Closed petition Provide dairy-free alternatives as part of the national milk scheme for under 5s

The current scheme is not only excluding children with severe allergies but also other children who can't have dairy products for a variety of reasons, from intolerances to ethics. We would like the government to include dairy-free alternatives in the scheme to ensure all children are provided for.

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Milk Allergy is the most common cause of food allergy in the paediatric population (Allergy UK). Yet, the lack of support is astonishing, and many parents struggle financially to provide their children with quality milk alternatives.

This is not to mention the fact that veganism is growing massively and a lot of children will follow this diet alongside their parents with absolutely no issues in terms of development.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

12,982 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 2 October 2023

The Nursery Milk Scheme only allows reimbursement for milk. The Government will consider this position once a joint scientific advisory committee working group on plant-based drinks has reported.

The Nursery Milk Scheme allows childcare settings to claim reimbursement for providing one-third of a pint of milk per day to children under the age of five who attend the setting for more than two hours per day. Under the legislation governing the Nursery Milk Scheme reimbursement is restricted to milk and infant formula. Plant-based alternatives are not eligible for reimbursement.

A Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition/Committee on Toxicity working group has been established to jointly consider the nutritional and toxicological aspects associated with the consumption of plant-based alternatives to milk, such as soya, almond and oat drinks. The Government will consider the position on the Nursery Milk Scheme once this Working Group has reported.

Department of Health and Social Care