Children: Nutrition

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Morris of Manchester Lord Morris of Manchester Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent the proposals in the Welfare Reform Bill take account of studies of the possibility that low benefits causing poor maternal and foetal nutrition lead to adverse neurological development of children.

Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

Many of the proposals introduced by the Welfare Reform Bill are designed to improve employment outcomes for disadvantaged groups and thus improve the financial situation of low-income households. Work is the best and most sustainable route out of poverty. Evidence shows that employment improves individual's welfare, fosters social inclusion and is good for people's health and well-being.

Pregnant women or parents with at least one child under four years old from low-income households may also be entitled to free milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, infant formula and vitamins under the NHS Healthy Start scheme.

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