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Conversations with children at meal times are an important factor to the enjoyment of a meal time and also to encourage children to try new foods. Below we have listed some conversation starters if you need new inspiration on what to talk …

Both probe and infrared laser thermometers must be calibrated to ensure they are giving a correct reading. Calibration is a comparison between a known measurement (the standard) and the measurement using your instrument (in this case a probe thermometer). There are …

A food recall is action taken by a food business to remove unsafe food from distribution, sale and consumption. You would have noticed in the media that there have been a number of food recalls lately. Some you may recall include: …

Does your menu change when winter rolls around? The cooler weather provides a great opportunity to add some different meals into your menu that will warm children up after being in the cold. It is also a time to take …

Meeting Nutritional requirements in early years settings can be challenging. For those settings who use an external caterer, it is sometimes easy to put the onus on the caterer to ensure nutritional requirements are met.  However it is important for …

When planning your menu it is always important to consider the needs of children who require special diets. Special diets can be for children who have an allergy or intolerance, or children who have a special diet for cultural or …

Displaying Menus when using external caterers It is best practice when you have your menu on display to showcase what is in the meal. For example, if it is spaghetti bolognaise, list some of the other main ingredients in the …

Reducing our kids food waste In Australia, for every five bags of groceries we purchase, one will end up in the bin. Food waste often heads to landfill, and can be detrimental for the environment as well as our wallets! …

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 Ingredients 250 grams fresh strawberries 2 cups rolled …

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 …

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 …

The guide to the NEW National Quality Framework states “Assessors may sight program planning including cooking experiences that promote healthy eating and knowledge of nutrition.”   Giving children the opportunity to have hands on experience with food is an important …

The new National Quality Framework came into affect on the 1st of February 2018.  You may be wondering what has changed in relation to healthy eating and food safety in the new National Quality Framework.  Here is our quick snapshot of …

Although it may be a time-consuming option for chefs and cooks in early years centres, sandwiches are a tasty and popular option with children.  Coming into the summer months, it is likely that sandwiches will be a regular fixture on …

One of the ‘Guide to the National Quality Standard’ questions to encourage your reflection on practice for standard 2.2 is, “How do we encourage and support breastfeeding in the service?“ There are many things (even if they may be small) …

Although it may be a time-consuming option for chefs and cooks in early years centres, sandwiches are a tasty and popular option with children.  Coming into the summer months, it is likely that sandwiches will be a regular fixture on …

Article by Abbey Warren, Food Safety Auditor FSA/0288   A common non-compliance I see when auditing early childhood settings is the use of agents other than sanitisers to sanitise. Anything that may come into contact with food must be cleaned and …

Need new inspiration on how to include more grains into the menu in your early years setting? We surveyed cooks and chefs from across the country and below are some of the ideas they came up with Main meal ideas: Fried …

Good quality grain foods are a fantastic source of fibre, low GI carbohydrate and B group vitamins for children.  The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that children have 4 serves of grains a day (2 serves while in care). Grain foods …

Fresh fruit and vegetable platters are popular healthy snack options in early years settings.  But care is required ensure that children are not inadvertently exposed to choking hazards. Grapes and cherry tomatoes Whole grapes and cherry tomatoes are choking hazards …

Need new inspiration on how to include more vegetables into the menu in your early years setting? We surveyed cooks and chefs from across the country and below are some of the ideas they came up with Main meal ideas: Vegetable …

The National Quality Standard Assessment Guide for element 2.2.1 highlights that Assessors may observe educators “never using food to reward or punish children.“ Saying things such as “you need to eat more of your lunch before you can have dessert” or “you have …

The Food Standards Code requires that food contact surfaces in food premises be cleaned and sanitised.  Cleaning and sanitising are 2 different processes. Cleaning removes the grime and food scraps from a surface.  You may use detergent or a cleaning …

The Assessment Guide for element 2.2.1 states that Assessors may observe “children being provided with food that is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for for Children and Adolescents in Australia”. It is  considered best practice, for settings providing food, to provide 50% …

Mealtimes with children provide the perfect opportunity for positive discussions around food and can help to develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. When having discussions with children around food, always talk about what is important to the child at …

The warm weather has truly arrived in most parts of Australia. One of the great things about this time of year is that we often get to spend more time outdoors – whether that’s on the beach or having a …

There are many reasons that a family may prefer or a child may require a particular milk.  The market is full of different dairy milks and an ever growing variety of non-dairy milk alternatives.   Not all of these alternatives are …

Background and links to the National Quality Standard For early years settings who provide food to children it is important that consideration is given to the assessment guide for Element 2.2.1, outlined in the Guide to the National Quality Standard. …

Eating to boost your immune system this winter When it comes to diet, there is no strong evidence that links one particular food to cold and ‘flu prevention. However, there are a number of foods that are important for supporting …

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In November 2014, schools  went ‘nude’ with their school lunches to promote a healthy body and a healthy planet for  National Nude Food Day, run by Nude Food Movers Australia.   To celebrate the event Nude Food Movers offered over $5,000 …

  Food Smart Schools have had the pleasure of been in attendance and presenting at the Smart Choices  Masterclasses run by the Qld Department of Education, Training and Employment this year in Cairns and Brisbane.   We had such a …

This month we continue exploring how to market healthy food to kids with a focus on quality and variety. Click here to read the first installment of our marketing and promotion series.   Getting your product mix right is about …

  SERVES 4 PREP & COOK TIME 45 MINUTES  Ingredients: 2 cups red lentils 2 tablespoons of oil 1 onion, finely sliced ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes (more if wanted) 1 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds ½ teaspoon ground turmeric …

  Vegetables and fruits are important for growing children and teenagers. Unfortunately Australians are not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes access to fresh fruit and vegetables can be challenging however there are some tricks to get a variety of …

Did you know that the recent Australian Health Survey (ABS) found that 51% of teenage males had consumed soft drink on the day before their interview.   Drinking energy drinks and soft drinks regularly may seem appealing to the ‘risk taker …

preparation time 1 hour Ingredients: 2 cups of self-raising wholemeal flour 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped ½ cup of bran cereal 1 ¼ cup of skim milk 2 whole …

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