It’s that time of the year again! From October 15th to 21st, 2023, National Nutrition Week is here to highlight the incredible benefits of incorporating vegetables into our diets.
At Imagine Childcare, we recognise the pivotal role vegetables play in our overall health and wellbeing, and we’re dedicated to promoting healthy eating habits amongst the little ones in our care.
National Nutrition Week is a vital initiative, urging Australians to make informed choices about their food and lifestyle to enhance their health. As a provider of early education and childcare services, we understand the significant influence we have on shaping children’s eating habits. At Imagine Childcare, we take this responsibility seriously, knowing that fostering healthy habits in childhood lays the foundation for a lifetime of well-being.
The early years of a child’s life are crucial for both physical and mental development. Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of a child’s health, supporting growth, learning, and the development of a robust immune system. A balanced diet, comprising a variety of nutrient-rich foods, is essential for optimal child health.
At Imagine Childcare, we provide nutritious and delectable meals daily, all included in our daily fee. Our menus are crafted by our centre Chefs and are tailored to different age groups and developmental stages, aligning with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. We prioritise the use of seasonal, local produce and ensure our menus fulfill more than half of a child’s daily nutritional requirements.
To actively promote healthy eating and good food choices, we employ various strategies:
- Engaging Activities: We involve children in activities centred around creating healthy menus and cooking experiences with our Chefs. Cooking classes are offered as an extra-curricular activity – enriching our curriculum.
- Cultural Diversity: We introduce mealtime routines and foods from different cultures, broadening children’s culinary horizons and encouraging an appreciation for diverse foods.
- Interactive Conversations: During mealtimes, we engage in conversations about nutritious food, encouraging children to make healthy food choices and fostering a positive relationship with eating.
- Role Modelling: We lead by example, demonstrating healthy eating practices during mealtimes, inspiring children to follow suit.
- Positive Mealtime Environment: We create pleasant, social mealtime occasions, encouraging discussions around healthy food choices and nutrition, making eating an enjoyable experience.
- ‘Paddock to Plate’ Initiative: Our gardening lessons, offered as an extra-curricular activity, teach children about growing vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The produce from our gardens is then incorporated into our meals, promoting a deeper understanding of food sources.
Wondering how you can join us in promoting healthy eating habits? Explore Nutrition Australia’s ‘Try for 5’ campaign at www.tryfor5.org.au. This annual initiative celebrates the goodness of vegetables during National Nutrition Week and they have included plenty of ideas of how you can get involved on their website. They even have a ‘Recipes’ section!
For more insights into our approach to health and nutrition, visit the Health & Nutrition page on our website or call our dedicated team at 1300 001 154. Together, let’s nurture a generation of healthy, happy eaters!
‘Good nutrition is necessary for the active growth and development that takes place in early childhood. Good eating habits and a well-balanced diet support children’s health and wellbeing, and minimise the risk of illness. Eating habits developed in the early years are likely to have a lifelong influence.’
(Get up and Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical activity for Early childhood p 20. 2013 Dept. of Health. Aust. Government)