Supporting families with infants under 12 months experiencing food insecurity

A Guide for Local Authorities and Health Boards

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As we adapt from the response to recovery phase of the pandemic and feel the impacts of the cost of living crisis, many Local Authorities and Health Boards are working to support families who are experiencing food insecurity to achieve food resilience.

To support these efforts, the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, First Steps Nutrition Trust and the National Infant Feeding Network (NIFN) have updated this child rights-focused guidance for Local Authorities and Health Boards to support relevant teams to work together to ensure that babies and families at risk of food insecurity are given the most appropriate support to meet their needs, with the aims of optimising short- and long-term health and wellbeing outcomes and minimising risk.

This guidance has been developed using the evidence to promote, protect and support the health and wellbeing outcomes of infants under 12 months based on three key principles:

  1. A duty of care for the safeguarding of all infants under 12 months of age affected by family hardship, however they are fed.
  2. Provision of infant feeding support during financial hardship or food crisis that conforms to the World Health Assembly International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions (the Code).
  3. The development of pathways of wraparound care which enable families to access additional services to meet ongoing needs.

Support for health professionals

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

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The impact of infant formula marketing

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