Study finds children missing out on healthy diets in childcare settings

Deakin University Study Reveals Poor Nutritional Outcomes in Australian Childcare Centers Due to Discretionary Meal Choices and Lack of Resources


A June 2022 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that discretionary meal choices, such as daily sandwiches, were used regularly in childcare settings, leading to a lack of variety in children’s diets and potentially inadequate nutrient intake. The study also found that a lack of training and resources for menu planning, limited budgets, and time constraints were significant barriers to providing healthy meals in childcare settings.

Lead author, PhD candidate Audrey Elford said recent Australian research found that the average food budget in child-care centres was just $2 per day per child.

Researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, found most childcare centres were feeding children too much refined food, such as pikelets, cakes and cupcakes, and not enough fruit and vegetables and nearly two-thirds of staff who plan their menus don’t have any nutrition training. Ultimately finding  (LDC) centres in Victoria, Australia.


The consequences of poor nutrition in early childhood can be significant and long-lasting, leading to a range of health problems such as obesity, dental decay, and developmental delays. Children who experience poor nutrition in early childhood are also more likely to develop chronic diseases later in life, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
To address the issue of poor nutrition in Australian childcare settings, the study highlighted it is essential to provide more support and resources to help childcare providers supply healthy and nutritious meals to children in their care.


At The Wellbeing Food Company, our core purpose is to empower the Childcare centres, educators, and families we serve with nutritional knowledge, and easy, tasty, safe meals to ensure all children no matter what their special dietary requirements, cultural background or social status feel included and can learn and develop through a good and healthy diet. In doing this we hope to remove barriers preventing noncompliance and consistently exceed 50% of the daily nutritional requirements children need to thrive.


To read the full study click this link.