Recognising the importance of establishing healthy eating habits in early childhood, the Morrison Government is investing $2.4 million to help parents, early childcare workers, GPs and other health professionals improve the nutrition of Australian children up to give years of age.
Early childhood nutrition and habits developed in early life often continue into adulthood, with healthy habits reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately, many Australian children do not eat enough nutritious foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes, proteins, and dairy foods, which increases the frequency of visits to the GP – more than 95% of children aged up to three years reportedly see a GP or health professional each year.
To support early childhood nutrition, the funding is expected to be allocated as follows:
- $1.2 million will be provided over three years to the University of Queensland to develop online nutrition resources called Nutritious Tools, which are expected to include short videos, written information, quizzes, and discussion boards targeted at children under five years of age.
- $1.2 million will be provided over three years to Karitane, a not-for-profit health service, for the project Connecting the Dots for Healthy Beginnings in Early Childhood – A National Approach.
The aim of this project is to 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.
The Government congratulates the recipients of the Early Childhood Nutrition Grants.
The resources of both projects will be provided online and for free to make them accessible across Australia, including rural and remote locations.