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Getting Kids cooking

A new book, for 3-11 year-olds, with a foreword by Marguerite Patten, Cook School (link to commercial website) may be a useful tool. The review in the Daily Telegraph by Bee Wilson concludes "Now we just need a new Ministry of Food to broadcast these skills to the country. "

see also our earlier article Keep Kids Cooking

Reactions to BBC Horizon "The Nine Months That Made You" - Simon House

Chair, The McCarrison Society:
This is the best and most valuable program I have seen on TV and should not be missed - viewable for 30 days on: - or some can get it on 'catch-up'.
I should like Michael's comment on the recipe for the mother's vegetable roll for prepregnancy onwards, transported out to clinics. I didn't pick up iodine or marine essential fatty acids. [ I believe vegetable Omega 3 was mentioned. TBB] Barker is a splendid man and this has succeeded in getting the basic prepregnancy message further out to the public than anyone but the recipe, though clearly benefitting general life-health, may not do all it could for the brain if it included marine omega-3s. I'm sure we all appreciate that the recipe is local foods rather than supplements, though these may be needed too. And it must rejoice the spirit of Sir Robert McCarrison that this new work has again begun where his did - in Bombay! 

Read more: Reactions to BBC Horizon "The Nine Months That Made You" - Simon House

Campaign against unsustainable deep water trawling - please sign!

Our oceans are being systematically destroyed and we have little time to raise the alarm. The seafood industry uses long chains of heavy metal disks to drag nets across the sea floor in search of fish, crushing everything in their path. This bottom-trawling is like clear-cutting a forest to catch a parrot -- and only our outcry can stop it. Already nearly 700,000 signatures have been collected - help Avaaz reach its new target of 750,000.

click here to sign the petition:

Read more: Campaign against unsustainable deep water trawling - please sign!

House of Lords debate on child poverty, 2010

Below are extracts from 2 speeches made in the House of Lords with regard to the Child Poverty Bill last year below. The speeches were made by Baroness Finlay and Lord Rea who are both positioned in the medical field and the former was until recently President of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff:  ...25 Jan 2010 : Column GC249

...  child poverty and not only its symptoms,... and the Government have repeatedly acknowledged this as a priority. We have heard the term "cycle of poverty" many times, and yet we continue to shy away from the very axis that accelerates the problem-namely, the health of the mother and the child. ....................

In the time available, I could not do justice to the crucial importance of nutrition during pregnancy and infancy in tackling disadvantage. The noble Lord, Lord Freud, touched on the importance of maternal nutrition, and I should like to elaborate a little further. In brief, it is becoming apparent that low birth weights, of which Britain has the highest rate in western Europe, are associated with poor cognitive abilities and serious brain disorders such as cerebral palsy.....

..................The cycle of poverty will remain repetitive and relentless unless we have the courage to tackle its very core and root that out. That is what the amendment seeks to do.

Lord Rea: What I have to say is very complimentary to what the noble Baroness has just said, and may be slightly repetitive. However, it gives me an opportunity to cover further that vital stage in child development-the earliest stage, with the foetus in utero. Healthy babies, as the noble Baroness said, are produced by healthy mothers, particularly adequately nourished mothers. Many studies have shown that the most critical phase of development-the foetal environment at the very beginning of pregnancy-is the time when damaging effects can occur and is the most vulnerable time for the child. It is the time when the heart and cardiovascular system and the central nervous system are formed from the primitive streak, before the foetus is recognisable as a future human being. This occurs in the first few weeks of gestation, often before the mother realises that she is pregnant. That is why it is so important to ensure that not only mothers and women who know they are pregnant but also potential mothers-that is, all women of child-bearing age-have sufficient income to buy an adequate diet.

4.30 pm

The noble Baroness pointed out, in particular, the effects of anencephaly and spina bifida resulting from folate deficiency. If that can occur, then other vital nutrient deficiencies are also likely to have serious effects. I should like to point out the possible effect of a lack of long-chained polyunsaturated fatty acids, found most richly in fish, on the subsequent IQ of babies. The ALSPAC study of 14,000 babies from pregnancy  ........ -showed that those aged eight whose mothers had consumed very little fish during pregnancy had significantly lower IQs than those whose mothers had eaten quite a lot of fish. Of course, many social factors were involved but a lot of care was taken to allow for any bias based on things such as social class, education, smoking and so on.