PICNIC is a Mid North Coast program that provides training, information and resources on nutrition and feeding to parents who volunteer for the program.

PICNIC is a peer education program for parents who have had nutrition and child feeding training. PICNIC parents will be able to pass on this information and provide feeding support to other parents within their parent social groups.

The helpful information parents need to feed their children well will be available when and where it’s most needed. The information passed between friends will be more likely to be presented in an easy to understand fashion.

Why PICNIC is important

PICNIC messages don’t just focus on the foods needed for healthy growth and development, but also include the feeding practices which make it easier for parents to feed children the way they want to. These practices not only take the pressure off the feeding environment for both parents and children, but are a strong predictor of the type and amount of food children eat.

Research has shown that children get a third of their food from junk food and 1 in 4  are either overweight or obese. This is concerning, but we should also not forget that 30% of children who are a healthy weight go on to become overweight or obese adults. The PICNIC messages consider the importance of learning healthy habits that will stay with children into adulthood.

Parents often feel the early stages of feeding children is daunting and struggle along with their friends. PICNIC ensures that the correct messages are available for groups as a whole and takes the stress out of feeding to assist children to eat happily and healthily.

What PICNIC parents do?

PICNIC parents will learn the ins and outs of infant and child feeding, to demonstrate and pass this information on, assisting other parents in their feeding journey. We know new parents have a lot on their plate, so we’re mindful to not make the PICNIC parent role too time consuming.
PICNIC parents will:
  • Attend a workshop on nutrition and child feeding with the research team. Here we’ll show you around the PICNIC website and research portal page. This is where your feeding messages will be kept for you to share on social media and by other means
  • Provide feedback: as this is a new program being tested for the first time, we’ll need you to provide feedback on your experiences. This will help us to provide the best program possible to assist parents to feed children well
  • Fill in surveys: ask a couple of friends you share information with to fill in a couple of surveys over a year to see whether PICNIC is helping. We’ll be offering incentives as well
  • Share feeding and nutrition information with other parents over the next year and beyond (how this happens is up to you!)
  • Enjoy the experience of your child learning to eat and appreciate a variety of foods.

Previous Research

Contact Us

The Picnic Project team can be contacted via the numbers below or use our online form below.

Richard Ball

Program Manager
6588 2933 | 0477 324 946 | Richard.Ball@health.nsw.gov.au

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