A Diet and Nutrition: Learning Together event was held for the Better Start Bradford workforce yesterday, Thursday 12 May.

Dr Helen Crawley from 1st Steps Nutrition gave a presentation on the current recommendations and advice around diet and nutrition during pregnancy and early years. Clare Gelder, the Principal Dietitian for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, followed this by giving a Bradford context to the topic.

Another learning event – this time on Infant Mental Health - will take place next month.

Bradford hosts regular networking sessions for the local ‘Better Start Family’, which give the opportunity to hear from experts about the key priorities for the A Better Start programme, as well as to bring together health professionals, early years practitioners, community-based and Voluntary and Community Sector workers, social care professionals, academics, students and volunteers from across a range of sectors, so that they can meet and build ties that strengthen the work they are doing.

A Development Event on Diet and Nutrition had also been held at the beginning of March for A Better Start stakeholders across the country. The event, hosted by the Lambeth Early Action Partnership, included presentations from Public Health England, Professor Yvonne Kelly and Dr Carmen Lefevre (UCL), Parents 1st, Implementation Science Specialist Jane Lewis, and the Behavioural Insights Team. Dr Helen Crawley also spoke at this national event; her presentation is available in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2).

Diet and Nutrition is one of the key developmental outcome areas for the A Better Start programme. The other two are: communication and language; and social and emotional development.

A Building Babies’ Brains campaign will be launched at the next learning event in Bradford, which will take place on Thursday 9 June 2016. The keynote speaker at this ‘Special Edition’ Learning Together event will be Dr Suzanne Zeedyk: a research scientist fascinated by babies’ inborn capacity to communicate. Parents, carers and the Better Start Bradford workforce will be able to gather together to consider the world of babies’ brains and what influences their development.

The event coincides with the first national Infant Mental Health Week, which is being held during the week of 6-10 June 2016 and is supported by Public Health England, the Royal College of Midwives and the Institute of Health Visiting.

For more information on the upcoming Building Babies Minds event or to book your free place, visit the booking page by Friday 3 June. The daytime session has prebookable crèche provision (call 01274 513228 for details).

The most recent learning event to be hosted by Better Start Bradford celebrated the launch of the local evaluation cohort study, Born in Bradford’s Better Start (BiBBS), which is being run by the Born in Bradford research team based at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

A Better Start is a £215 million investment by the Big Lottery Fund, launched in October 2012 to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable babies and children in England.

You can read more about the progress of Better Start Bradford in the 'Better Start Bradford Story’ here.