Child Nutrition Research Centre

Child Nutrition Research Centre

The Child Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC) is committed to improving the health outcomes of women and their children in Australia and worldwide through nutritional interventions, with particular interest in reducing prematurity and the associated health consequences, supporting optimal growth and reducing allergic disease in early childhood.


In 2017 the centre was awarded a renewal of its NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) titled ‘Targeted Nutrition to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes'.

The CNRC has a strong national and international profile. Its members bring broad but complementary expertise across diet and nutrition, neonatology, obstetrics, biochemistry, statistics, clinical trials, epidemiology and psychology.

The centre spans the interface between the more basic nutritional sciences, food sciences and applied nutrition intervention trials to improve health outcomes of families. It is particularly well known for its large, high-quality randomised control trials in pregnancy and early life.

This team emphasises research translation leading to policy improvements both nationally and internationally.

The centre has enjoyed several prominent successes including a series of studies into how Omega-3 fatty acids can be used as a simple, inexpensive and readily-available intervention against pre-term birth. This work has been influential in the NHMRC’s endorsement of a new evidence-based pregnancy care guideline advising women to take omega-3 fatty acids if they have low levels naturally. Members of the CNRC and Pregnancy and Perinatal Care team are working with SA Pathology to translate this advice.

The CNRC is also conducting two major large scale pregnancy trials:

  • PoppiE is designed to identify the optimal levels of iodine intake for pregnant women to improve cognitive outcomes in children
  • PrEggNut tests whether the amount of eggs and peanuts a mother eats during pregnancy and breastfeeding has an influence on her baby’s food allergy development.

In the areas of infants and toddlers our Australian Feeding Infants and Toddlers (OzFITS) Study is documenting what children under two years of age are eating and drinking. Our study also aims to find out how today’s diets and feeding practices compare to Australian dietary guidelines.