Participant Information

You are invited to take part in this study if you are the parent or caregiver of a baby who is currently between 2 to 3 months of age and you plan to introduce your baby’s first complementary foods between the ages of 4 to 6 months. 

What is Nourish to Flourish?

Weaning is a period of considerable change for an infant. The introduction of solid foods and the changes in milk consumption lead to significant adaptions to an infant’s gastro-intestinal tract, changes in immune function, and developmental adaptations.

This period of weaning provides an opportunity for complementary food and drinks that help optimise health. This study will explore the role of complementary foods in the development of immune health, with a specific focus on the role of gut bacteria.

Nourish to Flourish aims to investigate the effects of the introduction of a specific food during this period of complementary feeding on an infant’s gut bacteria and protection against infection.

Phase 1 of this study will help us determine the feasibility of performing a large scale complementary feeding intervention in the future.


Nourish to Flourish will be conducted at The Liggins Institute, in The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Grafton campus.

The study is lead by Professor Martin Kussmann and Associate Professor Clare Wall.

What does the study involve?

Phase 1 of Nourish to Flourish will involve enrolling 40 babies from the greater Auckland area when they are between 2 and 3 months of age.

The intervention will start between 4 and 6 months of age* when you decide to offer your baby their first food and your participation in the study will finish when your child turns 12 months of age (total study duration of 6 months).

*according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommended age for introducing complementary food

In Phase 1 of the study, there are two groups:

Group 1

10 babies will be allocated to receive a commercially prepared probiotic control that is known to show immune benefit(s) in young children.

Group 2: 

30 babies will be allocated to receive a freeze dried kumara powder which will be mixed into your baby’s complementary foods from the age of 4 to 6 months, until they turn 12 months of age.

Both treatment groups involve the use of accepted ingredients in infant nutrition and are manufactured in registered facilities that comply with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) with respect to manufacturing standards and compliance with food safety requirements, including allergy management.

Who can participate?

You and your baby are eligible to participate in this study if your baby:

  • Is healthy
  • Is aged between 2 to 3 months at enrolment
  • Will have their first foods introduced between 4 and 6 months of age
  • Was born >32 weeks gestation
  • Has no developmental disability
  • Has no significant health problems
  • Has no feeding problems
  • Is not currently taking antibiotics
  • Is not currently taking a probiotic or prebiotic

Where are the study visits?

All clinic visits will take place at a pre-arranged time confirmed with you and your family.

Clinic visits are at the Liggins Institute, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Grafton Campus.

Study participants will be able to access parking in the basement carpark of Building 505.

Travel arrangements/reimbursements can be made if you experience difficulties coming in to the clinic.