The appropriate time to introduce supplementary food to the infant is 4-6 months. I If it is introduced at an early stage, it may lead to diarrhea and if delayed may lead to malnutrition. Normally a change in form and liquidity of supplementary food can be brought about in the following manner:
1. During 4-6 months, give liquid supplements, e.g., fruit juices, vegetable soup, etc. The amount of juice should be increased gradually.
2. During 6-8 months, semi-solid to solid foods, which are properly cooked and mashed should be given to an infant, e.g., mashed potato, sweet potato, carrot, green leafy vegetables, banana, papaya, mango, dal, egg yolk, porridge of staple food, etc.
3. During 9-11 months, an infant should be given finely chopped and solid supplementary foods like biscuits, carrot, cucumber, apple, banana, papaya, etc.
4. At the age of one year, infant should be given all those foods that are cooked for the family.
In addition to all these foods, mother’s milk should also be given to the infant. But in case the mother stops lactating, half a liter of artificial milk or curd, cheese, kheer, porridge etc. should be given to the infant every day.