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Newsletter
March 2015

This month we have three new statements which we hope health professionals will find useful when answering questions related to: making up milks on the move and using formula making machines; the food supplement ‘nutrimum’, and the Aptamil formula 'Profutura'.

We are also launching the new Eating well: Packed lunches for 1-4 year olds resource, and have some infant milk news (as ever!)

We have a new blog site, 1stepsnutrition.org, which means we can add news more quickly. We will cross-reference between the blog, newsletter and twitter.

News from the EU

In February we met with the Department of Health team who acted as the member state delegation to the EC regulatory meeting on proposed updated regulations for infant formula, follow on formula, foods for special medical purposes and cereal based baby foods. European Commission

We also went to the ‘stakeholder’ meeting in Brussels as part of an IBFAN delegation.

The depressing news is that there appears to be little movement possible on what are very disappointing regulations that do nothing to protect infant and young child health in Europe. The UK delegation to the EC meeting made the following statement in their post-meeting bulletin:

‘There was some discussion as to whether the delegated acts would allow revision of text that implement certain principles, such as the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and advice on the age of beginning complementary feeding. The Commission did not consider its mandate extended to make any such changes’

Patti Rundall from Baby Milk Action prepared important statements and made an impassioned plea to regulators that consideration is given to international commitments to protect child health. You can read her statement on the proceedings here.

Patti Rundall

 
“If these proposals go ahead unchanged they can only bring discredit to the EU, a region that prides itself on its high levels of health safety and consumer protection, human rights and sensitivity to the developing world. Advertising of breastmilk substitutes and sweet processed foods for young babies flies in the face of all health recommendations and conflicts with national health priorities and policies of many EU countries.”


The timescale for adoption of new regulations is very short, but challenges are being made to the process and we will continue to support IBFAN and provide information to the UK member state delegation in attempts to modify regulations.


Infant Milk News

We have not yet finalised the new format for the Infant Milks in the UK report – so bear with us – and since January we have also had to make some more changes to products. We will send out details when the new version is ready to print out for reference.

Aptamil Profutura

In February we were alerted to a new first milk product being given to healthy babies in NHS hospitals, called Aptamil Profutura.

This became the default feed from Aptamil to the NHS from 12th January. The datacard for the product appeared on the Aptamil Professional website for a few days the week of 23rd February, but has now disappeared again! We will put product details in the Infant Milks in the UK report shortly.

We asked Aptamil about this product, and their head of public affairs, Helen Crichton (who is happy to be contacted with any queries at Helen.Crichton@danone.com), confirmed that egg lipid is in the formula. You can find out more information in our statement on Aptamil Profutura here.

There are a number of claims for the product on the Aptamil Health Professional website:

  • Closer to breastmilk in both composition and structure

  • Anhydrous milk fat provides a fat structure which may aid fat and calcium absorption

  • Increased levels of LCPs supporting visual development

  • Our unique, patented blend of Galacto- and Fructo-oligosaccharides (GOS/FOS)
unimpressed baby


No new data to support any of these claims has been provided which would change the recent EFSA opinion on the essential composition of infant formula and follow on formula and none of these claims are accepted as scientifically valid by independent scientists.

It is difficult to see how a product that contains cows’ milk, egg, fish, soya, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, algal oil and a complex synthetic chemical mix of vitamins and minerals can consider itself ‘close to breastmilk’ and we review the evidence that Aptamil is giving for making this and other claims in our statement.

It remains the case however that we cannot make any complaints about information provided, or claims made, to health professionals on websites, in publications, from direct quotes from reps in the field or through helplines. Whilst we know health professionals are perfectly able to look at scientific references and make their own minds up, it is very difficult when you are only given cherry-picked data for anyone to make an ‘informed decision’.

The only solution remains for health professionals to avoid any information from manufacturers and to use independent sources of information on infant milks and infant feeding, as suggested in our resource reviewing websites and organisations funded by the formula industry.


We are currently trying find out from the Department of Health and the NHS Supply Chain
:

  • What is the procedure for agreeing whether a new infant formula for healthy babies can be used in NHS hospitals
  • Why a new product given to families with healthy babies in hospitals that cannot be purchased when they leave hospital is considered suitable
  • Why Danone are allowed to advertise that this milk is ‘the closest to breastmilk’ on the NHS supply chain website.

We will let you know the responses we get ……..

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New resources

Eating well: Packed lunches for 1-4 year olds

Eating well: Packed lunches for 1-4yr olds

This resource makes suggestions for cost-effective and varied packed lunches for children aged 1-4 years.

We hope the ideas here will stimulate discussion with families about the sorts of foods that can make up a packed lunch, portion sizes and how food is served to children of this age who may need to take lunches with them to child care or other settings.


Click here or on the cover for more information and to download



First Steps Nutrition Trust
resources are designed for those who work with families, and we know that all the ideas in a resource won’t be appropriate in all areas of the country or for all the people that you may work with. The aim of the resources is to show what eating well looks like in terms of types of food and amounts, and to encourage local areas to use those sections which they feel are appropriate to them as well as potentially develop their own resources.

Creating Eating Well resources

We have a guide to producing your own eating well resourcesthat registered nutritionists and dietitians can use to tailor resources to their own area.

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New Statements

We have two new statements on the website this month accessible from the 'Statements' tab, left:

Nutrimum
A new food supplement ‘nutrimum’ aimed at pregnant and breastfeeding women will be in a Boots store near you soon (if not already).
Nutrimum products
These cereal bars and granola are ultra-processed sweetened and expensive choices for anyone as a means of taking the extra vitamin D and folic acid recommended in pregnancy, and we would not encourage anyone to use them.

Click for statement
Safety advice for infant milk preparation: Vacuum flasks, combined formula mixer and bottle insulator and milk preparation machines

Click for statement

 

We have summarised current thinking on how to make up powdered infant formula safely when out and about, reviewing the method suggested by the Department of Health (which is the safest and cheapest method) and looking at the Myyfeed system (pictured) in comparison.

We also make a statement about Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep© machines.
Myyfeed

Despite a few months trying to access microbiological data which might help us make an informed decision about the safety of the ‘hot shot’ in these machines in killing any potential bacteria in powdered infant formula we have had to admit defeat for now, and make a statement based on the best evidence we have.

We are always happy to review statements if new data comes along, but it might be helpful for health professionals to have a datasheet to refer to when they are asked about these machines rather than everyone re-inventing the wheel each time.

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Other News

Our new blog can be found at 1stepsnutrition.org

We've started this up to cover stories as they happen, relevant to the work we do and too long to go on our twitter page @1stepsnutrition!

Click to read our first post:
Who talks to our regulators? Conflicts of interest in the world of infant feeding.


Protecting infant feeding
Unicef baby friendly logo

Helen has joined the UNICEF Baby Friendly designation committee this year and is looking forward to working with colleagues supporting infant feeding across the UK.

First Steps Nutrition Trust will be working more closely with UNICEF Baby Friendly to ensure that everyone knows how to access independent and expert resources they can use in their work. All families are supported to feed their infants safely and responsively through the UNICEF Baby Friendly scheme, however they choose to feed.

Protecting infant feeding means ensuring that clear accurate information is available about breastfeeding and about infant formula. Families should be protected from inaccurate or misleading claims made in marketing literature about any product that they buy.
We are pleased to also pledge support for the Breastfeeding Supplement to the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto:

www.1001criticaldays.co.uk
1001criticaldays

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ABOUT US

First Steps Nutrition Trust offers information and resources to support good nutrition from pre-conception to 5 years.
Our aim is to produce clear and independent resources to support people who want to know more about eating well before and during pregnancy, eating well for infants and young children, and food composition and food quality.

First Steps Nutrition Trust takes no industry funding. We are funded through charitable trusts and donations. We aim to provide a one-stop shop for useful and accurate evidence-based information on good nutrition from pre-conception to five years.
First Steps mother and baby
First Step Nutrition Trust's newsletter will be published regularly to promote information and awareness of the importance of good nutrition from pre-conception to 5 years and to highlight the work of the Trust.
 
Registered Charity No: 114640