ICMR Recommends Semi-Solid Foods Like Mashed Dals Over Popular Choices Like ‘Dal Ka Pani’ For Infants; Here’s Why

If you are introducing complementary food to your kid, then give them ‘mashed dal’ instead of ‘dal ka pani,’ says ICMR in their latest report.

by Tashika Tyagi
ICMR Recommends Semi-Solid Foods Like Mashed Dals Over Popular Choices Like ‘Dal Ka Pani’ For Infants; Here’s Why

Every parent is recommended to introduce complementary foods to their infants as soon as they reach the six-month mark. In India, one of the most popular complementary foods for kids is ‘dal ka pani.’ However, according to ICMR’s (Indian Council of Medical Research) recent guidelines, infants should be introduced to foods of semi-solid consistency instead of watery foods like ‘dal ka pani’. They recommended introducing complementary foods like mashed dal and vegetable puree. Read on to know why!

Mashed Food For Infants Over ‘Dal Ka Pani’: ICMR

ICMR infant food
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As per ICMR’s recently released guidelines, parents are recommended to feed infants foods of semi-solid consistency while introducing complementary foods to them as they reach the six-month mark. Now, when an infant turns 6 months old, breast milk alone is not sufficient for adequate growth. They need semi-solid foods in their diet along with breast milk till they turn one and then they can be introduced to proper food. This is what we call complementary foods.

In India, ‘dal ka pani’ is one of the widely accepted and go-to food choices for complementary foods. However, as per ICMR’s guidelines, it is better to introduce your kid to food with semi-solid consistency instead of watery. The report suggested starting with complementary foods like “thin but not watery porridge (dal gruel) for 4-5 days and gradually increasing its thickness to slurry consistency (well mashed or pureed foods).”

ICMR mentioned in the report that while the kid can spit out semi-solid or mashed foods, it is best to continue giving them food of that consistency as it will teach them how to swallow. They said that the “act of spitting out the semi-solid food could be part of their learning process to swallow the food and it doesn’t mean they dislike the food.” When you regularly feed them food with a thicker consistency, they will learn how to swallow faster.

Also Read: ICMR Unveils Dietary Guidelines To Combat Chronic Disease In India; Suggests 8 Food Groups To Be Incorporated In Diet

Best Options For Infants & What Parents Should Avoid

ICMR infant food
Image Courtesy: Canva

According to ICMR, kids need a micronutrient-dense diet. They recommend including cereals, oil seeds, nuts, milk, vegetables, and fruits in the kid’s diet. Furthermore, you can add flesh foods, eggs, pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, cowpeas, and black gram. It is to be noted that fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages must be avoided for infants. In fact, sugar and salt should not be added to any complementary foods given to the kids before they reach the age of one.

The best food for kids after they turn six months is carrot puree, pumpkin puree, spinach puree, potato puree, apple puree, grated boiled egg, and mashed fish. You can start giving them plain dalia, boiled egg, and vegetable khichdi once they turn one year old, says ICMR.

Let us know in the comments if this information is useful for you.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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