Child care providers play an essential role in helping children develop healthy relationships with eating and food. Young children may consume more than half of their daily meals and snacks while in child care. Child care providers are not only responsible for providing foods that support growth and development, but also for reinforcing positive eating behaviours and attitudes that can last a lifetime.
A healthy nutrition environment exists when healthy eating behaviours are promoted through both words and actions. Reinforcing healthy eating through role modeling, activities, and celebrations creates a nutrition environment that encourages children to be positive about eating and make healthy choices.
New Nutrition Resources for Child Care Providers
Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health has created a 10-minute online learning module to help child care providers meet and exceed the nutrition requirements set out by the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (section 42 of Ont. Reg. 137/15.
To complete the Nutrition for Children in Licensed Child Care Settings module, please click on the image/link below:
This module reviews the legal nutrition requirements for licensed child care providers, discusses practical ways to meet these requirements in your child care facility, and provides resources to help you learn more about specific food and nutrition topics. Content for the module is based on the following resources created by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH):
This practical guide provides information on choosing healthy foods and beverages, menu planning, and promoting healthy eating in a positive way. The recommendations in this guide reflect current best practices for feeding children in child care settings and support providers in meeting and exceeding the CCEYA nutrition requirements.
Designed to complement the Practical Guide, this tool helps child care providers determine what is going well in their facility and what improvements can be made in their nutrition practices.
Additional Tools and Resources:
- HPEPH Nutrition Resources
- Food Access Guide: Information on free and low cost food and meal programs in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties including emergency food services, food box programs, and community gardens.
- Nutrition Directory: A comprehensive list of local reliable and credible nutrition programs and services for the public.
- Healthy Life Line: Speak to a Registered Dietitian from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health about nutrition in child care settings, 613-966-5500, ext. 610 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.
- Health Canada Documents
- Unlockfood.ca: This website from Dietitians of Canada provides information on nutrition, food, and healthy eating along with recipes, videos, and interactive tools.
- Telehealth Ontario: Registered Dietitians at Telehealth are available weekdays from 9-5 to answer health-related questions or concerns about food and healthy eating. Call 1-866-797-0000 and press 2 to connect with a Dietitian.
- Eat Right Be Active: Resources for Caregivers
- Information on Food Allergies
- NutriSTEP – Nutrition Screening Tool for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Ontario Child Care Centre Licensing Manual (2017) (Section 5 - Nutrition)