Coombs Early Learning provides a healthy, balanced diet for the children and we encourage healthy eating habits. We acknowledge that many children may receive 50-70% of their food intake whilst in our care, therefore we provide nutritionally appropriate food for our children, whilst offering them the opportunity to experience a variety of food from other cultures.
At Coombs Early Learning Centre we have an amazing chef who prepares nutritious and delicious meals. Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and late snack are provided. Mealtimes are relaxed and unrushed.
We encourage healthy eating habits. Menus include fresh and seasonal ingredients, Children have opportunities to experience a range of healthy foods, tastes from other cultures, learn about good food choices, observe and help with cooking.
Our menus comply with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) and is consistent with the Australian Government guidelines Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood (2013).
Children under 12 months of age are offered a mixture of soft, mashed or pureed vegetables, legumes fruit, rice and cereals to suit their stage of solid intake. A textured modified version of the main menu item including finger foods is offered depending on stage of readiness.
Children who require dietary modifications for allergies, food intolerances or for religious reasons are catered for where possible. Fussy eaters are encouraged to taste and eat. We are a nut aware service and do not offer nuts or use nut products other than coconut.
Cultural considerations are important, no pork products are offered, all meat and chicken purchased are Halal certified. A vegetarian option is available daily. High sugar and discretionary foods are limited and water is always available for drinking.
Parents & Carers are encouraged to discuss any concerns regarding their child’s diet or eating habits with the chef and room educators.
The menu is displayed in the service and recipes are available, however sometimes our menu does vary and changes are noted on the kitchen blackboard. Our menus are developed seasonally to ensure a variety of seasonal food is offered. Our recipes are available on request and we are also welcome you to share your favourite recipes with us to share with our community.
Our menu includes the following are provided daily:
- 2 serves of grain (cereal) foods, e.g. rice, pasta, wholemeal bread, weetbix, oats, cous cous, quinoa.
- 2 serves of dairy. Milk is offered at morning tea and afternoon tea. Low fat milk is offered to children over 2 in line with Australian Dietary Guideline. Cheese or yoghurt are also offered as a dairy alternative.
- Children aged 2-3 are offered ½ serve of meat or meat alternative. Children 4-5 are offered ¾ serve of meat or meat alternative.
- Children aged 2-3 are offered 2 serves of vegetables. Children aged 4-5 are offered 2 ¼ serves of vegetables.
- Children are offered a minimum of ¾ serve of fruit daily
- We limit sugar filled discretionary foods.
- Milk and Water are offered at morning tea, afternoon tea and late snack. Water is offered at lunch.