This site aims to draw together thinking and opinions on early life nutrition. We will add new material to the site on a regular basis so please do come back regularly.

Publicly funded reports on early life nutrition

Our Children Deserve Better – Chief Medical Officer
This report formed part of the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report of 2012. The main findings in the report were that spending money to help people in their early life is not just a good thing to do, but sensible too. The Chief Medical Officer asked the Government to consider holding a National Children’s Week every year.

Early intervention: Smart Investments, Massive Savings – Graham Allen MP
In July 2010 Mr Allen was invited by the Prime Minister to chair an Independent Review of Early Intervention to report to Her Majesty’s Government.  This is his second report, published in July 2011, which sets out how programmes that support children and parents in early life can be paid for within existing tax payer funded resources and by attracting new funding outside government.

Early Intervention, the next steps – Graham Allen MP
In July 2010 Mr Allen was invited by the Prime Minister to chair an Independent Review of Early Intervention to report to Her Majesty’s Government.  This first report, published in January 2011, argues how a range of well-tested programmes, low in cost and high in results, can have a lasting impact on all children, especially the most vulnerable. The report points out that if an intervention is made early enough, children can be given a vital social and emotional foundation which will help to keep them happy, healthy and achieving throughout their lives.

The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children from Becoming Poor Adults – Frank Field MP (PDF)
In June 2010, Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, was commissioned by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to undertake an independent review on poverty and life chances. Published in December 2010 the review aimed to generate a broader debate about the nature and extent of poverty and to explore how a child’s home environment affects their chances of being ready to take full advantage of schooling.

Pregnancy and the First 5 Years of Life, Department of Health – Healthy Child Programme
Launched in October 2009 the Healthy Child Programme for the early life stages focuses on a universal preventative service, providing families with a programme of screening, immunisation, health and development reviews, supplemented by advice around health, wellbeing and parenting.

Fair Society, Healthy Lives – The Marmot Review
In November 2008, Professor Sir Michael Marmot was asked by the Secretary of State for Health to chair an independent review to propose the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England from 2010. The strategy was published in February 2010 and included policies and interventions that address the social determinants of health inequalities.

Review of the Early Years Foundation Stage – Dame Clare Tickell
In 2008 the early years foundation stage (EYFS) was introduced to provide a framework which could deliver consistent and high quality environments for all children in pre-school settings, recognizing the importance of this period in a child’s life. The EYFS is an overarching framework for early years providers. It was intended to provide information on how children learn and develop in their earliest years. This review was promised when the EFYS was introduced. It was recognized then that the impact of the EYFS on children’s outcomes and on those working in the early years should be evaluated. This was an evidence-led review, highlighting what works well and areas that don’t.

Better Evidence for a Better Start `The Science Within`: The Social Research Unit
An evidence based framework in collaboration with the Big Lottery Fund, for evidence based community intervention. The Big Lottery Fund‘s ‘A Better Start’ programme is a £165m initiative that aims to improve the life chances of babies and children by achieving a step change in preventative approaches in pregnancy and the first three years of life, based on the best available science on ‘what works’.

Privately funded reports on early life nutrition

The Early Years (disclaimer: sponsored by the University of Northampton and Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition provided funding for printing).
The Working Group that produced this report in 2015 is a sub-group of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood. The purpose of the APPG is to develop practical policies to reduce the scale of childhood obesity and promote health and fitness by engaging with a wide variety of interests and experts in the sector and encouraging them to act together to find solutions.

Forgotten Families, Centre for Social Justice (disclaimer: Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition provided funding for printing)
This report published in October 2012 looks at the importance of families to creating a positive lifestyle for children to be born into. The paper lays out why it is not enough to encourage firms to grant flexible working and improve paternity leave.

For Starters, DEMOS (disclaimer: Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition provided funding for printing) supported by the British Specialist Nutrition Association, of which Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition is a member
This report published in March 2012 acknowledged that the series of independent reviews commissioned by the UK Government (including those by Frank Field MP, Graham Allen MP and Dame Clare Tickell) all highlighted the importance of the pre-school years as a crucial developmental phase but concluded that there was still too little focus on the role of early nutrition. The report reveals the challenges that parents experience in feeding their young children and demonstrates the importance of nutrition to children’s health and development. It advocated a central role for early childhood nutrition in early years and public health policy.

Condition of Britain, IPPR This report was launched in June 2014 with a key-note speech from Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband MP. The report is expected to form the basis of social aspects of the Labour Party’s 2015 General Election Manifesto. It declares that early action to address problems within families can be much more effective than waiting until children start school.

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