Healthy eating in Early Childhood policy (QA2)

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Woodlands - Healthy eating Guidance Policy.

There are many ways services can support children to have a firm understanding of nutrition, such as:

  1. A focus on fresh, unprocessed foods.
  2. The facilitation of positive mealtimes.
  3. Creating a connection between the educational program and meals alongside the Chef's, Leadership and Educators. 

Purpose:

To support the rapid growth and development children experience in Early Childhood, healthy eating is vital, not only can good nutrition promote appropriate growth and development for children during their early years, it can also impact their behaviour and wellbeing.

To ensure there is a clear understanding of the food/menu expectations across all Campuses. 

 

Scope:

Good nutrition in early childhood offers a range of benefits, including:

  1. Optimal brain development
  2. Improved ability to learn
  3. Protection against illness
  4. Appropriate physical growth
  5. Better quality of life
  6. Supports behaviour and regulation
  7. Nutritions meals cooked in house. 

Implementation: Woodlands commit to:

  • Supports children’s growth and development, mental/physical wellbeing, and oral health and encourage children to learn better and be more alert when they eat well, through a healthy balances 4 week rotating menu that is created by the chefs and approved by the appropriate healthy eating advisory. 
  • Nominated supervisor will oversea and ensure Children are receiving adequate portions and a variety of food per meal - Breakfast, morning tea, Lunch, afternoon tea and late snacks and will receive a minimum of 2 servings per child.

Early Years Learning Framework:

Outcome 3 Children have a strong sense of Wellbeing.  Children become strong in their social, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Education and Care Services National Regulations:  

Part 4.2   Children’s health and safety
Regulation 77  Health, hygiene and safe food practices (B)

Safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food—

to minimise risks to children being educated and cared for by the service.

    (2)

  A nominated supervisor of an education and care service must implement, and ensure that all staff members of, and volunteers at, the service implement—

(a)  adequate health and hygiene practices; and
(b)  safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food— to minimise risks to children being educated and cared for by the service.

Regulation 78   Food and beverages (2)  A nominated supervisor/approved provider of an education and care service must ensure that children being educated and cared for by the service—
(a)  have access to safe drinking water at all times; and
(b)  are offered food and beverages on a regular basis throughout the day.
Regulation 80 Weekly menu

(1)  The approved provider/nominated supervisor of an education and care service that provides food and beverages (other than water) to children being educated and cared for by the service must ensure that a weekly menu—
(a)  is displayed at a place at the education and care service premises accessible to parents of children being educated and cared for by the service; and
(b)  accurately describes the food and beverages to be provided by the service each day.

Regulation 79  Service providing food and beverages (1)  The approved provider of an education and care service that provides food or a beverage to children being educated and cared for by the service must ensure that—
(a)  the food or beverage provided is nutritious and adequate in quantity; and
(b)  the food or beverage provided is chosen having regard to the dietary requirements of individual children taking into account—
(i)  each child’s growth and development needs; and
(ii)  any specific cultural, religious or health requirements.

 

National Quality Standards:

The National Quality Standard requires early childhood education services to actively promote healthy eating. All Early Learning Centres must be making, serving, encouraging and/or celebrating food that is nutritious to help young children begin to establish patterns of healthy eating.

Qualtiy area 2 of the National Quality Framework- provides for children’s health and safety, is focused on children’s nutrition. Early childhood services are required to ensure their food offerings are adequate in quantity, nutritious and are appropriate for each child’s developmental needs and cultural, health or religious requirements.

Healthy eating and physical activity contribute to children’s ability to socialise, concentrate, co-operate and learn. Learning about healthy lifestyles, including nutrition, sleep and rest, personal hygiene, physical fitness, emotions, safe and healthy digital technology use and social relationships, is integral to wellbeing and self-confidence (Early Years Learning Framework; Framework for School Age Care).

Good nutrition is essential to healthy living and enables children to be active participants in play and leisure (Early Years Learning Framework). Education and care settings provide many opportunities for children to experience a range of nutritious food and to learn about healthy food choices from educators and other children.

Children’s health and safety Element 2.1.3 Healthy lifestyle Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.

 

 

Sources: 

 

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