Victorian Food Forum makes healthy food and drinks a priority for businesses
17 March 2017
On 21 February, Nutrition Australia Vic Division joined hundreds of attendees from all over Victoria for the Department of Health and Human Service’s inaugural Food Forum.
The event brought together representatives from organisations in various sectors, such as health, sport and recreation, local government, food manufacturing and distribution, and more to inspire large organisations to play their part in creating a healthier population through healthy foods and drinks.
It aimed to raise awareness of DHHS’s Healthy Choices guidelines which help make sure that healthier foods and drinks are supplied in retail food outlets, catering and vending machines. They are voluntary and apply to workplaces, hospitals and health services, and sports and reaction centres, and parks in Victoria.
There were several presentations and panel discussions from organisations who are leading the way in promoting healthy eating, including YMCA Victoria, Parks Victoria, Alfred Health, Western District Health Service, and Melbourne Sports Hub.
Nutrition Australia Vic Division and Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) were mentioned throughout many of the presentations highlighting the work we’ve done to support these organisations to implement the Healthy Choices guidelines.
To round out the day, HEAS Program Manager Margaret Rozman gave a presentation on the support HEAS offers organisations, such as:
- free training on the Healthy Choices guidelines for staff in retail food outlets and catering services
- mentorship training for health professionals
- online vending machine assessment tool
- online product and menu assessment tool – coming soon!
- fact sheets, resources and case studies available at www.heas.health.vic.gov.au
- marketing material for catering, retail outlets and vending machines that that explain the Healthy Choices guidelines at point of sale/consumption.
We also held a trade display and fielded many enquiries about our services during the breaks. There was a lot of interest from people attending to get their products and menus assessed against the Healthy Choices guidelines.
The Food Forum was a great opportunity to inspire organisations to take their first steps towards supplying healthier foods, as well as seeing how others are already using the Healthy Choices guidelines, and hear their experiences of what it takes to make healthy changes in large organisations.