Babies should have nothing but breastmilk for the first six
months, according to new government advice.
The Department of Health has recommended exclusive breastfeeding
for the first 26 weeks. The advice follows new guidance from the
World Health Organisation. Babies who are breastfed have a lower
risk of gastro-enteritis, respiritory problems and ear infections,
and may have a reduced risk of obesity. Mothers too gain from
longer breastfeeding by facing a reduced risk of breast cancer.
The advice has implications for government, employers and child
care providers as exclusive breastfeeding for six months makes it
virtually impossible for a mother to start or return to work in the
first six months of a child’s life.
– A survey of nurseries found that 85 per cent said they were
looking after children with special diets, and 57 per cent said
government guidelines for healthy eating for under fives were not
available to their nursery. www.childrensfood.org