This report covers infant feeding from birth up to 12 months of age.
The report considers evidence on the impact of infant feeding on short and longer term health outcomes for infants and mothers. It also considers factors that influence eating behaviour and diversification of the diet and makes recommendations on feeding in the first year of life.
SACN’s conclusions are largely consistent with existing advice on infant feeding, the introduction of solid foods and diversification of the infant diet. In particular, SACN concludes that breastfeeding makes an important contribution to infant and maternal health. SACN recommends retaining existing advice for women to exclusively breastfeed for around the first 6 months and to continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of life once solid foods have been introduced. SACN recommends that infants are not introduced to solid foods until around 6 months of age.
SACN recommends that a wide variety of solids foods, including iron-containing foods should be introduced in an age appropriate form from around 6 months of age. The types of food, flavours and textures offered should become increasingly diverse throughout the complementary feeding period. SACN noted that new foods may need to be presented to infants on many occasions before they are accepted, particularly as infants get older.
SACN recommends that advice on complementary feeding should state that foods containing peanut and hen’s egg can be introduced from around 6 months of age and need not be differentiated from other solid foods. The deliberate exclusion of peanut or hen’s egg beyond 6 to 12 months of age may increase the risk of allergy to the same foods.
You can view documents related to the consultation on the draft report. The documents include comments submitted during consultation and the response to each of these from SACN.