ECCH unveils Tiny Tummies café in bid to tackle childhood obesity
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Health visitors have set up a café in Lowestoft to advise families on healthy eating for babies and toddlers.
It has been launched by East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) as part of a bid to tackle childhood obesity.
According to the Public Health England 2017 health profile for the Waveney area, figures from the 2015/16 period show that 20.6 per cent of children in Year 6 in the district are classified as obese – the highest figure in East Anglia.
So in a bid to fight the rise in childhood obesity, the Tiny Tummies café has been unveiled. The 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.
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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.
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'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 on June 27 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 noon on Wednesday, July 25 and a third on Wednesday, August 22.