Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Introducing solid food to babies: A dyadic interaction

Saturday, 23 September 2017


Dr Cristina Costantini, Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development, in collaboration with Ms Laura Partridge, organised a seminar for parents and parents-to- be entitled: Introducing solid food to babies: A dyadic interaction.

The seminar was funded by the Faculty of Health Life Sciences, Jump Start Award, Oxford Brookes University, and took place on 23rd September 2017 at the King’s Centre, Oxford. 

The main purpose of the seminar was to provide parents with information regarding the introduction of solid foods to infants, with an emphasis on the parent-child relationship during feeding. More specifically, the primary aim of the seminar was to raise parents’ awareness regarding positive feeding interactions as well as different feeding practices; the secondary purpose was to inform parents about current research on infant feeding at Oxford Brookes University. 

During the seminar mothers and fathers asked questions regarding infant solid feeding, shared their doubts, and talked about their experiences. The overall discussion focused on psychological aspects which arise during solid feeding, such as interactional patterns, infant responses, and parental behaviours.




According to Dr Costantini: “The transition from milk to solid feeding may be difficult for both parent and infant. Indeed, it requires adult sensitivity to infant signals of hunger and satiety as well as infant willingness to eat new foods. However, research mainly focuses on exploring mother-infant relationships during breastfeeding; the early stage of solid feeding has largely been neglected. In addition, the role of fathers in this delicate phase of infant life has not been considered; thus, we have no information regarding the father’s involvement, nor how father and infant develop their relationship when foods are introduced for the first times. It is vital to provide parents with information regarding this important phase, especially with respect to the dyadic relationship.”


Dr Costantini continues: The first seminar was a success, it was fully booked! A second seminar will be run in 2018. 


“Excellent and informative, thank you!” 

“Very helpful knowing how to interact when feeding.”

“Really helpful and enjoyable.” 

“Very friendly and comfortable atmosphere.”