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Table 1 Main focus and contents of the staged early intervention and sample of the text messages

From: Linking two randomised controlled trials for Healthy Beginnings©: optimising early obesity prevention programs for children under 3 years

Component/focus Main contents Sample of SMS
Repeated exposure to healthy foods, limiting exposure to non-core foods Recommended dietary intake of food groups, food label reading, healthy food environments, eating family meals, oral health, managing external influences on dietary intake “Messy eating and playing with food are normal parts of [baby’s name] development when learning to eat independently. Check out the Healthy Beginnings booklet for tips to help with feeding”
Promotion of choosing water as a drink and exclude sugar sweetened beverages Encourage drinking healthy drinks from a cup, oral health “Drinking water from a cup is the only drink that [baby’s name] needs. Fruit juice, soft drinks, flavoured milk can cause teeth decay”
Promotion of responsive complementary feeding strategies Hunger and satiety cues, strategies to manage fussy eating behaviours “At 2–3 years it is normal for toddlers’ appetites to go up and down. Keep on providing a variety of healthy foods and it is up to [baby’s name] to decide how much food to eat.”
Promotion of incorporating physical activity into children’s daily routine Encourage active play, support the development of Fundamental Movement Skills, developmental milestones, child safety “It is recommended that toddlers should be active every day for at least 3 h throughout the day. Playing in the park, kicking a ball or catching & throwing are some fun activities”
Promotion of reduction in any screen-time (TV, DVDs, computers, smartphones, iPads/tablets) Avoid any screen time, encourage quiet (reading, singing, music, drawing, dress-ups) and active (dancing, playground, running, walking) “Your baby needs to be active every day and does not need any screen time.
Playing with other children in a safe, supervised area will help them develop socially.”
Promotion of fostering healthy sleeping habits Developing a sleep schedule, developing a bedtime routine, understanding sleep patterns “At 2–3 years toddlers need to sleep between 12 and 13 h a day. The Healthy Beginnings booklets have tips on how to develop a healthy sleep routine. For more support send us a text”
  1. Key Features of the intervention delivery mode:
  2. • The intervention will be delivered at 24–26, 28–30, and 32–34 months
  3. • A Healthy Beginnings booklet will be sent to participants which provides information on relevant topics for each milestone
  4. • Two SMSs will be sent per week for 8 weeks tailored to the child’s development and main focus
  5. • Three telephone calls using Anticipatory Guidance to deliver the content at each intervention stage by trained Child and Family Health Nurses