TOP TUCKSHOP: From pies to a healthy stirfry
THE humble meat pie was once part of the staple lunch of every school child, usually finished off with a doughnut.
But as parents and students become more and more health conscious, school canteens are changing, with one more likely to find sushi, salad and stirfries on the menu these days.
Hervey Bay Special School has embraced the change, with the education centre being named as having one of the top 10 tuckshops in the state in 2018, awarded by the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops.
Kathleen Heath, a teacher at the school, said it was a great achievement.
"It was an honour, being such a small school," she said.
She, along with a team of students, has led the way when it comes to transforming the school's menu, which was awarded a special commendation by the association.
From chicken and salad wraps to fruit cups and home-made pizza, the students and Ms Heath cater for both children and staff.
Most of last year's team have graduated and this year a new group will come on board, learning how to stay safe in the kitchen and practice necessary hygiene as well as plenty of cooking skills.
Ms Heath said students had learned to cook from scratch.
"Everything we make is from scratch, even pasta," she said.
Xanthe O'Connor was part of the tuckshop team last year.
She said she learnt lots of new skills and now makes sushi at home.
Ms Heath said eating healthy food helped the students concentrate during their classes.
"It's good for life skills later on, they know they can pick something out of the fridge and make a healthy meal or snack," she said.
"We can make a whole pizza in probably about 10 minutes and that includes making the dough as well as all the toppings."
In addition to running a health-wise tuckshop, the school also has a breakfast club on Mondays and Fridays, with Coles donating juice, fruit and bread to ensure the kids get the best start to their day.
This year, Ms Heath has an even more ambitious program planned, with students to use food harvested from the school's own garden to create healthy meals.