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 2009)
What children eat today can significantly affect their health in the future. Good nutrition is one of the keys to good health, which can greatly assist in the prevention of illness and speed the recovery from illness.
Children’s concentration and learning in all areas are improved when children receive adequate well balanced meals. Well-nourished and active children are more likely to be alert, vigorous, happy and interested in activities usual for their age. Their general state of good health and well-being helps them to have happier relations with other children, their families and with carers.
SELC aims to provide food that is nutritious, varied and appropriate to children’s age and stage. Food will be varied, offered at frequent intervals, and be adequate in quantity. We also aim to support and provide adequately for children with food allergies, dietary requirements and restrictions and specific cultural and religious practices. This dietary information will also be provided to families so they can plan healthy home meals for their child.
Our educators use meal times to chat with children and gain insight into their personalities and preferences. Mealtimes are a cornerstone to forming positive relationships with children.
At age appropriate times children are assigned different tasks at mealtimes. This helps them develop their emerging independence as well as provide them with valuable lessons in taking responsibility and contributing to looking after both themselves and our centre for the rest of our learning family. These tasks include self-serving food and drink, scraping scraps into bowls for composting, helping set up and clean up the eating space … just to name a few.