Written by: Nicky Barker, Founder of Little Ones & Paediatric Sleep Specialist
We recently launched our new Baby Nutrition Programwritten by registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Tara Sofair. With a background in both hospital and private health sectors, Tara has a passion for paediatric dietetics and after becoming a mother herself this passion grew even stronger. So, with that in mind it’s time to meet the lovely lady behind our Baby Nutrition Program.
What is a Dietitian?
A Dietitian is a university qualified nutrition expert who has studied biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy, human biology and public health and has completed clinical placement experience (in a variety of settings including hospitals). Dietitians provide evidence based practice, meaning that they endeavour to always provide information that is backed by scientific research.
What made you want to be a Dietitian?
I have always had a huge passion for science and how the body works. Nutrition has always fascinated me because it is important not just physiologically but also socially and psychologically. These passions, combined with my desire to work in a career that helped people, lead to my decision to study dietetics.
Tell us about your background
I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist from Australia. I studied at university for 3 years in Perth at ECU and then finished off the last 2 years of my qualifications at USC in Queensland. I have worked in private practice as well as in a hospital setting.
Why did you want to pair up with us at Little Ones to create the Baby Nutrition Program?
As a Dietitian the most important thing for me is evidence based practice and when I saw that this was at the heart of the Little Ones company I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I also loved the fact that the Little Ones message is to provide parents with education so that they can feel confident to make their own informed choices for their children. This resonated very strongly with me because I feel that people want to understand the process behind all the decisions they make with their child, particularly in regards to nutrition.
What was your process when writing the Nutrition Program?
My biggest pet peeve is educational information that is non-engaging, incorrect or confusing. Therefore, I had three main goals when writing the Baby Nutrition Program:
Make it interesting: Ensure to include cutting edge and engaging information.
Make it evidence based: I have seen so many confused parents due to the amount of conflicting information available and I wanted to create a program with clear information, based on scientific evidence.
Make it simple: There is a lot of information out there that it can be difficult to find the key messages. Everything has been laid out in the Nutrition Program so that it’s easy to navigate to quickly locate the information you want to know.
What nutrients are most important to help babies thrive and grow?
All nutrients are important but there should be a particular focus on iron. Iron is integral to a little one’s growth and development and babies under the age of 12 months old are at an increased risk of iron deficiency anaemia.
How important is it to get your baby's nutrition right early on?
It’s extremely important because what your baby eats in the first two years can impact their health for the rest of their life!
Do you have any little ones?
Yes I have a 16 month old boy named Louie, so I have experienced the highs and lows of infant feeding first hand!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook for my family and friends, grocery shopping (most dietitians love to go to the supermarket and browse new products, don’t judge us!), reading, and spending time with my two boys (my son and my hubby).
"I am incredibly passionate about nutrition in general, and specifically how dietetics can be applied to empower parents to make the right choices for their children in early life, to give them the best start possible."