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10 Jun 2014

University experts develop new child feeding app

Child feeding experts from Loughborough University have developed a new app to help the 50% of parents who report having a child who is a fussy eater.

The free app - the first of its kind to be based on scientific research - helps those responsible for feeding children to understand why children are 'fussy' and what they can do to improve mealtimes.

Loughborough’s experts have conducted extensive research into children’s eating habits and mealtime behaviour, and have used their combined experience of more than 30 years to develop the Child Feeding Guide app and its accompanying website www.childfeedingguide.co.uk

Both the app and website include an exposure monitor to enable parents to log what their children are eating and when, and provide tips and tools to help encourage children to eat a more varied and balanced diet.

The app, which is available on both iOS and Android, was developed by Drs Emma Haycraft, Gemma Witcomb and Claire Farrow from the University’s Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED).

Dr Haycraft explains:

“Our studies show as many as 50% of parents report having fussy eaters and we understand how stressful parents and carers find this behaviour.

“The Child Feeding Guide is a useful tool to help adults manage mealtimes better. By sharing our knowledge and providing practical tips we hope to give parents the support and confidence they need to promote healthy, happy mealtimes.”

The Child Feeding Guide is currently being disseminated through the NHS Start4Life Information Service for Parents, and recently won the Loughborough University Enterprise Award for Social Impact. 

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 14/112

1)  Creators Dr Emma Haycraft and Dr Gemma Witcomb can provide practical advice about feeding children and how to overcome the many mealtime pitfalls. To request an interview please contact the Loughborough University PR team.

2)  Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk