The composition of foods intended for children under the age of 3 years is governed by strict legislation contained in the ‘Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods’ Directive under the legislation for Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses (PARNUTs).
To view the PARNUTs Framework Directive (2009/39/EC), please click the following link: PARNUTs Framework Directive
To view the Directive on processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children (2006/125/EC), please click here: Foods for infants and young children - cereals and other baby foods
This dictates the levels of energy and nutrients permitted, including vitamins and minerals. The legislation also severely restricts the amount of other elements, such as pesticides, that are permitted in baby food.
The legislation sets rules for the composition and labelling of processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods. The annexes of the Directive give strict criteria for the levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals to be found in weaning foods, and where necessary gives maximum and minimum levels based on advice from the Scientific Committee on Food.
The Directive also encompasses rules on pesticide residues, requiring that baby food contains no detectable levels of pesticide residues, and prohibits certain pesticides in the production of processed cereal-based baby foods.