Unit 4

Nutrition Issues for Refugees and their Effects on Health

Unit Descriptor

This Unit looks at the influences of diet on health, acknowledging the diversity of belief systems that exist across cultures. It describes some of the major nutrition issues experienced by newly arrived refugees, and considers how beliefs around breastfeeding practices and the introduction of solids may vary.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Employability Skills

The unit contains Employability Skills

Application of the Unit This unit will be used by health workers, teachers, volunteers, government  departments and organisations that are providing support services for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
Competency Field

While the unit is directly related to Community Services the unit is also related to:

  • Health
  • Local Government
  • Public sector
  • Retail services
  • Humanitarian
 Element  Performance Criteria
4.1 Identify the links between diet and health within a cultural context.

1.1   Identify changes to patterns of 
        eating related to time, age and
        exposure to new foods.
1.2   Describe traditional eating patterns
        in some different countries.
1.3   Examine personal food beliefs and
        explain their origins 
1.4   Explain the effect of different
        circumstances of living on food
        beliefs and practices 
1.5   Plan and conduct a cooking
        session that will support refugees to
        prepare healthy food.

4.2 Identify the specific nutrition issues for refugees and their effect on health

2.1   Define ‘hunger'
2.2   Identify examples of poor quality
2.3   Explain issues of malnutrition in
         both countries of origin and 
         following arrival in Australia
2.4   Analyse situations that refugees
         have come through and relate 
         these to food access difficulties
2.5   Explain why people, especially
         children, might have a poor
2.6   Identify food sources of iron and 
         vitamin C and the interactions
         between these nutrients
2.7   Understand the importance of
        Vitamin D and recognise some  
        of the barriers to
         maintaining vitamin D status for
         migrants and refugees new to
2.8   Explain that calcium is an
         important aspect of the diet
2.9   Compare the food security of
        refugees with longer term
        Australian residents
2.10 Consider culturally acceptable 
         and appropriate methods of
         improving diet quality
2.11  Identify issues related to the 
          use of food vouchers and food
          basket systems
2.12  Combine the information
          gained in this Element and
          apply it to the provision of a
          lunch box lunch

4.3 Breastfeeding and the introduction of solids in refugee communities 3.1   Describe the benefits of
         breast feeding
3.2   Understand some of the   
        nutritional issues related to
        breast feeding
3.3   Appreciate the diversity of cultural  
        attitudes and beliefs in relation to 
        breast feeding and introduction of