We have submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on its obesity strategy. In our response, we:
  • voiced our support for the proposal to promote the uptake of the Healthy Start Programme, which includes vouchers that can reduce the price of milk.
  • asked for assurances that milk consumption in children would be encouraged to mitigate against the proposed reduction in the scope of the exemption for milk-based drinks from 75 percent milk content to 95 percent milk content.
  • argued that milk should continue to be provided in schools after the proposed review of school food and drink regulation.
  • asked the Scottish Government to voice their support for a domestic replacement to the EU School Milk Scheme.
  • asked for the Nursery Milk Scheme to be promoted and for Scottish children to be taught about the health and social benefits of milk.
We have submitted a response to HMRC’s consultation on proposals to change the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals. The changing criteria will result in 50,000 more children being eligible for free school meals, while those currently would lose their eligibility under the new criteria will have it protected. Although the consultation does not directly refer to milk, it is of interest as children eligible for free school meals are also eligible for free school milk. Our response supports the fact that more children will be eligible and that no children who are currently eligible will lose out. It also highlights the important educational and health benefits which milk provides to children.
The Department of Health and Social Care published a new Single Departmental Plan in light of its broadened scope to include Social Care. Under the Plan’s commitment to “improving people’s health” it reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to providing free nursery milk, and to Healthy Start vouchers which can be used to buy milk.
In December, Labour MP and School Food APPG Chair Sharon Hodgson tabled a parliamentary question asking what the Government was doing to prevent cases of malnutrition. Health Minister Steve Brine has since responded to the question referring to the Eatwell Guide as the “Government’s advice on a healthy and balanced diet” and highlighting the Free School Meals scheme. It pointed to the role of nursery milk in preventing malnutrition, saying “the nursery milk scheme also provides a free daily portion of milk to 1.5 million children and babies.”

Nursery Milk and School Food Standards
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