Child feeding experts share research with nursery workers

Loughborough University’s child feeding experts have shared their research with nursery workers at a special Tips and Tools for Child Feeding training event.

The workshop, which was attended by nurseries from the local area, was designed to share practical knowledge gained by the team during their 10-plus years of child feeding research.

During the interactive two-hour session, nursery workers were given practical tips to effectively manage common feeding problems, and were introduced to new ways of encouraging healthy eating behaviours.

Dr Emma Haycraft, whose research focuses on adult-child interactions and feeding, led the session. She said:

“Most children go through a stage of fussy eating, which is perfectly normal. But how this fussiness is managed can affect whether children grow out of it, or whether this behaviour continues as they get older.

“Our research shows 85% of parents believe feeding and mealtime routines are important when selecting a childcare centre, so the value of developing feeding expertise within the sector should not be underestimated.

“This event was a great opportunity for us to meet with childcare professionals, and to understand the feeding challenges they face and the role we can play in providing them with appropriate support and resources.”

Attendees were given a free publication outlining and elaborating on the ideas, techniques and activities discussed at the session to share with colleagues.

The event was supported by Loughborough University’s Enterprise Office, which maximises the impact of academic research by translating it into products and practical resources.

Loughborough’s academics are looking to offer additional workshops and training for childcare providers, as well as sessions for parents and carers. To register your interest or to find out more visit or email

The Loughborough team are based within the University’s Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED), part of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS).

The Centre’s research spans eating behaviours from birth to adulthood. This latest event follows the development of the Child Feeding Guide app and accompanying website which offers advice to parents and caregivers to promote healthy, happy mealtimes.

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