The Get Up & Grow: Healthy eating and physical activity for early childhood guidelines and accompanying resources have been developed by child health and early childhood professionals in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. State and territory governments were also consulted in the development of these resources.

The Get Up & Grow resources are designed to be used in a wide range of early childhood settings by families, staff and carers, and to support a consistent, national approach to childhood nutrition and physical activity. When applying the guidelines and recommendations outlined within the resources, early childhood settings will also need to meet any other requirements set out in state, territory or federal regulatory arrangements.

These healthy eating and physical activity resources are based on two key national health documents that focus on children, namely:

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia incorporating The Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers (2003), which forms the basis for nutrition policy in Australia (available in Section 3: Further Reading).
  • The National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children 0 to 5 years, which has been developed to guide policy and practice around physical activity for young children (summary available at the end of Section 2: Physical Activity).
This collection of resources has also been developed in recognition of the rich cultural and religious diversity in Australia. To ensure that a range of needs were considered in the development, early childhood staff and carers, associated professionals, and parents from around Australia were consulted through surveys and focus groups. This consultation included a diverse range of people: some from urban, regional and remote locations, some with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, some from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, and some who care for children
with a disability.

The resources contain physical activity recommendations that encourage early childhood staff, carers and families to make children’s play a priority by providing frequent play opportunities in a positive environment. In addition, the healthy eating guidelines promote offering healthy food choices to children, and allowing them to eat to their own appetite. The guidelines also contain advice for helping children to develop positive attitudes toward food and enjoy eating – whether food is provided by the setting or from home.

The Family Book is one of four Get Up & Grow resource books, and aims to help parents and families work together with early childhood settings to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviours. For more information about healthy eating and physical activity, refer to Section 3: Further Reading.

In addition to the four resource books (Director/Coordinator Book, Staff and Carer Book, Family Book and Cooking for Children) there are additional materials, such as posters and stickers for early childhood settings, and flyers designed for parents. The flyers offer extra information on healthy eating and physical activity which you can use at home. Families and early childhood staff and carers have an important role in children’s development. The information in this book will assist you in working with your early childhood setting to help your child get up and grow!