Diet exercises a major influence on children's growth and health. Whether for home childcare providers or at home, it is essential, during this period of intensive and rapid growth and development, to provide the child with a sufficient quantity of quality food that is varied and appetizing.
You must see to this by composing healthy menus for meals and snacks. You must also promote healthy food habits and exercise constant vigilance regarding
food allergies and intolerances.
As a home childcare provider, you have the following obligations concerning diet. Since November 21, 2008, home childcare providers must ensure that the control of hygiene and food safety is carried out by a holder of a certificate of training in hygiene and food safety of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ).
To obtain such a certificate, at least 3.5 hours of training must be taken by a responsible person from each home childcare service. A specific page on this 3.5 hour training is available at:
MAPAQ - Séance de formation sur l'hygiène et la salubrité alimentaires (In French).
You will also find more general information on mandatory food hygiene and safety training at the following address: MAPAQ - Formation obligatoire en hygiène et salubrité alimentaires (In French). The list of trainers accredited by the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire, mandated by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, is also found on its website.
The MAPAQ inspectors are responsible for verifying the application of the Regulation respecting food. Consequently, the Coordinating Office is not responsible for verifying whether the home childcare provider has this certificate.
Healthy food habits
The educational program you apply must give children an environment favourable to their development of:
- healthy lifestyles;
- healthy food habits;
- and behaviours that beneficially influence your child's health and well-being.
Canada’s food guide stresses the fact that food choices can impact the environment. Among other things, it recommends eating foods that come from plants more often than foods that come from animals and reducing food waste. Educational childcare centres can make a difference by making responsible food choices.
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