Infant food insecurity - responding and preventing: guide

Following discussions in June 2023, we committed to forming a short life working group to develop emergency integrated pathways for families in Scotland with an infant that may face food insecurity and what is available locally to them in an emergency. This toolkit forms a guide for local areas.

Key Messages

It is vital that parents and carers with an infant under 12 months and pregnant women know how, where and who they can reach out to when they need help and support them to safely, responsively[1] and appropriately feed their babies in a crisis. It is not always possible to establish who might need this information or when. Therefore consideration should be given to how to ensure all families with infants are provided with this information before or at times of crisis.

Key message 1: All children have the right to the best possible health (article 24) and an adequate standard of living (article 27) which includes appropriate nutrition to meet their developmental needs.[2] All parents and carers of infants should be supported in ways that help them provide this safely and sustainably, whether the baby is breastfed, formula fed or a combination of both.

Key message 2: Parents and carers of infants, as well as everyone who works with them directly or indirectly, should know where to get locally assured advice and support to ensure that all infants are fed safely and responsively.

Key message 3: Local pathways and responses should be developed around dignity, respect and choice. A ‘No Wrong Door’ principle, with an appropriate onward referral approach should be in place to ensure parents are supported to feed their infants safely and responsively.



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