The Interval Between Meat and Milk for Children and for the Sick (Part 2)
Boys between the ages of nine and twelve, girls between the ages of nine
and eleven, should wait for to five hours, though some are more stringent
and require the child to wait until after five hours. But if that means, for
example, that the child won’t be able to have his milk if he goes to bed on
time, one should certainly not be stringent.
A boy who is twelve and a girl who is eleven should be educated to wait
six hours between meat and milk, but
besha’as hadechak it
is enough to wait four hours, especially if the child had eaten chicken rather
than beef, for there are important poskim who are lenient with children before
they reach the age of bar mitzvah. According to the Trumas Hadeshen, for example,
A child who ate meat for breakfast should be allowed to eat milk products for
lunch. But if, after eating meat, a child becomes bar mitzvah, he waits the
full six hours before eating milk products, for he is now obligated to observe
the halachah as an adult.
Regarding the interval between eating meat after milk: until the age of
nine, it is not necessary to require the child to wait the time (one or one
and a half hours) that is customary (each according to his custom). According
to the halachah, even an adult is permitted to eat meat immediately after consuming
milk products, so long as he wipes his mouth. (Waiting one or one and
a half hours is a custom.) So certainly there is no reason to be strict about
waiting with a young child.
For a sick person (even if he is not dangerously ill) who needs to drink
milk, it is sufficient to wait one hour after eating meat. If he can wait three
or four hours and still drink the milk he needs, it would be good for him to
For pregnant women or a nursing mother, it is sufficient to wait one hour
after eating meat if she needs to drink milk or consume milk products.
Vitamins that contain milk or meat (with a hechsher, of course) can
be swallowed immediately after eating meat or milk, but they should not be taken
together with the meat/milk.
A sick person who is fed with a tube through his mouth or an opening in
his abdomen can be fed meat and milk together, though not milk and meat that
have been cooked together, because it is forbidden to benefit in any way from
milk and meat that have been cooked together. When a person is fed this way,
he does not make any blessings, before or after eating, because he does not
have the pleasure of passing the food into his throat and swallowing it.