Dietitian Richard Ball’s North Coast PICNIC program ideas feature in episode Playschool | Port Macquarie News

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Richard Ball, Registered Dietitian with the local Mid North Coast Health District, is passionate about creating positive food environments for children and his research has been recognized by a well-known children’s program. He is the coordinator of the Parents in Child Nutrition Informing Community (PICNIC) program, which was created to help new parents feed their infants and toddlers on the Central North Coast. Mr Ball’s experience and knowledge of the matter recently thrust him into the spotlight, after he was approached by children’s show Playschool to help design and create an episode. “It was fun,” Mr. Ball said. “It was amazing how resourceful they had.” Ball’s research has shown that it’s important for parents to take the pressure off their child to eat whatever they put in front of them. “It’s the parents’ role to choose when to feed their child and what food to give them,” he said. “But it’s entirely the child’s choice if they eat the food and how much they eat. “If children don’t necessarily eat a lot on a particular day, they will make up for it on another day. “It’s important for parents to trust their child and know that they are getting the right amount of food over the long term so they can grow and develop.” Mr Ball said the behaviors involved in eating are important. Like many others, Mr. Ball’s parents believed that food should not be wasted and that whatever was on the plate should be eaten. “That kind of thinking comes from food insecurity,” he said. However, Ball said these strategies don’t work and can actually be counterproductive in the long run. PICNIC workshops are online-based and one-on-one support is offered by dietitians throughout the year. Mr Ball said it was rewarding to be part of the scheme, given the positive results reported by parents and the broad community engagement. For more information on the project or to register your interest, please visit the website or email [email protected] Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: Bookmark our website Make sure you’re signed up for our up-to-the-minute and regular newsletters You can support us with a subscription Follow us on Twitter: @portmacnews Follow us on Instagram: @portmacnews Follow us on Google News



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