Nutrition and Health at Monash 

Healthy meals are essential for the physical, cognitive and emotional development of young children. During the early years of life, children’s bodies and brains are growing rapidly and they need the right nutrients to support this growth. 

Physical development 

Healthy meals provide children with the energy they need to play and learn. They also help children to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for their overall health and well-being. In addition, healthy meals can help children to avoid developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. 

Cognitive development 

Studies have shown that children who eat healthy meals are more likely to perform well in school. This is because healthy meals help children to focus and concentrate and they also provide the nutrients that children need to develop their cognitive skills. 

Emotional development 

Healthy meals can also help children to develop a healthy emotional state. When children eat healthy foods, they are more likely to feel happy and content. They are also less likely to experience mood swings and other emotional problems. 

Overall well-being 

Healthy meals contribute to children’s overall well-being. Children who eat healthy meals are more likely to be healthy and happy and they are also more likely to succeed in school and in life. 

Here at Monash Early Learning Centre, providing nutritious and balanced meals is central to our program, led by our qualified cook who creates delicious and age-appropriate options. We believe in fostering healthy eating habits from an early age and our positive food environment encourages children to explore new flavours and make informed choices. 

Our daily menu incorporates breakfast, morning tea, a hot lunch, afternoon tea and a late snack. We offer a diverse selection from various food groups, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and proteins, ensuring a balanced diet. Milk options (full cream and light) complement the menu and water is readily available for hydration. 

Weekly menus are displayed in each room and at the entrance, keeping families informed about their child’s daily meals. We cater to allergies and special dietary requirements with sensitivity and understanding. 

We also know that food preparation goes beyond practical life skills development (e.g., handwashing, independence). It also nurtures a sense of accomplishment, refines fine motor skills and promotes social interaction as children share their creations. This inclusive activity, suitable for all ages, imbues valuable life lessons from a young age. 

Alignment with “Munch & Move” 

Our commitment to healthy eating and active engagement aligns perfectly with the “Munch & Move” initiative by NSW Health. This program advocates for: 

Balanced nutrition: Our diverse menu choices and focus on all food groups mirror the initiative’s emphasis on a balanced diet. 

Positive food environment: Our encouraging and inclusive approach to mealtimes resonates with the program’s goal of creating positive associations with food. 

Physical activity: While not explicitly mentioned, our program encourages active play throughout the day, complementing the “Move” aspect of the initiative. 

Open communication: Sharing weekly menus with families aligns with the program’s emphasis on transparency and parent involvement. 

By upholding these principles, we contribute to the “Munch & Move” vision of fostering healthy habits and well-being in young children.