Department of Health

Website of the Department of Health

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Maternal and infant nutrition

The Government is fully committed to the promotion of breastfeeding, which is accepted as the best form of nutrition for infants to ensure a good start in life. Breastmilk provides all the nutrients a baby needs. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of an infant's life. Six months is the recommended age for the introduction of solid foods for infants. Breastfeeding (and/or breastmilk substitutes, if used) should continue beyond the first six months along with appropriate types and amounts of solid foods. Mothers who are unable to, or choose not to, follow these recommendations should be supported to optimise their infants' nutrition.

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Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition

SACN is an UK wide advisory committee set up to replace the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA). It advises the UK Health Departments as well as the Food Standards Agency, and is supported by a joint secretariat of the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency.

Subgroup on Maternal and Child Nutrition (SMCN)

The Subgroup on Maternal and Child Nutrition had its first meeting on 22 January 2003. The group provides scientific advice on issues related to maternal and infant nutrition.

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