Many Childcare Centres serve children unhealthy treats and junk foods. “Healthy food is such an important, integral part of any childcare service,” said Lisa Martin, Director of the Nestle In and Possum Place Centres in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
“An Australian study of 1000 childcare workers found that staff let down children by routinely serving foods such as baked treats, processed meats and sausages, despite research showing the childcare setting influenced children’s long-term eating habits,” said Lisa. Dietary guidelines recommend a child aged two to three years should be restricted to zero to one discretionary foods a day.
That’s why at Nestle In, they have updated their kitchen, and employed a professional chef who is focused on health, nutrition and great taste too.
“Our chef is on hand every day to prepare the meals that are organically sourced where possible, always fresh, and really take on board the nutritional needs of the children,” said Lisa. “Our menu follows the Nutritional Guidelines for Long Daycare Centres and is supported by the NSW Munch n Move program. Our Chef meets with children and families to include any special dietary requirements of the children, as well as any cultural, religious or medical requirements.”
Lisa said centre educators allowed “sometimes” foods, such as cake, for birthdays.
“These treats are only for special occasions otherwise we cater for good-old fashioned simple, healthy food,” she said.
“We are not vegan or paleo, the children just eat like our grandparents used to eat — real core food from the food groups that children need, and enjoy.”
“We strive to include hidden as well as visible vegetables, and our menus are offered on a four-weekly rotation to ensure that our commitment to variety is upheld.”