INFANT is an evidenced-based program designed to help parents and families with healthy eating and active play from the start of their baby’s life.
INFANT in a nutshell
INFANT consists of four face-to face group sessions for first-time parents led by a Maternal and Child Health Nurse (MCHN), Dietitian or other early years practitioner, with content reinforced via the My Baby Now app for parents. INFANT is designed to promote healthy eating, increase active play and reduce screen time for infants from birth until 18 months of age.
- Option: Review the INFANT Facilitator Manual including parent handouts – the manual can also be found in ‘course materials’ in the facilitator’s section of the INFANT website.
We know from our research and talking with INFANT practitioners and parents that there are several core components that are responsible for the effectiveness of INFANT – diagram below:
In brief, INFANT is:
- a scalable, evidence-based program with more than ten years of research.
- Option: Review the INFANT randomised control trial and other evidence that shows INFANT helps children and parents.
- a low cost, universal intervention that enhances existing MCH services.
- consistent with policy frameworks and systems in early childhood health and wellbeing.
- Option: Review links with existing frameworks such as the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan here.
New Australian policy frameworks relevant to INFANT
- NEW: Victorian Government’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures plan.
- Victorian Government’s five-year action plan to support children and young people to be health active and well.
- INFANT is recognised as a key action for Priority 3: “Helping first-time parents access the best possible advice and tips on healthy eating and active play for a healthy, happy baby though community and maternal and child health services via the INFANT program.” Source: Dept of Health, Healthy Kids Healthy Futures plan, p24.
- NEW: National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032.
- 10-year framework for action plan to create supportive environments, empower people to stay healthy and enable access to early intervention and primary health care. Excerpt shown below:
Diagram: The National Obesity Strategy 2022 – 2032
Source: Appendix 3, Commonwealth of Australia (2022). The National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032. Health Ministers Meeting.
- Option: Read about other new national policies and strategies that are relevant to INFANT including:
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy 2021.
- National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021.
Submit a comment to share how you have used any of these existing policies to support INFANT implementation in your area in the Comments section below. Are there any other policies or strategies that fit with your local INFANT program to support the health and wellbeing of new families?
Read through the comments from others and responses from the INFANT team for further ideas. Click the ‘mark complete’ button once you’re ready, then select ‘next lesson’ for the next step.