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What is INFANT?                 

INFANT, with its focus on healthy eating and active play, is a program delivered in existing parent groups across the early months of an infant’s life. INFANT aims to support parents to achieve healthy eating and physical activity behaviours for themselves and their children and is delivered by trained facilitators including Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Dietitians, Health Promotion Officers and Parent Support Officers.

Find out more about INFANT.

Why was INFANT created?                

Supporting the development of healthy eating and activity behaviours across the first 1000 days of life is important for setting children up for lifelong health. The main influencers of children’s health behaviours in their first year of life are the family, home environment, and Maternal and Child Health services. INFANT was developed to support families in this critical time of their infant’s life. Offering INFANT as routine practice within Maternal and Child Health services maximises this opportunity.

How was INFANT developed?                

INFANT was co-designed with Maternal and Child Health Nurses. When first delivered in 2008, the program provided 6-sessions delivered over the baby’s first 18 months.  The Program significantly improved mother and child diet and reduced child sedentary time. In 2015 the Infant Program was delivered across selected Victorian local government areas, with strong acceptance and adoption by Maternal and Child Health Nurses and other health professionals.

What is happening with INFANT now and into the future?

From 2020, INFANT will be offered to all Victorian local governments to support and extend their focus on early life health promotion within their existing services. INFANT will continue to focus on parents of young infants, offering 4-sessions when infants are 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. INFANT will be supported by a website and the My Baby Now app.  Program delivery will be tailored to the needs of each site.

Facilitators – including Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Dietitians, Health Promotion Officers and Parent Support Officers – will be offered low-cost online training (with associated CPD points) which will outline program delivery and program sustainability.  We will also work to develop a range of opportunities to support facilitators to connect with others delivering the program across Victoria.

Right now we’re focused on refreshing and updating the INFANT website. We’re planning to relaunch this in October 2019 to coincide with our new opportunities for INFANT delivery in Victoria.