World 4 Kids has shown leadership in the outside school hours care (OSHC) sector by implementing changes at all levels to improve the foods and drinks provided and promoted to children in 13 Victorian sites.
In 2015 World 4 Kids/Big Childcare OSHC engaged the Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) to kick start a ‘healthy eating revolution’ across their 13 Victorian services.
They took a whole-of-organisation approach, which included introducing an organisational healthy eating policy that covered food provision across the organisation’s menus, cooking activities, vacation days, and staff meetings.
All staff have completed HEAS’ online or face to face training on Healthy eating in outside school hours care, and they receive healthy cooking tutorials at weekly meetings.
World4Kids/Big Childcare had their menus assessed by HEAS and implemented key recommendations of the Food and drink guidelines for OSHC , such as removing discretionary food and drinks, adding more vegetables and avoiding salt when cooking.
Each site is establishing edible gardens, and menus are also planned according to what’s in season which reduces costs, and each site now sources healthier products locally (e.g. from local bakeries). New cooking equipment, like slow cookers, has also made it easier to prepare fresh and nutritious meals.
There was some initial resistance from staff and parents who felt the policy removes children’s freedom to choose. But strong support from the management team, and dedicated efforts to involve staff and parents helped to overcome doubts and demonstrated World 4 Kids/Big Childcare’s commitment to providing healthier foods and drinks.
Learn more about how to promote healthy eating in your outside school hours care, long day care, school or workplace on the HEAS website.Submit your story!