The Importance of Healthy Eating
The Wiggles have shown an ongoing commitment to ensuring that healthy messages about childhood nutrition are provided to young children and their parents and carers. They believe in promoting healthy eating behaviours in young children in an entertaining way. Children’s nutrition provides the energy source that children need to make the most of each day. There are lots of Wiggly songs that focus on children, nutrition and eating healthily. Medibank and The Wiggles have worked with nutrition experts to ensure that a healthy food message is conveyed to both parents and their children.
Positive relationships between children, health and nutrition – child nutrition and development.
Children’s nutrition requirements are an often-observed part of childhood growth and development. A positive relationship between children, nutrition and wellbeing is important to their lifestyle and their future health. This section provides information that can guide parents and carers about the childhood nutrition and eating behaviours that will lead to the development of healthy eating habits.
Childhood nutrition and the establishment of good eating habits early in life has a marked impact on dietary choices that will be made in the future and can decrease the risk of chronic disease in adulthood.
Additionally, good child nutrition is paramount to the overall development and wellbeing of children in allowing them to reach their potential.
Parents and carers play a crucial role in ensuring that children have healthy eating practices and adequate childhood nutrition. They are the main role models who will influence the food choices of children. As such, health, nutrition and eating habits are products of these environments and influences. Young children have unique childhood nutrition needs that must meet the demands of growth and development as well as daily activity. It is extremely difficult to make up for poor eating habits in childhood at a later stage in life, as childhood nutrition practices become habitual in adulthood. Therefore the more information parents have about children’s nutrition the more likely it is that they will be able to help children develop healthy eating habits.
Child Nutrition Australia – ensuring child nutrition and wellbeing.
Ensuring your child has a positive attitude towards food is an important part of creating good child health,a nutrition rich diet and healthy lifestyle practices. In the changing health landscape focused around convenience foods and sedentary lifestyles, reinforcing good child nutrition in Australia has never been more important.
Child health, nutrition and variety
Learning to eat a variety of food is also an important part of discovering the world around us. Therefore, a variety of different foods should be offered to children on a regular basis. Good child nutrition is focused on exposing children to a wide range of healthy tastes and flavours. In fact, childhood nutrition needs to mirror the recommended healthy eating practices for all Australians. The ideal foods to eat everyday are fruit, vegetables, breads and cereals, small amounts of lean meats, chicken or fish and dairy products. Ensure that less nutritious food, such as chips, pies, pastries, deep fried food, soft drink and confectionary, are only eaten sometimes. Setting your children nutrition based goals and encouraging them to eat well can be very rewarding. Children, healthy nutrition and a general sense of health and wellbeing go hand in hand.
In Australia, we are truly lucky to have access to a wide range of cuisines and fresh produce to form the basis of good children’s nutrition. Child nutrition need not be a chore with such a wonderful variety of healthy foods available. One of the ways in which Medibank and The Wiggles can assist you in getting your children to enjoy a wide range of healthy foods is through their songs, educating them about the links between child health, nutrition and feeling great!
Guidelines for Child Nutrition
Child health, nutrition and energy are all closely linked. Making decisions about their own nutrition can be a fun way to get children interested in food. Learning about the health benefits of enjoying fresh vegetables, fruits and whole-wheat, will ensure lots of energy!
The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (National Health and Medical Research Council, 1995) are designed to help parents choose foods for their children’s nutritional needs that will promote healthy growth and development.
The following tips can assist the whole family to eat healthy food:
- Plan, shop and cook healthy meals together, and avoid turning on the television during meal times.
- Encourage the whole family to eat breakfast.
- Get your children involved in preparation and packing of healthy school lunches.
- Make sure you keep healthy snacks in the pantry.
- Choose water and milk as drinks most of the time. Avoid sweetened drinks such as cordial, soft drinks and fruit juice.
- Prepare and store your food safely.
- Encourage your child to choose healthy foods.
- Talk about healthy food using positive language.
- Set a good example as parents.
The most important aspect of children’s nutrition is to forge a positive relationship between, children, good food and staying well. The Wiggles and Medibank have teamed up to promote this healthy living message and to encourage children to seek information about nutrition.
- Child health, nutrition and wellbeing are important for our future and education plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy society.
- Children’s nutrition forms the basis of their lifestyle and boundless energy, thus it is important for them to ‘re-fuel’ properly!
- Medibank and The Wiggles take a proactive approach in looking at children’s nutrition, and help ensure the best in health for your family.
The childhood nutrition information on this site is a general guide for parents and carers. Please consult with a health professional if there are specific issues related to your child. An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help provide individual advice for parents and carers on a wide range of nutrition-related matters. The Dietitians Association of Australia can help you search for a qualified dietician in your area.