About us


First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.

 Our Mission

  • To ensure that everyone working to support mums-to-be and young families has access to independent, expert and practical 'eating well' resources.

  • To provide up-to-date information on infant milks for sale in the UK and promote better regulation and marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

  • To contribute to good policy and practice throughout the UK and ensure that the importance of good nutrition from pre-conception to five remains on everyone’s agenda

Our Resources:

  • Are put together by nutrition experts, are regularly updated and are reviewed by policy makers, health professionals, independent experts and users.

  • Can be used in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative accredited settings.

  • Are available as free pdf downloads for use by anyone promoting better public health on a not-for profit basis.

Everyone who works at First Steps Nutrition Trust feels passionately about the need for better information and support for good nutrition – and good food – from pre-conception to five years. 

First Steps Nutrition Trust is supported by generous individual donations and research funding. All the work we do at First Steps is open access for use by anyone working in a not-for-profit capacity in public health, particularly midwives, health visitors, nursery nurses, children’s centre staff and those working in health and social care in Local Authorities. First Steps Nutrition Trust does not work with organisations or individuals that work with, or take funding from, the breastmilk substitute industry and reserves the right not to host those that do at our conferences or sell them our subsidised resources.

First Steps works with and supports a number of organisations including Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative, The Institute of Health Visiting, HENRY, Baby Milk Action, The Baby Feeding Law Group, Sustain, Eating Better, The UK Food Poverty Alliance and Food for Life.


Our Patrons


Jamie Oliver MBE

Jamie Oliver is a chef and campaigner who has a particular interest in good food for children, and food education. He has been given awards from the Harvard School of Public Health and the RCGP for his work on tackling childhood obesity. Jamie also set up Food Revolution to make practical food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum across the world.


Patti Rundall OBE

Patti Rundall is the Policy Director at Baby Milk Action and co-chair of IBFAN’s Global Council. She is an indefatigable campaigner for safe infant feeding and the protection of all infants from irresponsible marketing of breastmilk substitutes as well as a global campaigner for conflict of interest free public health policy making.


Professor Annie Anderson

Annie Anderson is a public health nutritionist based at the University of Dundee who has a long academic pedigree in supporting good nutrition in infancy and the early years. She sits on the SACN Maternal and Child Nutrition panel and has a particular interest in cancer prevention and behaviour change, running the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network: (www.cancerpreventionscotland.org.uk)

Our Director

The work of the Trust is managed and co-ordinated by Dr Helen Crawley who is a dietitian and public health nutritionist with over 30 years experience in public health nutrition across the lifespan. Helen has worked in Government, academia, research and the NGO and charitable sector promoting good nutrition for vulnerable population groups.


Helen Crawley

Helen was the Science Director at Caroline Walker Trust for many years and wrote national guidance on standards for food in schools, early years settings and residential care settings for adults and children. She currently has an honorary research fellow post at City University London, sits on the WHO Scientific and Technical Group on the inappropriate marketing of foods to infants and children, the CODEX e-working party on follow on formula standards and the NICE panel on maternal and child nutrition.

Our Trustees

First Steps Nutrition Trust has five Trustees


Professor Amy Brown

Professor Amy Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at Swansea University, where she leads the MSc in Child Public Health. A psychologist by background, Amy has published over 60 papers exploring the psychosocial, cultural and political factors that affect decisions around infant feeding, particularly breastfeeding, introducing solids, and responsive feeding styles. In 2016 she published her first book 'Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies', followed by her second 'Why Starting Solids Matters' in 2017. She is a regular Huffington Post blogger, aiming to change the way we think about breastfeeding, mothering and caring for our babies.


Barrie M Margetts

Barrie Margetts is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.  Barrie has spent much of his working life determining the long terms consequences of what happens early in life, on later health, and the increasing challenges of the double burden of malnutrition- where undernutrition persists alongside obesity and non-communicable diseases. Barrie is founding editor in chief of Public Health Nutrition, Founding President of the World Public Health Nutrition Association and is a consultant to WHO, FAO, UNICEF and the World Bank.


Rob Percival

Rob Percival is Policy and Campaigns Manager for Food for Life at the Soil Association. He leads the Out to Lunch campaign, which is working to improve children’s food at popular high street restaurant chains and at visitor attractions. He also coordinates the standards committee for the Food for Life School and Early Years Awards, and leads Food for Life’s policy work on obesity, sustainable diets, and children’s food.


Anna Rosier

Anna Rosier is the Campaign Director for the Organic Trade Board, which aims to grow sales and encourage production of organic food within the UK by delivering a generic marketing campaign. Previously Anna worked at Organix, the organic baby & toddler food business, as MD from 2006, She continues to support organisations to make change happen in children's food in partnership with others with the same mission and has a particular interest in the quality of food served to children and in ensuring food colours that may impact on children's behaviour are removed from the food supply chain.


Dr Vicky Thomas

Dr Vicky Thomas is a consultant paediatrician at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. A generalist at heart, she has a portfolio of interests including childhood nutrition, infant sleep, child protection, and supporting parents with normal baby behaviour. She sits on the scientific committee of the Lullaby Trust, is a professional adviser to La Leche League and works with a number of other voluntary organisations supporting families.


Marjon Willers

Marjon Willers is the specialist dietitian for schools and early years in Islington, where she works as part of the health and wellbeing team supporting schools and early years to develop a health promoting environment and adopt healthy food provision. Marjon is also a co-director of the Health Education Trust, the charity which developed the School Nutrition Action Groups and is a national partner of Food for Life supporting the whole school approach, food policy, consultation and engagement.