Our Health Improvement Team working in maternal, infant and early years nutrition develop resources, provide information and support a variety of staff to deliver key nutritional messages. We work closely with:
- Healthcare Staff
- Children Services
- Community Learning and Development Teams
- Community/ Voluntary Organisations
We also provide training on how to promote nutritional requirements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as for infants from birth to managing a balanced food intake for pre-school children.
Downloadable Information Leaflets
- Nutrition Resources for Parents and Carers
- Nutrition Resources for Health Professionals and Childcare Providers
- Maternity Information Leaflets
Nutrition in the News
The Best Start Grant – Pregnancy and Baby Payment will be launched in Scotland on the 10th of December. From the 10th of December, you’ll be able to apply online, find out more here or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222. There will also be a paper form you’ll be able to fill in. The Pregnancy and Baby Payment will replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant in Scotland. The Best Start Food Scheme will replace the UK Healthy Start scheme in Scotland, this will be introduced during 2019.
Thinking about breastfeeding your baby?
- Local Breastfeeding Groups – Forth Valley
- Breastfeeding – BDA Factsheet.
- Visit feedgood.scot a mobile friendly website for parents and health professional to find all the information they need about breastfeeding and other feeding options. From step-by-step ‘how to’ guides and experiences of real mums, to video clips and pictures to help with feeding.
- National Breast Feeding Helpline – 0300 100 0212
Every pregnant women living in Scotland are now entitled to FREE healthy start vitamin tablets throughout the duration of their pregnancy.
The Healthy Start vitamins contain:
- Folic acid, which reduces the chances of babies having spina bifida
- Vitamin D, which helps mothers’ bodies absorb calcium, allowing babies’ bones to develop properly
- Vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy tissue in the body
- Ask your midwife for more information.
- Visit Healthy Start for more information on the Healthy Start Scheme.
- Pregnancy Factsheet, British Dietetic Association, Food Factsheet.
New vitamin D recommendations have been developed by the Scottish Government for parents and healthcare professionals.
It is recommended that EVERYONE (all adults and children) age 5 years and above in the UK should take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement daily, particularly during the winter months (October – March).
However there are groups who should take a vitamin D supplement all year round.
These groups include:
- breastfed babies.
- children aged 1 – 4 years.
- pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
- People from minority ethnic groups with dark skin as those of African, African – Carribean and South Asian origin.
- People who are not exposed to much sunlight , such as frail or housebound individuals or those that cover their skin for cultural reasons.
- People over 65 years.
Read more about Vitamin D – Scottish Government.
Vitamin D recommendations – information for new parents
Breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age should be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms vitamin D per day.
Babies who are fed infant formula do not require vitamin D if they are having 500ml/day of infant formula or more, as infant formula already has added vitamin D.
- Vitamin D and You – NHS Health Scotland Leaflet, also available in Polish, Chinese and Urdu.
- Vitamin D – Professional Leaflet – NHS Health Scotland.
- New Vitamin D recommendation information for parents – This leaflet explains the benefits of getting enough Vitamin D for infants from birth to six months and provides advice and support for parents.
- Vitamin D recommendations for Health Professionals
- Healthy Start vitamins are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants.
- Healthy Start Leaflet – Leaflet highlights where to get Healthy Start vitamin supplements locally. Alternatively ask your midwife or health visitor.
Vitamin D – Are you getting enough? NHS Forth Valley Infographic Poster
Vitamin D – Are you getting enough? NHS Forth Valley Postcard
Vitamin D – British Dietetic Association Factsheet
Vitamin D – NHS
Breastfeeding booklet and posters from Health Scotland
The Off to A Good Start (OTAGS) booklet aims to help pregnant women, new mums and their families make decisions about how they will feed their baby. It gives practical advice, including: information about developing a close and loving relationship with your baby; the benefits of breastfeeding; the difference between breast milk and formula and how breastfeeding works (including positioning and attachment). Access the posters and new materials on Health Scotland’s website.
A Guide for Early Years Settings – Eating Well Sustainably
Eating Well Sustainably – A Guide for Early Years Settings – First Steps Nutrition Trust – Introducing sustainable food to Early Years settings is an opportunity to connect children, staff and families to more environmentally friendly habits and to nurture a sustainable food culture. The guide provides simple guidance on: planning sustainable menus, shopping for food, waste and storing food, cooking and preparing food and growing food.
Accessing Healthy Start Vitamins in Forth Valley
- Healthy Start Leaflet – Leaflet highlights where families that are eligible for Healthy Start can access free vitamin supplements throughout Forth Valley.
- Healthy Start Issuing Unit / Helpline 0345 607 6823.
- Find out more about Healthy Start
Health Improvement Staff
Lesley Hetherington Community Dietitian / Infant Feeding Co-ordinator
Based at Admin Offices, Falkirk Community Hospital, Westburn Avenue, Falkirk, FK1 5SU.
Useful Helplines and Websites
- Healthy Start Issuing Unit / Helpline 0345 607 6823
- National Breastfeeding Helpline – 0300 100 0212
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers – 0300 330 5453
- The Breastfeeding Network – Helpline 0300 100 0210
Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421 Tamil, Telegu and Hindi: 0300 330 5469
- La Leche League GB – Helpline 0845 120 2918
- National Childbirth Trust – Information on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and parenthood. Helpline 0300 33 00 700
- Allergy UK – Advice for parents with a new baby – has information on feeding and weaning your baby.
- British Dietetic Association Food Fact Sheets – Download factsheets on a range of nutrition topics – weaning, breastfeeding and vitamins in babies and children and many more….
- Childsmile – Improving the oral health of children in Scotland.
- Dairy Council -Site contains nutrition information and facts relating to milk and health.
- feedgood.scot – Mobile friendly website for parents and health professionals to find information they need about breastfeeding and other feeding options. It has step by step guides, video clips and pictures to help with feeding.
- First Steps Nutrition Trust – Site contains a range of resources – they are divided into the following sections : Eat Well – providing nutrition information from pregnancy through to early years, Infant Milks – providing information on infant formulas and it’s compliance with the WHO code, Making Infant Formula Safely, Healthy Start, Food Quality including manufactured baby foods in the UK.
- Healthy Start – Provides information about the Healthy Start scheme in the UK. It also provides food and health tips for pregnant women and families with young children and information about vitamin use.
- Maternal and Early Years – This website is aimed at everyone working in the early years workforce. It covers a wide range of information and settings within the early years topic and provides information that is relevant to practitioners at many levels. A key element of the site is to provide the best possible links to up-to-date information, resources and support.
- NHS – Your pregnancy and baby guide, Why Breastfeed? , Your babies first solid food, Childrens Meal Ideas.
- One Parent Families Scotland – Informing, supporting and inspiring single parent families.
- Parent Club – Website is crammed full of the latest babies and toddler hints and tips from real parents and professionals. Visit for tips on eating, sleeping, playing and more!
- Ready Steady Baby – A website covering the time from the decision to have a baby, through pregnancy and birth and up until your baby is one year old. Find out more about Ready Steady Baby mobile app.
- Ready Steady Toddler – A website to help you through the challenges and rewards of the toddler years.
- Unicef – The Baby Friendly Initiative – Contains useful information and advice on all aspects of breastfeeding.
- Vegetarian Society – Have a wide variety of resources from information booklets and recipes to campaign posters and postcards.