Infancy is the time when eating habits are formed and these affect nutritional status and health of the child. The high nutrient needs of infancy must be met by breast milk or formula for first six months of life. As the infants body develops and he is able to chew, swallow and digest a wide variety, foods appropriate to his development should be introduced. WHO recommends that at infants be exclusively breast fed for the first six months of life and supplementary feeding started only after six months of age. Foods introduced in the diet as supplementary foods are given in addition to milk and not as a replacement.
By the end of the first year, infants should become accustomed to eating a variety of foods. As consumption of non milk foods increases, there is a decrease in the consumption of milk. However during the first year of life milk is the major source of nutrients for the infant.