The number of proprietary foods for infants is great. They are open to the same objections that have been raised to condensed milk. They are deficient in fats, contain an excess of sugar, and often insoluble starch. Some of them are useful after teething, when the employment of farinaceous foods is begun. The following analyses, made for Hutchison, will show the composition (per cent.) of several foods well known in the American market:
Dried human milk........
2 . 1
Horlick's malted milk. . .
Carnrick's soluble food . . .
2 . 2
Nestle's milk food.......
Robinson's patent barley
Horlick's food is a desiccated milk with wheat flour and barley malt added. Carnrick's contains, besides desiccated milk, malted wheat flour and milk-sugar. Nestle's contains, in addition to desiccated milk, baked wheat flour and cane-sugar. Mellin's food is a desiccated malt extract. It must be added to diluted milk for infant feeding. The other preparations should be used only when it is entirely safe to employ farinaceous foods. (On p. 112 the composition of other farinaceous foods is given.)
No food is so uniformly good for infants as mother's milk. The best substitutes are cow's milk or percentage cow's milk, and peptonized milk for the very young and weak.
Barley-water is often used as a diluent for milk because when the casein in the mixture curdles, a small, loose curd is formed. It is prepared by boiling five ounces of granulated barley in a quart of water until the volume is reduced to a pint, when it is strained; it is then ready for use. It contains very little starch or other nutritive matter.
In the tenth or eleventh month of life farinaceous food may be added to the diet of the bottle-fed infant. Often it can be begun earlier without harm. It should not be given, however, until after the teeth have cut through the gums. As a rule, it should not be begun much earlier than the eleventh month, since the amylolytic functions are not fully established before this time. Some children can use starches earlier without apparent harm, but the average infant cannot do so. One of the best preparations to begin with is oat jelly. This is prepared by soaking four ounces of coarse oatmeal in a quart of cold water for twelve hours. The mixture is then boiled down to one pint, strained, and allowed to cool, when it forms a jelly. The latter may be thinned with milk so that it may be fed from the bottle or given in a spoon with milk. Oat jelly for infants and oatmeal during later childhood are especially good because they contain a considerable percentage of fat and a larger percentage of starch than does barley. Barley jelly and wheat jelly are prepared in the same way. Robinson's barley, Granum, and Ridge's food may be used at this time. They are, however, comparatively expensive.