In most Child Care services, policies exist to ensure children eat healthy and nutritious meals. Some centres opt to provide meals for all their children – this can result in selective eaters not eating, as well a possible exposure to allergens for anaphylactic children. It also becomes difficult to supply food with the myriad of different diets due to religion, dietary intolerances and just plain fussy eaters.
For most Child Care services, parents pack lunch for their children. But what happens when families run out of bread for sandwiches, or appropriate filings for those sandwiches? Or when a child with a selective palate decides they’d like something else to eat?
Luckily for Columba Cottage, we have access to a canteen which can provide meals for our families. When you’re pressed for time, there is a real benefit from ordering a healthy and nutritious lunch for your child/ren prepared by the SCAS canteen. All foods on offer on the Cottage Menu list are nutritious and comply with the healthy Food and Nutrition Policy which limits sugar and processed foods.
And there’s no need to pack fruit as our educators serve fresh fruit and salad vegies every morning, provided by a local business.
For the younger children
According to the NSW Dept Health, the early years are a time when food habits are being developed, many of which will be retained throughout life. Food should not only be nutritious, it should also help to meet the social, cultural and educational needs of the children.
Appropriate infant feeding practices and food choices are needed to support normal growth and optimal nutrition. Our Educators can also support mothers with the transition from breastfeeding to solids. The NSW Dept Health suggests that both infants and toddlers should be offered a variety of food experiences in order to maximize their exposure to different tastes and learn to accept a wide range of foods.
About the author: All round go-getter, Susanna Christie, is the Executive Director of Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre, where she leads a passionate team of 50 staff who love what they do, caring for children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 6 years. With a background in teaching from pre-school through to university, Susanna is passionate about all aspects of child development and wellbeing. Her qualifications include a Masters in Education, Bachelor of Teaching and a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies. Susanna’s aim is to ensure that Columba Cottage remains the best Early Learning Centre on the Mid North Coast.