Breast-feeding with appropriate supplementation is the preferred method of feeding infants 6 to 12 months old. Although many mothers will continue to breast-feed or formula-feed their babies through the first year of life, there is at present no convincing evidence from well-designed research studies that feeding whole cow's milk after 6 months of age is harmful if adequate supplementary feedings are given.
Research to answer the crucial questions discussed here must be carried out before firm recommendations can be made concerning the age at which it is safe to introduce WCM in infants' diets. Until these questions can be answered, the following recommendations for feeding infants 6 to 12 months old pertain.
If breast-feeding has been completely discontinued and infants are consuming one third of their calories as supplemental foods consisting of a balanced mixture of cereal, vegetables, fruits, and other foods (thereby assuring adequate sources of both iron and vitamin C), whole cow's milk may beintroduced. The amount fed should be limited to less than 1 L daily. Most infants who are not breast-fed should be consuming a significant portion of their calories from supplemental foods after they are 6 months old; those who are not should be given an iron-fortified formula.
Reduced fat content milk is not recommended during infancy.
- Copyright © 1983 by the American Academy of Pediatrics