As obesity tracks from childhood into adulthood, strategies which aim to prevent the onset of obesity are recommended by the World Health Organisation and are included in the health plans of jurisdictions across Australia. The feedAustralia program has been designed to support these strategies, with childhood obesity at the forefront of its thinking.
With some 60 per cent of adults and 25 per cent of young people overweight or obese, the feedAustralia program presents a durable approach to improving population health by addressing nutrition related behaviours and modifying nutrition environments for young children.
Did you know, in Australia, 1 in 4 children and 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight or obese?
Why Focus on Early Childhood?
The feedAustralia program has been designed to address an identified need within the early childhood education and care sector to translate expert nutritional knowledge and provide a cost effective solution that enables providers to deliver menus that are compliant with Australian Dietary Guidelines.
The benefits of instilling healthy eating habits at a young age are far reaching. The highest quality research, evidence, systematic reviews and controlled trials also show that improving the nutritional environment in early childhood education and care settings can have a positive impact on not only a child’s diet but can also improve learning behaviours.
Meal Planning is Complex
The required nutritional knowledge and computational burden of menu planning and assessment are considerable, particularly for individuals who may not have any formal tertiary qualifications in nutrition.
The calculation of the appropriate number of serves and serving sizes requires considerable nutritional expertise and time given the variations and quantities of food. Early childhood education and care providers must also consider the children in their care with food allergies or intolerances, and provide meat or dairy alternatives for those following a vegan diet. Meals must also be in the correct combination of food groups, avoiding foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.
Understanding that early childhood education and care providers have limited access to cost effective solutions to deliver menus that are compliant with Australian Dietary Guidelines, feedAustralia presents a web based technology which translates expert nutritional knowledge into every day ‘best food selection’, providing early childhood education and care providers with the confidence and assurance that the meals they are providing to the children in their care are both healthy and nutritious.