Responsive Feeding in Tough Times (R-FiTT)

The challenge

Babies are born with an amazing ability to self-regulate their own energy intake. When allowed to follow their own natural cues about hunger or fullness, children will eat the right amount of food to grow appropriately. This means letting children decide how much to eat at mealtimes, and whether they eat at all. It is not currently known how food insecurity impacts a family’s ability to use responsive feeding practices.

We will work with families experiencing food insecurity to explore mealtime behaviours and understand the factors that enable or inhibit responsive feeding practices. Working with families, we will co-design interventions to promote responsive feeding, optimise bottle feeding practices, and introduce healthy complementary foods.

Findings from this work will help promote the use of responsive feeding practices, including complementary foods, breastfeeding and formula feeding. Responsive feeding practices support reduced food fussiness in young children and promote higher fruit and vegetable intake.