Mon, Dec 23, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Breast milk, not rice porridge, best food for newborns, association says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Parents should feed newborns breast milk or baby formula as their main diet, the Taiwan Pediatric Association said on Friday, rejecting online rumors that rice porridge could be used.

The association issued a statement on its official Web site, seeking to clarify that rice porridge should not be fed to newborns as a staple food, and breast milk is the most ideal in terms of nutrition.

Newborns should be fed with breast milk until they are four to six months old, but if breast milk is not available, baby formula should be the alternative, it said.

The comments came after an online personality who claimed to have self-taught himself Chinese herbal medicine posted on Facebook earlier this month that while breast milk is the best food for newborns, specialized rice porridge could also be used instead of baby formula.

He wrote that rice porridge was better than baby formula, which contains synthetic food additives, and that many in the past did not drink breast milk, but instead grew up on rice porridge.

However, the association said that newborns should only be fed with breast milk or formula, and as the enzyme for starch digestion begins to increase when babies reach four to six months old, other complementary foods should be gradually added to their diet.

Breastfeeding is recommended to continue for more than a year, it added.

The WHO’s Web site recommends breast milk for healthy growth and development of infants, and it suggests infants to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life.

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