Health Visitors at East Coast Community Healthcare have set up a special café in Lowestoft to advise families on healthy eating for babies and toddlers in a bid to fight the rise in childhood obesity.
In the Waveney area 20.6% of children in Year 6 are classified as obese - the highest figure in East Anglia. The Tiny Tummies café gives parents and carers the chance to learn about healthy food options and portion sizes, as well as to ask questions about how to introduce solid foods, deal with fussy eating, or address any other feeding difficulties.
In addition to the dietary support, once every three months an ECCH specialist trainer
will demonstrate baby resuscitation techniques to reassure parents about what to do if a baby chokes or stops breathing. This is as a result of the success of the combined baby weaning and infant resuscitation classes that ECCH has held in recent years in Waveney to teach new parents what to do in the event of an emergency.
ECCH Health Visitor Andrea Collins
said: “We were aware from the popularity of our weaning classes that there does need to be access for all parents, grandparents and carers to get tailored advice on the introduction of solid foods, and it needs to be consistent advice. As Public Health Nurses, it is important that we educate parents on healthy eating and this includes education on manufactured products that are readily available and promoted in supermarkets along the baby aisle.
“We plan to provide lots of visual information and examples as well as being able to provide one to one support. It will be very informal, just a chance to drop in and have a cup of tea and a chat. We’ve had very positive feedback from our launch event so we hope more people will come along, give it a try and find it useful.”
The first café was held at on 27th June at The Ark Children’s Centre in Water Lane. They will now be held monthly at the centre with the next session from 10am to 12pm on Wednesday 25th July and a third on Wednesday 22nd August.