Avocados in Early Childhood Initiative (AV09522)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The avocado industry was seeking to increase the consumption of avocados amongst children. The best time to attempt this task was while those food and taste preferences and habits are being formed – before children reach school age. Therefore the development of an avocado-focused food learning resource for Early Childhood educators was undertaken in 2009-2010. With behaviour change as the avocado industry’s goal, the most important component of an avocados education initiative was for children to be able to taste, touch smell, prepare, share and enjoy avocados in a positive, fun, social learning setting over a number of weeks at least. The resultant food learning resources – ‘Eating My Colourful Vegies and Fruit’ - supported the new National Early Years Learning Framework and mainly targeted educators of 3-5 year olds in Long Day Care Centres and Preschools.
The main task for 2009-2010 was to create a food education resource to final art stage for early childhood educators presenting avocados in the context of broader key nutrition/health messages acceptable to the Early Childhood (EC) curriculum such as “Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit”, “Start with green plant foods”, “Try new foods”, “Language and literacy development through sensory food experiences”. One of the resources planned was a DVD to complement the material and support EC educators in using the materials by showcasing the materials in action in preschools and key food education and nutrition background messages.
The other key task was to trial the draft resource in at least 5 early childhood centres and other early childhood stakeholders in a number of states, plan the delivery strategy for 2010-2011 and to identify and/or establish initial contact with a number of potential partners in the future roll out of the program.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the avocado industry.
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