What’s Ireland’s plan for feeding babies in a national emergency?



By Liz O’Sullivan and Aileen KennedyTU Dublin

Here’s a list of recent emergencies which we’ve seen in Ireland: Covid-19, the fire in Wexford General Hospital, the arrival of large numbers of refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere, reports of homes being evacuated due to flooding, and electricity power outages. This quite diverse range of emergencies have something in common that may surprise many people. All threaten the nutritional security and the health and wellbeing of the youngest members of society.

Our youngest babies, those between 0 and 6 months old, rely solely on breast milk or infant formula. They have small bodies and a small store of nutrients, therefore anything that threatens their access to breast milk or infant formula is much more problematic than something that threatens access of an adult to a food source. Adults are adaptable, can source a variety of foods, or can live for a long time with no food. In fact, the Guinness World Record for longest survival without solid food is 382 days – not that this is something we’re recommending.

See RTÉ Brainstorm article for more information.