Nutrition, Food and Beverages, Dietary Requirements
One World Children’s Centre provides food and beverages that are nutritious and adequate in quantity. The weekly menu is developed to reflect the Healthy Eating Plate.
Education and Care Services National Regulations regulation 77,78,79,80,168
Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
National Quality Standard 2
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
Food Act 1984 (Vic), as amended 2012
One World Children’s centre provides a freshly cooked two course midday meal as well as morning and afternoon tea and a late snack.
Meals and snacks are prepared each day on our premises by our chef, who places much emphasis on using fresh wholesome ingredients, providing a varied and nutritionally balanced menu, and maintaining the highest standard of cleanliness and hygiene at all times
There are many benefits to promoting a healthy lifestyle in early childhood education and care settings, including the positive impact this has on each child’s learning and development. Being made aware of positive eating behaviour from an early age can instill good habits that will remain throughout a person’s life.
The foods we eat provide our body with the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Good nutrition is the balanced eating of a variety of foods, and is especially important for children as they require a large amount of nutrients for growth and development.
A strong sense of health and wellbeing, supported by good nutrition and an active lifestyle, can provide children with confidence; energy and optimism that will contribute to their ability to concentrate co-operate and learn (Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework).
The Australian Government has produced guidelines, recommendations and resources for healthy eating in early childhood settings, including the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia and the Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating.
Progressive meal times
In recognising children as active participants in their own learning, children should be encouraged to make meaningful decisions about elements of their own education and care. Incorporating progressive morning and afternoon tea times into the educational program allows children to choose to eat when they are hungry, rather than according to a timetable. Children can gather in small groups to enjoy morning and afternoon tea time, without interrupting the needs and play of others. This also encourages quieter, more social and meaningful interactions at these times and allows for a smoother flow throughout the day. Children can make decisions based on their own needs, and can be supported to access food and water throughout the day.
Children Under 12 Months:
Feeding schedules for infants are flexible
Parents are involved in food decisions for their child
Arrangements for comfortable breastfeeding at the centre can be made.
Alternatively you can express your milk for feeding by the staff
Expressed Breast Milk (EBM):
Parents will give EBM to staff immediately upon arrival to place in the refrigerator in bottles clearly labeled
Parents will discuss what to do if EBM runs out
Breast milk cannot be heated in the microwave
Place the bottle containing the breast milk in a jug of cool water and slowly add warmer water to the jug until the milk reaches the correct temperature (Breast milk can only be warmed once)
Bottles are to be made up at home and given to staff, clearly labeled for refrigeration
Alternatively bottles containing the correct measurements of boiled water and the correct amount of formula for each bottle can be brought in for the staff to make up. These need to be clearly labeled.
Heating bottles (excluding breast milk)
The microwave will be used to heat the milk, but only with great care not to overheat the formula or milk. This milk can only be heated once, then unused heated milk must then be discarded, but recording the amount consumed on the feeding schedule.
For fridge cold milk the following applies:
- 30 sec on high for 90-120mls
- 45 sec on high for 150-180mls
- 50 sec on high for 180-240mls
Use a shorter time if the bottles are not fridge cold
After heating, shake the bottle well to avoid “hot spots” which could cause burns to the baby’s mouth and throat.
Test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist, if it is not warm enough heat for 5-10 sec more.
Never heat breast milk in the microwave
Staff and parents need to communicate on when to start introducing solids and which foods to introduce and if there are any foods they would prefer not to try eg egg because a family member is allergic and does not want to risk a reaction. (never introduce solid food or a new food to an infant without the parents’ permission)
The menu if flexible and accommodates for infants by providing fresh cooked and finely mashed vegetables and fruits.
Staff encourages independence, developments and self-help skills by allowing children to try and feed themselves with staff supervision or giving them a spoon to hold while a staff member also feeds the child with a spoon.
Heating of Solids:
Solid food must only be heated once, stirring to avoid “hot spots” which could cause burns to the child’s mouth and throat. Check that food has cooled enough before giving it to a child. Remove a small piece of food with a spoon to another plate and test the temperature with your hand. Throw this piece of food away and get a clean spoon. Never blow on a child’s food as a means of cooling it down; this spreads your germs onto the food.
The menu is developed by our chef to reflect the healthy eating plate
The menu reflects a wide variety of nutritionally balanced foods.
The menu incorporates a variety of meals including different cultures, textures and tastes.
The weekly menu is displayed out the front of your child’s family room and on our website. The daily menu is written on the menu blackboard each day and located in the reception area.
The meals are well planned and reflect an interesting and nutritionally balanced menu, which changes each week.
New tastes are planned for and introduced
Special requests and family favourites are always welcomed.
Meals are prepared each day on the premises using fresh and healthy ingredients and are kept interesting through a variety of cooking methods.
Parents are required to supply breakfast if needed.
Breakfast can be served to children up until 8am.
We are a nut free centre so peanut butter, nutella and breakfast cereals containing traces of nuts cannot be brought into the centre.
Morning tea is progressive so children can eat when they feel hungry
Morning tea consists of a variety of fruits (bananas, apple, pear)
Milk and water are provided at morning tea
Lunch is served to your child at 11.45 each day.
Lunch consists of a two course meal, either a main meal and dessert or an entrée and main meal.
Afternoon tea is provided mid afternoon
Afternoon tea consists of fruit and a snack such as biscuits and dip, scones, home baked biscuits, muffins etc.
Milk and water are provided at afternoon tea time
Late snack is provided around 5.45pm for the purpose of tiding them over until tea time at home and not to fill up.
This consists of a piece of fruit and sometimes leftover afternoon tea.
During morning and afternoon tea milk and water are offered as beverages
During lunch water is provided
Water is always offered as the preferred choice for thirst
Drinking taps are outside for children and drinking stations are available in each playroom
Extra water is offered on hot days.
Special Diets and Allergies: Also refer to Anaphylaxis policy
Allergies and special diets are accommodated easily by adjusting or substituting ingredients in our recipes or providing a substitute meal
Parents need to inform administration and room staff before commencing care so that the kitchen staff are aware and know to provide an alternative meal
No cakes can be brought in from home – shop purchased or homemade
No party goodies are to be brought in
Cakes can be purchased from the kitchen with 48 hours notice
Documenting Children’s Daily Intake:
Staff document each day what food your child has consumed for the day
Staff will inform parents on pick up of their child’s intake for the day
With infants staff will record how many bottles, times and mls as well as any solids consumed and inform parents upon picking up – infants may have an individual communication book where this information is recorded for you to take home.
Mealtime Environment and Food Presentation:
While being nutritious and tasty it is important that the meals presented to the children each day also look appealing
Food is arranged in an attractive manner to encourage children to try foods
Staff in each room prepare for lunch with finishing touches such as vases of fresh flowers, handmade name tags to ensure children enjoy the atmosphere of dining with friends
The environment is comfortable safe, with no distractions
Adequate time is allowed for a comfortable meal
Utensils are provided and are child appropriate
Tables and chairs are appropriate height for children
Glasses are small enough for children to hold comfortably
Food is presented in attractive manner to encourage children to try foods they may otherwise refuse
We provide a wide range of nutritious foods to encourage fussy eaters as well as a two course lunch
We foster self feeding to encourage fussy eaters to try new foods
Staff also role model by showing enthusiasm and trying meals
We provide a calm, relaxed environment
Children eat as a group – meals are a social occasion
If your family has cultural beliefs that you wish staff to observe with your child, please communicate this to staff and write on your child’s enrolment form
Our menu reflects a variety of cultural backgrounds
If you have any recipes or suggestions please let reception or staff know so we can organise this with the kitchen
Supervision During Meals:
Staff sit with the children at lunch time and interact, providing assistance to children and conversation
Morning and afternoon tea are progressive and a staff member supervises and interacts with children, offering assistance when required
Children and staff are required sit while eating
Food Handling and Storage:
The centre implements a food safety program
The Approved Provider (or delegate) is responsible for:
- ensuring that the service environment and educational program supports children and families to make healthy choices for eating and active play
- providing ongoing information, resources and support to families, to assist in the promotion of optimum health for young children
- ensuring the implementation of adequate health and hygiene procedures, and safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food, to minimise risks to children being educated and cared for by the service
- ensuring that all educators, students and volunteers staff comply with the Food Safety Act
- ensuring that all educators are aware of a child’s food allergies and/or other medical conditions on enrolment or on initial diagnosis
- ensuring measures are in place to prevent cross-contamination of any food given to children with diagnosed food allergies and/or diabetes
- ensuring that all educators/staff are aware of, and plan for, the dietary needs of children diagnosed with diabetes
- ensuring that fresh drinking water is readily available at all times
- ensuring that food and drinks are available to children at frequent and regular intervals throughout the day
- ensuring that staff who are responsible for menu planning participate in regular nutrition and safe food handling training, and are kept up to date with current research, knowledge and best practice
- ensuring that food and drink provided by the service is nutritious, adequate in quantity and appropriate to children’s growth and development, and meets any specific cultural, religious or health needs
- ensuring that a weekly menu is displayed in a location accessible to parents/guardians, and that it accurately describes the food and drinks to be provided by the service each day
- developing links with local and regional health services, community organisations and businesses that provide expertise, resources and support for healthy eating and active play.
Certified Supervisors and other educators are responsible for:
- being aware of a child’s food allergies and/or other medical conditions on enrolment at the service or on initial diagnosis
- implementing policies and procedures to prevent cross-contamination of any food given to children with diagnosed food allergies and/or diabetes
- being aware of, and planning for, the dietary needs of children diagnosed with diabetes ensuring that the service environment and the educational program supports children and families to make healthy choices for eating and active play
- discussing healthy eating choices with children, and role-modeling positive behaviours
- exploring and discussing diverse cultural, religious, social and family lifestyles
- considering this policy when organising excursions and service events
- supporting students and volunteers to comply with this policy while at the service
- keeping parents/guardians informed of current information relating to healthy eating
- providing food and drinks at regular intervals, and encouraging children to actively participate in, and enjoy, snack/meal times without feeling rushed
- providing adequate supervision for all children during meal/snack times
- encouraging children to be independent at snack/meal times e.g. pouring drinks, self-feeding, serving and using utensils in a culturally-sensitive way
Parents/guardians are responsible for:
- providing details of specific nutritional/dietary requirements, including the need to accommodate cultural or religious practices or food allergies, on their child’s enrolment form, and discussing these with the Centre Co-ordinator prior to the child’s commencement at the service, and if requirements change over time
Education and Care Services National Regulations regulation 168
National Quality Standard 2
Staying Healthy in Child Care Edition 4
Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia
Food Safety Victoria, Department of Health – Food Safety and Regulation: 1300 364 352
Food Standards Australia New Zealand – for information on food safety and food handling
Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood
Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
3rd December 3rd 2012
24th March and 1st April, 2013
Date Reviewed: 21 March 2013
Date for Review: March 2014