Healthy Food & Drink Ideas for Fundraisers & Special Events

A question that comes up a lot on our support line from schools in NSW is: “Does the canteen Strategy apply to school fundraisers or special events?”

The answer: The Strategy applies ONLY to food & drink sold in the canteen on USUAL school days. Fundraisers or events outside the school canteen are not covered by the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy and therefore the food & drink provided at these events are at the discretion of the principal.

A whole of school approach

By providing healthy foods and drinks at ALL school activities and events, you are reiterating the health messages being taught in the classroom and being put in place in the school canteen. Whether it be a special fundraiser, the swimming carnival or a school fete – by selling nutritious food and drinks, not only are you providing students with the energy they need and hydrating them for the day ahead, but you are also helping children set up healthy habits for life!

A few key points from the NSW Department of Education’s Nutrition in Schools Policy:

  • 1.1 Healthy eating and good nutrition should be promoted in all school activities and programs which involve food and drinks.
  • 1.5 All sugar-sweetened drinks as outlined in the Sugary Drinks Fact Sheet of the Healthy School Canteen Strategy are not to be sold to students.
  • 1.6 Where school activities involve the provision of food and drink to the wider school community, consideration should be given to promoting healthy eating.

Food & drink ideas for fundraisers and special events

Healthy Kids, are here to show you that it’s possible to make money for your school while PROMOTING health and wellbeing! Here are some of our EASY fantastic food and delicious drink ideas that will leave the kids asking for more.


Say see ya later to the old-school sausage sizzle, and hello to:

  • Lean beef patties, veggie patties, rissoles or skinless chicken served on bread with tomato/BBQ sauce, onion and grated cheese. Bonus points if you can get a few veggies on there!
  • Jacket potatoes cooked on the BBQ, wrapped in foil. Spruce it up by adding a spoonful of baked beans and a sprinkle of grated cheese on top
  • Chicken, tofu or lean meat skewers
  • Corn on the cob


Cake stalls don’t have to be sugar-centred events! Why not give these ideas a go:

  • Savoury muffins or frittata cups – e.g. mac and cheese muffins, spaghetti frittatas, zucchini slice muffins, ham and cheese muffins, Hawaiian muffins 
  • Pancakes, pikelets, crepes, scrolls, scones or bagels with various toppings, e.g. fruit, honey, jam, ricotta cheese or yoghurt
  • Un-iced fruit or cocoa muffins – e.g. apple cinnamon, cocoa and raspberry, blueberry and yoghurt
  • Banana or pear and raspberry bread


Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or prefer something savoury, everybody loves a toastie! Here are some of our favourite fillings:


  • Canned apple, cinnamon and ricotta
  • Banana and honey
  • Custard and frozen berries
  • Raisin bread, canned peaches and ricotta cheese


  • Tex Mex – baked beans, tomato paste, corn and grated cheese
  • Spaghetti (canteen-made or tinned)
  • Tuna and canned sweet corn
  • Cheeseburger – lean mince and grated cheese
  • Scrambled egg and ham
  • Pizza – tomato paste, corn, capsicum, tomato, olives and grated cheese.
  • Caprese – sliced tomato, mozzarella and basil
  • Tropical – tomato paste, ham, pineapple and grated cheese


Everybody knows that kids (the real kind and the grown-up kind alike) go crazy for pizza. Whether you want to make large pizzas and sell individual slices, or make individual mini pizzas on English muffins or pita bread – we know it’ll be a hit. Easy and delicious toppings:

  • Margarita – cheese & tomato paste
  • Hawaiian – ham, cheese, olive, pineapple & tomato paste
  • Ham & Cheese – ham, cheese & tomato paste
  • Chicken & BBQ sauce – exactly that!
  • Tandoori Chicken – chicken, tandoori paste, onion and cheese
  • Vegetarian – capsicum, tomato, cheese and tomato paste


Sugary ice blocks? It’s time to ~Let it go~. Here are some deliciously nutritious frozen snacks:

  • Frozen 99% fruit juice ice blocks – this could be packaged products; frozen poppers served with a spoon; or you could buy larger bottles of 99% fruit juice, pour the juice cups, add some chopped fruit and put an ice cream stick in it and freeze.
  • Frozen fruit salad cups – you could use packaged frozen fruit or buy fresh/canned fruit and freeze it. Whatever is the cheapest! Try to add as many colours as you can, and we recommend serving it in a clear cup so kids can see the colourful goodness.
  • Frozen fruit sticks dipped in yoghurt/custard – nothing like chucking an ice cream stick in a piece of fruit to make it exciting. Push a stick into slices of watermelon or half a banana, dip it in Greek yoghurt or chocolate/vanilla custard and put in the freezer to set.
  • Frozen flavoured milk, yoghurt or custard – pour into cups and add an ice cream stick; or pour into ice cube trays, freeze, then serve milky “bites” in a cup. You could add some diced fruit to make it more exciting.

Head to the School Canteen Buyers’ Guide or the Healthy Food Finder database for packaged options.


Prep a range of interesting but tasty smoothie ingredients and charge kids $3.00 to make their own. We suggest using a small cup size (300mL maximum).

One of the most interesting ones we’ve seen was pea, tomato and apple… at least they’re getting their fruit and veg in!

Like these ideas but don’t know where to start? Head to the recipes section of our website.

Looking for a way to raise funds for the school canteen, but don’t want it to be a solely food-centred event? Head to our Food-Free Fundraising page.