Dieticians pleased to be asked to weigh in on Early Years Strategy
The Sector > Provider > General News > Dieticians pleased to be asked to weigh in on Early Years Strategy

Dieticians pleased to be asked to weigh in on Early Years Strategy

by Freya Lucas

July 07, 2023

Dietitians Australia has welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Commonwealth Government’s Early Years Strategy, advocating for a strong emphasis on food and nutrition as part of the national vision for supporting the future of Australian children.


Practicing dieticians recently met with Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP and Minister for Education and Youth Dr Anne Aly MP at a roundtable discussion, where they were able to provide critical insights into how nutrition underpins the health, well-being, education, and development of children in their foundational years.


“The first 2,000 days, from conception to five years, is a critical time to shape lifelong eating behaviours and health outcomes,” said Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian at the Deakin Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) Dr Penny Love.


“Australian children spend a significant amount of time, an average of thirty- one hours a week or more than four days in childcare (sic.).”


“Providing a supportive food environment within childcare should therefore form an essential component of the Early Years Strategy,” Dr Love added.


Dietitians Australia President Tara Diversi agreed, adding that “if we’re serious about setting up children for the best start in life, dietitians have to be at the table”. 


“Embedding food and nutrition within Australia’s Early Years Strategy, together with evidence-informed services, workforce training and funding models, means that we can ensure children have the nutrients for optimal growth, brain function, and long-term health, setting them on a path towards a brighter future,” added Accredited Practising Dietitian and Professor at the Flinders Caring Futures Institute Rebecca Golley.


“The Early Years Strategy is an opportunity for parents, caregivers, schools, and communities to work together to cultivate a culture that values healthy eating habits and the role of nutrition in the first years of a child’s life,” she said.


Read more about the Australian Government’s Early Years Strategy, or access Dietitians Australia’s full submission to the Department of Social Services Early Years Strategy.

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