Snacks are an important component in children’s diets and can provide up to 30% of their daily calorie requirements. Therefore offering healthy snacks to children and adults is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent future diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Ideally there should be an emphasis on serving fruits, vegetables and high fibre foods along with water as the primary beverage. All children will have varied requirements based on their energy output so healthy options of varied calorie contents should be on offer to cover all groups.

The Basic Guidelines – vending machines should contain one serving per package.

A healthy snack should contain;
200 calories or less7g or less of fat*

0g of trans fat

15g or less of salt

No artificial sweeteners

*Nuts and seeds are excluded from this limitation. (Rationale – nuts and seeds are exempt as they contain monounsaturated fat, which are considered heart healthy fats, which can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol.

A healthy beverage should meet following guidelines;
All low fat milks should contain less than 30g of sugar per 250mls servingJuice drinks should contain at least 25% juice

No artificial sweeteners

Contain no caffeine


Healthy/ Bronze VERY Healthy/Silver Healthiest/Gold Rationale for guidelines
7g or less of fat 5g of total fat 3g or less of fat Monitoring fat content of snacks helps control overall calorie content and health of diet. However nuts and seeds are exempt from these limitations
15 g or less of sugar 30g or less of carbohydrates 30g or less of carbohydrates Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for energy and sport therefore set at 30g total carbohydrate to cover all appropriate snacks.
Milks with 30g or less of sugar Low fat milks with 30g or less of sugar Low fat or non flavoured milk Milk is a valuable source of calcium, vitamins and minerals
Juice drinks containing at least 25% juice Juice drinks that contain 50% juice 100% juice It is best for drinks to contain limited sugar. Although they do provide vitamins and are a useful source of energy for sport.
Flavoured waters WaterSparkling water WaterSparkling water Water is essential for health.