Exceeding Themes Case Study
Exceeding Themes Case Study – Avenues Cannon Hill
Our Nutrition Services Manager, Nicole, took some time out recently to have a chat with ‘Chef Bec’ from Avenues Cannon Hill (a service with the exceeding rating).
Avenues Cannon Hill conducts critical reflection as regular practice and has formed strong and meaningful relationships with families including open and honest conversations around nutrition and food provision. Healthy eating practices are embedded into service operations, with Bec sharing some of her thoughts on how this looks in everyday practice:
- A menu suggestions book is always at the sign in desk for families to provide input, and Bec provides recipes to families when requested.
- Bec always prepares extra of the morning or afternoon snack (whichever is appropriate) and provides it on a platter for families to try at the sign in desk. This sits alongside a fruit bowl for families.
- Bec and Trish (Centre Director) regularly conduct critical analysis of the menu items and their success with the Educators and families. Bec changes the menu as needed based on reflective practice.
- Bec interacts with the children in the rooms. One of her daily goals is to go into one of the rooms at a meal time to talk to the children and interact with them around the food being provided. This allows the children to give Bec feedback first hand. And we all know how honest children can be!
- Bec regularly asks children and families what their favourite meals are. The centre believes that a very important part of providing healthy/yummy meals is to ask parents and children what their favourite meals are. They value the input from all different stakeholders. The centre also asks for input of recipes from families, including cultural meals which she may then prepare in the setting or have the family come into the setting to assist preparing the meal. This practice also includes educators participating in learning experiences in the rooms. Children are exposed to all different meals from different cultures. Different cultural events like Australia Day and Chinese New Year has been celebrated for all the children to enjoy.
- Bec works with the kindergarten room in term 4 to assist with ‘lunchbox’ type meals for those children around school readiness.
- Bec frequently talks to colleagues about items on the menu and conducts critical reflection on food provision. As well as monthly audits on practices within the kitchen.
We asked questions around introducing new meals into the menu with Bec identifying that these are usually welcomed by children and staff. Upon reflection, during our conversation we identified that this ease of transition can be attributed to a high level of trust between Bec, the children and the educators.
Other practices that are embedded into the program at Avenues Cannon Hill around nutrition include positive meal time practices, learning experience opportunities with children around food, for example home corner, a vegetable garden, cooking experiences, which the setting documents. The setting regularly seeks feedback and ideas from families and also has strong links with the community and local professionals around health and nutrition.
Congratulations to the team at Avenues Cannon Hill for successfully embedding critical reflection and meaningful engagement across many quality areas including Quality Area 2. Keep up the great work!