INFANT grows with new funding for enhancing scale-up across Victoria

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is providing funding to IPAN to enhance implementation of INFANT across Victoria in 2021.

INFANT  was developed by IPAN researchers over 10 years to help families establish healthy lifestyle behaviours from the start of life.

The program was designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviours that would, in turn, promote healthy weight across life. The first 1000 days of life are a critical time for establishing healthy eating and activity behaviours that can have health and economic benefits into adulthood.

Offered through existing Maternal and Child Health Nurse-led new parent groups, INFANT provides a social opportunity to support mothers and families during the first year of their child’s life.

The DHHS funding will provide:

  • Start-up/seed funding for lead organisations implementing INFANT within Victorian local government areas
  • Additional practical and local support for sites
  • Opportunities for all Victorian Maternal and Child Health Nurses (MCHNs) to participate in INFANT facilitator training

INFANT facilitator training is a self-paced, interactive, 6-hour course delivered online. Course educators from IPAN will be available during the course to facilitate the discussions, support learning and answer questions. The training course provides information about the content and delivery of INFANT as well as resources for sustainably implementing INFANT in your local community. All participants will get a certificate upon completion for logging CPD points.

The training is open to Victorian health professionals and staff interested in implementing the INFANT program in their community (e.g. nurses, dietitians, health promotion officers, managers, administration support staff and partner organisations).

Professor Karen Campbell, from IPAN, said INFANT had been proven to improve mothers’ and children’s diets, with the effects on children’s diets still apparent three years after their attendance at INFANT had finished.

“Investing in healthy eating and active play early in life pays dividends in both the short and long term,” she said.

“In the short term, children grow healthfully and develop healthy habits.  In the longer term, these habits will influence their health for the rest of their lives.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services INFANT funding complements the five-year Partnership Project Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (ID GNT1161223). The Partnership Project Grant will evaluate the effectiveness of INFANT and its implementation throughout Victoria.

IPAN gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

  • For more details about getting started with INFANT, click here. For more about the training and to register, click here