Attention all cooks!

Cooks play a vital role in ensuring children are provided with the nutrition they need for a healthy start to life. Munch & Move provides information, training and support to reinforce cook’s knowledge and ability to prepare nutritious menus with healthy meals and snacks for birth to five year olds.

Unsure about what children should eat and when? Check out these helpful resources:

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Caring for Children Manual

The Caring for Children manual has been developed to assist Cooks, Directors and Educators in meeting the nutritional needs of children. It provides tools to assist in the development of a menu that will meet these needs. It includes practical information on healthy eating and nutrition for the early childhood education and care setting (from birth to 5 years of age), a ‘Nutrition Checklist for Menu Planning’ to assist with menu development and many recipe ideas. If you need assistance with using your ‘Caring for Children’ resource contact your Munch & Move Support Officer.

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Menu Assessments

Your Munch & Move support officer can provide you with a menu review based on the current Caring for Children guidelines. Send your menu to the Munch & Move team at Western Sydney for review.

Alternatively, if you would like to increase your skills to develop or assess your own menu, we have a number of resources that can help. These include the Two Week Menu Cycle Planning Tool and Nutrition Checklist for Menu Planning.

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Healthy Menu Planning Workshops

Munch & Move Cooks’ Workshops in Western Sydney are free and offer cooks the opportunity to build on their skills so your service meals and snacks tick every box on the Nutrition Checklist for Menu Planning. The training is also NESA accredited.

The workshop will assist Cooks and Directors to implement the Caring for Children guidelines while making your menu creative and delicious. You will learn about Australia's Dietary Guidelines, work with experts to assess your menu, participate in activities combined with education and networking at every workshop. 

Healthy Menu Planning Workshops are currently suspended due to COVID-19, hopefully they will resume late term 3 or term 4. To register your interest in attending one of these workshops when they recommence, please complete this expression of interest form and one of our team will be in touch.

Register your Interest
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Recipe Ideas

Looking for new recipe ideas that are fresh, healthy and kid-friendly? They taste so good the children will tuck in!

You can find some great ideas:

  1. In your Caring for Children resource  Refer to pages 111-160.
  2. On the Heart Foundation recipes
  3. In the Babies and Toddler’s cookbook
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Munch (Healthy Eating Resources)

We have a wide range of resources available to download to support healthy eating key messages in your services. The resources range from policy guidance, menu planning support, posters and digital files that can be displayed and sent to families to share healthy eating messages, through to classroom activities that promote healthy eating at your services.

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Healthy Eating Learning Experiences

Cooking is just one way cooks can expose children to new foods. Why not expand your impact on children’s eating experiences by teaching them about what you are cooking.

This Healthy Eating Learning Experiences resource has been designed to provide early childhood educators and cooks with suggestions for a range of fun, innovative and developmentally appropriate learning experiences that can be included in everyday routines, interactions and curriculum. It includes learning experiences such as books and literature; songs; rhymes and music; experiments; group games; vegetable gardens; and cooking.

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Introducing Solids and Drinking from a Cup

Below are some resources on introducing solids and drinking from a cup that you can share with your families.

Find more information on healthy eating on our Munch Resources page.

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Healthy Lunchbox Support

Packing healthy lunchboxes can be a challenge for families. Below are some resources to share with families to help:

  • The ‘Caring for Children’ resource provides a 'Lunchbox Checklist for Food Brought from Home’ 
  • Snack Swap Poster ‘ and ‘A Healthy Lunchbox Poster’ - Visual posters to provide information about packing a healthy lunchbox
  • The Healthy Lunchbox Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to assist services with guiding families with making healthy choices for their lunchboxes. The toolkit can be used by services who provide food as well as services who have lunchboxes (resource coming soon)

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