The introduction of breast milk substitutes and solid foods: evidence from the 1995 National Health Survey Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:To report the introduction of breast milk substitutes and solid foods to Australian children between 1992 and 1995. METHODOLOGY:Analysis of data from the 1995 Australian National Health Survey. Infant feeding questions were asked by personal interview in respect to 3,252 children aged under four years of age. RESULTS:By the age of 26 weeks, the majority of children had been given infant formula (56.9%) and solid food (61.5%). More than one-quarter (27.1%) of children received cow's milk regularly during the first 12 months. Only 7% of children were given solids in the first 12 weeks of life. Soy milk was given to 14.2% of children aged less than four years. CONCLUSION:The majority of children in Australia are not being exclusively breastfed for six months as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The intake of cow's milk before 12 months of age and the timing of introduction of solids needs to be monitored. Future surveys should collect more detail about type of infant formula so that the proportion of infants receiving soy-based formula and other formula can be assessed.

publication date

  • October 2002