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What is the solid diet for a 6 month old? Is cows milk safe?

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Practicing since : 1982
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He is 6 months old. I wanted to start solid foods for him. Need suggestion on what should i start with. He is on formula feed now. He has 150 ml of feed 6 times a day (NAN 1). What all food should I introduce and should i introduce it one by one. Also is cow milk ok for my baby. So suppose i am preparing rice cereal for him at home should i use cow milk or formula milk.
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 2 hours later

Thank you for posing your query on XXXXXXX

I must congratulate you for taking good care of your son till now. It will be a very good idea to introduce semi-solid foods for him now that he is six months old. Traditionally, Indians use cow's milk regularly, but medical evidence has shown that the protein present in cow's milk is somewhat less tolerated as compared to milk from other milk animals like buffalo. Surprisingly, cow's milk, once treated and packed in powdered form does not lead to the same kind of allergies that natural cow's milk can cause. Hence, if you are still insistent on using cow's milk, stick to formula milk to add to solids like mashed rice, mashed potato and mashed vegetables.

The early weaning foods are given for experience and not really meant to replace milk feeding. Hence, do not be worried if your son takes just a little bit of food and seems to "throw" out the rest. He is going to learn how to handle foods of different textures, so a little reverse tongue movement and throwing out of food may be ignored. Keep trying to give the same foods that he seemed to "reject" earlier, and he will then adjust to that particular food and start enjoying it.

Remember to continue at least with the iron supplements. You may safely remove the multivitamin and calcium supplements if he is about 5-6 kg in weight already. Otherwise, continue with all three supplements. The dose of iron drops need be increased as the child grows, so you may need to speak with his pediatrician or let me know his weight and the brand of drops that you are using so that we can "titrate" the dose correctly for his weight and age.

The starting foods should be easy to swallow, and need to be carbohydrate XXXXXXX with medium quantities of fat and least amount of protein. Even so, rice and ragi porridges are excellent starting foods, as idli, boiled or baked potato, fresh banana, grated XXXXXXX moong-khichdi, fresh curds (not from a mall), boiled vegetables like cauliflower, tomato paste, XXXXXXX peas, spinach (grounded with a mixer after boiling and fed semi-solid with a spoon after adjusting with a little salt), etc.

As he grows older, you can keep adding more cereals like semolina, daliaa of wheat, oats, and then, proteinaceous foods like egg (boiled), chicken liver, dals, and so on.

Each time you try a new food, stick with that for a few days so that the child learns the taste and texture of that food before you change over to a new one. Going too fast will prevent the child's learning curve from developing, and you will face more trouble in the months to follow.

I have no personal grudge against commercially available cereals, but I'd much rather you gave home cooked foods. If the lack of time does not permit you to make fresh food for your son, you may substitute some of the meals with the ready-made powdered tin preparations from Nestle and similar companies. These are graded from I to III and the instructions for their use are written on the cans. You should start with level I and then move on to the higher levels as per the instructions and as your child grows up.

I hope and trust that this answers your query satisfactorily. Do revert in case you need more information.

Thank you.

- Dr Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the solid diet for a 6 month old? Is cows milk safe? 2 hours later
Hi, Thank you very much for answering my query it is of great help.. Just wanted to know is suzi with milk ok to start with? His weight is 6.48 Kgs now. I am giving him Hovite 7 drops, tonoferon 7 drops and Shelcal 2.5 ml as recommended by his pediatrician. Let me know if its ok.
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 2 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
For his weight, you can give up to 10-12 drops of Tonoferon daily. You can stop the other two medicines for sure. Yes, Suji is good to use as a starter cereal but rice is easier, especially the fermented rice we eat in idli.
Hope this helps. I will be available for follow ups. Please close the discussion if you have no more concerns.
Take care,

Dr. Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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