Department of Health and Social Care
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Healthcare professionals to give families a healthy Start4Life

Health Secretary previews new Change4Life Campaign at the Royal College of Midwives conference.

An extension of the Government’s Change4Life campaign, which helps families ‘eat well, move more and live longer’, was announced by Health Secretary Andy Burnham at the Royal College of Midwives yesterday.

The Start4Life campaign, will support front line staff to deliver the Healthy Child Programme, supporting pregnant women and parents of babies to establish good feeding and activity habits for their babies to help them reduce the risk of becoming obese in later life.

The campaign, which has been developed in consultation with stakeholders and academics, centres around six top tip topics for families, focusing on breastfeeding, active play and introducing of solid foods when the baby is ready.

Start4Life’s six top tip topics are:

  • Mum’s milk - breast milk is best for both mum and baby, boosting kids’ immune systems and reducing their risk of obesity;
  • Every day counts – supporting mums to start breastfeeding and continue for the first six months of their baby’s life;
  • No rush to mush – helping to avoid stomach upsets, allergies and maximising the benefits of breastfeeding by introducing of solid foods when the baby is ready;
  • Taste4Life – ideas for introducing a variety of different foods to young children;
  • Sweet as they are – helpful hints on how to avoid sugary foods and hidden sugars when introducing babies to solid food; and
  • Baby moves – information on how lively, active play can help babies develop brain and muscle power.

From today, healthcare professionals can access campaign materials including posters, leaflets, and question and answers sheets at the campaign’s website to support their work.

Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham said:

“Healthcare professionals such as midwives, health visitors and family nurses play a vital role providing parents-to-be and parents of young children with guidance on getting their families off to the healthiest start.

“Start4Life will support front line staff in delivering the Healthy Child Programme, giving new families all the information and encouragement they need to start healthy habits that will last for life.”

Notes to editors

For media enquiries only please contact the Department of Health press office on 0207 210 5221

For more information on Start4Life visit

Launched in January 2009, Change4Life is the nationwide movement designed to combat the rise in childhood obesity by helping people to eat well, move more and live longer. For more information on Change4lLife visit

The Healthy Child Programme for the early life stages focuses on a universal preventative service, providing families with a programme of screening, immunisation, health and development reviews, supplemented by advice around health, wellbeing and parenting. For more information visit

In line with WHO advice the Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for around the first six months of life then breastfeeding alongside the introduction of solid food.


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