The Role Of First Steps Nutrition Trust

First Steps Nutrition Trust

First Steps Nutrition Trust plays a crucial role in promoting healthy eating habits and addressing childhood obesity.

This non-profit organisation works tirelessly to provide evidence-based information on infant feeding, collaborating with experts in public health nutrition and identifying social and economic factors contributing to childhood obesity.

We will explore the fascinating history of infant feeding practices, from the introduction of National Dried Milk during WWII to the evolution towards iron-fortified and whey-based formulas.

We will also touch upon international guidelines for infant formula composition established by FAO and WHO, ensuring safety standards across countries.

Moreover, we will discuss promotional claims on commercial baby food packaging that may contribute to ultra-processed foods becoming a major part of children’s diets.

Lastly, we will examine cost barriers impacting low-income families’ access to proper nutrition due to the rising infant formula costs. Join us as we navigate these important topics surrounding First Steps Nutrition Trust’s mission for healthier future generations.

Table of Contents:

Addressing Childhood Obesity with First Steps Nutrition Trust

The First Steps Nutrition Trust tackles the issue of childhood obesity, focusing on deprived children disproportionately affected by this problem. Social and economic factors contribute to child health disparities, making it crucial for organizations like First Steps Nutrition Trust to influence policies and practices.

  • Collaborating with experts in public health nutrition: The trust works closely with professionals such as the Baby Feeding Law Group UK, ensuring that their initiatives align with evidence-based guidelines.
  • Identifying social and economic factors contributing to childhood obesity: By understanding these underlying issues, the trust can develop targeted interventions to promote healthy eating habits among vulnerable populations.

Infant Feeding Practices Through History

In the 20th century, there were considerable alterations in infant nourishment practices. Before this period, human milk was the primary source of nutrition for infants.

Nevertheless, due to the appearance of National Dried Milk during WWII and developments in formula production, infant feeding has undergone considerable transformations.

Introduction of National Dried Milk during WWII

In response to wartime food shortages and rationing, National Dried Milk was introduced in the UK as a supplementary option for infant feeding. This marked a turning point towards reliance on alternative sources for baby nutrition.

Evolution towards iron-fortified and whey-based formulas

Since then, further developments led to iron-fortified formulas being popularised in the early 1960s. By the mid-1960s, whey-based formulas became more common due to their closer resemblance to human milk’s nutritional composition (source). These innovations continue shaping modern-day infant feeding practices.

International Guidelines for Infant Formula Composition

The Codex Alimentarius was established by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide guidelines that ensure safety standards are met across different countries, including the United Kingdom. These guidelines cover composition requirements for infant formula products globally, aiming to protect and promote infants’ health.

  • Role of FAO and WHO in establishing guidelines: The two organizations work together to develop international food standards that safeguard consumer health while promoting fair practices in food trade.
  • Ensuring safety standards across countries: By adhering to these guidelines, manufacturers can guarantee their infant formulas meet minimum nutritional requirements, providing a safe alternative when breastfeeding is not possible or chosen.

Promotional Claims on Commercial Baby Food Packaging

Concerns about unregulated promotional claims found extensively used on commercial baby food packaging have been raised. Studies show that 61% of UK children’s energy intake comes from ultra-processed foods, highlighting the need for stronger regulations around marketing strategies targeting parents.

Ultra-processed foods as a major part of children’s diet

The growing reliance on ultra-processed foods has led to an increase in childhood obesity and other health issues, making it crucial for parents to be aware of the nutritional composition of these products.

Need for stronger regulations around baby food marketing

Baby Milk Action, a member organisation within the Baby Feeding Law Group UK, advocates for tighter restrictions on advertising and promotion tactics employed by infant formula manufacturers, ensuring that families make informed decisions when choosing their child’s nutrition sources.

Cost Barriers Impacting Low-Income Families’ Access To Proper Nutrition

Low-income families are confronted with the issue of providing adequate nutrition for their infants and young children due to the increasing costs of infant formula. Households in the lowest 10% income bracket spend around £54 per week on food alone, emphasizing a need to address this barrier.

Rising Costs of Infant Formula

The food security issue is further exacerbated by expensive powdered infant formulas and follow-on milks marketed as superior alternatives to standard cows’ milk. These products often come with misleading claims that can influence parents’ decisions.

Impact on Households with Limited Financial Resources

  • Healthy Start Scheme: This UK government initiative provides vouchers for eligible families to purchase essential foods, including infant formula.
  • Baby Milk Action: A campaign group working alongside the Baby Feeding Law Group UK aims at promoting safe and affordable feeding options for all babies.


We have learned about the various factors that contribute to childhood obesity and the importance of regulating marketing strategies for infant formula and commercial baby food packaging.

We also explored the evolution of infant feeding practices and guidelines for ensuring global safety standards in infant formula composition requirements.