Foodbank WA Delivering Proven Program that Benefits Young Children

The first five years of a child’s life are vital for developing healthy eating habits and building a strong, healthy mind and body. Foodbank WA’s Food Sensations® for Children program, made possible through a Telethon grant, provides parents and carers with essential skills to help their young children enjoy a variety of nutritious foods.

The program also helps reduce mealtime stress by equipping parents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to guide their young children to become confident eaters.

Foodbank WA CEO Kate O’Hara said, “Every parent appreciates that early childhood is a crucial time to establish healthy eating behaviours for optimal health, growth and cognitive development. The Food Sensations for Children program addresses the challenges faced by many parents by providing practical information and skills to make mealtimes positive and improve health outcomes for young children.”

“We recognise it can be difficult for some parents who are not used to food budgeting, have limited cooking experience, limited knowledge or are time-poor to ensure they can provide healthy meals for their young families”.

The program covers a wide range of topics including healthy eating for the whole family, types and textures of foods that will help children grow and develop, how to raise children to be confident eaters, how to read food labels, preparing healthy lunchboxes, keeping food safe, how to shop and feed a family on a budget and how to cook and prepare quick, healthy, low-cost family meals.

Ms O’Hara said “This program really is transformative for parents. It improves food literacy skills like how to plan, manage, select, prepare meals, parenting feeding practices and dietary intake.”

“Our research shows that 70% of participants reported that they had improved their parenting feeding practices (e.g. reducing screen time at mealtimes) while 74% improved their confidence and food literacy behaviours.”

This program is available online and in-person and free to attend for parents. A massive thank you to Telethon for making this proven program available for the WA community.

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Media and interview contact: 

Moira Aynsley | Marketing and Communications Manager | | 08 9463 3218 | 0433 567 224

About Food Sensations for Children

Thanks to support from Telethon, Foodbank WA have been running a state-wide nutrition education program for parents of children from 0 to 5 years of age. The Food Sensations for Children program is a nutrition education and cooking program designed to provide parents with an understanding of healthy and practical ways to feed their children and is free to attend, due to funding from Telethon.

Originally funded for a 12-month period, the program has proved very popular and has thankfully been extended to run for a further six months due to demand.

Feedback from program sessions to date has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Thank you for bringing Food Sensations to Dongara! It has really reduced the stress I experienced during mealtimes and the recipes are so yum!” – Program participant

“This program is so good and helpful. I learned a lot. It made meals less stressful. I have developed more interest in cooking. I understand more about what my kids need and how to encourage
positive behaviour. Please do more programs like this in the future.” – Program participant

The Food Sensations for Children program is an evidence-based program delivered by universityqualified nutritionists and dietitians and developed through rigorous research methods that were undertaken during 2019-2021 with parents and stakeholders across Western Australia as part of a Masters of Philosophy research project.

About Foodbank WA

Hello, we’re Foodbank WA. We believe everyone should have access to good quality food. We’re here for the everyday Western Australians who are going without. And it’s our job to help change that.

We provide food and groceries to those who struggle to afford them. We also deliver nutrition education to promote healthy eating and advocate on behalf of people that experience hunger and food insecurity.

We are here to support Western Australians in times of need. We do this through

  • Providing 6.7 million meals last financial year to those who were doing it tough
  • Distributing food and groceries through 448 frontline charities
  • Providing breakfast and fruit to 492 schools feeding 21,000 children weekly
  • Delivering education programs for over 6,200 children, adults and parents

We work with farmers, wholesalers, manufactures and retailers who donate and redirect surplus product to us. This also plays a vital role in tackling food waste and positively contributes to climate change by reducing CO2 emissions arising from landfill.

Our vision is to end hunger in Western Australia by 2030. Our purpose is to Feed. Educate. Advocate.