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Eating well from birth to five


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(Surprise) August newsletter 2017

Welcome to the August newsletter. Turns out taking a few weeks off is easier said than done.

In this newsletter we have some small updates to the Infant Milks in the UK report and the Infant Formula summary report. A few changes were needed to Kendamil products, and we were alerted to a typo in the protein content of SMA PRO Anti-Reflux milks. More on that below.

We also have updated versions of two of our resources available as pdf. Eating well: Vegan infants and under 5s, and Making the Most of Healthy Start: A Practical Guide. Hard copies of these are not yet available but we wanted to replace the web versions as soon as we had all the updates agreed.

Infant milks in the UK:
A practical guide for health professionals
Infant Milk in the UK; practical guide We have updated this report with some information provided by Kendamil who have been very helpful in providing detailed information about their products.

We have also corrected the protein content of the new SMA Pro Anti-reflux milk that we included in the July 2017 report. This infant milk (which is a food for special medical purposes and which should therefore only be used under medical supervision) has a lower protein content than other anti-reflux milks (1.3g protein/100ml compared to 1.4g-1.6g/100ml in other brands). Most companies are reducing protein contents of their term infant formula and other milks over time in line with new European recommendations following research evidence that there is a link between higher protein content in formula and overweight in infants and young children.
It has taken the breastmilk substitute companies many years to reduce the total protein content of formula to something similar to breastmilk (although of course it is scientifically agreed that you cannot imitate the unique protein content of breastmilk). Despite highlighting the critical importance of low protein in term formulas’in their marketing for some infant milks in their ranges, other term formula still have a higher protein content (SMA Extra Hungry and SMA Comfort both have 1.6g protein/100ml and SMA Lactose free has 1.5g protein/100ml for example). We hope companies will align all their term formula products with their marketing messages around lower protein content to avoid confusion.

We do check our data carefully when we update the reports and obviously regret that a small error slipped through – we are only human - but in 10 years this is the first numerical error anyone has spotted! Whilst I am sure BMS companies will suggest this is a reason not to trust the information we provide we should perhaps highlight that we also get queries from health workers who have been given information from BMS company helplines that differs from information we are given by their scientific staff. We will, of course, be super vigilant in future and apologise if anyone needs to reprint the page or correct a printed copy.

If you have a hard copy of the infant milks report and want to print pages to add to your folder, you can find a summary of all the sections we have changed in July here and the small changes made this month here.

Infant formula - An overview
Infant formula - An overview

We have made a few small changes to Kendamil milks in this resource, but the other information remains the same as the July 2017 version.

Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide
Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide

This updated version of Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide provides guidance for health professionals on the Healthy Start scheme, and how to support pregnant women and young families eligible for vitamin coupons and food vouchers. 

The resource includes information about what can be purchased with the vouchers, new guidance on vitamin supplement usage and eligibility for the scheme. It also provides practical guidance on how to create simple, tasty family meals which incorporate the fruit, vegetables and milk that can be purchased with Healthy Start food vouchers.

The resource also includes advice on buying and cooking food on a budget, how to use fruit, vegetables and potatoes as first complementary foods and aims to provide both those who manage the scheme and those who benefit from it with useful information on how families can eat well.

At present we only have this new version available as a pdf to download, but will put a note in the newsletter when hard copies are available.

Eating well: vegan infants and under-5s
Cost of infant milks in the UK

This report is designed for Early Years settings or for health professionals to use to support families, and provides information on how to support vegan infants and children to eat well.

It contains practical advice, recipes and photos of food portion sizes appropriate for different age groups. It also provides useful information on milk alternatives, shopping and cooking for vegan children and the important nutritional considerations when young children eat a plant based diet.

This resource is currently only available as a pdf here on the website but we will alert newsletter readers when a hard copy becomes available.


First Steps Nutrition Trust is on semi-sabbatical over summer 2016, so queries will be answered, but may take a little longer.

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. To find out more about the Trust on our About Us page.

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First Step Nutrition Trust's newsletter is 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.
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