Choices Policy allows Northern Health to support the surrounding community and catchment, demonstrating the priority and benefits of health promotion. Health promotion, incorporating policies such as Healthy Choices, lead to improved and better lifestyles and decision making,” she said.

Working closely with food providers, including Northern Health’s vending machine provider Provender, Henry’s Cafe and Cafe 1231, Northern Health is proudly working towards offering healthier options for its staff, visitors and patients.

Next time you visit one of the Northern Health sites, keep an eye out for our increased range of healthier food and drink options that have been made available.

Featured image L-R: Student Dietitians Loryn Smith, Vanessa Sastra and Paris Ierino.