THE vegetable industry has funded a new resource to help parents and educators get more veggies into their kids.
Coming under the VegKIT initiative, the latest addition is a registry which functions as an online repository with a searchable electronic index of projects, resources and research that can be used by health professionals and agencies to investigate, plan, implement and evaluate their own initiatives.
Funded by Hort Innovation, VegKIT will ultimately provide a collection of practical tools, resources and interventions which support children, educators and health care professionals to make vegetables a more central focus for Aussie kids.
Hort Innovation research and development manager, Jemma O'Hanlon, said eating a healthy and balanced diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
"Yet Australian Health Surveys have revealed that Aussie kids are not consuming enough vegetables each day, in fact, around 95 per cent of children do not meet the recommended daily intake," she said.
CEO of Nutrition Australia, Lucinda Hancock, said the registry was developed to support action, leadership and advocacy for increased vegetable consumption in young children through key settings such as long daycare centres and schools.
"It provides a suite of tools, resources and uses best practice to improve children's dietary intake in each of the environments they are exposed to," she said.
"As part of the registry, all resources will be assessed by a panel of professionals with significant expertise in the areas of public health, child nutrition and/or nutrition promotion.
"The experts will play a key role in reviewing the quality, design and effectiveness of the research and initiatives, as well as assessing how each aligns with the recommendations in the Best Practice Guidelines for Increasing Vegetable Consumption in Children, another output of the VegKIT project."
Research institutions, community, public health and not-for-profit organisations or the early and primary education settings are encouraged to upload their own initiatives.
In return, the resource registry will increase the exposure and reach of the contributor's work, inspire ideas for project implementation, reduce duplication and be the central place for resources and projects that have been implemented into different settings.
VegKIT will run for five years as a national project designed to address the significant issue of underconsumption of vegetables in children.
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