Child & Baby Nutrition

Course CodeBRE304
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Learn about optimum nutrition for pregnancy, new mothers, infants, toddlers, and children.

Created specially by a team of highly qualified health scientists, this is an ideal course for people working with or wanting to work with children, people in the healthcare industry or for mothers wanting to enhance their knowledge for their own child’s nutrition. Excellent for childcare workers, child counsellors, naturopaths, and more.

Student Comment:"I have never found the staff at any other learning institution as supportive as the staff at ACS. This gives one a lot of peace of mind and confidence to go on - at every squeak from my side, you guys have always been there, immediately to sort me out. The feedback on my lessons has always been really good and meaningful and an important source of my learning. Thanks!"

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Child Nutrition
    • Scope, Nature and History of Nutrition
    • Effect of Culture and Family Background on Nutrition
    • Importance of Nutrition in Early Childhood
    • Basic Nutrients needed in a Childs Diet
    • Key things to Remember about a Childs Diet
    • Nutrition Tips for Children
  2. Nutrition for Pre-Pregnancy
    • Pre-Conception Diet -Maternal Weight, Maternal Nutrient Status
    • Paternal Health and Nutrition
    • Affect of Nutrition of Parents at Conception
    • Making Diet Changes Pre Conception
  3. Nutrition in Pregnancy
    • Early Pregnancy and Morning Sickness
    • Tips to Help with Pregnancy Nausea
    • Nutrition through Pregnancy —RDI
    • Caloric and Fluid Intake through Pregnancy
    • Calorie Demands for a Pregnant Woman
    • Foods to Avoid While Pregnant
    • Hypervitaminosis
    • Pregnancy Complications that Relate to Nutrition (Neural Tube Defect, Morning Sickness, Constipation, Gestational diabetes, Hypertension, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
  4. Nutrition in Infants
    • Breastfeeding
    • Formula Feeding
    • Feeding for the first six months
    • Starting on Solid Foods
    • Adequate Vitamin C and Iron Intake in first year
    • Progressing with Solid Foods: protein, dairy, finger foods, and more
    • Nutrition for Toddlers
    • Snack Packs, Small Meals, Meal Alternatives, Being creative, etc
    • Allergens
    • Weaning
  5. Nutrition in Childhood
    • Caloric Intake
    • Mineral Intake
    • Vitamin Intake
    • Encouraging Good Eating Habits
    • Breakfast
    • Morning and Afternoon Snacks
    • Packed Lunches
    • Eating Habits
    • Puberty
  6. Nutritional Concerns
    • Scope and Nature of Nutritional Health for Children
    • Healthy Snacks and Rehydration
    • Underweight
    • Malnutrition
    • Anaemia or Iron Deficiency
    • Dental Care
    • Eating Disorders : Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating
    • Fast Food and Junk Food
  7. Healthy Eating Behaviours
    • Influencing Children's Eating
    • Teaching Healthy Eating to Children
    • Health Snack Ideas
    • Childhood Food Sensitivities
    • Food Intolerance
    • Food Allergies
    • Relevant Research
    • Food and Autism
    • Food and Child Behaviour Problems
    • Diagnosing Sensitivities : skin test, blood test, diet
  8. Issues in Child Nutrition
    • PBL Project: Develop a presentation to be given to a group of families, where a child has been recently diagnosed with an illness/disease of your choice. The purpose of the presentation is to inform families and sufferers about the disease, and to provide clear, simple guidelines for dietary intervention to improve health, correct the condition or prevent deterioration in health.
  9. Childhood Obesity
    • Cause of Childhood Obesity
    • What is Unhealthy about Childhood Obesity?
    • Guidelines for Child Weight Loss
  10. Diet Plans
    • Special Nutritional Needs
    • Childhood Diabetes
    • Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
    • Normal Eating Habits for Children


  • Discuss the nature and scope of developing nutrition for children according to their backgrounds and needs.
  • Explain the various nutritional needs of the mother and father before pregnancy.
  • Explain the various nutritional needs of the mother and child during pregnancy.
  • Explain various nutritional needs of infants from birth to age two.
  • Explain various nutritional aspects of growing children addressing various issues and concerns.
  • Identify concerns in the diets of children and adolescents and overcoming them.
  • Lists ways to encourage healthy eating behaviour in children.
  • Explain some of the common issues such as food sensitivities in childhood nutrition.
  • Explain causes and guidelines to overcoming childhood obesity.
  • Develop a list diet outlines for healthy children and special diet plans for children with special nutritional needs.


As a foetus develops into a baby, and a baby into a child; the nutritional needs of the individual keeps changing.



If the mother already has a balanced diet meeting the RDIs of all essential nutrients prior to pregnancy, only minimal dietary changes are required to ensure she is getting all the nutrients required to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Particularly, calcium, iron and folate intake should be increased. During the later stages of pregnancy calcium intake becomes more important as the babies soft bones begin to mineralise and its muscles begin to contract as it moves about in the uterus. Iron intake also becomes increasingly important to support the increasing oxygen demand of the growing fetus and the mother, whose body is also growing. Late in pregnancy the woman must get sufficient iron to reduce her risk of post-partum haemorrhage and to combat the heavy blood loss in the days and weeks after delivery. The baby also needs adequate iron stores in their body to last for the first 6 months or so of life. Folate is most important in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Caloric Intake in Pregnancy

One of the most common myths surrounding pregnancy is that a woman must eat for two. While it is true that she is supplying all the growing baby’s nutrients, for the majority of the pregnancy, the growing baby is tiny. Early pregnancy is characterised by development and maturation of tissues, organs and body systems, it is only in the latter stages of pregnancy that significantly growth in length and weight really occur. A 1lb, or 0.5kg fetus certainly does not need the same amount of calories as a fully grown adult!

A pregnant woman of average physical fitness and activity levels will need only a moderate increase in her daily calorie intake. The first trimester should see a woman consuming a similar amount of calories as she was pre-pregnancy. The fetus at this stage is tiny and the mother, although her body is changing will not need much extra calories yet. By the second trimester, after the placenta has formed and the mothers body is changing more rapidly and blood flow and supply is increasing, approximately 300 calories extra per day will be needed to meet energy requirements. For athletic women up to 500 calories extra may be needed. 

While a moderate increase in caloric intake is important, more important is the source of the additional calories. Pregnancy can leave a woman less sensitive to insulin than normal, meaning she is less able to cope with the fluctuations in blood sugar levels brought on by simple sugars. Calories should not be sourced from foods that are not also rich in other essential nutrients. Empty calories from fast foods, sweets and junk food are not recommended, instead, fruits and dairy, which contain sugars (fructose and lactose respectively) that do not cause such dramatic changes in blood sugar as glucose and sucrose, and which also contain a variety of other important nutrients, make excellent calorie sources. 

Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.

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