• Olympic Gold medallist Rebecca Adlington and two-year-old son Albie join the UK's first-ever Baby TRYathlon – with Rebecca as a spectator
• Out with running, swimming and cycling and in with crawling, pushing and bean bag throwing as seven toddler TRY-athletes compete with cute and chaotic results
• Baby TRYathlon is the culmination of a three-week coaching programme from SMA® Nutrition to highlight the importance of nutrition, movement and sleep
• Almost half of toddlers worldwide1 are Iron deficient and one in five2 don’t get enough Vitamin D
• Parents can raise their own TRYathletes at home by following the expert SMA® Nutrition ‘coaches’ advice on sleep, nutrition and movement
• Watch the first Baby TRYathlon here:
No PBs, no finish line and everyone was a winner as the UK’s first Baby TRYathlon took place to promote the importance of nutrition for babies and toddlers – with both cute and chaotic results.
A squad of seven infant TRYathletes aged between 12 months and 30 months was fronted by the two-year-old son of former Olympic swimming gold medallist Rebecca Adlington, Albie.
While adult triathlons may be all about pushing the limits of physical endurance, the Baby TRYathlon created by SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk and Growing up Milk is a celebration of happy, active play at the earliest stages of activity, movement, and coordination. The three events did away with cycling, swimming, and running, replaced by The Crawl, The Push and The Beanbag Throw.
Naturally, when seven toddlers were assembled in competition, they threw away the rule book, resulting in cuteness and comedy – everything that the early stages of childhood should be. Their efforts were captured in a heart-warming highlights package which is released today and features Olympic-icon mum, Rebecca cheerleading from the sidelines.
While the TRYathletes had fun on the day, Baby TRYathlon was created to highlight research that reveals almost half (47.4%) of toddlers worldwide1 are iron deficient, and one in five children aren’t getting enough Vitamin D2 - which may result in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, slowed growth and development.
The event was a culmination of a three-week campaign by SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk and Growing up Milk to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D and iron in children’s diet, specifically the role of Vitamin D in helping to support the normal growth and development of bones, and iron’s help in supporting normal cognitive development.
Ahead of the inaugural Baby TRYathlon the TRYathletes were put through an 'intensive' three-week coaching programme, created by SMA® Nutrition experts including Children’s Sleep Coach Leigh Swanborough, Chartered Paediatric Physiotherapist Ruth Bayliss and SMA® Nutrition expert Dr Amna Mahmood.
Akin to the scientifically structured regimes of elite sports stars, the tiny TRYathlete coaching programme covered a series of sleep, nutrition, and movement challenges.
These were designed to help them prepare ahead of the tournament.
And because every baby and toddler is elite in their own special way, SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk and Growing up Milk has made the expert panel’s coaching programme available to all parents to ensure that the nation's youngsters can all take part.
Double Olympic Gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington said:
“Nutrition became a significant part of my daily routine to be my best as a swimmer, and so when I became a mum I was keen to understand more about child nutrition and how I could help my child flourish. However, the information on diet and vitamins can be confusing and overwhelming, leaving parents wondering where to turn.
“I had little idea about how Iron and Vitamin D help support with cognitive development and the normal function of the immune system within toddlers. As a spectator watching Albie, I’m proud to see him take his first steps (and stumbles) as a toddler TRYalthlete with the other little ones. It’s a hilarious and positive celebration of play, underpinned by an important purpose with essential advice from the experts at SMA® Nutrition.”
Ingrid Hayes, Head of Marketing at SMA® Nutrition comments: “Our expert team at SMA® Nutrition have been dedicated to understanding the unique nutritional needs of babies and young children for over 100 years.
“We believe that the early years are a unique opportunity for parents to impact their children’s lives. For this reason, we’ve made it our mission to provide the support, information, and products to support parents. The aim of the first Baby TRYathlon was to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D and iron in a toddler’s varied and balanced diet and to celebrate the joy of the early years. Every child is a winner and, unlike the adult version, taking part really is everything.”
To learn more about the role nutrition plays in a child’s development, read top tips from SMA® Nutrition experts, or find out more on how to try one of the TRYathlon challenges at home, simply visit www.smababy.co.uk or @smanutritionuki on Instagram.
Notes to editors:
1 World Health Organisation (2009), https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43894/9789241596657_eng.pdf;jsessionid=464A39913C12B0400FEC4B16F8B378F7?sequence=1
2 Public Health England (2022), https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-review-launched-into-vitamin-d-intake-to-help-tackle-health-disparities
About SMA® Nutrition
SMA® Nutrition have been leading baby nutrition research for over 100 years. Our team of nutritionists have expert understanding of the evolving nutritional needs of babies as they go through an amazing period of physical growth and cognitive development - from newborn through to toddlerhood.
From chemists to nutritionists, from packaging experts to engineers, SMA® Nutrition's community is home to some of the best minds in the industry. SMA® Nutrition is proud to have created an environment where people who really care can have real influence.
SMA® Nutrition want to share its knowledge on maternal and baby nutrition for the benefit of everyone, especially parents and those supporting them. The SMA® Baby website provides all the support and information needed through the parenting journey - written by parents and experts from nutritionists to midwives. SMA® Baby Club sends regular e-mails with the information and tips parents need at each stage of a baby’s development right through to toddlerhood.
SMA® Nutrition believe that breastfeeding is best and has many benefits for babies and mothers and that breastfeeding substitutes will never provide the same benefits. SMA® Nutrition’s role is not to influence parents’ choices but to support them and give them the reassurance that SMA® Nutrition will never compromise or settle for making anything but the best product it can.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. Follow-on Milk is for babies over 6 months, as part of a varied weaning diet. Not intended to replace breastfeeding. Growing Up Milk is suitable for young children from 1-3 years, as part of a varied and balanced diet and it is not a breast milk substitute.