To help parents and caregivers guide children in making healthy food choices, the provincial government, in collaboration with the province’s regional health authorities has developed a new guide, “Healthy Eating for Your Toddler.”
Healthy eating practices established in a child’s early years set the foundation for a healthy life is the basis behind the move.
“Healthy eating is important for the health and well-being of people of all ages,” Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan said in a news release. “It’s never too early to help children learn about nutritious food choices. The “Healthy Eating for Your Toddler” guide gives parents and caregivers practical information on how to help children develop positive eating habits that we hope will last for a lifetime.”
The guide provides answers to common questions about feeding toddlers, and instructs parents and caregivers on how to use Canada’s Food Guide to plan healthy meals and snacks. This new resource also contains:
· Current Health Canada recommendations and best practices for toddler feeding;
· Answers to common questions asked by parents and caregivers across the province;
· A description of both parents and toddlers responsibilities related to healthy eating;
· And, images that reflect the people and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Through our family resource programs and regulated child-care spaces, the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services promotes the importance of healthy child development by providing supportive programs and services to families with young children,” said Charlene Johnson, minister of child, youth and family services. “This new guide is another valuable resource for parents who want to incorporate good nutritional practices into their everyday lives in support of their child’s overall health and well-being.”
Through collaboration with the regional health authorities, copies of the guide will be made available to the general public during the regular 12-month child health clinic visit and at regional health promotion offices.
“Healthy eating and child and youth development are identified as priority areas within the provincial wellness plan in which we invest $4.2 million annually,” said Sullivan. “Our government will continue to develop initiatives and strengthen the supports available to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador that allow them to take action to improve their own health and wellness.”
In addition to the “Healthy Eating for Your Toddler” guide, the provincial government has developed two healthy eating toolkits. Partnering with family resource centres and the regional health authorities, the” Healthy Baby Club Healthy Eating Toolkit” and the “Family Resource Centre Healthy Eating Toolkit” promote healthy eating for children up to age six.
This work was supported by the provincial wellness grants program. Since the launch of the program in 2005, 211 community groups have received about $3.9 million to fund programs to enhance wellness.