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Sandra Fordyce-Voorham’s ‘DoFoodSafely’ promotion

ImageDid you know that the Victorian Department of Health has a free and user friendly interactive guide to help people of all ages learn about food safety? Directed towards food vendors in commercial settings, the information can be helpful to teachers and young people and teachers in schools and homemakers in domestic settings.  The animations make this a fun way of learning about food safety in a fun way too. Participants can print out a non-accredited certificate for their efforts!

Go to

Thank you and Kudos goes to Mira Antoniou, Senior Food Safety Officer at the Dept. of Health, Melbourne


Sandra Fordyce-Voorham’s Food Literacy Model

Food Literacy Skills Hierarchy – an adaptation from Green’s 3D (Green B, 1999) literacy model and Renwick’s model (Renwick K, 2013) Conceptualising critical food literacy: Health literacy – the globalisation of our food supply incorporating Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

A Food Literacy Hierarchy Model integrating concepts based on Bronfenbrenner (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Paquette D & Ryan J, 2001), Green (Green B, 1999) and Renwick (Renwick K, 2013)

Description of Food Literacy Hierarchy Model
The Model consists of three levels comprising Basic, Intermediate and Advanced food literacy skills.

Each level is matched with Bronfenbrenner’s (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Paquette D & Ryan J, 2001) theory of ecological systems viz:-
Basic level – described as the operational dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the tasks performed at this level focus on the individual and their interactions with food.
Examples include: an individual’s food likes and dislikes, access to different varieties (fresh and processed) and amount of food, basic knowledge of the origins of food (‘Paddock to Plate’), the chemical (nutritional) and sensory (aesthetic) properties of food in relation to their health.
Intermediate level – described as the cultural dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the food tasks performed at this level involve the individual interacting with people (family, teachers, students and local shopping vendors) in their near environment (Micro-Meso system).
Examples include: family food likes and dislikes, food decisions (“gate-keeping” of food – who and what influences the food planned, purchased, stored, prepared and consumed in the home and school), availability of, and access to food in the home (farmyard, backyard and balcony gardens and domestic food production of eggs and preservation of home-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables) and community (supermarkets, strip shopping fresh food vendors such as butchers, greengrocers, bakeries, roadside stalls and farmers’ markets)
Advanced level – described as the critical dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the food tasks performed at this level involve the individual interacting with the social environment (media, culture, society, technology) and making ethical decisions about food (Exo-Macro system)
Examples include: social (including television, digital and print media and technology) and cultural factors influencing and modifying individual and family food decisions and choices.

Definition of Food Literacy in context with declarative skills
Declarative (Reynolds J, 2000) skills focus on the context in which that meal is constructed: the suitability of the meal occasion, decisions and resources required to complete the meal to a level considered satisfactory to the food preparer and for the other individuals consuming the meal.
They include the food literacy skills which refers to an individual’s ability to make effective consumer decisions such as weighing-up the monetary versus the time-saving costs of purchasing convenience foods (Lang & Caraher, 2001).

Food literacy, like food skills, is an evolving term that has an assumed understanding (Pendergast D & Dewhurst Y, 2012; Stinson E, 2010; Thomas Heather MC & Irwin Jennifer D, 2011; Vidgen H & Gallegos D, 2012) and has been applied to a community setting and defined most recently as ‘a collection of inter-related knowledge, skills and behaviours required to plan, manage, select, prepare and eat foods to meet needs and determine food intake’ (Vidgen H & Gallegos D, 2012)
Applied to an education setting, food literacy is described as a declarative skill and more narrowly defined as “the ability of consumers to understand and act upon the food labelling and nutritional information they need to prepare tasty and nutritious meals for themselves and their families” (Fordyce-Voorham S, 2010).
More recently, the definition has been broadened to include decision making skills and food and nutritional information and now reads as; “the ability of consumers to understand, decide and act upon food and nutritional information they need to prepare tasty and nutritious meals for themselves and their families”.

Ask me more

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development:Experiments by Nature and Design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Fordyce-Voorham S. (2010). Identification of food skills for healthful eating programs in secondary schools. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, 43(2), 116-122.
Green B. (1999). The New Literacy challenge? Literacy Learning: Secondary Thoughts, 7(1), 36-46.
Lang, T, & Caraher, M. (2001). Is there a culinary skills transition? Data and debate from the UK about changes in cooking culture. Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 8(2), 2-14.
Paquette D, & Ryan J. (2001). Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory.
Pendergast D, & Dewhurst Y. (2012). Home Economics and food literacy: An international investigation International Journal of Home Economics, 5(2), 245-263.
Renwick K. (2013). Food literacy as a form of critical pedagogy: Implications for curriculum development and pedagogical engagement for Australia’s diverse student population. Victorian Journal of Home Economics, 52(2), 6-17.
Reynolds J. (2000). The construction of food-related behaviour and implications for school- based, adolescent food and nutrition education. Journal of Home Economics Institute of Australia, 7(1), 2-13.
Stinson E. (2010). Eating the World: Food Literacy and its place in Secondary School Classrooms. (Master of Education), University of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Thomas Heather MC, & Irwin Jennifer D. (2011). Cook it Up! A commucooking program for at-risk youth: Overview of a food literacy intervention. BMC Research Notes, 4(495).
Vidgen H, & Gallegos D. (2012). Defining food literacy, its components, development and relationship to food intake: A case study of young people and disadvantage. Brisbane, Queensland: Queensland University of Technology.

Junior Masterchef does not increase young people’s interest in or motivation to cook at home

Rachel Goodchild has recently published her Honours thesis, ‘The ‘reality’ of the Australian ‘Junior Masterchef’ television series for preadolescents and their parents’ as part of her Psychology degree at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

Goodchild found that children who watched the program did so for entertainment and that there was no relationship between children’s viewing and their subsequent interest in wanting to cook themselves.

 Read more in her abstract:


The increase in reality-styled programs on television and in their appeal to young viewers has not been matched by research on what motivates children to watch such programs and if there are any flow-on effects in the home for the children and their families. Current research is limited to mainly North American and European populations of adolescents and adults which reduces the application of findings to Australian children. The present mixed- methods study surveyed Australian pre-adolescent children’s (N= 38) engagement and motivation to watch the Australian series of ‘Junior Masterchef’ and if their involvement with the program was associated with cooking, food and family connectedness. Additionally, parents (N=39) of the children were surveyed to ascertain their awareness of the series, together with their perceptions of children cooking in the home and family connectedness. The children’s (N=16) and parents (N=9) experiences were further explored through focus group interviews using Thematic Analysis. Overall, three factors motivated children to watch the program: education, excitement/entertainment value and vicarious participation. Involvement with the program was not associated with cooking in the home, food engagement or family connectedness. Despite this, family connectedness was highly valued by the children. The benefit of the program for parents was increased ‘family time’ which was an important factor for their experiences of family connectedness. Parents reported their children’s interest in cooking increased when viewing ‘Junior Masterchef’, however, cleaning up and time restrictions were considerations that limited opportunities for children to actively participate.

Advocacy for Home Economics Teacher Training

Monday, 27 June 2011                                                                                  8/68 Erica Ave Glen Iris 3146   

  1/286 Toorak Rd South Yarra 3141

Dear  Sir/Madam,                     

We write as a group of Home Economics Teacher’s  (retired) who are concerned about the lack of Home Economics Teacher Training opportunities in Victoria

 In 2008, the Home Economics Victoria (HEV) supported RMIT in taking the initiative for introducing a Home Economics method as part of their Graduate Diploma of Education.  This method is required for teaching VCE Food and Technology and VCE Health and Human Development. Essentially, this was the only university offering this option in 2010.                                                                                                                                   

To be eligible for this method in the Graduate Diploma of Education requires an appropriate undergraduate degree. This need was met by the Bachelor of Science (Consumer Science) program, acknowledged by RMIT as the only one of its kind in Australia. Despite demand, this degree was cancelled in 2010. Without this three year undergraduate program, there is now no direct pathway for training for teaching in the Home Economics area in secondary schools in Victoria.

Home Economics professionals are advocates for individuals, families and communities. They guide, support and educate consumers in managing their resources to promote healthy, activities, social engagement and social justice.  The rising incidence of obesity is just one indicator that individuals are unable to make informed choices about ways to protect their health and the health of their families, with enormous implications for health care costs in the near future.   With many current teachers and other home economists due to retire in the next few years, there will be no way to educate students for work in this important area to address such pervasive problems.

The 2005 HEV survey of practicing teachers highlighted the considerable capital investment in infrastructure, with 58% of respondents indicating that their school had refurbished or built new kitchens within the previous 5 years.  This suggests considerable importance is attached to the teaching of Home Economics in Victorian schools.

Home Economics teachers have been at the forefront of education in secondary schools in Victoria, contributing to curriculum development for the early years of secondary education through to studies in VCE Health and Human Development and VCE Food Technology and including the introduction of VET programs. Many Home Economists hold leadership positions in schools and are leaders in their field internationally.  In July 2012 the International Federation of Home Economists (IFHE) Congress is being held in Melbourne hosted by HEV. The President-elect of this international organisation is a Victorian Home Economist. We are expecting 2000 Home Economists from around the world to attend. Despite the strong professional base in Victoria, there is now no program here to train students to teach and work in the Home Economics field.

We would appreciate your support in addressing the problems due to lack of undergraduate Home Economics Teacher training in Victoria.  

Yours sincerely                                       

Beth Cochrane           Judy Snodgrass

Food Literacy Network



Communiqué 1

May 2011


This communiqué is designed to provide updates on activity that addresses food literacy within Queensland and relevant national strategies.  It will bring together information from the Food Literacy Network.  This inaugural communiqué is to introduce the network. 


The purpose of the Food Literacy Network is to provide an open and accessible forum for the nutrition workforce to discuss Food Literacy activity in Queensland.  It aims to provide opportunities for the nutrition workforce to: enhance knowledge; enable learning; and improve practice in the area of Food Literacy by: disseminating evidence, research, policy and practice; acting as a forum for sharing ideas, promote discussion and stimulating debate to improve rigour of planning, implementation and evaluation of food literacy related activity; and initiating new and strengthening existing networks and partnerships.  At this stage there is no strategic plan. This is a network only (in context of the continuum of partnerships) i.e. a network involves the exchange of information for mutual benefit.   At this stage there is no obligation to strategic planning or to higher level of partnership (coordinating, cooperating and collaborating).


Future communiqués will be distributed following the quarterly network meetings, to the Food Literacy Network’s core and interest members. 




There are two levels of membership for the network:


  • Core members: will participate in teleconferences and received email correspondence (communiqués and other relevant information) – to be a core member the person needs to be actively involved in a food literacy project.


  • Interest members:  will receive communiqués and other relevant information.


If you are interested in being a part of the Food Literacy Network please express your interest to; in your expression of interest please indicate at which level (of membership) you wish to be involved in the network.


Current membership

Name Role Organisation
Penelope Beatty Senior Nutritionist Health Living Branch
Noell Burgess Senior Nutritionist Southern Regional Services
Maragaret Daly Senior Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Caroline Giles Senior Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Amanda Guandalini Nutrition Team Leader Central Regional Services
Stephen Hogan Community Nutritionist South West Regional Services – Roma
Aloysa Hourigan Senior Nutritionist / Nutrition Program Manager Nutrition Australia
Robin Tilse Nutritionist / Project Manager Nutrition Australia
Michelle Jones Project Coordinator – Cooking classes Diabetes Australia (Qld)
Donni Johnston Community Nutritionist Metro South Health Service District – Logan
Anthea Oorloff Senior Nutritionist Central Regional Services
Erin Pitt Senior Nutritionist Southern Regional Services
Janet Reynolds   Home Economic Institute of Australia (Qld)
Rhonda Skehan Community Nutritionist Sunshine Coast Health Service District
Melinda Spring Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Sharyn Swanston Senior Nutritionist Central Regional Services
Helen Vidgen Food Literacy Research QUT


Please note, the below list of activities is not exhaustive, so if you have a current initiative and you would like to promote to the workforce please contact


Title: Healthy Lifestyle & Food Literacy Pilot Project – Wide Bay –Burnett

Lead Agency: Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre (HBNC)

Contact: Penelope Beatty


Brief Description:   The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre is to work with Lifeline, Fraser District and University of Southern Queensland to develop, implement and evaluate an integrated healthy lifestyle and food literacy pilot intervention targeting young people and families experiencing low socioeconomic circumstances in the Wide Bay – Burnett region over approximately 2 years.  The intervention is to address nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight and is to include the development of a healthy lifestyle intervention program manual with accompanying resources.

Status: Request for Offer current from 10 Feb – 10 Mar 2011; evaluation of tender applications and financial viability completed April 2011; a brief outlining the successful applicant was approved May 2011; and contract approved June 2011.


Title: Need for Feed

Lead Agency: DAQ

Contact: Michelle Jones


Brief Description: DAQ is being funded by QH to conduct a feasibility study of high school cooking programs for Queensland State secondary school students.  DAQ is being funded to develop, implement and evaluate a cooking program targeting high school students who do not currently study school subjects that involve cooking or food preparation.  The program is focussing on improving participants’ food preparation and cooking skills, basic nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviours associated with healthy eating.

Status: Program development complete. Implementation current: to date, Need for Feed has secured the involvement of nine schools in our program and has a waiting list of approximately seven other schools interested.  To date, the schools involved include:

–       Brisbane Bayside State College (Saturday program – completed)

–       Aspley SHS (After School Model – completed)

–       Ipswich SHS (After School Model – commenced 3rd May)

–       Windaroo Valley SHS (After School Model- commenced 3rd May)

–       Nerang SHS (School Holiday Program- completed)

–       Elanora SHS (Saturday Program- completed)

–       Browns Plains SHS (Saturday Program- completed)

–       Springwood SHS (School Holiday Program- commencing 4th July)

–       Ferny Grove SHS (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

–       Mitchelton SHS (School Holiday Program – commenced 27th June)

–       Mabel Park SHS (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

–       Mabel Park SHS Pacific Is pop  (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

Whilst the initial pilot terms meant engaging with 10 schools, the capacity of the program has been stretched to allow an additional two schools an opportunity to become involved. 


Project: Food literacy assessment tool for primary school aged children

Lead Agency: Central Regional Services

Contact: Anthea Oorloff, Sharyn Swanston & Amanda Guandalini 

Brief Description: Research project aimed at developing a tool that can assess baseline Food Literacy knowledge of primary school-aged children. Food literacy knowledge includes: where food comes from; what happens to it; how to cook and prepare it; and how it affects our health.


Status: Project has been handed over to CRS in April 2011. New project team are planning to conduct the project pilot during Term 2. Whole of school research is then planned to occur during Term 3 2011 with preliminary results due to be reported back to research school end September 2011.


Project: 6 week cooking skills program for Gympie

Lead Agency: Sunshine Coast HSD

Contact: Rhonda Skehan

Brief Description: The aim of the program is to develop basic cooking skills, nutritional knowledge, confidence within the kitchen whilst operating within a social environment over a six week period. The program is open to the whole community who may wish to increase their skills or knowledge. As the program progresses the degree of difficulty also develops but stays within the participants’ level of confidence. The reasoning behind the why, when and how are explained and each task is gone through twice within the six week block. At the end of the six week block suitably identified participants maybe approached to become lead facilitators. In order to give identified potential facilitator’s confidence to lead a group a ‘facilitators manual’ has been designed out lining background information.

Status: Currently the draft manual is in the progress of being signed off and will be made available to non-profit organisations as a resource in partnership with QH

Project:  Cook for Life: The Queensland Health and TAFE Cooking Classes Program

Lead Agency: TAFE QLD & QH


Kylie Quigg  (SRS)

Dale Cooke (CRS)

Margaret Daley (TRS)

Penelope Beatty (HLB)

Brief Description:  The aim of this program is to improve participants’ food preparation and cooking skills, and attitudes and behaviours associated with healthy eating targeting priority population groups which include: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged people (concession card holders), and people at risk of chronic disease.  The classes encourage the preparation of healthy foods to support individuals to adopt sustainable food and nutrition habits which can, in the long term, improve diet quality and overall health outcomes. This will be achieved through the development and implementation of cooking classes in collaboration with institutes of TAFE’s across Queensland.


Status: TAFE QLD and QH trainer the trainer cooking class workshops were implemented at Rockhampton TAFE, 11 May 2011; Mackay TAFE 12 May 2011; and Bremer TAFE (Ipswich) 21 June 2011


SRS: First activities are planned for 20th June, 27th June and 4th July with ongoing workshops on a quarterly basis. Currently getting the remaining referral agencies on board and forming/maintaining partnerships. Organising and finalising promotional aspects of the project.  Finalising service agreement with TAFE.

Project: Food Literacy research Project

Lead Agency: QUT

Contact: Helen Vidgen

Brief Description: An exploratory research project funded by Health Promotion Queensland. The project will examine the scope of meaning of the term “food literacy” and its components by first talking undertaking a Delphi study of Australian food experts and then interviewing young people as they transition from living in their parental home to living independently and examining the skills and knowledge they call on.  This information will be used to inform an evaluation tool for food literacy and consider where food literacy sits within public health nutrition plans.  The project forms part of Helen’s PhD which will extend further to look at the quantitative relationship between food literacy and food intake.


Status: Funded 2/2010-2/2012.  Delphi study completed.  Young people study commencing August 2011.


Project: Food Security Project

Lead Agency: Metro South HSD

Contact: Donni Johnston and Andrew Resetti

Brief Description: This project aims to develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve food security and access to good quality and nutritious food within the Logan Beaudesert area.

This project will take a multi strategic approach to improve the nutritional quality of the emergency food parcels distributed (Project one), enhance the capacity of the staff within these non-government organisations (Project two) to support their consumers and to develop a network of community food champions (Project three).  Overarching these activities will be active advocacy work with the emergency food funding bodies to support the development of enhanced accountability of the food agencies (Project four).

Food literacy will be primarily addressed through the localised network of community food champions in project three.


Status: Needs assessment and background research complete. Project development and consultation with key stakeholders underway.



Your Healthy Life

Lead Agency:

Nutrition Australia Qld


Robin Tilse/

Aloysa Hourigan

Brief Description: NAQ has been funded by Southern Regional Services and collaborated with both QHealth & several established partners to build on its previous work to provide nutrition and healthy lifestyle education programs that support the Measure Up and Swap It; Don’t Stop It campaigns for target populations in the Southern Region of Queensland.

This project has two components which include:1) The “Your Healthy Life” program will be conducted for CALD communities in 2 locations (Acacia Ridge Community Centre and St. Paul’s Primary School at Woodridge) “Your Healthy Life” is a seven session (1.5 hrs x 7), nutrition and health education program empowering new arrivals with knowledge and information, cooking skills, English language skills, and general settlement support building literacy (food, health, English) empowering participants to make informed and positive choices that will result in healthier lives for themselves and their families  and

2)  5 x 1 hour nutrition and physical activity interactive education sessions with a food tasting component for participants to be conducted in collaboration with local government and/or community groups in the Southern Regional Services jurisdiction.  Topics for sessions can be selected from the following: Healthy Eating on a Budget;Healthy Meal Planning;Food Labelling; Weight for a change. These sessions aim to raise awareness for participants about healthy food choices &cooking practices to prevent overweight, obesity and chronic disease; portion size; understanding food labels; strategies for weight management (including personal goal setting).


Status: “Your Healthy Life” Program delivery has commenced and all work to be completed by 30th June.



Older & Bolder (MBRC)





Lead Agency:

Moreton Bay Regional Council  (MBRC) AND

Brisbane City Council (BCC)

partnering with

Nutrition Australia Qld


Tracie Hyam

Brief Description: Ongoing series of cooking workshops:

Older & Bolder (MBRC)- for persons over 50 living in the Moreton Bay Regional Council jurisdiction.

GOLD (BCC)- for persons over 50 living in the Moreton Bay Regional Council jurisdiction.

SHAFT (MBRC) – for adolescents in school holidays and also has physical activity component

GOLD N’KIDS (BCC) – for grandparents and their grandchildren in school holidays

CHILL OUT (BCC) – for children under 12 years in school holidays


Status: this work has been ongoing for over 10 years for BCC and about 5 years for MBRC – continues to be ongoing. Funded by relevant local government authority.

Project: Health Communities InitiativeNutrition project

Lead Agency: Whitsunday Regional Council

Contact: Caroline Giles


Brief Description: Healthy Communities Initiative is a National Partnership Agreement funded program for local councils and Whitsunday Regional Council are one of two sites in Queensland awarded the grant as a pilot site for 2010-11, now ongoing till 2013. Health Communities Initiatives main target audience are the unemployed. Under the Chronic Disease Strategic Direction Queensland Health is committed to supporting these initiatives. Mackay Public Health Unit Nutrition team have been working with the Whitsunday Regional Council to role out nutrition programs under the heading of food literacy. For the purpose of this project, food literacy addresses the following aspects;

1)       Knowing how to obtain food

2)       Knowing how to prepare and to cook food

3)       Understanding basic food and nutrition information in order to improve one’s health

Together with the community nutrition teams in the Mackay Health Service District we have been rolling out Foodcents facilitator training, cooking demonstrations, a coordinated approach to running Lighten Up and Living Strong as well as looking at what regional council can do to support the food availability in the area (community gardens, magic one square, etc)


Status: Food literacy aspect 1)-planning; aspect 2)-implementation; aspect 3)- implementation





Donna pendergast on food literacy on combatting childhood obesity

Food literacy essential in fighting childhood obesity

By: Deborah Marshall on: Mon 30 of May, 2011

Article image

Secondary schools should offer compulsory cooking lessons to help fight rising obesity levels in children according to Griffith University home economics expert Professor Donna Pendergast.
Professor Pendergast said as one in four Australia children were outside the healthy weight range, food preparation skills and food literacy should be an essential part of the core curriculum.

“But it’s more than just learning how to cook,” she said.

“It’s about food literacy, which means teaching children what foods to eat and why, how to understand food labelling information and how and why we need to prepare and cook food safely.”

Professor Pendergast said if the current trend in childhood obesity continued, the current generation of children could experience shorter life spans than their parents.

“Children are spending more of their leisure time in sedentary pursuits, watching television, playing computer games, and using the internet.

“Concerns about personal safety means they are being driven to events instead of walking or cycling.

“The overall effect of this lack of physical activity means when energy consumed is greater than energy expended, body fat accumulates.”

Professor Pendergast commended recent UK government reforms to deliver food skills and knowledge teaching in schools for children and young people aged seven to 16.

“Students are exposed to food preparation skills so along with gaining a theoretical understanding of appropriate nutrition, they also acquire the skills to enact this knowledge,” she said.

“This strategy acknowledges that personal choice and food-related behaviours are complex.

“Mandating the learning of food-related competencies in the school curriculum also complements informal learning such as in the home.

“There is a message that informal learning alone does not achieve the desired nutritional and food skills capabilities necessary to enact healthy food choices.

Professor Pendergast’s comments follow recent Griffith University research on consumer choices in fast-food outlets which showed little interest in the healthy options on offer.

Professor Donna Pendergast is the Head and Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies. She has recently conducted research in the following areas: middle years education; middle schooling; early years education; school and policy reform and evaluation; Year 7 into secondary; resilience; generational theory; Y and Z generations and pedagogy; teacher efficacy; family and consumer sciences research; home economics philosophy; cyberbullying; mentoring; evaluation of professional development processes; food literacy; gifted and talented students.

Entertaining Mathematically II

Lesson:  11    Title: Entertaining Pinwheels!


Aims of lesson 11:

  • make informed decisions to plan, prepare and cook quick healthy meals and snacks instead of buying take away dishes or convenient pre-prepared food products
  • encourage and provide opportunities for young people to practise food skills at home (party and snack food)
  • extend, enrich and endorse the skill-based healthy eating programs in schools
  • accurately weigh and measure ingredients for those recipes requiring accuracy of ingredient amounts


Pinwheels are made from basic scone dough, rolled out, spread with your favourite sweet or savoury filling then rolled up, cut into 3 cm slices then baked in a really hot oven.

These tasty treats are easy to make and great ‘finger food’ for a party.  They can be made ahead of the event and can be easily frozen and then warmed without thawing in a pre-heated 150 0C oven for about 20 minutes.   You can also use yeast dough as an alternative but they will take a bit longer to prepare and cook as the dough needs to rise first.


Savoury Pinwheels (makes 12)

Cooking utensil: baking tray lined with baking paper

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Oven temperature: 200 0C, reduced to 180 0C



2 Tbs butter

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour

1 cup (250 ml) milk


Ingredients for filling

1/4 cup tomato salsa

Choose from the following toppings

Ham, capsicum, grated cheese, chopped herbs, mushrooms



  1. Set oven temperature to 200 0C and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Rub butter into flour using fingertips until mixture looks a bit like moist breadcrumbs. (see image below)



  1. Make a well in the middle of the dough, then pour in most of the milk. Use a butter knife to ‘cut into’ the dough until the mixture forms a ball.
  2. If the mixture is a little dry, add the remainder of the milk.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a lightly floured bench.  Be sure not to over handle the dough otherwise your pinwheels will be small and tough instead of light and fluffy.
  4. Pat out into a rectangle and try and keep this shape when you roll out the dough. Roll out using a well-floured rolling pin until it is no less than two centimeters. 
  5. Spread salsa mixture onto dough and then add toppings leaving the last two centimeters away from you (to prevent filling oozing out from the dough when you roll it up).
  6. Roll up carefully and then cut dough into 10-12 even sized pieces.
  7. Place each pinwheel onto baking tray and bake at 200 0C for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 180 0C and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.


Recipe adapted from Russell S et al Cookery the Australian Way and HEV Start Cooking