What is the challenge?

Childcare centres can provide more than half of a child’s daily food intake and, together with learning activities and shared meal experiences, play a pivotal role in shaping children’s dietary habits – including a love of vegetables.

Promotion of healthy eating in childcare settings can improve children’s overall healthy food intake, including an increased intake of vegetables. Other challenges include food waste, which could be reduced by enhancing children’s willingness to give vegetables a go.


How is VegKIT addressing it?

The VegKIT childcare study will develop and test an online package for childcare centres to increase children’s vegetable acceptance and intake.

This study will test initiatives that provide training and support for cooks, educators and teachers to:

  1. Support vegetable provision at meals and snacks
  2. Integrate lessons about vegetables into the curriculum
  3. Encourage children to taste and enjoy vegetables at mealtimes.

The goal is to identify the optimum combination of initiatives that most effectively increase children’s vegetable intake. The findings will be used to develop a comprehensive online package for use by childcare centres nationwide, to increase children’s vegetable liking and intake.


Testing four initiatives to increase vegetable acceptance and intake in childcare



Improving children's vegetable intake in long day care

Findings from the VegKIT Long Day Care Study testing 3 different initiatives (1.Food Provision, 2. Mealtime environment, 3. Curriculum) are presented here. This study aimed to determine which combination had the greatest impact on children's vegetable intake.  The most effective package of initiatives (mealtime environment + curriculum) identified from this study is now being trialed nationally.

Findings from the menu box food delivery study are available here. This study demonstrated a proof of concept that a that a menu box delivery service can be adapted and delivered for the child care setting, however modifications are required prior to being market ready.



To read more about the VegKIT project and associated activities please visit the pages listed below:

Best practice guidelines

Resource registry

Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance

Early years advice to foster a love of vegetables

Supply chain initiatives