Baby steps to diet
Online course teaches nutrition
NEW parents have the chance to graduate top of the class in weaning, spoonfeeding and charming fussy eaters.
A free online “speed university course” is teaching evidence-based research about feeding and infant nutrition for a child’s first year of life.
About 15,000 parents, grandparents and health workers from 145 countries have signed up for the two-week Massive Open Online Course, created by Deakin University.
Course creator Professor Karen Campbell, from Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, said there was often confusion among new parents and carers about how to access high-quality, reliable and unbiased guidance on infant feeding.
“The first 1000 days are considered to be vitally important in terms of setting the trajectory for children’s health and development. Diet is a really big part of that,” Prof Campbell said. “If you can help a woman learn to enjoy a healthier diet during pregnancy, it has benefits for her, it probably has benefits for her partner and her children in setting them up to eat healthily for the rest of their lives.”
In six hours over two weeks, participants will learn theory and practical advice from tertiary nutrition experts.
Ariana Clee’s four-monthold son, Logan, is already showing he is keen to get started on solids; putting his hands to his mouth when watching his parents eat, and grabbing for food. The first-time mum said it had been a challenge to find resources on infant feeding she trusted.
“I’m a bit dubious about what’s on the internet most of the time. I want to make sure the resources I’m reading are legit and are backed by science,” Ms Clee said. “There are a lot of resources now about baby-led weaning compared to the spoonfed weaning that my generation grew up on.”
The current course is still open, with the next session to start in November.
Ariana Clee and her son, Logan, 4 months, who is about to start eating solids.