While breast milk and formula are always the best options for infants, many mothers also introduce another type of milk to the baby after they become old enough. Once a child is an year older or more, they are introduced to cow milk, goat milk, or buffalo milk. It depends on the personal preference, geography and availability.
In this article we will talk about introducing buffalo milk to babies. If you, too, are thinking of introducing buffalo milk to your little one, there are some things you need to know beforehand, like what are the benefits of buffalo milk, what are the risks, can buffalo milk be given to infants, and when to start buffalo milk for babies. This article sheds some light on such subjects.
When Can Babies Be Introduced To Buffalo Milk?
It is recommended by most experts that breast milk or formula milk should not be replaced for the first year of the baby’s life. It is crucial to breast feed (or if that is not possible, to feed them formula milk) for at least the first six months.
Many also suggest that mothers continue to breast feed (to a lesser extent) until the baby turns 2 years old. However, after the first six months, many mothers introduce other types of milk to substitute breast milk.
Introducing buffalo milk to the baby’s diet should ideally be done only after they turn one year old. Giving buffalo milk for 1 year old is generally considered safe. When done, it should be a gradual process. Start small, and after observing the baby for any side effects, and slowly increase the amount and frequency.
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You can start by adding small amounts to your baby’s diet, to prepare both the baby’s body and their taste buds to buffalo milk.
What Are The Benefits Of Buffalo Milk For Babies
Giving buffalo milk for babies can be very beneficial. Buffalo milk is full of important nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and phosphorous. These greatly aid in the baby’s growth and development. But what are these benefits exactly?
Given below are a few buffalo milk benefits for babies.
1. Buffalo milk enhances bone development in babies
Buffalo milk is rich in calcium, along with other important minerals like phosphorous, manganese, zinc, and copper. In fact, buffalo milk has more calcium than even cow milk.
These nutrients are essential for healthy bone development and maintenance of bone health. They can strengthen the bones of your little one and even increase the bone density. For this reason, giving buffalo milk to babies can be very beneficial for their development.
2. Buffalo milk aids physical growth in babies
In addition to having more calcium than cow milk, buffalo milk is also richer in protein. Specifically, buffalo milk has 10% more protein than cow milk. 9 amino acids are also present in buffalo milk.
This means that babies fed with buffalo milk can have good physical growth. it also helps in the functioning of many organs.
3. Boosts immunity
Buffalo milk is a rich source of vitamins; in particular, vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins act as antioxidants, and are also essential for the immune system. Vitamin C especially helps ward off several kinds of infections and diseases.
Since babies have fragile immune systems, any food that boosts immunity can be very helpful.
4. Buffalo milk is a better nutritional supplement than cow milk
Many people believe cow milk has the most nutrients, but this is simply not true. As mentioned above, buffalo milk has more calcium and protein than cow milk. It also has more phosphorous and cholesterol.
In addition to that, it has less sodium and potassium, minerals which are not good for babies when in excess.
Hence, buffalo milk can provide the baby with greater nutrition than cow milk.
5. Good for underweight babies
Buffalo milk has a high amount of calories. This may seem like a bad thing, but babies need plenty of calories and fats for the healthy functioning of their body, especially if they are underweight.
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Having a healthy weight is important for infants. Drinking buffalo milk can help underweight babies achieve this healthy weight.
Risks And Precautions To Take When Feeding Buffalo Milk To Babies
Everything has its downsides, and buffalo milk is no different. Even though it has many benefits, it also has some risks that you need to keep in mind when feeding your child buffalo milk.
So here are a few risks associated with buffalo milk.
1. Risk of obesity
Buffalo milk contains a lot of calories and fats. While this can be beneficial for underweight babies, it can increase the risk of obesity in other babies. So, if your baby is overweight or has family history of obesity, it would be wise to avoid buffalo milk.
2. Hard to digest
As mentioned above, buffalo milk is richer in nutrients such as calcium, protein and phosphorous than cow milk. It has 10% more protein than cow milk. This high amount of protein can make digestion difficult as it creates heat resistance.
Since, babies already have fragile digestive systems, this issue affects them greatly.
3. Risk of allergy
Milk allergy is one of the most common types of allergy that affects babies. Just like cow milk or goat milk, buffalo milk for babies can also cause milk allergy. This is why it is very important to introduce the milk to the baby gradually, and wait to see if any allergic reaction or side effect can be observed.
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How To Feed Buffalo Milk To Babies?
When introducing a new food or drink to babies, it is always a good idea to do it slowly. They need time to get used to the taste of it, and their bodies need to adjust and be able to digest it properly. So, giving them large amounts of buffalo milk at once should be avoided.
Instead, give it to the baby in small amounts to accustom them to it. Then, wait a couple of days to see if they experience any negative side effects or allergic reaction.
You can continue to give them small quantities of buffalo milk, and slowly increase the amount and the frequency.
Remember to prepare the buffalo milk properly beforehand. You should never give your baby raw milk. If it is packaged milk, make sure it is sterilized or pasteurized.
Boil the milk before giving it to the baby. Then, let it cool down so that the layer of cream can form. This layer should be removed. This will reduce the risk of obesity for babies.
What happens if you give a baby buffalo milk too early?
It is strongly recommended to avoid giving your baby buffalo milk before they are older than one year.This is because the unbalanced nutrition in it can be unsafe for young infants.
It also does not contain all the nutrients that a young baby needs. So relying on it instead of breast milk or formula milk can result in the deficiency of certain important nutrients. This includes iron, so relying on buffalo milk before the age of one also increases the risk of anemia.
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Drinking buffalo milk at such a young age can also increase the risk of the baby developing a milk allergy, and cause some unpleasant side effects.
So you should never give buffalo milk to babies too early.
Can I feed buffalo milk paneer?
Buffalo milk is used to make paneer that is better in quality than paneer made by cow milk. It is an excellent source of protein and can be quite beneficial for young ones.
If your baby is 6-8 months old, you can give them a tiny cube of buffalo milk paneer every now and then, as long as you make sure you observe them for potential side effects.
As they grow older, you can slowly increase the amount, but make sure you do not give too much. Moderation is key.
Many parents try to branch out and give their babies alternative types of milk as they grow older. There are several such types of milk out there like cow milk, goat milk and buffalo milk.
Choosing buffalo milk for babies can be beneficial to their health in many ways. Buffalo milk is very nutritious and can aid in their growth and development. It is good for the baby’s bone health. Its immunity boosting properties can help to ward off many infections and diseases.
But it is important to remember and consider the risks as well. While it can be good for them, it is also possible that it isn’t compatible with your baby, and can sometimes cause side effects. You must ensure that buffalo milk is safe for your baby before giving it to them in earnest.
Make sure you give them the right amount, at the right time, after preparing it in the right way. Doing otherwise can cause the baby to experience some side effects. Giving it to them slowly and watching for any developments is very important, no matter what food or drink you are feeding them.
It can be a daunting, but there is no denying that, as long as you take the necessary precautions, your little one can experience a number of benefits from buffalo milk for babies!