Recipe Omelette Muffins

Recipe Omelette Muffins

Festive Strawberry and Oat Balls

This recipe is perfect for Christmas time and can be enjoyed by those young and old. With only 4 ingredients, it’s simple and easy to prepare.

Strawberry and Oat Balls – makes 24


  • 250 grams fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh dates, seeds removed


  1. Remove green leaves from strawberries, rinse clean and chop into quarters.
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
  3. Process until well combined.
  4. Roll into small balls.
  5. Place in the fridge to firm up and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Involving the Children

Kids love this recipe! They can help with the preparation of the strawberries, measuring out of the ingredients and best of all rolling the mixture into their own balls.

Responding to babies’ food preferences at mealtimes

The guide to the NEW National Quality Framework states:

Assessors may observe educators responding to babies’ verbal and non-verbal cues about their preferred food preferences and meal times.”

To meet the assessment criteria, it’s important that all staff involved in feeding babies at meal times are responding to the cues they receive from infants.

While babies may not be able to tell us how they feel, they certainly have their own ways of showing whether they like or dislike something. A baby’s facial expressions and body language can tell you a lot about how much they like a new food. These verbal and non verbal cues are particularly important to observe and respond to when feeding infants at mealtimes.

Signs a baby is enjoying a food:

  • Leans in when food or spoon is being presented.
  • Opens mouth easily when food offered
  • Tracks food with eyes
  • Pointing to preferred food to indicate wanting more
  • Smiling and content

Signs a baby is not interested in the food being offered:

  • Turns head away when presented with spoon or finger food
  • Pushes spoon or finger food away with hands
  • Keeps mouth tightly closed
  • Repeatedly spits food out when offered
  • Pushes the food back out with their tongue
  • Gets cranky

How to respond to their cues:

  • Respect an infant’s individual likes and dislikes. If they indicate they want more of something, offer more. If they don’t like an option being offered, try something else and reoffer this food at another mealtime.
  • Acknowledge verbally and discuss with baby that you can see they are enjoying/not enjoying the food. Consider why – is it sweet, cold or savoury. All this discussion keeps the mealtime positive, social and is great for language acquisition.
  • Don’t continue forcing the baby to eat the food being offered. If they have lost interest then end the mealtime. Consider if we were introducing a new toy, and the child was not interested, we wouldn’t continue pushing the toy on them. Responding the same way with food is important.
  • Praise the infant and offer smiles and eye contact when trying something new or experimenting with finger foods.
  • If they are turning their head away or showing a low level of interest, do not prolong the mealtime or try to distract the infant in the hope they will eat more.

Mealtimes and healthy eating behaviours

The guide to the NEW National Quality Framework states Assessors may observe educators sitting with children and modelling, implementing and reinforcing healthy eating and nutrition practices with children during mealtimes.


Mealtimes are a great opportunity to promote children’s learning and reinforce healthy eating practices. To meet the assessment criteria, it’s important that all staff involved in meal times are actively modelling and reinforcing healthy eating practises during mealtimes.


Educators can help provide a healthy eating environment by:

  • Sitting and eating with the children. This role modelling of behaviours and healthy eating practises is very important.
  • Using positive commentary about the healthy foods the children are eating. Read more
  • Teaching children about healthy eating through discussions and questions during the mealtime.
  • Encouraging children to talk with each other to model the social interaction that comes with mealtimes.
  • Encouraging children to try new foods. Some children may manage to take a small bite, or others may simply smell, lick or kiss the new food. Every interaction with new foods is positive.
  • Some children can be particularly fussy with food. This should not be a cause of stress or concern at mealtimes. Children can be encouraged to try foods in a positive manner, but should never be forced or pressured to eat.
  • Staff and carers should not react negatively to the inevitable mess that comes with children’s exploration of food.


How you can support staff to meet these criteria?

  • At your next staff meeting, discuss amongst educators what intentional teaching strategies (for example, demonstration and role modelling) could be adopted to encourage children to make healthy food choices for themselves.
  • Ensure that mealtime periods are adequately staffed so that educators don’t feel rushed and can promote a relaxed environment for children.
  • Give educators the opportunity to build on their own nutrition knowledge through seminars, workshops and training. Click here to find out more about Food Foundations training seminars.


Finally, make sure you document experiences ready for Assessment and Rating!


Egg Safety

There are a number of food safety hazards to consider with eggs and there are some strategies you can use to minimise risk and keep food safe:

–          The outside of egg is easily contaminated with micro-organisms that can cause food poisoning.

–          If shell is cracked or membrane broken, bacteria can easily enter the egg and grow inside.

–          An egg shell is porous so even if the shell is not cracked, bacteria can soak through into the egg. This risk is increased when there is condensation on the egg. This may occur with a change in the temperature of the egg after being removed from the fridge.

–          You should never wash an egg as this makes the shell more porous, increasing the risk of contamination


Egg safety management strategies:

–          Discard any cracked eggs

–          Avoid washing eggs

–          Use an egg separator when separating eggs instead of using the shell

–          Minimise risk of cross-contamination between when eggs have been handled and other food is being prepared or served. Handwashing after handling eggs, and following safe cleaning and sanitising procedures are essential to keeping food safe.


For queries regarding using eggs in your early years setting, please contact Safe Food Production Qld


For information on using eggs from a non- approved producer please visit:

Bran Muffins

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Fruit and Cheese Toastie

Fruit Balls

Savoury Vegetable Slice

Savoury Muffins

Happy and relaxed mealtimes for children

The Truth About Fruit

There is a wide variety of fruit available in Australia. The main distinguishing nutrients in fruit are vitamin c and dietary fibre, with smaller amounts of carbohydrates, folate, beta-carotene and potassium. Edible skins are especially high in fibre; however fibre is also high in the flesh as well.

Including fruit in the diet each day may help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. All fresh, frozen, and canned fruits fall within this group, however canned varieties should be in fruit juice as opposed to syrup. Fruit juices also belong in this group; however they usually lose some of the fibre found in fresh fruit (fruit juice is not recommended in early years settings). The high acidity in fruit juice can lead to dental erosion if consumed frequently. Dried fruit can also be used; however it has a lower water content and is also more energy dense.  It is encouraged to eat dried fruit with other foods to increase saliva production in the mouth to reduce the effect of the ‘stickiness’ of dried fruit on the teeth.

How much fruit is needed?

  Age Fruit Serves Required
Infants 7 – 12 months

½ serve per day

(where 1 serve = 20g)

Toddlers 1 – 2

½ serve per day

(where 1 serve = 150g)

Boys 2-3 1
  4 – 8 1 ½
Girls 2-3 1
  4 – 8 1 ½


A serve of fruit equals:

–          Approximately 150g

  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
  • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (with no added sugar)
  • ½  cup 100% fruit juice (no added sugar)
  • 30g dried fruit (for example 4 dried apricot halves or 1 ½ teaspoons of sultanas

As seen in the above table, young children should only be consuming approximately 1 serve of fruit per day. If they are to receive approximately 50% of their daily intake whilst in care, this equates to ½ – ¾ of a serve. One way to ensure children don’t consume excessive amounts of fruit is to have a wide variety of other foods available, such as breads/sandwiches, wholegrain crackers, and mixed vegetables with low fat dips.

Interestingly, the recommended serves of fruit has decreased and the recommended serves of vegetables has increased since the last Australian Dietary Guidelines were released. If you would like to comment on the fruit serves for children, let us know at  For more information, phone 07 3257 4393.



Australian Dietary Guidelines 0 – 5 years

Healthy Eating for 1 – 5 years

By providing your child with the recommended amounts from the Five Food Groups and limiting the food’s that are high in saturated fat, added sugars, and added salt; they will get enough of the nutrients essential for good health, growth and development.

Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain

  • Foods from this group provide fibre, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and protein which are all important for energy, growth and repair of the body
  • Wholegrain varieties provide more fibre, vitamins and minerals than refined foods
  • Instead of choosing most serves as bread and breakfast cereal, also try to  include rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, cous cous, bulghur, oats, quinoa
  • When choosing breads, eat a wide variety including white, brown, wholegrain, mixed grain, rye and rolls, pita breads and other flat breads

One Serve = 1 slice bread, ½ cup cooked rice/pasta/noodles, ¼ cup muesli, 3 crispbreads

Children under five years of age require 4 serves per day


  • Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin C and folate. Fruit also provides carbohydrates, antioxidants and fibre
  • Choose fresh fruit more often than juice, as it is higher in fibre. Dried fruit is nutritious and adds variety to a healthy diet, but its stickiness can contribute to tooth decay
  • Canned fruit can be used as a nutritious replacement for fresh fruit, especially those varieties that are canned in natural juice or without added sugar
  • For children 1 – 5 years dilute 100% juice 50:50 with water

One Serve = 1 piece of medium sized fruit e.g. apple, orange, banana; 2 pieces smaller fruit e.g. plums, kiwi; 30g dried fruit or 125ml fruit juice (no added sugar)

Children under five years of age require ½ to 1-½ serves per day


  • Choose a wide variety of vegetables from week to week. Buy vegetables in season as these are the best value for money
  • Use frozen and canned vegetables as an alternative to fresh. They are nutritious, often cheaper, quick and easy to prepare, easily stored and available in remote areas

One Serve = ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables, ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables

Children under five years of age require 2 ½ to 4 ½ serves per day 


Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans

  • This food group provides a good source of protein, iron, zinc and B group vitamins. Iron carries oxygen in the blood and zinc assists the healing of wounds and in growth and development
  • Choose a variety of meats and fish including beef, lamb, pork, kangaroo, chicken, turkey, duck, fish and shellfish. Choose lean meats and avoid frying or roasting in fat and oil
  • If you are vegetarian or vegan, choose foods such as tofu, legumes, nuts and seeds from this group and choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread and cereals, as these foods are good sources of iron and zinc

One Serve = 65 cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo, 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken, 100g cooked fish fillet, 2 large eggs, 1 cup cooked or canned legumes/beans, 170g tofu

Children under five years of age require 1 – 1 ½ serves per day

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives

  • Foods in this group are an excellent source of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. These foods are also a good source of protein, riboflavin and vitamin B12
  • If you don’t like drinking milk or eating yogurt and cheese, add milk or milk powder to soups, casseroles and sauces, add cheese to omelettes and vegetable dishes and use yoghurt with curries and in dips
  • If you do not eat any foods from this group, include other foods such as sardines, tuna, salmon, calcium-fortified soy milk, lentils, almonds, brazil nuts and dried apricots as they also provide smaller amounts of calcium

One Serve = 250ml glass of milk or soymilk; 2 slices of cheese (40g); 200g of yoghurt

Children under five years of age require 1 – 2 serves per day

Healthy Eating for 7 – 12 months Olds

It is recommended that infants should be exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age. If this is not possible, then infant formula should be used.

For all infants, recommended nutrient intakes are based on the nutrient profile of breast milk for infants up to 6 months and on estimates of the nutrients provided by breast milk or formula and complementary foods for infants 7-12 months of age.

Introduce first foods around 6 months, starting with iron-fortified infant cereal and/or iron rich foods such as pureed meat, followed by other foods from the Five Food groups.

A sample daily food pattern for infants aged 7-12 months is shown in the table below. This is a guide only as individual needs may vary. As you would expect, infants progressively increase the volume and variety of foods they eat during 7 – 12 months of age. Appropriate growth and development will help indicate whether food intake is at a suitable overall level for each individual infant.

Some serve sizes have been adjusted to account for the small amounts that may be consumed by infants at any one time, while common foods for this age group such as infant cereal have been included. Regular growth checks by a child health professional are encouraged.

Food Serve Size Serves a Day Serves a Week
Vegetables/beans/legumes 20g 1 ½ 10-14
Fruit 20g ½ 3-4
Grain (cereal) foods 40g bread equivalent 1 ½ 10
Infant cereal (dried) 20g 1 7
Lean meats 30g 1 7
Breast milk/formula 600ml 1 7
Yoghurt/cheese 20ml yoghurt/ 10g cheese ½ 3-4


The information in this article is used by permission of the National Health and Medical Research Council. 

For more information, please visit or email or phone (07) 3257 4393