For many students who use the canteen regularly, the food purchased there makes a significant contribution to their total food intake and nutrition. For those students who do not use the college canteen or food service regularly, the canteen still plays an important educational and modelling role for healthy eating habits.
In addition to the provision of nutritious food, the canteen has an important role within the broader college environment in complementing the knowledge, skills and behaviours about healthy eating and lifestyles that are taught in the classroom. The food provided within the college environment has a considerable influence on the development of student's long-term eating habits, food preferences and attitudes towards food.
The college canteen plays an important role in promoting healthy foods and creating a college culture of healthy eating. This can extend beyond the college environment and influence food choices within the family and community and enhance the social and multicultural aspects of food and eating.