Publication - Advice and guidance

Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme: guidance for local authorities and day care settings

Published: 7 Jun 2021
From:
Clare Haughey MSP
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Children and families
ISBN:
9781802010275

Statutory guidance for the operation of the Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme for local authorities and participating (registered) day care settings.

31 page PDF

446.5 kB

31 page PDF

446.5 kB

Contents
Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme: guidance for local authorities and day care settings
Annex B: SMHSS: milk and permitted "specified" alternatives to milk

31 page PDF

446.5 kB

Annex B: SMHSS: milk and permitted "specified" alternatives to milk

1 In setting out what may be provided under the Scheme, Scottish Ministers have taken advice from Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

2. Plain cow's milk is most nutritious for children and this is what should be offered under the scheme to all children except where they are under 12 months (and receive breast milk or first infant milk formula) or where children cannot drink it for medical, ethical or religious reasons.

3. Only where children cannot drink cow's milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons, the new Scheme will allow settings to provide plain goat or sheep milk and where for those reasons children cannot drink cow's milk, sheep's milk or goat's milk, the Scheme will allow a specified non-dairy alternative defined as a drink which is an unsweetened calcium enriched liquid (excluding rice milk).

4. In line with Setting the Table, after the age of 2, semi-skimmed milk can be introduced gradually as long as the child is eating well and has a varied diet. Fully skimmed milk is not suitable as a main drink for a young child until they are 5 years old, as it does not contain enough calories or vitamins.

5. Unsweetened calcium enriched soya drinks are the closest nutritional equivalent to plain cow's milk and these should be the first option for children who cannot drink dairy milks. Other unsweetened calcium enriched non-dairy alternative drinks may be offered only where a child cannot drink an unsweetened calcium enriched soya milk. A guide to support those selecting an unsweetened, calcium enriched soya drink is included in Annex C.

5. Rice milk must not be given to children under 5 years of age due to concerns about the levels of arsenic.

Rationale

7. FSS is responsible for providing advice to Scottish Ministers on a range of food related issues including advice on diet and nutrition. FSS provided nutritional advice and identified the types of additional animal milks and non-dairy alternative drinks that can be included as part of the new Scheme to ensure the best health benefits and outcomes for children who do not drink cow's milk. The policy is therefore based on the most up to date scientific evidence and dietary advice.

8. While inclusion of alternatives to cow's milk offer more nutritional advantage than offering no alternative/ water alone, the nutritional benefits of the alternatives are not comparable with those of cow's milk and children should therefore continue to be offered cow's milk except where they cannot drink this for medical, ethical or religious reasons. Non-dairy alternative drinks offer less energy and nutrients than cow's milk which can lead to deficiencies if not taken account of in the rest of the diet.

In summary:

Age of child: Under 12 months

Default milk for the Scheme: N/A

Ranking of alternatives which should only be offered where children cannot drink the default for ethical, health or religious reasons: First infant formula for children for whom breast milk is not available

Age of child: 12 months but under 2 years

Default milk for the Scheme: Plain whole cow's milk

Ranking of alternatives which should only be offered where children cannot drink the default for ethical, health or religious reasons: Where a child cannot drink plain cow's milk for health, ethical or religious reasons, you should offer, in the following order:

(i) plain, whole fresh goat or sheep milk;

(ii) specified unsweetened calcium-enriched soya drink (see Annex C for information on soya drinks)

Where a child is also unable to drink soya:

(iii) specified unsweetened calcium-enriched non-soya alternative (excluding rice milk).

(iv) water

Age of child: 2 years and over

Default milk for the Scheme: Plain cow's milk, whole or semi-skimmed

Ranking of alternatives which should only be offered where children cannot drink the default for ethical, health or religious reasons: Where a child cannot drink plain cow's milk for health, ethical or religious reasons, you should offer, in the following order:

(i) plain whole or semi-skimmed fresh goat or sheep milk;

(ii) unsweetened calcium-enriched soya alternative (see Annex C for information on soya drinks);

Where a child is also unable to drink soya:

(iii) specified unsweetened calcium-enriched non-soya alternative (excluding rice milk).

(iv) water

Please remember: you must not provide rice milk under the Scheme.

The dairy milks to be provided under the Scheme are plain whole or semi-skimmed dairy milks only.


Contact

Email: SMHSS@gov.scot