You will already be familiar with the key messages and the main topics covered in INFANT – healthy eating, active play and healthy, happy families (parent information). Next, the INFANT team will provide an update on new research and Frequently Asked Questions related to the seven key messages that are contextualised to the needs of parents and their child within each age-appropriate session.

Quick tip: A summary of the key messages is provided in the MBN app and also the online parent handouts for the 3, 6, 9 and 12 month sessions – these resources are suitable to print as handouts.

FAQ from parents during INFANT groups 

Here are some common questions asked by parents attending INFANT groups. Read the INFANT team’s suggested response to parents during an INFANT group and ideas for further resources. The INFANT team has also answered more FAQs related to feeding, healthy eating and active play on the My Baby Now app. 

Drawing on parents’ experiences

You can also draw on the experience and ideas from parents to help to answer tricky questions – e.g. discussing tricky questions as a group discussion to elicit tips and suggestions of other parents. Below, we’ve also included some ideas for further group discussion on each topic.

Q1: As a parent, what should I do if I have concerns about a food allergy or food intolerance?

ANSWER for group:

  • Food allergy involves an immune-system reaction whereas food intolerance results in a chemical reaction to food that’s otherwise harmless. While the symptoms of allergy and intolerance can be similar, symptoms related to food allergy typically present quickly, while food intolerance may take 12- 24 hours to develop. Professional advice from a qualified professional is important to effectively diagnosis and manage food allergy or intolerance. If a parent is concerned about food allergy or intolerance, advise them the stop offering that food and to seek advice from a GP, Accredited Practising Dietitian or food allergy specialist.

Useful resources:

Further group discussion question:

  • Has anyone else sought advice from a health professional regarding a food allergy or intolerance?  

Q2: What’s the latest advice on commercial baby food pouches?

ANSWER for group:

  • Some parents find food pouches are an easy option, but they come with some disadvantages compared to fresh snacks like a ready-to-eat banana or avocado. While babies start with smooth, pureed foods at around six months, progressing onto mashed foods with soft lumps by around seven months of age is developmentally important for most babies (NHMRC, 2012). This is also a time of food exploration, so parents should offer different foods for young children to smell, taste and touch. An over-reliance on pureed foods including food pouches that only encourage sucking may limit a young child’s acceptance of different textures and tastes. It may also limit self-feeding skills with their hands, fingers and spoons as they develop.
  • There are also additional costs associated with food pouches when comparing the cost per kilo. e.g. fresh bananas approx. $4/kg, compared to one banana-flavoured pouch of food approx. $2 for 1 x120g pouch. This means the cost per kilo for pouches is approx. $32/kg – around 8 x the price per kilo for fresh bananas. The environmental costs also favour fresh foods, including no leftover rubbish that comes with pouches. While you can recycle baby food pouches as soft plastics, it takes a lot more resources compared to fruit skins in the compost.

Useful resources:

Further group discussion question:

  • What are some other healthy snacks that your baby enjoys when you’re outdoors or on the go? 

Q3: What are some practical ways to follow the “no screen time” recommendations for young children?

ANSWER for group:

  • The Australian 24-hour movement guidelines recommend no screen time for young children under 2 years, and no more than 1 hour per day for those aged 2 – 5 years. The guidelines aim to minimise screen time in the first years of life as they are growing rapidly, and do not include interacting online with family and friends.
  • Busy parents may be looking for helpful ways to entertain their baby at busy times like preparing meals or making phone calls. Tips include – giving baby a special toy that only comes out occasionally or playing music without a video or screen.

Useful resources:

  • Check out the INFANT blog on mindful screen time with your baby.
  • Refer to the My Baby Now app and INFANT facilitator’s guide for ideas on engaging babies without using screen-based device. Note: MBN app is designed for parents’ to view, not to show their babies!
  • Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers (birth to 5 years).

Further group discussion question:

  • What are some ways that you entertain your baby without a using screen device?

New evidence 

Your task

Watch the video update from the INFANT team’s Professor Kylie Hesketh on the value of tummy time. Submit a comment about talking about tummy time with parents – have you heard any common questions or helpful tips on tummy time from parents?

Read the comments from others and the INFANT team. Click the ‘mark complete’ button once you’re ready, then select ‘next lesson’ for the next step.

Watch the tummy time video here.