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Eating well in pregnancy
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Eating well from birth to five


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Welcome to the September newsletter

Regular readers will know that we updated the Infant Milks in the UK report in July this year with 9 new products that came on to the market this summer. We have updated again this month as 3 new milks arrived in LIDL supermarkets from September 1st, and you can find out more about this update, and the other report updates, below.

Childhood Obesity A Plan for Action

In the much reduced Government Childhood Obesity Plan that was sneaked out between A’ Level results and Olympic triumphs in August, the work currently in progress to update menu plans for early years settings was highlighted.

This small piece of work is being undertaken by The Children’s Food Trust. We will report further on this next month, but we hope more resources will be made available by Public Health England to produce more detailed photographic guidance on how to support under 5s to eat well in England. We have this month also updated our report on Eating Sustainably in Early Years Settings and are working on our report on eating well for 1-4 year olds to complete our suite of practical resources.

Save The Date

Wednesday 26th April 2017

We are planning our second annual conference in 2017 – more details soon –but put the date in your diary now!

Infant milk news

Infant milks in the UK: A practical guide for health professionals
Infant milks in the UK

Although we did a comprehensive update of this resource in July we have updated it again this month to add in a new milk, Bebivita, that is being marketed in LIDL from this month.

This means that sections 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.11 and 5.13 in our report have been updated to add information for the three new Bebivita milks: first milk, follow-on milk and growing up milk.

Specialised infant milks in the UK: Infants 0-6 months
Bebvita Infant Milk

Bebivita meets all the EU compositional requirements, has no unnecessary ingredients added and will be the cheapest milk available in the UK at 11p/100ml made up formula.
We have not seen any advertising for this product except in the LIDL supermarket magazine, but please be alert to any you might see. The lower cost may be a reflection of the fact that they do not spend a lot of money on marketing or unnecessary  ingredients.

The latest MINTEL data on the baby food and drink market (MINTEL, April 2016) reported that sales of baby milk in the UK increased by £37million between 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.

Both Aptamil and Cow & Gate brands received substantial advertising support in 2015, spending £17.5million in the UK in 2015 advertising baby food and drink. Follow on milk has had the biggest boost in terms of marketing spend in recent years, increasing 39.5% between 2012-2015, with £16.4million spent on follow-on formula advertising in 2015.

Why do companies advertise?

According to MINTEL the main factor determining parental choice of infant milk is ‘brand’. Companies support their brands through advertising to the public and How to keep the customerthrough the promotion of milks to health professionals. This can be in a variety of ways as we all know: using health professionals as part of the online marketing to other health professionals, stands at professional conferences that promote the brand integrity, supporting health professionals through invitations to conferences, study days, paying for travel and accommodation at conferences, lunches and trips abroad as well as funding prizes and awards. I hope that anyone who does have relationships with BMS companies, and sees them as relatively benign, will reflect on the link between brand promotion and infant feeding choices.

Golden Country Infant Milk
‘Golden Country’ Infant Milk

This product has been seen in discount stores in various parts of the UK (for as little as £1 per tin) – but has not been notified to the relevant competent authority and should not be sold in the UK. If you see this then alert your local Trading Standards Officer.

Other new updated reports:
Infant formula - An overview


Infant formula - An overview

This report reviews the first milks available on the UK market and looks at their key features, claims made and cost, and we hope this resource is useful if families are concerned about which ‘brand’ to use.

Cost of


Cost of infant milks marketed in the UK

This resource summarises the costs of over the counter milks in the UK, both as ready to feed milks and powdered infant milks.

Other news
Good food choices and portion sizes for 1-4 year olds
Good Food Choices and portion sizes for 1-4 year olds

This pictorial guide gives simple information on good food choices and suggested portion sizes for 1-4 year olds. The photos can be used to talk about different foods, and show families how to make up meals from unprocessed and minimally processed foods.

We hope that in some areas health professionals may consider working with local families to translate the food names/text into other languages. If anyone is interested in doing this then we can potentially produce some other language versions so get in touch.

Hard copies of this resource are now available at:


Eating well sustainably: A guide for Early Years settings

We have updated this resource which provides information for early years settings about how they can shop, plan, cook, eat and manage food stocks in a more sustainable way.

Growing up milks leaflet

If you are an early years setting interested in finding out more about how to offer healthy, sustainable food using a ‘whole settings’ approach, then you can find out about the Soil Association Food for Life Early Years award at:

Soil Association logo


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.

First Steps mother and baby

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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.
Registered Charity No: 114640