Giving cow’s milk to children under one year of age increases the risk of allergic diseases in their respiratory and digestive system as they cannot digest the protein present in the milk. According to experts, an alternative form of nutrition is needed to maintain the health of infants who do not get breast milk. Pediatricians say that if cow’s milk is given during this initial period, low concentrations of iron content can lead to anemia.
Nandan Joshi of the Department of Health and Nutrition Science of Danone India said that cow’s milk has been associated with our culture for centuries, but it should not be given to children below one year of age. It can put strain on the immature kidney of the baby and is also difficult to digest. At the same time, infants above one year of age can be fed homemade supplements while children under one years of age need special hydrolyzed and amino acid-based food that does not cause allergies.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) found that only 40 per cent of children were able to get supplementary food on time while only 10 per cent were able to get adequate diet between six and 23 months. Most of the infants in India are given cow’s milk as awareness is low in rural areas, especially in rural areas. The Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) revealed that 42% of infants under the age of one year were given cow’s milk.