FOOD Safety

Food Safety can be a challenge on many levels from keeping your child safe if they have an allergy, to educating you child on the importance of not sharing food with other kids. Additionally ensuring your child is a healthy eater presents another range of challenges for a parent as we battle to encourage them to eat all those lovely fruit and vegetables! The websites on the following pages provide information on allergies, recipe’s and suitable products as well as tips and tricks to encourage your little one to increase their intake of fruit and veg.

FOOD Safety

Resources

ALLERGIES

Most people these days are aware of peanut allergies and as such the importance of not sharing nuts or nut products with other children. However, there are many other seemingly safe/normal foods that can make children very sick, suffer a bad rash, lose control of their behaviour or even need to go to hospital.  Some of these foods can be milk, lollies, bread, peanut butter, eggs, biscuits, chips, cupcakes and even strawberries. So for this reason it is best as a whole that your child doesn’t share their food (whatever it may be) with another child.

Our key tips for staying food safe are:

  • Encourage your child never to share their food with another child.
  • If your child has an allergy work with them so they feel comfortable saying ‘No, thank you’ to the offer of any food not prepared at home.
  • Make sure your child knows to wash and dry their hands thoroughly before starting to prepare or eat any food, even a snack.
  • Put together a food allergy action plan – an example of one can be found via the following link.
  • Help your child to read labels so they can recognise the presence of food/s they are allergic to.
  • Talk to them about their experiences at school to uncover if there has been any bullying regarding their allergies.
  • Ensure your child knows how to recognise the signs of a reaction and to make sure they tell someone as soon as possible.
  • Finally stress the importance of not sharing their injector pen or any medication with any other children.

Healthy Eating

We all know that children should be encouraged to consume a variety of nutritious foods. Plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits and cereals, however this is easier said than done. Trying to communicate the importance of these foods to your child’s growth, energy levels and brain health can be challenging so we’ve searched the web for tips and tools to help you do it.

Our key tips for encouraging healthy eating:

  • Lead by example! Children learn what they live so if you eat healthy that is the best example you can give.
  • Start young. It is easier to introduce healthy foods when your child’s palette is still developing a taste for different foods.
  • Get your child involved. Allow your child to help prepare a meal in the kitchen, take them shopping with you and talk to them about the fresh produce on offer. If you live near farms visit the markets with your child.
  • Put together a food pyramid/circle with your child. Allow them to cut out the foods from magazines and stick them on the poster while you discuss what you should eat from the various food groups. An example of one can be found here.
  • Make sure your child has a nutritious breakfast, this will fill them up and avoid them craving sweet foods to give them energy.
  • Familiarise yourself with the National dietary guidelines. Here are the guidelines for Australia – Australian Dietary Guidelines NB: These guidelines are currently under review with new ones expected to be released this year.

Poisons Information Centre Australia – 131 126

According to the World Health Organisation more than 45,000 children die each year from unintended poisoning. Many of us are aware of the dangers of household cleaners such as bleach and detergents and will often keep those locked away however you may be surprised to find that there are many other products that can also be harmful to children.

Our key tips:

  • Read product labels to identify any substances that may be harmful to children
  • Store all dangerous products both out of reach and out of sight as toddlers in particular can be pretty industrious in finding a way to get to something that looks enticing.
  • Keep all medications and vitamins locked away.
  • Check for lead based paint in old houses and remove any cracked or peeling paint
  • Have the poisons information number handy
  • Be aware of products that you may not initially think could be harmful, such as make-ups, personal products, plants, art supplies, alcohol and keep them out of sight and out of reach.
Kids with Food Allergies
This website provides a lot of great recipes for kids with allergies. It also provides a lot of information on living with food allergies.
Lunchbox ideas
Keep your kids going all day long with these healthy lunch box ideas.
Household poisons
Keeping children safe.