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When Parents are sending food from home, it's important that they understand they need to bring snacks and pack a lunch that is healthy and nutritious for their child. For some parents, who may be busy, it may be challenging to pack the right foods so it's vital that the service and families collaborate to promote healthy eating.

Victorian researchers have found that by the time a child turns three and a half, a quarter of children's energy intake was fueled by foods deemed too high in saturated fat or sugar to belong in the five healthy food groups.

In recent weeks, we informed you that research found that 95% of Early Childhood Services in Australia are feeding children incorrectly balanced meals and failing to meet NQS Requirements. A new online menu planning tool feedAustralia has now been developed in partnership with Healthy Australia available free to all Early Childhood Settings to ensure nutritional requirements are met for all children.

According to research by Healthy Australia and the University of Newcastle, it is found that 95% of early childhood centres are feeding children incorrectly balanced meals and only 5% met the complex dietary requirements of the NQS.

Your baby has just turned one…they are definitely growing up fast and it’s time to give a variety of different foods to your little one. From now on, the foods you give your baby during breakfast, lunch and dinner will begin to replace milk as the main source of nourishment. At this stage milk will only provide half the calories and nourishment needed for your growing baby.

What an exciting time... your baby is finally moving on from milk to solids. This is a crucial stage in your baby's development. From now on, the rapid growth and development of your baby requires more nutrients that milk alone cannot provide. It is also important to remember that starting on solids is an ongoing process where you have to pay special attention to any food allergy symptoms that your baby may present.

Breastfeeding...what an amazing ability female bodies have to produce milk for their own baby. Breastfeeding is a natural process that develops while you are pregnant until you are ready to produce milk. Best of all it's free!!

“Yuck, I’m not eating that”… I’m sure you have heard your child say this on more than one occasion. Your child is growing up and developing their own ideas and interests on what types of foods they are most likely to eat and enjoy. With all the fast food gimmicks shown on television lately as well as peer pressure from school and popular trends, it can be difficult to establish healthy eating habits with your school age child. Trying to convince your child to eat their vegetables isn't going to always work. The trick is to make healthy choices more appealing.

Iron is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. It also plays an important role in fighting infections, brain development and growth. Children who do not eat enough iron containing foods may become tired, faint, pale, uninterested in play and may complain of headaches and often have low appetites. If you do not eat enough iron from food the level of iron stores in the body will fall and anaemia may result. It is best to eat a diet supplying enough iron in order to stay healthy. To improve blood iron levels it is recommended that everyday you eat a variety of foods that contain iron.

In hot weather it can be very easy for physically active children to suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. A physically active child can be described as a child who participates in at least an hour of high intensity physical activity every day. Some examples of high intensity activity include team sports such as soccer, football or netball, swimming training, running or tennis.

It is known that children do not stop to drink as much as adults do and are likely to only stop when they are quite thirsty. At this stage it is likely that children are already mildly dehydrated.

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