Wanneroo Weekender - - Opinion -

dis­cre­tionary foods should be of­fered in early years ser­vices var­ied widely among early years ed­u­ca­tors.

Some be­lieve these foods should not be of­fered at ev­ery meal but found it ac­cept­able to of­fer them once a day as a ‘spe­cial treat’.

Oth­ers be­lieved they should be of­fered far less fre­quently, only on spe­cial oc­ca­sions such as birthdays.

Some ed­u­ca­tors be­lieved it nec­es­sary to in­clude dis­cre­tionary foods ‘oc­ca­sion­ally’ to help chil­dren un­der­stand the bal­ance be­tween health and less healthy food choices.

In con­trast, many health pro­fes­sion­als main­tain that dis­cre­tionary foods are nei­ther es­sen­tial nor nec­es­sary in a healthy diet, as they of­ten dis­place healthy foods and di­lute the nu­tri­tional qual­ity of young chil­dren’s di­ets.

Re­search has shown that a

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