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FOOD FACTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS. Presented by Jackie Brien. Project Overview. Sponsored by Kindergarten Parents Victoria ( KPV ) - peak body for preschools in Victoria. Project funded for 3 years – ending 31 Dec 2003

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FOOD FACTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Presented by Jackie Brien


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Project Overview

  • Sponsored by Kindergarten Parents Victoria (KPV) - peak body for preschools in Victoria.

  • Project funded for 3 years – ending 31 Dec 2003

  • KPV provides support to all early childhood services across the state – preschools, long day and occasional care

  • Almost 3000 early childhood services reaching a minimum 97% of all preschool aged children in Victoria


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Project Objectives

  • Increase the capacity of early childhood services to deliver consistent, relevant and current nutrition information to preschool children and their parents

  • Increase nutritional knowledge and skills of staff and parents through training

  • Provide relevant nutritional resources to early childhood staff

  • Reach all early childhood services throughout Vic


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Project Strategies

  • Established steering committee

  • Develop nutrition training package for:

    • preschool teachers & childcare workers

    • parents

  • Developed by team with child development and training expertise & dietitians with early childhood nutrition experience


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Project Impact

  • Training has been delivered to over 600 early childhood staff in rural & metro

  • Enhanced network for dietitians working with early childhood services

  • Staff nutritional knowledge significantly increased

  • Disseminated nutrition resource to approx 3,000 early childhood services


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Project Impact (cont’d)

Following training, participants rated their increases in knowledge:

  • Understanding of the Australian Dietary Guidelines 91%

  • Strategies for encouraging children’s learning regarding nutrition 96%

  • Importance of providing water to drink, avoiding sweet drinks 80%

  • Strategies for communicating with families re children’s nutritional needs 95%

  • Impact of adult attitudes/values on children’s food intake and food choices 93%


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Contextual Factors

STEERING COMMITTEE

Included representatives from peak organisations and government departments in the health, nutrition and early childhood fields.

Shared vision and commitment for working towards improving the nutritional outcomes for all young children in the State.

SPONSORSHIP BY KPV

A peak early childhood organisation, representing parent committees of management.

Creates opportunities to use and expand on existing networks.

DEVELOPMENT OF LINKS BETWEEN EARLY CHILDHOOD AND NUTRITION SECTOR

Both sectors aim to work towards health and well-being of young children.

Using local community dietitians to deliver prepared training to local early childhood services created valuable links.


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Community Engagement

Families with young children

Facilitators

  • role of parents of young children in selection and provision of children’s food intake

  • desire of most families to do their best to support optimum growth, development and health of their children

    Barriers

  • lifestyle / current community issues eg. Ready availability of a wide range of foods including “fast” and pre-packaged foods, media influence, busy lifestyles.


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Community Engagement (cont’d)

Early childhood field

Facilitators

  • legislative and ethical requirements for early childhood services

  • desire of most staff to do their best to support optimum growth, development and health of their children

    Barriers

  • many competing priorities

  • regular, high turnover of staff and families


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Evaluation

Internal Evaluation

  • Format of workshops reviewed and improved

    • enhanced interactive discussion groups

    • introduction of sample lunch boxes to facilitate discussion

    • more information about incorporating nutrition into curriculum/program

      External Evaluation

  • Facilitation of key stakeholder interviews

    • recommendations for future nutrition interventions


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Sustainability

Barriers

Funding required for free training and universal distribution of relevant and current resources – this helps to ensure interest and implementation in sector where funds are tight.


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Sustainability

Facilitators

  • Early childhood sector regards childhood nutrition as an important issue to address

    • regulations & quality assurance indicators

  • Recent reviews support the need for sustainability

  • Commitment of organisation to ensure continued work in the area of early childhood nutrition


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Next time

  • What would you do differently next time you took on a similar project?

  • Incorporate physical activity

  • Incorporate more hours of staff time

    to plan and implement project!

    FOOD FACTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

    has been a very effective model for

    making a difference – continuing and

    building upon existing project would be

    KPV’s recommendation for the future.

Jackie Brien

T: 9489 3500


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