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Health Promotion

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 22 July 2020

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Questions (235, 236)

Michael Creed

Question:

235. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Health his plans to publicly communicate the contents of a report (details supplied); if so, the timeline for communicating same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17673/20]

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Michael Creed

Question:

236. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Health if his Department will offer the opportunity for stakeholder consultation regarding the public communication of the contents of a report (details supplied); his views on whether stakeholder consultation is best practice prior to communicating policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17674/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 235 and 236 together.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published a report on 22 June 2020 entitled “Scientific Recommendations for Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for 1 to 5 Year-Olds in Ireland”. The report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health, arises from the work of the Scientific Committee of the FSAI and is based on the latest Irish research on the dietary habits of this age group and reflects international best practice on young child feeding in an Irish context. It is the first Irish scientific report to address the nutritional needs of toddlers and pre-school children.

The Scientific Recommendations for this age group were prioritised by the Department of Health to provide the evidence base for the Department’s next stage of the 'Healthy Food for Life' programme, which will include Healthy Eating Guidelines for 1 to 5 year olds, a Children’s Food Pyramid and a suite of resources including daily meal plans for 1, 2 3 and 4 year-olds.

These resources are currently being finalised by the Department of Health having been developed with the help of the technical working group of the Healthy Eating Subgroup of the Obesity Policy Implementation Oversight Group. These Healthy Eating Guidelines are expected to be launched later this year and an implementation plan for dissemination and training is currently being developed with key partners on the Healthy Eating Subgroup. These include the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, HSE, safefood and the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute. Key messages on healthy eating in the recommendations of the FSAI’s scientific report will be communicated, in particular to the parents and carers of children in the relevant age group.

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