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Experiences of Parent Peer Nutrition Educators Sharing Child Feeding and Nutrition Information

Mid North Coast Local Health District, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444, Australia
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
NSW Health Education and Training Institute, NSW Health, Gladesville NSW 2111, Australia
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Children 2017, 4(9), 78;
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
PDF [220 KB, uploaded 7 September 2017]


The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of parents as peer educators disseminating nutrition and child feeding information. Parents of infants aged from birth to three years were trained as peer educators in a face-to-face workshop, and then shared evidence-based child feeding and nutrition information via Facebook, email, and printed resources for six months to peers, family, and social media contacts. Semi-structured telephone or group interviews were conducted after a six-month online and face-to-face peer nutrition intervention period investigating peer educator experiences, barriers, enablers of information dissemination, and the acceptability of the peer educator model. Transcripts from interviews were independently coded by two researchers and thematically analysed. Twenty-eight participants completed the study and were assigned to either group or individual interviews. The cohort consenting to the study were predominantly female, aged between 25 and 34 years, non-indigenous, tertiary educated, and employed or on maternity leave. Dominant themes to emerge from the interviews included that the information was trustworthy, child feeding practice information was considered most helpful, newer parents were the most receptive and family members the least receptive to child feeding and nutrition information, and sharing and receiving information verbally and via social media were preferred over print and email. In conclusion, parents reported positive experiences as peer nutrition educators, and considered it acceptable for sharing evidence-based nutrition information. Further research may determine the impact on diet quality and the food-related behaviours of babies and young children on a population level. View Full-Text
Keywords: child feeding; peer education; parent; nutrition; social media child feeding; peer education; parent; nutrition; social media
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ball, R.; Duncanson, K.; Burrows, T.; Collins, C. Experiences of Parent Peer Nutrition Educators Sharing Child Feeding and Nutrition Information. Children 2017, 4, 78.

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