Building capacity of child health nurses to support healthy eating in early childhood

Rebecca Byrne, Research Fellow and Accredited Practising Dietitian

The challenge

Most health promotion messages focus on what foods to provide to young children, not how to provide food. Following responsive feeding practices at mealtimes allows children to follow their own cues of hunger and fullness, which can reduce food fussiness and increase fruit and vegetable intake.

This research links child health nurses and educators in their local communities, to support implementation of responsive feeding practices during children’s mealtimes in early childhood education settings.

Our findings will be disseminated to educators and health care providers who care for over 200,000 children, state-wide. Large-scale implementation can address parental concerns about food fussiness and support improved consumption of fruit and vegetables in children.