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Cows Milk and Nutrition for Infants

Jul 22, 2008
It will be seen that cows' milk is not an exact substitute for mothers' milk, and if diluted it is still less so, since the proportions are not the same. The potassium salts which seem so necessary to the building up of the blood corpuscles and body tissue are deficient as well as the fat.

A favorite recommendation of physicians is to allow fresh, clean milk to stand, protected from dust, on ice or in a cold place for four or five hours, and then pour off the upper third, ten ounces, from a quart (if more fat is desired, then only six ounces), add twenty ounces of sterilized whey, which contains the sugar and mineral salts of the whole milk with some albumen.

To give the potassium salts, barley broth is frequently used after the first weeks. A well-strained, transparent barley broth contains not over one per cent of starch. At the age of a few months veal broth, which contains lime salts, is frequently given, and if the milk is poor must be used if the material for the bones is to be furnished.

If milk whey is not used, then milk sugar dissolved in water is added, for the child needs more heat-giving food than the adult, since his bodily surface, from which heat is being lost, is three times as much in proportion to his weight, and he is more active and uses relatively more energy.

All food for infants must be carefully protected from the destructive plants before referred to. These plants are in the air everywhere ; are more plentiful in warm, dusty places, and as milk is a most attractive food for them, it must be kept cold and covered.

By the end of the child's first year the saliva has increased, and thereby the power of forming sugar from starch has been gained (for a child under six months of age starchy foods are indigestible), and as the teeth appear some solid food is permissible. But the mucous membrane is very sensitive, and the whole bodily structure is very delicate and easily injured.

All indications point to a simple, non-stimulating, fairly monotonous diet. The child at the breast receives the same food day after day, and the pleasures of the table do not appeal to nor agree with the young child. No "sweets", desserts, or delicacies are needed, but the quantities of food must be relatively larger as the child grows older to supply the activity which promotes growth.

The child has no reserves of stored food and little excess of digestive power, so cannot bear deprivation or excess without injury. In fact he is in a state of very delicate balance of forces which may be easily disturbed.

In the second year the food should continue to be chiefly milk with some broth, but always fluid or soft solids. There should not be allowed in the diet any of the following substances or their relatives: cellulose, mineral or strong acids, coffee, tea, spice, made dishes, salads, etc. A little breast of fowl, rice cooked in milk, white bread, are sufficient additions.

The child of three to six years old need not be confined to fluids, but the food should still contain much water, broths rather than meat, ripe, sub-acid fruits, weak cocoa occasionally, oatmeal and wheat preparations strained after cooking to eliminate the cellulose. Eggs, especially the yolks, are valuable. If the yolks are cooked separately they may be boiled hard so that they crumble to powder, which is not only more digestible but more acceptable to most children than the running yolk.
About the Author
Malcolm Blake has researched and written about health, diet and exercise. To see more of his writing, visit his article about how to flat stomach .
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