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

Testing four initiatives to increase vegetable acceptance and intake in childcare

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This VegKIT project will commence in the second half of 2020, and the team will be looking for South Australian long day-care centres to be involved. If you would like to receive more information, please contact Dorota at dorota.zarnowiecki@flinders.edu.au.

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