Safefood is urging parents are being urged to make practical changes to everyday lifestyle habits such as portion sizes, drinks and screen time to make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of children and combat the island’s high levels of childhood overweight and obesity.
What does research tell us?
It is important that mothers are supported to continue to breastfeed when they go back to work. The WHO, Department of Health and HSE recommend that children are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
The menu plan provides a guide for breakfast, lunch, tea and snack suggestions for five days of the week. A full selection of tried and tested child-friendly recipes is included. Ingredients required to make meals for groups of 10, 20 or 30 children are detailed. The menu plans have been analysed to ensure they meet the recommended daily amounts of key nutrients for pre-school children aged 18 months to three years. During the pilot testing, the resource was rated with respect to ease of use, popularity of the menus with children, wastage, value for money and availability of ingredients. Colour coding is used for easy reference across sections. Plain English is used throughout. The resource was short-listed as a finalist for the 2009 Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards.
The menu plan has been available in English since 2007 and pre-school staff have been given the opportunity to attend a food and nutrition training session facilitated by their local Community Dietitian. Feedback has demonstrated that the resource is widely used and is a practical, user-friendly addition to the pre-school kitchen. 2011 marks an exciting new development as the resource has now been translated into Irish.