Companies use on-pack claims to make their products sound appealing to customers, but they can also be misleading.

The WHO recommends no composition/nutrition, health, or marketing claims should be present on baby foods products.

Tip: click below to understand each type of claim and to familiarise yourself with the types of messages you should look out for. Use the form to record where you see claims on pack - this will mean the product fails the NPPM.

Inappropriate claims

Composition/nutrition claims

Claims relating to the presence of beneficial ingredients or the absence of harmful ones. For example:

  • 'No...', ‘No added…’, ‘Low in…’ [sugar, salt, artificial colours/flavours, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, GMO, Junk etc]
  • ‘Contains only naturally occurring…’

Statements relating to the natural or healthful nature of ingredients. For example:

  • ‘Contributes one of your five-a-day [fruit/vegetables]’,
  • ‘Contains three types of vegetables’, ‘Contains vegetables’
  • ‘Organic food’, ‘Natural’, ‘Fresh’, ‘100% natural’, ‘real fruit/vegetables’

Statements implying nutritional idealism, high nutrient content, or presence of nutrients generally not considered in home-prepared foods. No product should imply that commercial foods are nutritionally superior to home-prepared foods, or otherwise undermine important public health recommendations. For example:

  • 'Nutritionally balanced', ‘Perfect/unique balance of vitamins/minerals’, ‘Ideal nutrients’, ‘Provides good nutrition to children’

  • ‘Contains…’ ‘A source of…’ [minerals/ vitamins/ iron/ vitamin B1/ a host of nutrients/ dietary fibre/ omega-3/ probiotics/ prebiotics/ protein/ amino acids/ phospholipids/ DHA/ carbohydrate/ arachidonic acid etc.]

Health claims

Statements relating to beneficial health or development resulting from the food or ingredients. For example:

‘Good for…’, ‘Supports…’, ‘Improves…’, ‘…needed for…’ [healthy growth/ development/ digestion/ appetite/ learning to chew/ learning to hold/ constipation/ defecation/ bones and teeth/ enteric flora/ the brain/ eyes/ vision/ skin health/ thyroxine synthesis/ red blood cell synthesis/ preventing iron deficiency anaemia/ collagen synthesis/ metabolism/ cognitive development/ immune system etc.]

Statements relating to the general healthful nature of ingredints or recipes. For example:

  • ‘Healthy’
  • ‘Goodness of cereals’, ‘Extra goodness with wholegrain oats’, ‘Infant cereal is the ideal foundation to a healthy and balanced diet’, ‘Perfectly balanced to support growth’
  • ‘Draws inspiration from the Mediterranean approach to health and well-being’
Marketing claims

Statements relating to ideal taste. For example:

  • ‘delight for tiny taste buds/tiny tummies’
  • ‘tasty/yummy/delicious’
  • ‘suitable for picky eaters’
  • ‘in my home the whole family loves them’
  • ‘my flavours are a new journey for tiny taste buds’
  • ‘exotic dishes are full of variety and flavour’
  • ‘simple flavour’

Statements relating to high product quality. For example:

  • ‘picked at the peak of ripeness’
  • ‘bursting with goodness and flavour’
  • ‘individually steam cooked’
  • ‘we use over 27 different fruits and vegetables’
  • ‘we only use specially selected ingredients’

Statements relating to ideal food texture. For example:

  • ‘smooth’
  • ‘no bits/chunks’
  • ‘easy-to-swallow texture that is great for helping your little one as they start to explore solid foods’
  • ‘perfectly smooth texture has been specially developed as an ideal first weaning food’
  • ‘I'm textured’
  • ‘yummy crispy bits will encourage your baby to begin to chew’
  • ‘ideally suited to promote exposure to textures’

Statements relating to convenience or lifestyle. For example:

  • ‘convenient’, ‘great for a busy and active life’
  • ‘ideal for breakfast or meals on the go’
  • ‘simply to top up between meals’
  • ‘great way to make fruit fun’
  • ‘closest thing to homemade with all of the goodness and none of the guilt’
  • ‘inspired by my favourite home-cooked recipes’

Statements conveying ideals on optimum feeding. For example:

  • ‘helps to build confidence and enjoyment with food’
  • ‘we've been pioneering research into infant and toddler nutrition for over 50 years to help you give your baby the best start in life’
  • ‘carefully prepared by our baby-food experts’
  • ‘grown by farmers we know and trust’
  • ‘nothing unnecessary’
  • ‘no junk’
  • ‘nothing nasty’,
  • ‘encourages self-feeding’
  • ‘perfect for small hands’
  • ‘perfect/ideal/optimum… way to feed/introduce foods’
  • ‘breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day’
  • ‘we guarantee our products provide the best possible start for your baby’

Statements encouraging dismissal of public health recommendations. For example:

  • ‘The government advises that you don't need to wean your little one until they are 6 months old. Every baby is different!’
  • ‘The Department of Health and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. However, if you choose to wean earlier, our ingredients are suitable from 4 months.’

Statements/labels implying product or brand support from experts and trustworthy or influential individuals, groups or organisations. No product should convey an endorsement or anything that may be construed as an endorsement by a professional or other body, unless this has been specifically approved by relevant national, regional or international regulatory authorities. For example:

  • ‘Quality approved by Mums’
  • ‘Approved by nutrition experts/ celebrities’
  • ‘Endorsed by Paediatricians/ national child’s association’

Statements conveying other idealistic or charitable attributes of the product or brand. For example:

  • ‘Committed to giving 10% of profits to help fund food education charities’
  • B corporation certification, Hain Celestial, or other corporate certification implying superior or other ethical or charitable brand attributes and unrelated to product nutrition or content.

The NPPM is a Nutrient and Promotion Profile Model by WHO and University of Leeds, designed to assess the appropriateness of commercial baby foods.

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