Resources for parents to take the stress out of the first 12 months of feeding

25 Jun 2024

University of Queensland developed resources provide parents with reliable information for feeding in the first 12 months, to ensure their children get the best start in life.

Professor Helen Truby from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences said the new Grow&Go Toolbox resources provide advice on introducing solid foods, deciphering marketing jargon on infant formula and making sense of the nutrition labels on store-bought baby food.

“There are many conflicting messages about introducing solids to babies, which can confuse parents, carers, and the professionals who support them,” Professor Truby said.

“Our resources guide parents through the developmental milestones, discuss how to introduce different textures, and which foods are best suited for each age.

“Our Infant Formula Guide and Store-bought Baby Food Guide are the first interactive resources in Australia where parents can click through the labelling on packaging to understand exactly what the marketing jargon means and what nutritional elements to look out for.

“Many parents think ready-made baby foods contain the right foods in the right textures for children to grow and develop well, however this is not true.”

The new resources join a range of others on the Grow&Go Toolbox website, including information on selective and neurodivergent eating, as well as printable sensory placemats, and activity cards.

Many of the resources are also translated into languages other than English.

Dr Clare Dix said the comprehensive suite of resources also benefit early childhood educators and health professionals.

“It includes a personalise-a-resource suite for health professionals to tailor resources to their clients, and a podcast series for the early childhood education and care setting discussing how to manage food and nutrition concerns in day care,” Dr Dix said.  

“The resources have been co-designed with parents, carers, health and education professionals to create a range of tools that offer expert guidance and support.

“We conducted extensive consumer consultation and sought expert feedback to ensure the content was accurate, user-friendly, engaging and driven by the needs of these groups.

“The resources are all free of charge, helping families, educators and health professionals navigate that all important first year of life.

The resources are available on the Grow&Go Toolbox website, including the Grow&Go Podcast: Nutrition in Early Childhood Education and Care.

The project was funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care through a Public Health and Chronic Disease grant.

Media contact
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences