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Healthy curriculum activities

The National Quality Framework recommends that early childhood education and care services support all aspects of children’s health, ensuring that they are teaching children that healthy lifestyles underpin everyday routines and experiences.

This includes having discussions and planning activities about healthy eating into everyday experiences so the children are encouraged to make healthy food and drinks choices.

By integrating healthy eating principles into your child care service’s programming and displayed resources, you will be working towards meeting Quality Area 2 (Healthy Lifestyle) and the requirements of the Exceeding themes.

Cooking with kids

Cooking with children is an excellent way to help them learn about healthy foods. There are many recipes that children can help you prepare.

Introducing new foods to children

While ‘fussy eating’ or refusing foods is normal for children, it can be frustrating for cooks and educators when trying to introduce new foods to the menu. There are lots of ways you can address this issue and everyone in your service has a role to play.

Taste the rainbow

This is a rainbow-themed series of activities that involve reading, cooking, and tasting vegetables in different colours. It is aimed at 2-4 year olds, but you can tailor the activities to suit the children in your care, and the equipment you have on hand.

Healthy eating games and activities

Using games and activities is a great way to help children learn about healthy eating while having fun at the same time! The ideas below can be used to engage children in healthy eating experiences, teach them to recognise different foods and encourage them to experiment with new foods, tastes, flavours and textures.


How-to introduce new foods - video series

We have developed a 4-part ‘How-to’ video series on introducing children to new foods. 

In each bite-size video our early years nutrition expert, Amy, uncovers how you can introduce new foods using simple and practical ideas that link to learning outcomes and skills development.

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1 – Introduce new foods through MEALTIMES


It’s important to make sure you have a happy and supportive mealtime environment at your service. This encourages children to explore new or different foods in a safe manner. 


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2 – Introduce new foods through PLAY


Playing with healthy eating themed food resources helps to normalise healthy foods and drinks and can lead to better understanding and acceptance of new foods.


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3 – Introduce new foods through SCIENCE


Cooking is a science activity that can connect developmental learning outcomes to heathy eating habits. While you are teaching children about counting and measuring, they are also getting more familiar with new foods and more likely to try them.


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4 – Introduce new foods through ART


Using food in art activities helps to normalise healthy foods and drinks and allows exposure to new foods children might not be comfortable with yet.


Note: Art is just one of many sensory-based methods you can use to combat fussy eating. Like all planned teaching activities, food-based art should be intentional and meet a need you have identified with the children in your care, such as supporting a child that is neophobic towards particular foods. Using real food doesn’t have to mean food waste. You can use scraps such as beetroot tops or carrot peels. You can also repurpose food used in art activities, like seeds, which could be planted after use.


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