Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

5.2 Food and Nutrition

Amberley OSHC recognises and acknowledges the importance of providing food that is both nutritious and appropriate to the needs of the children attending OSHC.  Amberley OSHC encourages and promotes the health and wellbeing of children through providing positive learning experiences during meal/snack times where good nutritional food habits are developed in a happy, social environment.  Parents are encouraged to participate in this approach to nutrition for their children.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act, 2010 and Regulations 2011
  • Australian Dietary Guidelines (NHMRC 2013)
  • Physical Activity Nutrition Outside School Hours (PANOSH) (2012)
  • ‘My Time, Our Place’ Framework for School Age Care
  • NQS Area: 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.5, 1.1.6; 2.2;  2.1.1,  2.1.3, 2.1.4; 2.2.1; 2.3.1, 2.3.2; 4.2.1; 6.1; 6.2.1; 6.3.2; 7.1.2, 7.1.4; 7.2.1, 7.2.3; 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.5. 
  • Policies: 6 – Behaviour Support and Management, 3.1 – Educational Program Planning, 3.3 – Educators Practice, 4.3 – Hygiene, 5.1 – Food Handling and Storage, 9.2 – Enrolment, 9.3 – Communication with Families.


Development of Nutrition Policy

A detailed nutrition policy will be developed with opportunities for consultation with families, educators and the Management Committee.

The policy will be based on information from recognised health authorities, which may include any or all of the Commonwealth or State Government Health Department and non-government organisations with recognised expertise in nutrition (eg Nutrition Australia, Heart Foundation, Queensland Health).

The Nominated Supervisor will be responsible to regularly review, and when necessary ensure that Amberley OSHC obtains formal reviews of this Nutrition Policy from a recognised nutrition authority or a person duly qualified to advise in relation to it.

The Nominated Supervisor will report to the Management Committee at least once a year and otherwise whenever a change is made to this Nutrition Policy, on the educator, parent and other consultations undertaken by the Nominated Supervisor in respect of the Nutrition Policy.

Recommended food

Information about healthy food choices is gathered from recognized authorities (i.e. Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia (NHMR) 2003, Nutrition Australia).

Services managed by school Parents and Citizens Associations may also choose to reference the Queensland Education initiative ‘Smart Choices, Healthy Foods’.

 Provision of healthy and varied food choices

Where Amberley OSHC provides food, educators will seek to provide food:

  • which is healthy, balanced, varied, age appropriate and consistent with Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia (NHMR) 2003;
  • which includes a good balance of fresh foods, as opposed to pre-packaged and prepared foods;
  • which as far as reasonably possible, meets the dietary needs of children with special dietary needs of which Amberley OSHC has been made aware, or becomes aware.

Service menus are planned ensuring that food provided is varied and encompass the main food groups as per the Australian Dietary Guidelines.  Families, children and educators are encouraged to contribute ideas for the menu.”

For all foods provided by Amberley OSHC to the children, e.g. breakfast, afternoon tea and/or additional foods provided during vacation care and/or as part of cooking activities, a weekly menu will be displayed which accurately describes the foods to be provided.

Foods provided to the children during vacation care will be decided upon following consultation with management and families of the service.

Where breakfast and afternoon tea are provided, a menu for the week will be displayed.  During vacation care, children will be required to supply their own morning tea and lunch from home.

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor will discuss with all parents any food allergies and restrictions (including cultural or religious) which are required by the parent to be enforced at Amberley OSHC.  Details of these restrictions will be noted on the enrolment form and passed on to educators.  Food allergies or restrictions which are based on health reasons should be accompanied by a letter from a medical practitioner or other health professional.

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor (and educators) will seek to accommodate all such reasonable nutritional needs of a child by giving appropriate directions to educators in relation to that child.

Where children have special dietary needs which are not reasonable that Amberley OSHC meet, the Nominated Supervisor will consult with parents and where necessary, the meal will be supplied from home.

When parents provide food for their child, healthy food and drink choices are encouraged.

The eating environment

Social interactions will be encouraged during meal/snack times.  Educators will spend this time interacting with the children and model good eating and social habits.

Children will be encouraged to use effective hand hygiene, prior to regular service meal times.

To ensure safety, children will be encouraged to sit whilst eating and/or drinking.

Children eating food at Amberley OSHC, outside the regular meal times of Amberley OSHC, will be encouraged to use effective hand hygiene and to sit while eating.

Preparation of food

The Nominated Supervisor will be responsible to ensure that all food preparation and preparation areas comply with all laws and regulations, including Ipswich City Council by-laws where applicable.

Before preparing food educators will wash hands with warm water and soap and dried in a correct manner. Hand sanitiser can be applied after washing.

Educators will ensure their hair does not fall into food; bob or long hair has to be tied back.

Educators who are sick with infectious diseases are given duties other than food preparation.

All food preparation surfaces and utensils will be kept clean and, in particular, will be thoroughly cleaned before and after use.

On arrival Educators will wash hands with soap and water. Educators will wash their hands, and ensure that children wash their hands, thoroughly with soap and water and apply instant hand sanitiser using the correct technique before handling, preparing and eating of food.

Only glass cutting boards will be used to prepare food.

A separate glass cutting board is used to prepare meat, fish or poultry.  This cutting board is clearly marked.

Serving of food

When food is being prepared and served gloves will be worn at all times and educators will ensure their hair does not fall into food; bob or long hair has to be tied back.

Independence will be fostered by encouraging children to serve themselves food, under supervision from educators, using appropriate equipment.

If educators need to serve food to the children, tongs and/or gloves will be used.

At meal/snack times, educators will encourage children to try different foods and to take appropriate portions.

Educators will encourage children to be seated while eating and drinking.

Once food has been served, gloves will be removed in the appropriate manner and hands will be washed with warm water and soap, dried in a correct manner and hand sanitiser applied.

 Involving children

Educators involve and consult children when planning the menu and/or food activities and experiences through group meetings and/or children suggestions.

Educators will facilitate children being involved in the preparing and serving of food through ‘serve-yourself’ routines and activities such as breakfast meals.

Educators will encourage and involve children in conversations and routines that promote healthy eating and good nutrition.

 Drinking Water

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor will ensure that children have ready access to cool drinking water and clean cups.

Cups used for drinking will be clearly labelled with the child’s name and stored in the correct manner.

Cups will be cleaned at the end of each session/day.

Educators will encourage children to drink extra water during the summer months, supplying their own water bottle if necessary.

Educators will encourage parents to provide children with extra water to take with them on excursions.

A record will be kept of filter change to water coolers in both junior and senior rooms.

A record will be kept on the cleaning of water chiller’s.

Overspill trays will be wiped at the end of each session and thoroughly cleaned each week.

Water containers will be placed near the water chillers for any discarded water. These will be monitored and emptied at regular intervals.

Diverse cultural experiences

Food provided includes food from various cultures particularly those represented in Amberley OSHC and local community.

Families from other cultures within Amberley OSHC or wider community may be invited to participate in the program, providing children with food experiences from their own culture.

Food awareness activities will be chosen from a variety of cultures and may include:

  • Different ways of serving the food (ie chopsticks);
  • Different varieties of foods (eg feta cheese instead of cheddar);
  • Foods that may have significance within their culture (eg anzac biscuits and their origin).

Communication with families

The food provided by Amberley OSHC is planned ahead and menus are displayed in a prominent place for families and children.

Where parents are required to provide food for their children, Amberley OSHC will provide relevant nutritional information as well as suggestions for healthy food and drink choices.

If a child has special food needs eg cultural requirements or food allergies, Amberley OSHC will work with parents to develop a plan to meet the child’s needs.  Parents will inform Amberley OSHC of any changes.

Through the Family Handbook, parents are alerted to Amberley OSHC’s Nutrition Policy, and invited to contact the Nominated Supervisor at any time to discuss any comments, concerns or feedback in relation to the Nutrition Policy, and of their child’s particular dietary requirements for health or other reasons.

The Nominated Supervisor will arrange at least one opportunity every twelve months for parents to have input into the Nutrition Policy.

 Professional Development

Service management will ensure that educators are provided with adequate training and instruction in relation to food handling and storage procedures.

Educators will be encouraged to attend professional development on food and nutritional related issues.

Amberley OSHC will ensure that information and/or fact sheets relating to food safety and nutrition are readily available for educators.

Food Experiences

Food will not be used in Amberley OSHC as punishment or reward for children.

Educators will encourage children to learn about food and nutrition through:

  • Food awareness authorities being included in Amberley OSHC program (eg Nutrition Australia);
  • Engaging children in conversations about healthy lifestyles and good nutrition;
  • Inclusion of children in service meal routines.

Please note:  This policy has been developed in accordance with recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia (NHMRC 2003) and the Queensland Health Panosh (Physical Activity and Nutrition in Outside School Hours Care) resource.

Reviewed and Updated 23 March 2015, Updated 12 May 2015, Updated 30 May 2017

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