Diet for Underweight Babies and Toddlers
Why my baby is not gaining body weight?
How to make my baby or toddler gain weight?
Best Baby Foods to make baby gain more body weight?
These are the most common questions probably 90% of Indian mothers keep thinking about most of times.
There are various reasons why babies lose weight or do not put on weight as expected. If you see the baby growth chart for height and weight given by your baby’s doctor, the weight gain rate is very high for 1st 3 months. Baby’s weight is doubled by first 5-6 months. Then in next 6 months i.e. by the age 1yr baby is at 3 times the birth weight. Not every baby will have this ideal growth rate. In spite eating very well a baby may not gain weight due genetic constitutions. If your baby is active and not falling sick frequently then there is no need of worry.
Still a mother would never give up the efforts to see expected baby weight! So here we have a quick guide to baby’s weight gain foods.
Top 10 Weight Gain Foods for Babies in First Year
1. BREAST MILK:
This is the best source of calories. Your baby gains the weight solely from breast milk in first 6 months and even after introducing the baby food, the breast milk is still the main source of calories for 1st year. In 2nd year even though you breast-feed less still baby gains a reasonable amount of calories from your milk. A mothers diet during breastfeeding has significant effect on baby’s weight gain.
Please note that you should feed below solid foods rich in carbohydrates are only to be given to baby after 6 months of exclusive breast feeding. Introduce the below foods at proper age (e.g. Potatoes are hard to digest so introduce them to after 9 months) and please follow the rule of 3 days test for new food introduction to baby.
Read: How to increase Breast milk production?
Seeds that help increase in lactation
Banana is excellent 1st food and a rich source of calories. Banana is most commonly recommended by doctors for weight gain be it baby or toddler. It’s very easy to feed. Less mess and most of babies love banana. One elaichi banana per day is very good for growing baby. Bananas are hearty healthy. Good source of potassium, manganese, Vit B and C.
Read how to feed banana to your 6 months old baby
3. SWEET POTATO
Sweet Potato is one of best first foods. High in Vit A, B. Fewer calories than potatoes but higher natural sugar. Super source of dietary fibers and good source of calories. Because of enough sweetness in it you don’t need anything else to enhance the test. Just steamed and mashed sweet potatoes are easy to make and easy to feed.
4. GHEE/Clarified Butter
Once your baby is ready for ghee and butter, you should add ghee/ butter to all most all of baby’s warm meals e.g. vegetable/dal purees, soups. Ghee contains almost fats. Also contains oil soluble vitamins A and E. Ghee is rich in K2, CLA and also most important nutrient DHA. For babies and kids always use homemade ghee preferably made from cow milk.
5. DAIRY: Fat curd/Yogurt, Paneer, Cheese
Milk products are rich source of energy, calcium and fats! Babies love taste of cheese. If there is any vegetable your baby doesn’t like try adding Curd/Paneer/Cheese to it and see how easily and quickly baby finishes the food. Dairy products are very healthy and good for weight gain.
Paneer i.e. cottage cheese is always better than the processed cheese but in case you can buy organic cheese then that is also a good choice.
Avocados are worldwide used for rich source of vegetarian fat and a best baby food. Just like banana its easy to feed and its creamy texture is liked by babies. In India it is not available easily but if you live in a metro city or can buy online then try to give it to baby at around 7-8 months. Earlier you try better the chances your baby accepts the non-Indian taste.
7. NUTS AND DATES:
Almonds, Walnuts, Cashew nuts are high in vitamins, fats and proteins. Almonds soaked overnight are rich source of Omega-3 and good for digestion.
If your baby has constipation problem then first thing in morning give her 1 teaspoon puree of black raisins soaked overnight.
Nuts are very good for skin, hair and health.
Dates: The best replacement of Sugar/Jaggery. As babies should not be given sugar or jaggery before 1 year old the dates are full of good fats and natural sugar.
In vegetable puree or kheer/porridge kind of foods add every time freshly grated nuts.
Potatoes provide significant amounts of Vit C and potassium and Folic Acid.
Babies love potatoes especially with added butter. Very few people on the earth hate them. Potatoes are good for babies. Boil potatoes, mash and add butter, you can lightly fry mashed potatoes in butter for better taste. Make small balls. It’s a good food for encouraging baby led weaning . If baby has constipation tendency then avoid potatoes or mix them with green vegetables.
One egg yolk a day for non-vegetarian babies is highly recommended. High in Vitamins and minerals, egg yolk is rich in Proteins. Eggs are wholesome foods and best known for its fats contents. Boil the eggs, remove the egg yolk and mash it, add it to vegetable puree or soup. This way, babies who don’t like taste of egg can also be fed eggs. Please note that eggs are one of top allergen foods in babies, so when you introduce eggs to your baby observe for for 24 hours and watch for allergic reactions.
Chicken or mutton soup is full of fats and good for baby. You can introduce meat to your baby at age of 8 months. Even though your baby won’t eat meat directly the fat contents of soup are enough. Once baby is ready to digest the cooked meat, you can try feeding one spoon of well-cooked kheema/minced meat with soft rice and check if baby is easily digesting it. Then you can give it to baby depending on her digestion power.
To best utilize the fat rich food, your baby should be able to digest it completely so always accompany fat rich foods with fiber rich food. These foods balanced with other healthy foods should help underweight Toddlers or babies to gain healthy weight. Fruits and Vegetables are always necessary so maintain best balanced healthy diet for your baby.