Conference 2017

Best foot forward
Getting good nutrition right from the start

Thank you to everyone who came to our conference, particularly the Big Lottery, A Better Start projects, our helpers, the speakers and chairs, all those who had stands and everyone who got up early and came along to be part of the day.
Conference booklet


Welcome from our patron Jamie Oliver

Plenty to enjoy and some interesting food to try ...


The Presentations


Chris Cuthbert
Director of development for a better start

Welcome address

Chris is Director of Development for the Big Lottery Fund's £215m A Better Start programme, which aims to deliver local systems transformation and improve early childhood development outcomes. Chris was previously Head of Strategy and Development at the NSPCC where he led a national programme of research, service design and policy development. Chris joined the NSPCC from the Cabinet Office where he was Deputy Director of the government's Social Exclusion Task Force.


Professor Charlotte Wright
university of glasgow

Current issues in infant feeding  (Click for presentation)

Charlotte Wright is a paediatrician and epidemiologist whose research began with the study of failure to thrive in a child protection context, but has now evolved into a specialism in nutrition which extends to all aspects of growth and feeding in preschool children and obesity in older children. She holds a personal professorship in Community Child Health at Glasgow University and is based at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow where she works half time as a Paediatrician specialising in nutritional problems. The rest of her time is spent working in nutrition and public health related research and teaching. She previously headed the UK RCPCH working group who designed the new UK growth charts and is now a member of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).


Professor Alison McFadden
university dundee

Updating evidence reviews for the WHO Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (Click for presentation)

Alison McFadden is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Midwifery and Health Sciences at the University of Dundee. In January this year, she took over leadership of the Mother and Infant Research Unit, a multidisciplinary research group that works to improve the health and wellbeing of childbearing women, babies and families with a focus on infant feeding, quality of midwifery care and reducing inequalities. Getting evidence into policy and everyday practice is a key mission. Alison is a midwife and health sciences researcher with over 10 years' experience of breastfeeding research. Recently, she was involved in updating systematic reviews on breastfeeding to inform the World Health Organisation update of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.


Alison Thewliss MP

Strengthening regulations on baby feeding products - Reflections on progress and the parliamentary bill

Alison Thewliss was elected to serve the people of Glasgow Central in May 2015. She is the SNP Spokesperson for Cities in the House of Commons. Prior to her election as an MP, she served as Glasgow Councillor for the Calton Ward in the East End. Alison was the Glasgow SNP Council Group's spokesperson on Land and Environmental Services, and she takes a keen interest in improving local government and democracy. Alison chairs the APPG on Infant Feeding and Inequalities, recently took a bill to parliament to strengthen regulation around baby feeding products and is leading an inquiry into infant feeding services in the UK. Alison lives in Glasgow with her husband and 2 young children.


Dr Helen crawley
Director first steps nutrition trust

Commercial baby food: does this support our recommendations on complementary feeding? (Click for presentation)

Helen is a registered public health nutritionist and dietitian with over 30 years experience in human nutrition, research, policy development and teaching. Helen is currently director of the public health nutrition charity First Steps Nutrition Trust and honorary research fellow at the Centre for Food Policy, City University. Helen sat on a WHO group looking at marketing of foods for infants and children, sat on NICE panels on maternal and infant nutrition and Healthy Start vitamins in the UK and both national advisory groups for voluntary food and nutrition guidance for early years settings in England. Helen is a member of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly designation committee, The London Food Board and is a patron of HENRY and Mammas.


Dr Patricia Mucavele, OBE
Head of Nutrition, The Children's Food Trust

New voluntary food and drink guidelines for early years settings in England (Click for presentation

Patricia is the Head of Nutrition at the Children's Food Trust. Leading on the national standards for school food in England, the development of the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England and the Children's Food Trust early years food and nutrition programme 'Eat Better, Start Better'. Patricia joined the Trust in July 2006 having spent 17 years working overseas for international development agencies and non-government organisations in the area of nutrition and food security. Patricia is a registered nutritionist specialising in Public Health and a Fellow of Royal Society of Public Health. Patricia received an OBE in the 2016 Queen's New Year's Honours List for services to "children and families and to charity."


Kim Roberts

HENRY: A joined up approach to a best start (Click for presentation) 

With a career that spans NHS and voluntary sector management, Kim became HENRY's Chief Executive in April 2012. A parent of three herself, Kim is passionate about helping children to have the best start in life. She has a professional background in parenting, family support and early development and is the author of Early Learning Matters, a good practice guide. Kim's mission is to transform traditional approaches to obesity and respond to the strategic need for prevention. "We know that, once established, obesity is notoriously difficult to turn around in the long-term. Getting alongside families right from the start and helping them embed healthy lifestyle choices before excess weight gain is established is crucial."


Child Health Specialist, Better Start Bradford

HENRY in action in A Better Start Bradford (Click for presentation) 

Jo Howes is the Child Health Specialist with Better Start Bradford. With a nursing career over the last 20 years Jo has moved from nursing in intensive care in Leeds to her more recent 10 years' working as a Health Visitor in Bradford. As well as supporting the design and implementation of the suite of projects in Better Start Bradford her role has been to lead on the transformation of systems to ensure the effective delivery of evidence based projects and the supporting evaluation by partners Born In Bradford. Jo recently worked together with the South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust Consortium to consider the enhancement of the Healthy Child Programme in Bradford. Jo has a passion for sharing the lessons from Better Start Bradford through her role as a fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting involving all those interested in the impact such a programme can have on the life chances of our children.