Government announces significant $2.4m ECEC nutrition investment
The Federal Government will invest $2.4 million to support early childhood professionals, parents, GPs and others in allied health professions to improve the nutrition of children from birth to five years of age.
“Our Government recognises the importance of establishing healthy eating habits in early childhood because these can continue into adulthood, reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said.
“Unfortunately, many Australian children do not eat enough nutritious foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes, proteins, and dairy products.”
In response to these concerns, the Government is providing $1.2 million over three years to Karitane, a leading not-for-profit health service, for the project Connecting the Dots for Healthy Beginnings in Early Childhood – A National Approach.
Connecting the Dots will improve early childhood nutrition literacy and provide practical knowledge for children, parents, carers, health professionals and care providers, through live nutrition education classes for parents; accredited training for GPs; and resources targeted at a range of health professionals.
$1.2 million will also be given over three years to the University of Queensland to develop online nutrition resources called Nutritious Tools.
The online tools will include short videos, written information, quizzes and discussion boards, targeted at children of different developmental aged under five years.
This project recognises that GPs are well placed to provide nutrition information for parents of young children during consultations that already occur during early childhood, such as for immunisations.
The resources of both projects will be provided online and for free to make them accessible across Australia, including rural and remote locations.
“I congratulate the recipients of the Early Childhood Nutrition Grants and look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition,” Mr Hunt said in closing.