Educators receive training in promoting body positivity and healthy eating

by Freya Lucas

March 07

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals are receiving training using a resource which promotes positive body image and healthy eating in young children, as part of a research trial funded by Australian Rotary Health.

 

Dr Laura Hart, from La Trobe University, was awarded the Australian Rotary Health Colin Dodds Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015, to test the effectiveness of community dissemination of Confident Body, Confident Child (CBCC), a resource that supports parents of preschoolers in preventing body image issues, eating disorders and obesity in their children.

 

Building from the 2015 trial, the current project aims to “evaluate how effective providing CBCC in a community setting is, by teaching early childhood professionals how to use the CBCC resource with families at their service,” Dr Hart said.

 

Dr Hart and her team have developed facilitator training, which consists of learning modules, activities and assessments, to equip professionals at childcare centres, maternal and child health centres, and schools, with the skills to run the 2 hour CBCC workshops with their parent communities.



“If the tutorial is effective in helping early childhood professionals to disseminate the program, and in-turn, helping parents to improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that foster positive body image and healthy eating in their pre-schoolers, the intervention can be broadly disseminated by a health promotion organisation and targeted to high-needs communities across Australia, at low-cost.” Dr Hart said.

 

Currently, Dr Hart is in the process of sharing the facilitator training tutorial with the broader ECEC community, saying:

 

“we are collaborating on an evaluation across the entire Gold Coast Area Health Service where every maternal and child health nurse will receive CBCC facilitator training and implement it in their new parent education sessions and wellbeing check-up visits with families attending their clinics,”


“We will evaluate data from maternal and child health nurses and the parents to assess implementation, feasibility and efficacy in promoting body image and health eating patterns in the pre-schoolers across the Gold Coast Health Service Area.”

 

Dr Hart has also extended her base of training and education, spending time disseminating the CBCC program to local paediatric dietitians and psychologists who work with young families.

More information about CBCC can be found by visiting http://www.confidentbody.net/

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