Making sure your children’s diets are healthy, balanced and nutritious can be a difficult task at times. When your child spends a day at Flinders we are providing them with 50% of their total daily food requirements, so we share your concerns. We work hard at developing a menu which provides children with their daily nutrients, recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, 2013, and which is varied, interesting and diverse. We strive to make mealtimes at Flinders a happy, calm time to share food with peers and Educators, but also a social time, to share conversation and develop appropriate mealtime behaviour and manners. Children’s mealtimes are also times at which carers are supporting children to establish healthy attitudes to food, attitudes which will shape attitudes to food and diet as they grow into adults. This is a big responsibility and achieving these goals can be difficult. Educators feel your pain.
Rosie, our wonderful cook and Alex from Sturt House recently attended a course offered by Nutrition Australia with the intention to gain more knowledge and ideas about creating nutritional menus for long day care settings. The Dietician taking the course briefly referred to some interesting research by Dietician Ellen Slatter, MS, RDN, MSSW, which we have looked at and which sits well within our centre’s philosophy. We would like to share it with you. It is called The Division of Responsibility and it presents an approach to help you make decisions about how your child eats, a healthy approach to the feeding relationship between carer and child. There is also an accompanying article by By Carol Danaher, MPH, RD, which elaborates on the approach. We hope you find this information useful.