Introducing good nutrition values to children as young as five still poses difficulties because they may have picked up bad habits already
But there has to be some allowance for habits picked up in early life before the nutrition programmes.
For example we know of people who breastfeed infants up to the age of four years and some who give them none. We know of some babies who exist on what their mothers consider is an adequate diet but which is actually inadequate. We don’t even know if foods people eat are described adequately on the labels so false beliefs are established before the plan begins at five years of age.
So, for example, the status of iodine is not known because the mothers may already be feeding iodised salt to babies or may not even know what is included in salt which is in the food. This has to be established with more food manufacturers who include iodised salt without disclosing it, for example in imported food.
This also emphasises the importance of starting at breakfast, which should be given more attention and which would be consumed in all sorts of schools. This is being considered by VEGA with its plan and conditions, so embarrassments are averted.
All this is being done in preparation for the government’s eating plans, to be broadcast early in the New Year. It is done by well-meaning charity workers and we are pleased to note that the Archbishop of York has joined the charity workers in appeals of this kind.