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New food guidelines for early child care centres

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CBC news
Publication Date: 
28 May 2012



New healthy eating guidelines are now in place at early years centres across Prince Edward Island.

In March of this year, representatives from the P.E.I. Healthy Eating Alliance paid a visit to 10 centres. They reviewed menus and offered suggestions on how to improve the nutritional quality of the foods served to the children.

The healthy eating guidelines were developed from there.

They include limiting the amount of processed food served to children and offering a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and protein alternatives and dairy products.

The guidelines promote drinking water and shopping locally for food. They also recommend cutting back on salt, sugar and caffeine and avoid artificial sweeteners.

The report goes further, by recommending centres provide at least 20 minutes for a child to eat their meal slowly and another 10 minutes for snacks.

It also asks the centres to provide a comfortable space for mothers who wish to come breastfeed their children.

The guidelines were developed in consultation with operators of early childhood centres, educators and dietitians.