Helping children thrive with a colourful variety of foods

Congratulations to Capel Sounds Educational Child Care Centre (ECCC) and Kindergarten for winning our FoodChecker prize draw, a brand new android tablet!

Capel Sounds ECCC recently completed a FoodChecker menu assessment to ensure their service was meeting the Victorian Menu Planning Guidelines for Long Day Care. By meeting the guidelines, Capel Sounds ECCC are ensuring they provide children with a nutritious and balanced menu that meets half of their recommended daily intake from the five ‘core’ food groups (as recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australia Guide to Healthy Eating). Following the Menu Planning Guidelines also supports long day care services in achieving:

  • Quality Area 2 of the National Quality Standard
  • Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations
  • The Achievement Program’s Healthy Eating and Oral Health benchmark
  • The Smiles 4 Miles award.

We asked Wendy Stoffels, Centre Director, about how they use the FoodChecker tool and what benefits their Centre when using the program.

Wendy said “We review our menu annually or when the service chef would like to make changes or improvements to our menu, for example: introducing a different summer or winter meal. By undertaking the menu assessment, we can upload the ingredients of a new or changed meal or snack and check the ingredients meet the guidelines for nutrition before we introduce it. Sometimes we need to adjust the item to ensure we are meeting the requirements set in the food checker and the ‘search and assess products’ function we find very helpful.”

By using the tool to check our foods and drinks against government guidelines for long day care, it gives us confidence that we are delivering healthy, nutritious meals, snacks, and drinks to all our children every day and this supports them to have the best start in life,” says Wendy.

Capel Sounds ECCC have completed all six health priority areas within the Achievement Program. Moving forward, the service plans to continue their efforts to provide children with nourishing foods to help them thrive, as well as their commitment to supporting the wellbeing of their early childhood service as a whole whilst also protecting the planet.

This blog was written by Courtney Zohs, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health. If your service would like support with undertaking a menu assessment, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email at