Although we do not provide meals, at Taigum Child Edu-Care Centre we aim to assist children in receiving a safe and nutritious diet and to provide a climate for eating which encourages children to enjoy nutritious food and to develop their independence in the eating process.
Food should not only be nutritious but should help to meet the social and educational needs of children. Meal times provide a wonderful opportunity to create a sharing, family atmosphere. Food can be used to encourage learning if food awareness activities are carefully chosen. Good nutrition is the balanced eating of a variety of foods. The foods we eat should provide our bodies with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
The list below is recommended by Nutrition Australia.
Breads and cereals
Children should have 2 serves of bread and cereals per day while in care. This could be sliced bread, cooked noodles, cereal, rice crackers, cooked rice, crispbreads, cooked pasta, pocket bread and many other choices.
Children should have 3 serves of dairy foods a day which could be milk, cheese, yoghurt etc.
Meat and meat substitutes
Children should have 1 serve while in care, which could be: 45 g meat, 1/3 cup of baked beans or cooked legumes, 1 egg etc.
Fruit and vegies
Children should have 2 serves of fruit and vegies while in care, such as: 1 medium sized piece of fruit, 1/2 cup vegies, 1/2 cup juice or 2 tablespoons of dried fruit.
Children often get hungry between meals. Nutritious snacks will not only satisfy their appetite but will help promote good health.
Good snack choices are:
- Fruit- fresh fruit cut into pieces or left whole.
- Vegetables - raw or lightly steamed.
- Bread and Cereal Foods- fruit bread or buns, muffins, bagels, wholemeal scones and pikelets, breakfast biscuits, crispbreads and sandwiches.
- Dairy foods- cheese, yogurt, milk drinks.We ask that lunchboxes do not include chocolate, chips, lollies, soft drinks, chocolate biscuits etc. Leave these for home treats. Also, please do not include raw carrot, popcorn, nuts and 'ready to eat' noodles etc. as these are possible choking hazards.
Lunch time foods
- Sandwiches or rolls-try the many varieties of breads now available eg pita, lebanese, rye.
- Tinned baked beans, left overs etc.
What to drink?
Water is the best drink to quench thirst. Cow's milk should not replace breastmilk or formula until baby is at least 12 months. A variety of non-dairy milks are available. Please note that soy milk does not naturally contain calcium. Fruit juice should be diluted with water by at least half and given only once or twice daily.