Quibble of Uppingham are pledging their support in a bid for change
A new petition aiming to change legislation around The Nursery Milk Scheme is now beginning to gain traction with some of the UK’s leading nutritionists and paediatric dietitians.
All children under the age of 5 who are attending a childcare establishment for two hours or more each day, are entitled to a free 189ml portion of milk funded by the UK government.
However, this does not make allowances for children with allergies, intolerances or alternative diet choices, and the petition backed by Quibble, aims to change this.
Peterborough-based couple Sylwia Lysakowska-Lombari and her husband David, who follow a Vegan diet, began the petition after discovering that their daughter would have no alternative option upon starting school.
“We were shocked that she wouldn’t have an alternative to dairy products on the milk scheme,” Says Sylwia, “we started the petition not just for those that follow alternative diets, but also for those whose children suffer from incredibly severe allergies - a few of which we know personally.”
“Not only is this legislation outdated, but it also seems very unfair on the children that aren’t able to drink milk,” Concludes Sylwia.
Anna Morrish the Founder & Managing Director of Quibble had this to say, “At Quibble, we have team members who are vegan, along with their children, including one child who is allergic to dairy.
“Further to this, we work with a charity, which is campaigning to educate schools on allergies.”
Since the petition began, leading dietary and paediatric experts have lent their support to the cause.
Kate Lancaster, who runs the instagram page The Dairy Free Mum has been lending her support to the campaign by sharing with her 64,000 followers. She says;
"A recent poll I ran showed that 92% of Allergy Parents feel that their child has been excluded from something because of their food allergies. A school setting should be somewhere that promotes inclusivity, but this scheme can make children with allergies feel ostracised from a young age.
As a parent to two children who have suffered with Cow's Milk Protein Allergy, and my eldest just starting school, as soon as I saw the petition Sylwia had set up I knew I had to get behind it."
Lucy Upton, of The Children’s Dietitian, is a qualified Paediatric Dietitian and Feeding Therapist, who says “It’s great to see this topic getting some much-needed coverage. The allergy community is so passionate and active about advocating for the needs of its community, and I think it is an important conversation
As a dietitian who works with hundreds of children every year who have food allergies, I would be very much in support of an initiative to see suitable unsweetened and fortified milk alternatives in schools,” says Lucy.
Dr Shireen Kassam, founder of Plant Based Health Professionals and co-founder of VegMed explains, “It is essential that all schools offer dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk for a variety of important reasons,” she explains.
”Allergy to the protein in cow’s dairy is also a significant problem. Hospital admissions for food-induced anaphylaxis continue to rise with cow’s milk responsible for 26% of deaths in school-age children,” explains Dr Kassam.
“Although cow’s dairy provides certain nutrients for children, including protein, calcium and iodine, dairy-free alternatives such as soya and pea drinks, especially fortified varieties, contain equivalent amounts of nutrients. There is no recognised detriment to a child’s health when avoiding dairy products.”