St. Teresa`s Catholic College Tuckshop convenor Lorna O`Connell.
St. Teresa`s Catholic College Tuckshop convenor Lorna O`Connell. Geoff Potter

School tuckshop tucker is in a class of it's own

A PIE and sauce, a cream bun, a chocolate milk and a Sunny Boy were once the staples of school tuckshops.

These days it's all about kale salads, fruit smoothies and sushi.

Things have certainly changed in the world of school tuckshops.

 The changing face of school canteens is in the spotlight on Friday as the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) celebrates Tuckshop Day.

 Schools around the state and school communities will be thanking their lovely tuckshop workers with gestures such as flowers, thank you notes and special morning teas on Friday.

And on Friday night,  the QAST competition's big winners will be announced at a gala dinner. In the award-winning Terrace Cafe at St Teresa's Catholic College in Noosa, it's all about good, nutritious food.

It seems the children, parents and staff are all well fed and thoroughly satisfied by their adored tuckshop convenor Lorna O'Connell.

Providing variety and nutritious food choices to fuel more than 1000 students is always a guiding thought for her when she is making menu decisions.

The tuckshop has won previous QAST awards for its food but Ms O'Connell said it had now moved beyond the restrictions imposed by the competition.

While that made the independent school ineligible for future honours, healthy decisions were still being made about menus using the state guidelines and in consultation with the parents and school management. 

"Take corn chips for example," she said.

"Under the rules, we are not supposed to sell them but we have decided to serve them with a healthy fresh and nutritious homemade salsa and salad. 

"These kids love the modern choices on the menu and everything that's prepared each day disappears quickly. 

"Today, the specials are chicken, salmon and vegetarian sushi rolls and teriyaki chicken bowls.

"Parents are relying on us to provide good quality nutritious choices for their kids." 

Nat Davidson is a parent and a volunteer in the school tuckshop and was hard at work preparing sushi .

She said she worked at the tuckshop as a volunteer and had learned a lot about food, its preparation and cooking  "The atmosphere in the kitchen is fun," she said.

"And Lorna even gives us the recipes to take home so we can make the food at home for our kids.

My daughter does not have a particular favourite food and she has tuckshop once a week.

"She has told me on several occasions how awesome the food is.

"I've seen the exceptional quality of preparation and the freshness of it all.

"So, as a parent, I feel satisfied and happy."   

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