Research shows that less than 1% of Australian children aged between two and eight get the optimal intake of vegetables. That’s right, 99% of our children don’t get enough vegetables in their diet. By the time they’re four years old, Australian kids are already eating an average of more than twice as much junk food as they should. On a world-wide basis, poor diet is recognised as the leading risk factor for death.

Good nutrition makes a huge difference to a child’s life.

The food children eat in early childhood can influence their health in later childhood and even adulthood. Poor nutrition has a significant impact on a range of health outcomes including physical, cognitive, social and emotional development as well as mental health, learning potential, and optimal growth.

Too many Australian children are not getting what they need from their diet.

Most Australian children do not receive adequate nutrition in their diet. We need more research to understand why. We need research that identifies where and how we can improve access to healthy diets. We need to make improvements on a large scale, and for long-term impact. We need to ensure all kids benefit.

By working together – efficiently and effectively – we can make an impact.

The Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research harnesses the combined resources of experts who can change early childhood nutrition in our country – and improve the health and life prospects for children. The potential impacts are huge:

• A society where all young children have a healthy, nutritious diet no matter what the socio-economic situation of their family
• A future where no Australian child is disadvantaged by poor nutrition, and where chronic disease and allergies have minimal impact
• A country in which a healthy diet supports the physical and mental health of our children
• And where families can give their kids the best possible start in life through nutrition, even before they are born.

Imagine a society where children are given the best possible start in life, so they have a better chance at a healthy adulthood and reach their full potential.