Starting Solids Facilitator
I am a parenting practitioner, doula, antenatal teacher & more. While managing a Sure Start children’s centre for nine years I was a trained breastfeeding supporter, (Management & support of breastfeeding, plus annual updates and reviews), and later an NHS peer supporter. I trained with NHS dieticians to deliver information on nutrition for under fives. I have delivered the workshop for ten years to hundreds of parents.
About the course
Train to deliver a fun, evidence based, interactive workshop that leaves parents feeling less worried, and more confident about the how, what, when, and why of introducing solid foods to their baby.
• Fill a gap and help parents in your area feel calm and confident about introducing solid foods.
• Earn income with a straightforward workshop you can just turn up and deliver.
• Structured session with tried and tested interactive activities with resources to engage parents.
• Increase your knowledge and confidence in talking to parents about starting solids.
• Training with an experienced facilitator, who has developed and run the workshop to hundreds of parents.
• Handbook and marketing resources to get you started and give you confidence.
• Follow up reflection and ongoing support from me.
"I would really recommend this training with Cathy Williams. Such a brilliant course to help parents feel relaxed and excited through their baby’s starting solids journey. I’ve run my first two workshops with fabulous feedback. So if you’re thinking about training then go for it, you’ll love it!" Michelle Birth-In-Harmony Doula and Hypnobirthing
"Another great workshop on Saturday along with lots of very confident parents who are all happy to just wait now till babies are ready - I love this workshop. The huge difference in parents feelings and thoughts about feeding from when they arrive to when they finish the workshop - bloody fantastic!!!" Angela Turner Jones, Mother Nurtured Doula Services, doula and hypnobirthing teacher.
"The starting solids training was the best decision I made. To anyone thinking of attending you won’t regret it, there’s lots of opportunities and it’s so much fun!"
Gill Norris, Hypnobirthing & Fourth Trimester Support, hypnobirthing teacher and health visitor
It can be hard for parents to find unbiased information for even innocuous seeming websites can be fronts for baby food manufacturers, with misleading information. Even advice from seemingly unbiased sources may not be based on evidence, or even logic. When the move from four months to six months being the suggested starting point, much of the advice on how to start was simply transferred over, despite the physiology of four month old and six month old babies being quite different.
I designed this workshop after finding that parents were stuck between health professionals who were only talking baby led weaning, and internet and family members giving incorrect information about starting solids. I wanted the workshop to be interactive, covering every aspect, so that parents could get the information they need. The workshop covers baby led weaning and spoon feeding, the pros and cons. It gives parents the guidelines, and the science behind them. I am a big fan of baby led weaning and the feedback from parents shows they are more likely to do baby led weaning after the workshop.
The feedback from parents also illustrates what they value about this workshop: relaxed atmosphere; clear and easy to understand; informative. It leaves them feeling confident and more relaxed.
Using my skills as a trained parenting course facilitator and teacher I developed activities that supports parents own learning, through discussion, explanation and reflection. The workshops are about helping parents gain a deeper understanding and a different view of weaning, to seeing introducing solids as supporting their unique baby’s physiological development. You do not need to be highly knowledgeable on nutrition to deliver these courses. The training & reading covers what you need to know.
Is it for you?
Are you looking for an extra source of income that is well tested?
Do you have an interest in supporting parents, and helping them through this stage?
It is especially suitable for people who already run antenatal/postnatal classes. Or parents looking to start their own business.
It is a straightforward, structured workshop which is easy to follow, with tried and tested activities to do with parents, couples, and babies, either in their own home or in a community venue. You will get to try the activities and practise delivering them so by the end of the training you will feel confident to get started straightaway.
You can deliver the workshop as a public event in a hired hall, and in someone’s house for a group of their friends, such as an antenatal group. It can also be delivered as an online workshop. I recommend charging around £30 per family if in a hall, or £25 if in someone’s home. Minimum 4 people. I have done sessions with up to 14 families but usually the range is 4-7. You can expect to earn £80-£160 a time, after expenses. The workshop takes 2.5-3 hours.
Tell me more about the training:
It is a full day of training, in person or online training. There is ongoing support to run your own sessions. You get a handbook, with helpful notes, and resources to run all the activities. It is a useful source of income, whether you are a mum or dad at home, or birth professional such as a baby massage teacher, antenatal teacher, hypnobirthing teacher or similar.
You do not need to be highly knowledgeable on nutrition to deliver these workshops. It is a parenting workshop. The information given is the same as provided by NHS. The workshops are about helping parents gain a deeper understanding and a different view of weaning, from the traditional, to seeing introducing solids as supporting their unique baby’s physiological development.
What does the training involve?
• Pre course reading.
• Training, in person or online, including background knowledge; using the resources and practising delivering sections of the workshop; group skills and scenarios; running your own sessions.
• Training is one day; 9.30-4.30, in person or 9.00-4.00 online.
• Written or video reflection, to help you feel confident in delivering the workshop.
• Follow up support.
• Handbook with background knowledge, lesson plans, & outline of all the activities with notes.
• Printable activity cards.
• Printable handouts for workshops, including my printable booklet ‘Chilled Mama’s guide to starting solids.’
• PowerPoint for delivering online starting solids workshops.
• Marketing materials.
• Email templates: for enquiries, bookings and follow up.
After the course:
On successful completion of the training you can organise your own workshops, and other related activities. I can advise you and offer you support in organising and marketing your sessions. It is not a franchise. There are no further payments. Following successful completion of the course I will publicise your workshops on my website and social media.
Here's what Michelle had to say after facilitating her first one
'I really enjoyed it, it flowed really well with lots of chatting and veering off at times. The activities worked really well, the feedback was that they enjoyed the activity cards as it got them involved. I have another session with five mums next week. I can't wait. Thank you for all your help and support.'
Sarah wanted to have a new business after having her second baby. This is what she said after her first workshop.
'Just a brief one to let you know how today’s ‘trial’ workshop went.... the mums that attended said they found it “really knowledgeable”, left them feeling “ready to smash weaning” and felt “confident to start solids” now!'
This is what she said a year later:
“Just thought I’d let you know I’m so, so glad I did the training with you! It came just at the perfect time!!.... I now absolutely LOVE what I do. I’m proud of my job / business and I finally feel passionate about what I do for a living.”
Sarah Packwood Starting Solids
Cost for the training is £247. This includes handbook and downloadable resources. Early bird prices may be available. You should be able to recoup the cost after delivering 2-3 workshops. You can pay in monthly instalments. Full payment must be made at least a fortnight before the course.
Portable flipchart £12 (lasts 6-10 sessions), and pens.
Printing and laminating activity cards (can be purchased).
Suggested donation to First Steps Nutrition Trust.
Books. (For your reading. You may want to show them to the parents.)
Examples of finger food for each session (<£5).
Handouts for each session (approx. £1-£2 per attendee). Alternatively you can send electronic copies.
The training and the workshops are accredited as a parenting course by Wellbeing Insurance, the insurance company that I use. It is recommended that you have public liability insurance to run the workshops, and most venues will ask for this. If you are using a different insurance company then you can contact them and add it to your cover. I can provide any information they need.
Please feel free to contact me and ask. I have created some videos about the workshop and the training and you can see them on my website and my YouTube channel.
I have trained facilitators all over the country. You can check out my Starting Solids Workshop page to see where they are and follow them on social media. If there is already someone in your area, don’t worry; there is plenty of demand. They may not be as active as others, or may be offering workshops through a particular organisation, or at a different time or place from you.
Here is some feedback from them.
"The starting solids training was the best decision I made. To anyone thinking of attending you won’t regret it, there are lots of opportunities and it’s so much fun!"
Gill Norris, hypnobirthing teacher and health visitor
"Thank you for this training Cathy, I found it really informative and excellent preparation for leading my own workshops. You put us all at ease and we had a great day of learning and exploring our own thoughts and emotions around weaning. You are so knowledgeable and I loved how flexible you were with regards to how we preferred to learn on the day. I’d definitely recommend this training to anyone interested in starting their own workshops. I can’t wait to get out there and start running Starting Solids workshops in my area."
Joanne, Love Parenthood
"Absolutely recommend it. The workshop covered all and more of the topics that are discussed in the groups that I run. Additionally, the information around the history of weaning, the research discussed, the practical information (signs of readiness etc) is information that I think is key to helping parents understand the whys, hows and whens of introducing solids, and I think that this is what they are missing. It will help parents have a clearer understanding and have the information to make the choices that are right for them and their baby."
Charlotte Daly, Mini Me, Leeds