Developing and Implementing a Healthy Eating Policy
What is the benefit of having a healthy eating policy?
A written policy on healthy eating helps to guide staff and families. It provides information on the approach to healthy eating in your early years setting and helps to support an environment that encourages healthy eating. A policy acts as a guide for making decisions and choices every day.
For licensed providers Child Care Licensing Regulations require records of written policies and procedures respecting food and drink to be given to children.
Things to consider when developing a policy:
- Write down what you currently do.
- Review current practices and involve staff and families in the discussions.
- Write down any changes to your current practice.
- Ensure the policy makes sense for your setting.
- Consider including areas addressed in Appetite to Play recommended practices such as:
- Healthy foods and drinks
- Mealtime environment
- Learning about food
- Role modelling
- Infant feeding
Things to consider when implementing a policy:
- Create a policy booklet
- Share policy with families
- Make the policy easily available for staff to access anytime
- Remind families about policy statements in a newsletter
- Monitor current healthy eating practices and identify practices not consistent with policy
- Identify and address any possible issues with implementing the policy
- Review all your policies regularly
Adapted from: Model Policies for Creating a Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Environment in Child Care Settings and A Guide to Writing Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies & Procedures