My baby is not gaining weight,How to increase my baby’s weight ,What foods help in increasing my baby’s weight,what is the ideal weight and height– These are the array of questions running in most of the mothers and this leads to serious stress in some mothers. I know how tough it is to handle the questions a mother of a non-chubby(but really hale and healthy) receives even if she is so confident that her child is perfectly fit.
Many parents have written to me asking for suggestions on this and my only reply would be as follows ” Never bother about weight if your baby is healthy,active,achieving milestones right”. My insight on weight gain in humans is that it is majorly dependent on genetics. Hence you can’t compare baby X and baby Y of same age on weight and you can never the same weight gain in both babies. There are thousand more factors behind weight gain. And I always believe being chubby/plump/fat is not necessarily a sign of a healthy baby and being thin/lean doesn’t mean a baby is weak.
Focus on growing a non-fussy eater and offer every single possible home made healthy food you can(You can find my experience on growing a non-fussy eater here). Let baby enjoy the table time and let it never be a battle.I always stress on providing healthy home made foods to babies regularly and cultivate healthy eating habits from day one and never bother on how much they eat and how much they gain. If you feel your baby isn’t gaining enough weight and your intuition says it is a serious issue please consult your pediatrician and take necessary steps. I am not an expert honestly. I am just herewith few food options which help in optimal and healthy weight gain in your little ones. These might work for you and not me and vice versa too. This is just an attempt to help you with whatever I have known and learnt.These are the results of my experiences,word of mouth from experienced mothers and friends,studies,doctor advice and personal knowledge. I hope and wish this helps you in some extent.
Few reasons for poor/slow weight gain:
- Your genetic history might have a very slow weight gaining pattern.
- You might have introduced solids even before six months
- You might have replaced breastfeed with solids before one year
- Baby has poor sucking reflux or cleft lip/palate
- Baby formula being improperly prepared
- Baby who is fed on a schedule or based on diet chart will gain less than a baby who fed on demand
- Poor latching,poor nursing pattern,Usage of pacifier,Some illness at birth,Ear infection,thrush,anemia,tongue-tie,reflux are few other reasons.
- Breastfeeding mother not eating enough(quantity & quality)
- Too less variety or too much variety of solids introduced
- Too many liquids like gruels,juices,thin down porridges and juices before one year
The purest and the most lovable food available for babies is mother’s milk. This is the richest source of nutrients and it never depletes. Breastfeeding upto 2 years is strictly recommended and exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months is mandatory. No matter what mother eats, babies receive enough nutrition from mother’s milk. The fat present is mother’s milk is constant irrespective of mother’s diet. Never think of replacing mother feed with any food on this earth atleast till 1 year. Have a word with a doctor/lactation consultant if you have any issues with respect to feeding.However you can alter the type of fat and try to keep up the supply of breast milk with the help of few special foods for lactating mothers.
Here is the collection of foods which help lactating mothers to maintain supply and improve-Click here
Cow’s milk or Buffalo milk is a strict no till 1 year of age in babies. However all milk products like home made ghee,butter,curd,cheese,paneer can be offered after 6 months of age in moderation to babies if baby is not lactose intolerant. Use full fat cream milk for babies above 1 year(preferably plain milk) and milk products on daily basis for babies below 1 year.
Recipes of home made milk products:
I shall soon post all home made milk products recipes with detailed images.
3.High Calorie/Good fat fruits and Vegetables:
As I start reading more to write down baby food recipes I found that certain fruits and vegetables which are rich in good fat and calorie can also help in healthy and optimal weight gain. Few such fruits and vegetables are chikku/sapodilla,banana,mango,avocado,potato,sweet potatoes,pear. Try to offer them as fresh fruit puree or mashed fruits or finger foods. You can offer potatoes after cooking them well .
This is one of the miracle grains I would call. A type of millet which is so suitable for babies and the only millet(as per my doctor’s advice) recommended from 6 months of age. It has loads of nutrients.
Recipes with ragi:
- Sprouted ragi flour
- Ragi porridge with ragi flour
- Ragi porridge with whole ragi grains
- Ragi carrot halwa
- Instant ragi dosa
- Ragi drumstick leaves adai/roti
- Sweet Ragi adai/Roti
Lentils/legumes/pulses are grains which are known for its protein content and including atleast a portion of them in daily meal is absolutely essential even for elders. When it comes to babies pulses like moong dhal and urad dhal greatly help in healthy weight gain. You can slowly introduce all types of pulses and legumes like soya beans,whole channa dhal,roasted bengal gram,bengal gram,masoor dhal etc. Include hing or garlic while cooking them if you fear about gastric issues.
- RBG Porridge mix
- Urad dhal porridge mix
- Green gram porridge mix
- Green gram dosa
- RBG Thuvaiyal
- Moong dhal rice
- Urad dhal rice
- Toor dhal rice
- Drumstick Moong dhal mash
- Ven Pongal
- Sprouted green gram salad
- Green peas dosa
- Sathu Maavu
- Green Peas masala
- Moong dhal Chilla
- Moong dhal Dosa
6.Dry fruits/Whole Nuts:
Dry fruits and whole nuts are the quickest and easiest options for immediate energy gain. But always use them in moderation. I would recommend you to offer nuts as such for elder babies . I add badam or cashew paste in all gravies.
7.Whole grains/Millets/Staple grains:
Any whole grain with the bran is an excellent source of nutrition and power house of good calories. So always prefer brown rice,red rice,red poha,millets for your babies and infants. Whatever is your staple food is always much healthier than any other food which was never known to your ancestors. Find all millet recipes here.
Do not over feed/force feed. Aim at optimal weight gain which is healthy.The numbers on weighing scale doesn’t matter if baby is fit and fine. Follow baby’s cues and your intuition than following any random diet charts.If your baby is healthy,active and falling on a steady curve of development slow weight gain need not be considered as an issue. The recipes listed are just a sample. For all recipes please refer this page.These are my suggestions based on what I have learnt,what I have experienced and what was advised to me by my doctors,elders,friends,kith and kin. Always seek medical assistance before implementing any to your baby. The above recipes are for babies from 0 day to 5 plus years. Please have a word with your doctor and decide on the recipe considering your baby’s health,age and family history of allergies.
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