Demos is a think-tank which helps develop and deliver research in order to advise policymakers on best practice. Here at SR Nutrition we were lucky enough to be asked to help with some research they were conducting into Early Years Nutrition for their “For Starters” Project.
The project aimed to identify how we can implement policies in order to support nutrition in early years children. This is important for the prevention of ill health and ensuring all our children can get off to the best start.
Our part of the project involved working with DEMOS to deliver some focus groups around the UK to understand the opinions of mothers on the current support they receive when pregnant, when beginning weaning and when feeding their toddlers.
The results were disheartening to say the least, but not in any way unexpected by SR Nutrition. Mothers really do not get anywhere near enough support when pregnant, breastfeeding or weaning their children.
The report found that:
“..too many young children’s nutritional needs are not currently being met, with long-term consequences for their future health, development and attainment.“
they also found that:
“..strategies for improving nutrition in the home for pre-school age children are still under-developed and the parent’s role in teaching babies and young children healthy eating behaviours has received little attention” which results in “support with healthy eating [only] for families whose children are already demonstrating nutritional problems“
As we all know, prevention is always better that cure and in this instance that is true on a economic, individual and public health scale.
The report concluded that a joined up approach is needed “..to provide more consistent, evidence-based messages to parents about how they can provide their babies and young children with the nutritional foundations that they need.” This is something we, at SR Nutrition, have been saying all along…
Fingers crossed this report has an impact 🙂
To read the full report please see For Starters: Early Childhood Nutrition Study