Blackpool Council Public Health, as part of the Blackpool Better Start Partnership, has launched a new award aimed at supporting parents and providing a healthier start for children.
The Junior Healthier Choices Award is an accreditation given to food outlets such as cafes and takeaways that welcome bottle-feeding and breastfeeding on their premises which is a woman’s right protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Other criteria to achieve the award includes offering smaller portions and healthier choices for infants, as well as providing a quiet area for breastfeeding and infant feeding.
Four Blackpool Children’s Centres were the first to be presented with the award followed by the Nibbles Community Cafes at Anchorsholme Library, Blackpool Independent Living Centre and Carleton Crematorium.
Clare Law, senior development manager at Blackpool Better Start, said: “Blackpool Better Start has been working with the Blackpool Council Public Health team to look at new ways of supporting Blackpool parents with infant feeding.
“Breastfeeding mums can sometimes feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, and we want to make sure that all parents feel confident and relaxed to feed their babies and children in places that are family friendly.”
The new scheme, commissioned by Blackpool Council Public Health and Better Start, forms part of the council’s Healthy Weight Strategy and supports UNICEF’S Baby Friendly initiative that looks to enhance an established organisational culture that protects, promotes and develops services to sustain baby friendly standards.
The new award is an extension to the already established Healthier Choices Award which was launched in 2017. This award is all about giving customers the option to eat healthier by making simple changes to the preparation and cooking of food, such as keeping salt levels to a minimum and again making smaller portions available. To date the scheme has presented over 125 awards.
Coun Lynn Williams, Cabinet Member responsible for Health, said: “We are delighted to launch this new award which will benefit mums and their children’s health and well-being from an early age. Families and breastfeeding mums should look out for the Junior Healthier Choices logo in windows around town so that they can enjoy nutritious and portion controlled options as well as other benefits.
“This is a great scheme and we welcome applications from businesses so that they can get involved and promote themselves as a baby and infant friendly venue.”
Businesses that sign up for the new scheme and meet the criteria will be presented with a certificate and colourful window sticker to display at their premises.
Details of how to apply for the award are available on the Healthier Choices web page on Blackpool Council’s website www.blackpool.gov.uk/healthierchoices.