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Saturday 1 October 2016
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Parents' initiative to keep babies healthy unveiled

A campaign to improve the health of babies is to be unveiled by the government.

In an address to midwives on Friday, Health Secretary Andy Burnham will outline the aims of the Start4life scheme, which focuses on how new mothers and fathers can give their child a healthy start, straight from birth.

The initiative will also advise new parents not to "rush to mush" and give their youngsters solid foods too early. A "banana challenge" will help parents to decide when it is appropriate for their child to move on to solids, usually not before the baby is six months old.

Parents should also encourage their babies to "toddle" as soon as possible and avoid snacks full of sugar in a drive to cut obesity.

Mr Burnham will unveil the plan to health workers at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) conference in Manchester but the official launch to parents will not be until January.

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Royal College of Midwives