Optimal nutritional intake alongside the development of healthy eating and activity patterns during the early years are vital to building resilience and protecting against chronic disease in adulthood.

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Parenteral nutrition (PN) for children

The Paediatric Chief Pharmacists Group, along with colleagues, produced Improving practice and reducing the risks of using parenteral nutrition for children (PDF, 893KB, 37 pages). This scoped current practice across the UK and made recommendations for practitioners from all professions to improve practice and reduce risks in the provision of PN for children and neonates. 

Breastfeeding and infant milks

The RCPCH stongly encourages mothers to breastfeed and supports the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative - see our position statement on breastfeeding.

In January 2015 First Steps Nutrition Trust launched Infant milks: A simple guide to infant formula, follow-on formula and other infant milks This simple guide to infant formula, follow‐on formula and other infant milks provides evidence-based information about breast milk substitutes.

July 2013: The WHO has released documents relating to the use and marketing of follow-up formula (PDF, 161KB, 3 pages) and promoting proper feeding for infants and young children

October 2012: UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative have published a new report Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK (PDF, 4.10MB, 104 pages).  Research commissioned by UNICEF UK reveals that low breastfeeding rates in the UK are costing the NHS millions of pounds. The report takes an in-depth look at how raising breastfeeding rates would save money through reducing illness. 

RCPCH Health Promotion Officer Professor Mitch Blair said, "RCPCH recognises the important contribution breastfeeding can make to the health of mothers and children in the short and long term. It recognises the need to promote and invest in services which aim to support all mothers so that they can breastfeed as long as is desirable."


Improving Maternal and Infant Nutrition: A Framework for Action - The Scottish Government 2011

This framework for action can be taken by NHS Boards, local authorities and others to improve the nutrition of pregnant women, babies and young children in Scotland. It is hoped that this will lead to better incorporation of nutrition education in the training of doctor and nurses. 

Special interest groups

European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Neonatal Dietitians Interest Group (NDIG)  

Clinical guidelines endorsed by RCPCH

Gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition - guidelines

Diabetes and endocrinology - guidelines


How to Manage: Gastroenterology - an approach to common GI presentations and updates - 17 November, London (fully booked)

Adolescent Health Programme (e-learning) - helping healthcare professionals to get the right knowledge and skills to help their young patients lead healthier and more active lives. Free to NHS UK staff. Visit Module 12 to learn about Overweight & Underweight issues in adolescents

Healthy Child Programme (e-learning) - for all healthcare professionals working with pregnancy and the first five years of life. Free to NHS UK staff. There are several useful sessions within the programme that explore nutrition related issues.

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