Best Start Foods: making the most of the Healthy Start reform
22/05/2018 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Join Nourish Scotland and Voluntary Health Scotland on 22nd May to discuss how the reform of Healthy Start into Best Start Foods in Scotland can best benefit our low-income families.
We will hear from the Scottish Government’s Welfare Foods team about their proposals for a new Best Start Foods scheme, and from Sandra Passmore from Birmingham City Council about their fantastic work trying to understand and break the barriers to Healthy Start uptake in Birmingham.
The aim of this event is to provide a space for individuals, third-sector organisations, community groups, local authorities, and retailers to learn from each other and think creatively about solutions that will enable Scotland to lead the way in the UK in tackling dietary health inequalities and closing the attainment gap.
This opportunity for innovative and cross-sector thinking comes at a crucial time; a month before the end of the Scottish Government’s consultation on Best Start Foods, open until 28th June.
On 4th April 2018 the Scottish Government published their proposals for how they intend to take the newly devolved Healthy Start scheme forward. Healthy Start is a UK Government programme subsidising fruit and veg (as well as milk and formula milk) for pregnant women and families with young children who are on low-income. It is the main public scheme tackling financial barriers to healthy diets, but uptake is low and modernisation long overdue.
Healthy diets from the earliest age are absolutely key to the Scottish Government’s stated objectives to close the attainment gap and ensure that every child has the best possible start in life. The devolution of Healthy Start is therefore an important opportunity to improve how low-income families in Scotland are supported in the early years to access the crucial ingredients of a healthy diet, in particular fruit and vegetables.
The Scottish Government is proposing a new, modernised and simplified scheme: Best Start Foods. In the ongoing consultation they ask for feedback on their proposals, as well as ideas for how to boost the uptake of the new scheme and for ways to support families to establish healthy eating patterns.