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February Newsletter

Infant milk news

Infant milks in the UK: A practical guide for health professionals
click on the cover to download
Infant milks in the UK: A practical guide for healthy professionals The updated Infant milks in the UK report is now available and includes new information on:
  • Goats’ milk based infant formula and growing up milk
  • Partially hydrolysed whey based formula (SMA H.A.)
  • PaediaSure Shake
  • Aluminium in infant formula
Information on some other formula has also been updated as have the frequently asked questions.

We are aware that some people would find it useful to know what has been updated in reports so we have added a new section on ‘What has changed in this report?’ so you can check which new data you might need.
We do have to update the report throughout when new information comes in however so it is not simple to highlight every change, and we hope that people will always refer to the latest edition for up to date information.

We aim to continue updating the resource twice a year and will produce some hard copies once a year for those who like to have the latest information to hand.

PaediaSure Shake for 'fussy eaters'

PaediaSure products
This product launched by Abbott for ‘fussy eaters’ aged 1-11 years is a sugary milkshake powder, and is being heavily marketed through advertorials in professional literature, its website, on web sites and through television advertising.
You can see a US version of the advertising (where they call fussy eating ‘picky eating’) here. This product is designed to reassure anxious parents and is part of the formula industries attempts to broaden the use of their products as infant formula use declines.

This product is unsuitable for young children as, at any age, the recommended portion size provides more sugar than is recommended for the whole day.

For support and advice on fussy eating see the factsheet here.

Websites and organisations that are funded by the formula milk industry
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Organisations and websites funded by the formula milk industry

We have updated this resource and hope that health professionals will avoid any of the sites that are funded by infant milk companies.

There are many good sources of information and we provide a list of good sites to visit at the front of the report.

All these sites are funded by marketing budgets of formula companies and anyone working within the UNICEF Baby Friendly structure should avoid using any materials that commercial companies produce.

We urge anyone in public health to check that professionals they use do not have conflicts of interest, even when these are not declared by the individual.

Baby Milk Action IBFAN UK/BFLG
Briefing on Foods for Special Medical Purposes

A new briefing has been prepared by Baby Milk Action: IBFAN UK, IBFAN and Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG) on new regulations for foods for special medical purposes in the EU.

Formula companies have exploited a loophole in regulations to allow the sale of formula to families, bypassing the infant formula regulations. It is important that to protect the health of infants in the UK and elsewhere in the EU that these loopholes are closed. A copy of the briefing can be found here.
IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) is an international network of 273 organisations all working to protect the health of families worldwide. Their 7 principles are:
  1. Infants and young children everywhere have the right to the highest attainable standard of health.
  2. Families, and in particular women and children, have the right to access adequate and nutritious food and sufficient and affordable water.
  3. Women have the right to breastfeed and to make informed decisions about infant and young child feeding.
  4. Women have the right to full support to breastfeed for two years or more and to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months.
  5. All people have the right to access quality health care services and information free of commercial influence.
  6. Health workers and consumers have the right to be protected from commercial influence which may distort their judgement and decisions.
  7. People have the right to advocate for change which protects, promotes and supports basic health, in international solidarity.
First Steps Nutrition Trust fully supports the IBFAN aims and any work we do is also guided by these principles. For more information on IBFAN see

Baby Feeding Law Group
is the umbrella body of 23 organisations in the UK that work to protect the health of infants by bringing UK and EU legislation in line with World Health Assembly resolutions.

You can find out more about their work at

Coming soon

Eating well: vegan infants and under-5s
Eating well: vegan infants and under-5s This new resource will be available in April 2014 and provides an outline of how infants and under 5s on a vegan diet can meet their energy and nutrient recommendations, and how those who support vegan families or children in early years settings can do this effectively.

The recipes are also suitable for children who avoid dairy products or eggs.

As with all our resources we provide detailed recipes and portion sizes and all the recipes were tested (and eaten!) by those working at First Steps Nutrition Trust. Further details will be in April news.
Inside Eating welll for vegan infants and under 5s report

Coming soon

Eating well for breastfeeding mothers
Eating well for breastfeeding mothers This resource is currently at design stage and will be sent out for review in April 2014.

It will offer practical support for women who exclusively or partially breastfeed and includes photos of foods and drinks that are useful additions to the diet of breastfeeding mums.

Anyone with experience in supporting breastfeeding women who is interested in reviewing this resource please contact
We will also be producing a resource for all women which summarises eating well, and which we hope will support women who are trying to become pregnant (and also their partners for whom we will include some information), those who are formula feeding their infants, those who may be between pregnancies or those who are in their childbearing years but have completed their families.

This guide will be called A woman’s guide to eating well and we hope this will be available summer 2014.

Currently available

Eating well for a healthy pregnancy: A practical guide
click on the cover to download
Eating well for a healthy pregnancy: A practical guide This guide is now available as a free pdf download and provides general advice for health professionals to support all pregnant women about food, nutrition and pregnancy.

It includes recipes and meal ideas and will hopefully sit alongside other local public health guidance to provide practical explanation of what ‘eating well’ looks like in practice.

As with all our resources the information is in line with current Government policy and has been reviewed by experts in the field.
Hard copies of this resource are now available and can be accessed as can other First Steps Nutrition Trust publications on a not for profit basis.
To order copies go to the website

If you have any queries please contact:
A shorter recipe book version will also be produced that can be used with mums themselves, and this work will also provide a backdrop to the resource on ‘Eating well for breastfeeding mothers’ that will be available in the next couple of months.

Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide
click on the cover to download
Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide: This new report is now available as a free pdf download and provides practical guidance for health professionals to use when supporting families eligible for Healthy Start food and vitamin vouchers.

The report contains a range of simple, tested, cost effective recipes for the whole family, showing appropriate portion sizes for different age groups.

As with all the work we produce the information is open access and can be used by anyone supporting good public health in a non-profit making capacity.
Inside Healthy Start
We now have a limited number of hard copies available to buy at cost price plus postage
To order copies go to the website

If you have any queries please contact:
If local areas want a version of this resource which includes their own contact details and logo on the front cover we can organise this at cost price.


Other new work for 2014

Over the next 6 months we will:

  • Look at the way that women discuss formula milk and infant feeding on parental websites and consider the influences on how women think about infant formula, follow on formula and growing up milks and their infant and young child feeding choices. We are pleased that Jessica Mitchell has agreed to look again at this topic, and extend the work previously discussed in her report ‘I hear it’s the closest to breast milk’ written for The Caroline Walker Trust in 2009.
  • Create a short animated film to offer support around fussy eating.
    Produce a new resource to summarise current thinking on eating well in the first five years of life.
  • Produce a short updated summary on growing up milks, and why these are not only not necessary in the diets of healthy children in the UK but may put children’s health at risk.


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