Camp Australia is using National Science Week to help get children’s health back on track following research that has revealed the impact of poor food choices caused by lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions.
The research reveals more children have been eating processed foods, unhealthy fats and sugar because of the convenience and accessibility while under stay-at-home orders.
According to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, one-quarter of children made more unhealthy food choices than they normally would because of the pandemic.
Camp Australia chief operating officer Brett Comer said the disruption to children’s eating habits caused by the pandemic is a pressing challenge for parents, guardians and educators to address.
As a result, the Outside Hours School Care provider is launching an in-service activity, ‘Food for Thought’, which involves educators taking children through the chemistry of food and why and how we use food to fuel bodies and minds.
It will include food experiments to excite them about creating nutritious, healthy meals in the kitchen.
“Parents and guardians are incredibly stretched during these challenging times. Many know how important it is to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits for themselves and their children. Coming up with those healthy choices in an exciting way can be extra workload at the end of a long day,” Comer said.
“As the largest Outside Hours School Care provider in the country, we want to help parents and guardians excite children about eating healthy and to understand the impact of poor food choices.
“Nutrition is foundational to the health and wellbeing of children and sits alongside the need to be active and social.” The in-service activation aligns with this year’s theme for National Science Week, ‘Food: Different by Design’, an initiative by the Australian Government in partnership with Inspiring Australia.”
Food for Thought will also ask children participating in Camp Australia’s activities to create their own recipes as part of a nation-wide competition.
The top 30 original creations will be included in The Experimental Cookbook showcasing outstanding homemade contributions to inspire children everywhere.
Julie Meek, Performance Specialist and Sports Dietician, and Kelly Bramble, Accredited Practicing Dietician, have partnered with Camp Australia for the week to inspire children with healthy eating habits and to educate them about the role food plays. They will judge the recipes submitted for the competition.