A healthy diet is essential for children to grow, play and learn.
There is no doubt that a home cooked nutritious meal, thoughtfully selected and prepared by our cook, is another way NT Explorers excels at providing exceptional service. Produce is carefully selected and meals are chosen specifically to ensure children are provided with over 50% of their RDI (recommended dietary intake) each day.
We take our responsibilities regarding the children’s health and well-being very seriously, and continuously review our practices to ensure what we provide ensures optimal outcomes for children in their overall lives. Early childhood Regulations require us to provide food that is consistent with the Australian Government guidelines “Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood”, and the “Australian Dietary Guidelines”.
The goal of the healthy eating guidelines is to promote offering healthy food choices to children, while also encouraging children to eat to their own appetites, develop positive attitudes toward selecting food, and enjoy eating.
Teaching children about healthy food and lifestyle choices is embedded in the NT Explorers curriculum. Our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is embedded in everyday practice and children develop a very strong connection to our outdoor environment, as genuine contributors to designing and caring for these areas. Our team apply a consistent approach to our healthy eating environment. This consistency is fundamental to the children continuing to learn about healthy eating, and to know what to expect at NT Explorers. Educators foster a healthy eating environment by being excellent role models, and following guidelines set out in Get Up & Grow.
The passing of food, plates and cutlery gives children the opportunity to help each other and to join in the community of family. Being engaged in mealtimes is about more than refuelling bodies, it develops children’s self help and social skills and is a time for discussions with their friends and educators. It’s a time which engages their senses, becoming immersed in the sight, sound, smell, feel and taste of cooking.
Our 4 week rotating menus are reviewed regularly and displayed throughout the centre and parent suggestions are welcomed. Children are offered milk at all meal times and drinking water is available to them at all times.
Our menus cater for the allergies and intolerances of children in our care and these requirements are discussed in detail with families before their children commence at the Service.
Our kitchen is a registered as a food business with the NT Government Department of Health.
Any kitchen leftovers are donated as pet food to families and our local RSPCA.