UQ researchers help under-fives Grow and Go

17 Oct 2023
Supplied: Grow & Go Toolbox

University of Queensland researchers have developed a website for anyone with children aged under five looking for information about food and nutrition.  

Professor Helen Truby from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences said the Grow&Go Toolbox compiles thousands of resources from across Australia.

“It’s a one stop shop for parents and families, and education and health professionals who are looking for credible information on nutrition for young children,” Professor Truby said.

“Nutrition is crucial in the first five years of life, as children are exploring food and developing taste, habits and behaviours that they will carry through to adulthood.

“There’s an overwhelming number of nutrition resources available, which are often not clearly signposted online for people to find and sometimes are not up to date.

“It can be a challenging time for parents who are presented with lots of conflicting information.

“The Grow&Go Toolbox aims to alleviate this stress, by vetting and compiling nutrition resources into one space for easy access to support parents and families through this critical time.”

The Toolbox has now launched with over 1700 resources available in a range of formats from print media to engaging online content, videos, audio resources, and interactive tools.

The content is categorised for easy navigation and will be continually updated with credible resources to ensure access to the latest and most reliable information.

Dr Clare Dix said the research team worked collaboratively with consumers, including parents and family members, early childhood educators and health professionals to develop the Toolbox as well as new resources.

The multiple consumer panels helped to provide valuable feedback on the website design, branding and user experience to ensure the Toolbox accurately addresses the needs of those using it,” Dr Dix said.

We are also developing some new resources based on areas of need that were identified in our consumer panels, including information on what health professionals can do to support families and young children with food and nutrition.

“A ‘Find a Health Professional’ tool has been developed to help users understand the roles health professionals can play in supporting the feeding of young children, and guide parents and families to the right person to support their specific needs.

“We will continue to grow the Toolbox and one of the ways health professionals can support this initiative is by sharing any resources that they use or have developed that they feel would be valuable.”

Future developments include a ‘Build a Resource Suite’ for health professionals to quickly and easily create tailored resources for patients, and free nutrition education for the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.

The Grow&Go Toolbox can be accessed at: www.growandgotoolbox.com or by contacting the Grow&Go Team please email nutritionforchildren@uq.edu.au.

The project was funded with $1.2 million from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care.

Media: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, habs.media@uq.edu.au, @UQHealth