The Morrison Government is investing $2.4 million to help parents, early childcare workers, GPs and other health professionals improve the nutrition of Australian children up to five years of age.
Our Government recognises the importance of establishing healthy eating habits in early childhood because these can continue into adulthood, reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately, many Australian children do not eat enough nutritious foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes, proteins, and dairy products.
More than 95% of children aged up to 3 years see a GP or health professional each year.
Our Government is providing $1.2 million over three years to the University of Queensland to develop online nutrition resources called Nutritious Tools.
The online tools will include short videos, written information, quizzes and discussion boards, targeted at children of different developmental ages under 5 years.
Karitane, a leading not-for-profit health service, is being funded with $1.2 million over three years for the project Connecting the Dots for Healthy Beginnings in Early Childhood – A National Approach.
Connecting the Dots will improve early childhood nutrition literacy and provide practical knowledge for children, parents, carers, health professionals and care providers, through live nutrition education classes for parents; accredited training for GPs; and resources targeted at a range of health professionals.
This project recognises that GPs are well placed to provide nutrition information for parents of young children during consultations that already occur during early childhood, such as for immunisations.
The resources of both projects will be provided online and for free to make them accessible across Australia, including rural and remote locations.
I congratulate the recipients of the Early Childhood Nutrition Grants and look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition.