Infants need nothing more than breast milk in the first 6 months of life. Anything new must be introduced in a gradual manner along with breast milk.
Many first-time mothers often wonder when they must replace breast milk with animal milk and are often confused between giving Cow’s Milk or Buffalo’s Milk. In this article, we discuss the right age and ways of introducing milk to your baby’s diet.
It is very important for mothers to know that infants need nothing more than breast milk in the first 6 months of life. Anything new must be introduced only after 6 months, and in a gradual manner along with breastmilk. As for milk, after six months, mothers can start using infant formula milk as, it is the safest alternative to breast milk and it also contains more nutrients than in cow’s milk. Animal milk must be introduced to infants only after 12-18 months of age because, unlike mother’s milk, it lacks adequate nutrients, contains no antibodies that protect against infections, it is also a poor source of iron and can be harmful to the baby’s developing kidneys.
As for choosing between cow’s milk and buffalo milk, cow’s milk is a better option to start with, as buffalo milk is rich in fat and difficult to digest. Indigestion can lead to diarrhea.
While introducing milk, start by adding a few teaspoons of the pasteurized milk to soups, halwa and some room-temperature curd. If he/she tolerates this well, then over time the quantity can be increased with careful monitoring. When introducing buffalo milk, mothers must first boil the milk, let it cool and then remove the layer of cream before feeding the baby.
If you suspect an allergy or intolerance to milk in your kids, you must immediately stop giving milk and talk to your nutritionist / doctor.
Tips for Parents
- Kids under 2 years should be given full fat / full cream milk as they require higher fat and caloric intake for growth and development.
- Toned milk can be introduced after 2 years depending upon the child’s appetite, diet and weight.
- Double toned milk is not suitable for children below 5 years of age due to its poor calorific value and nutrient profile.
Given the prevalence of childhood obesity and metabolic disorders, it is important that parents gradually make this shift from full-fat to double toned milk for kids in their formative years.