New feedAustralia mobile app launched, designed to prevent rising child obesity levels
The Commonwealth Department of Health and feedAustralia have collaborated to design a new data-driven app which aims to prevent the increasing rate of childhood obesity and promote healthy eating amongst Australia’s youngest citizens who attend child care.
The feedAustralia will be formally launched by the Commonwealth Department of Health and feedAustralia this month, seamlessly integrating feedAustralia’s database of over 200 dietitian recipes and 2,000 ingredients with established nutrient profiles and serve recommendations to make recipes and nutritional information available to parents of children enrolled in child care services that are currently using feedAustralia’s online menu planning tool.
The feedAustralia initiative provides children’s services with a free online menu planning tool and nutrition education program to help them improve the delivery of food and drinks to the children in their care, in alignment with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Currently more than 4,000 Australian child care services rely on feedAustralia to help them provide healthy and nutritious meals to the children in their care. The Australian Government has undertaken to extend its funding of this world-leading preventative health and nutrition program for three more years.
CEO of Healthy Australia, Ruby O’Rourke, said the Australian Government’s feedAustralia App will provide parents with unprecedented access to information about the nutritional value of the food their children are being served while in child care.
Ms O’Rourke described the feedAustralia program as having revolutionised the delivery of food and drink to Australian children attending child care. With up to 67 per cent of a child’s daily nutritional intake being received in child care, she said it was vital that, as a nation, ‘we get this right’.
“The feedAustralia App will provide parents with vital information about their children’s nutrition, and give them the peace of mind that their children are eating healthy food while in child care,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“As obesity tracks from childhood into adulthood, early childhood education and care settings provide a valuable opportunity to improve childhood nutrition and prevent obesity in children and adults later in life. Essentially, feedAustralia equips child care services with an in-house dietician.” she added.
Early results from the implementation of the feedAustralia program in services indicate the program has made significant reductions in serving unhealthy foods and improved the intake of healthy food groups, Ms O’Rourke said.
With childhood obesity now an epidemic in Australia, the feedAustralia online menu planning tool and App have the potential to take on Australia’s health future, but require Government to commit to the health and wellness of child to adult, she noted.
“It’s important that the Australian Government gets the strategy right by implementing scalable, tested, scientifically approved and delivered interventions as the ‘foundations’ and ‘frontrunners’ of an overarching approach to tackling child to adult obesity,” Ms O’Rourke said.
Recognising the existing efforts undertaken by the Federal Government in this space, Ms O’Rourke said that the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, has invested in feedAustralia since 2012 and has stayed committed to the delivery of the science, from the shelf to the floor, of Australian children’s services and their families.
The feedAustralia online menu planning tool is available to all children’s services nationally, at no cost.
The feedAustralia App will also be available to children’s services and parents free of charge and will be available to download on both iOS and Android devices on 8 July 2019.