Nutrition as intervention: the power of a carefully crafted nutrition program in developing the health of vulnerable children

Loraine Fordham

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    Abstract

    The Early Years Education Program is an early childhood program targeted to young children and families who are experiencing significant family stress and social disadvantage and who are engaged with family services or child protection services. It is operated by the Children’s Protection Society (CPS; an independent, not-for-profit child welfare organisation) in a purpose-built children’s centre in a low socioeconomic, high-need area of Melbourne. All children are aged under three at enrolment and subsequently receive 25 hours of high quality education and care every week for 50 weeks a year, for a total of three years. Child: educator ratios are high (3:1 for under threes; 6:1 for over threes) as all the children have been assessed as having two or more risk factors such as parental mental health difficulties, parental substance abuse, family violence, or having teenage parents. In order to support children’s health development a key program element is nutrition. Researchers from Charles Sturt University studying the everyday practices of this early years program have been observing the educators interacting with the children at mealtimes, interviewing parents, educators and the centre’s cook and documenting meal and snack provision.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages36-37
    Number of pages2
    Volume22
    No.2
    Specialist publicationEvery Child
    PublisherEarly Childhood Australia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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