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Developing a DVD resource for parents and professionals

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A health visitor, dietician, and speech and language therapist have worked together with families to produce a 21-minute DVD and leaflet, which provides essential weaning information for parents and health professionals.

A health visitor, dietician, and speech and language therapist have worked together with families to produce a 21-minute DVD and leaflet, which provides essential weaning information for parents and health professionals.

The DVD supports the government's recommendations for infant weaning to start at six months rather than the previously advised four months of age.

The rationale was to provide parents with information and practical advice on when and how to wean their babies onto suitable healthy foods that are appropriate for babies.

It is important that babies' diets should meet the government's recommendations, as this will help to ensure growth into healthy adults. Also, a baby introduced to a good diet will encourage healthy eating in later life, and a healthy diet helps prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and general obesity.

Our Food for LifeDVD aims to provide the appropriate information for infants when they experience their first tastes of food. An improved diet in babies and young children that is low in sugar would also reduce the high incidence of dental caries.

Six years ago we made a very successful video aimed at parents of preschool children who were experiencing sleep problems, which is still used by health professionals all over the country. The expertise gained making this video enabled us to improve our skills and produce an even better resource.

The weaning DVD was made in collaboration with parents and filming took place in an ethnic diverse area populated predominately with a social class mix of groups three to five. We filmed in three parents' homes, a family centre, a primary school and a clinic. All the parents who participated in the filming found it an enjoyable experience and said it was quite different to anything they had done before.

Health professionals can loan the DVD to parents. It has been made available to libraries and clinics in the Manchester area and it is used in postnatal groups to promote discussion. It is also used in Sure Start areas to support the health professionals' targets in those areas.

The profit from sales goes into a charitable trust that can be accessed by health visitors to further their education, such funding the training of health visitors in baby massage.

Feedback from health professionals using the materials all over the country has said how useful it is and how it helps promote discussion.

Going forward, the dietetics department at Chester University is interested in evaluating the influence the DVD has on infant weaning practices.

The DVD costs £14.99 - if you would like a copy send a cheque payable to Trafford Healthcare Trust Weaning Video, The Delamere Centre, Manchester M32 0DF.

For further information contact Pauline McLaughlin 0161 860 5157, or email pauline.mclaughlin@trafford.nhs.uk

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