Supporting healthy eating and prevention of childhood obesity in the early years
An online learning activity to explore the association between early years feeding and obesity.
Promoting healthy behaviours in early life should be an important consideration in strategies to prevent obesity.
This learning activity aims to provide knowledge and practical tools to be able to support young children in the early years to maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy, balanced diet and to help give them the best possible start in life.
This activity looks at the association between early years feeding and obesity and introduces important areas in early years nutrition that may have a significant impact on the prevention of overweight and obesity. These include breastfeeding, complementary feeding and feeding practices like responsive feeding.
It includes information developed by the British Nutrition Foundation, as well as advice from academic and nutrition experts.
It may be helpful for anyone working with infants, young children and their families and carers including healthcare and nutrition professionals, early years practitioners and childminders and students. It may also be of interest to a parent, carer or guardian looking for in-depth information in this subject area.
We do hope you enjoy the activity and find the learning valuable.
The learning activity is divided into 4 modules:
- Healthy weight in young children: Setting the scene. This module describes the prevalence, implications for health and risk factors of childhood obesity.
- Breastfeeding. This module outlines recommendations and current practices. It also explores the benefits of breastfeeding, including the reduction of baby’s risk of obesity, and the influence of breastfeeding on the gut microbiome.
- Complementary feeding. The types of food introduced during the complementary feeding period and the timing of the introduction of solid foods are key in ensuring a good nutritional status and taste preferences. This module identifies current guidelines and best practices for complementary feeding, including foods to encourage and foods to be aware of. It also looks at the importance of early feeding in developing tastes like for vegetables. Early, repeated exposure using a variety of vegetables is important.
- Early life practices including responsive feeding. This module explores the fact that HOW infants are fed (not just WHAT) can impact their energy and nutrient intake. It also covers how responsive approaches can help maintain a healthy weight and encourage children to accept foods that are part of a healthy dietary pattern.
The British Nutrition Foundation is grateful to Nestle Nutrition for providing an educational grant towards this learning resource. The programme has been directed by the Foundation alone, which is committed to producing independent, evidence-based science.
Looking at childhood obesity and its importance in health and wellbeing.
Exploring the importance of breastfeeding and its association in reducing obesity risk.
Discussing the introduction of first foods and association with obesity risk.
Considering how good feeding practices can support a healthy weight.
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Please note that advice provided on our website about nutrition and health is general in nature. We do not provide any personal advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members.