Category Archives: feeding

Anemia: more common in children than we think.

anemia-child_mayaclinic.in

Anemia is very commonly seen in young children who are mainly on milk based diet (As milk is poor source of iron). Breast milk has small quantity of iron but it is readily absorbed in body; so for first 6 months of life iron deficiency is not prominent. But after 6 months, when top milk is started, it can lead to anemia if proper iron supplementation or appropriate weaning food is not given.

That is the very reason you will see all the infant formula feeds and cereals fortified with iron these days. As iron is needed to make Hemoglobin; which is oxygen carrying component of red blood cells (RBCs).

 What is the right Quantity of Iron needed by my Kid?

  • From birth till 6 months: Adequate iron is there in mother’s breast milk. No need for supplementation unless baby is preterm or suffering from any illness.
  • 7 -12 months: 11mg per day. It can be given by using infant formula feeds or cereals fortified with Iron or using iron supplement drops.
  • Toddlers: 7 mg/day; Kids aged 4-8 years need around 10 mg per day. Older kids between 9- 13 years need around 8 mg/day.
  • Adolescent boys need 11 mg /day and girls 15 mg/day of iron. Girls need more during their adolescence as more blood is lost during menstruation.
  • Special need in athletes and children involving extreme physical activities need even more iron.

How deficiency develops?

  • Infants and young children mainly on cow’s milk develop iron deficiency as cow’s milk is low in iron and it also makes child less hungry and there is a less likelihood of child eating iron rich foods.
  • Cow’s milk also decreases absorption of iron and can irritate lining of intestine causing minor intestinal bleeding and gradual loss of Iron in stool.
  • Worm infestation
  • Iron requirement is more than normal in certain conditions like preterm babies, menstruating adolescent girls, children involved in extreme physical activities.

Anemia-in-children-mayaclinic.in

What are Effects of iron Deficiency?

  • Irritability
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor growth and development
  • Behavioral problems
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Pale skin and mucous membranes
  • Rapid heartbeat or a new heart murmur (detected in an exam by a doctor)

If any of the above symptoms is there in your child, consult your child specialist / Pediatrician and discuss regarding iron deficiency and need for supplementation. Excess of iron is also bad, so it should be taken in appropriate doses only after consulting your child doctor.

Common source of Iron in Diet

Both animal and plant source foods are available which are rich in Iron

  • Red meat
  • Dark poultry
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Enriched grains
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Dried fruits
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereals

How to avoid Iron Deficiency in your child

  • Limit the intake of milk: 500 to 700 ml a day after 1 year of life and focus on staple diet.
  • Continue serving iron-fortified cereal until kids are 18-24 months old.
  • Avoid giving iron supplements with milk as leads to poor absorption.
  • Serve iron-rich foods alongside foods containing vitamin C — such as tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries — which improves the body’s absorption of iron.
  • Avoid serving coffee or tea at mealtime — both contain tannins that reduce iron absorption.

Once Iron is started in Iron deficient child; within 2 -3 days you will see significant improvement in diet.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Common Feeding Problems

Feeding problems occur for a number of reasons, many of which vary according to age. Most of these challenges can be met through proper breastfeeding instruction from your doctor. It may come as a surprise, then, if your baby develops a resistance to feeding weeks or even months after you thought this was no longer a problem.

Tastes Change

One thing to consider when this happens is whether the taste of your breast milk has changed. Breast milk taste can change for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • New or different food in your diet
  • Medication you are taking
  • Pregnancy in the mother, which sometimes causes nursing babies to wean themselves a few weeks or months after the mother conceives
  • Strenuous exercise, which can lead to a temporary buildup of lactic acid
  • Breast infection, such as mastitis
  • Change in the taste of your skin caused by using lotion, cream, or oil on your breasts

Avoiding the new food, changing or stopping your medication if possible, exercising less strenuously, or refraining from applying oil or lotion to your breasts may be all that is necessary to encourage your baby to breastfeed at his normal rate again. If you have mastitis, seek treatment from your doctor right away and encourage your baby to breastfeed in order to drain your breasts. Once the infection has been treated and has passed, the taste of your breast milk will return to normal. You may be able to help your baby adjust to the new taste of your breast milk during pregnancy if you are persistent and patient and hold off on offering formula as an alternative.

If your baby starts to engage in frenzied short feedings that seem to signal frantic hunger, it may simply mean that your let-down reflex is occurring more slowly than she would like. If this is the case, try massaging your breast and expressing a little milk before you begin a feeding. This way, your milk will flow faster from the very beginning of the feeding and your baby will feel more satisfied.

Stress

If you do not believe that the taste of your breast milk has been altered or that your let-down reflex is causing the problem, consider whether you are experiencing a high level of tension or stress. Such emotional discomfort can be communicated to your baby, preventing her from settling down to feed well. Of course, we cannot always eradicate stress from our lives, but for the moments preceding breastfeeding, do your best to put upsetting thoughts out of your mind. Relaxed sessions not only will help your baby get more milk but may decrease your own stress level. Breastfeeding your baby and holding her skin to skin often promote a sense of well-being. Meanwhile, consider ways in which you might improve the general tenor of your day-to-day life.

Illness

It is also possible that your baby’s own condition may be making it harder for her to breastfeed. Decreased interest in feeding—possibly accompanied by lethargy, fever, vomiting or diarrhea, cough, or difficulty breathing—may indicate an illness. Consult your pediatrician or family physician if your baby resists feeding or you have any concerns that your infant may be sick.

Illness in your infant may affect your baby’s feeding pattern and desire to nurse, thus decreasing the amount of breast milk she receives. If she has a cold, clogged nostrils may make it difficult for her to breathe while feeding, or an ear infection may make nursing painful. Clearing the infant’s nasal passages with a bulb syringe prior to feeding may help with temporary nasal congestion. Teething can cause gum pain when nursing. Thrush can make nursing painful and requires a pediatrician’s attention.

Spitting Up

Some babies take in a great deal of milk but then spit up what appears to be a large part of it after each feeding. Spitting up is common during or after feeding, and some babies spit up more easily than others. There is generally no need to be concerned, however, that your baby’s spitting up is preventing her from getting enough milk.

Spitting up (as well as hiccups) can be minimized by keeping your breastfeeding sessions as calm, quiet, and leisurely as possible. Avoid interruptions, sudden noises, bright lights, and other distractions. Try to hold your baby more upright during and right after feedings, and attempt to burp her after she finishes each breast. Don’t jostle or play vigorously with her immediately after she has breastfed.

If she vomits forcefully a number of times or if you notice blood or a dark green color when she vomits, call your pediatrician right away.

Occasional small spit-ups or wet burps are generally more a laundry problem than a medical one. Fortunately, spit-up breast milk is less likely to smell sour or cause clothing to stain than infant formula. If you are worried that she is spitting up too much, consult your pediatrician, who will monitor her weight and check for any signs of more serious illness.

Dehydration

As always, the best way to be sure your baby is getting enough milk is to monitor her physical condition, her weight gain, and the content of her diapers. It is very important to call your pediatrician if you notice that your child is not showing usual interest in feeding, she has a dry mouth or eyes, or she is producing fewer wet diapers than usual. These may be signs of dehydration. Severe dehydration, while uncommon in adequately breastfed infants, can be extremely dangerous or even life-threatening and is most likely to occur when a young baby refuses to feed or is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea.

 

regards

Dr Rahul

stay healthy

what to give in addition to breast milk after 6 months ?

 

Biggest queries of all mothers who has child aged more then 6 months is what food items to start with and in what quantity.

Important Principles for Weaning:

  • weaning should begin at 6 month of age
  • Introduce one food at a time
  • Energy density should exceed that of breast milk
  • Bland taste, nothing very spicy.
  • Food items should be mashed and free flowing, paste like, so that baby can swallow it easily.
  • Common food which can be started as per Indian settings are Banana, glucose biscuits dissolved in milk, soojie kheer, dalia , Khicihdi, upma etc
  • If cost is not an issue then formula milk is better than cows milk especially in less then 1 year of age as solute load is less and less chances of long term kidney problem in adulthood.
  • If opting for cows milk or mother diary milk, give undiluted full cream or toned milk only.
  • Many of us think that child might not be able to digest full cream or single toned milk ,so adds a bit of water, which is very wrong practice. eg if you have added water in 1:1 dilution of 500 ml milk  i.e. 250 ml water in 250 ml milk. You  will think that you have given 500 ml of milk to baby but actually you have given only 250 ml of milk. Rest 250 ml of water is only going to fill the stomach and will not give any calories, which will eventually  lead to poor weight gain.
  • Basically any food item that is free flowing , soft, cooked so as it is very soft (overcooked rather then under cooked), easy to swallow and calorie dense can be given under supervision with katori spoon.

Avoid bottle feeding, there is enough evidence to prove that babies who are bottle feed has increased incidence of loose motions, cough , cold, serious infection as compared to children who were katori spoon feed.

So if still choose to bottle feed your baby (which seems easier option then katori spoon), be mentally prepared that your hospital visits to your pediatrician will increase along with emergency visits to hospital.

 

Stay Healthy

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Why breastfeeding is good ?

Why there is so much importance given to breast feed these days and what are its benefits to the baby and what are benefits to mother ? All  parents esp. the first time couples have this query. Few of the important points in this regards are

Benefits to baby:

  • Warmth to baby along with increased bonding between mother and child.
  • Easily digestible ( They say breast milk is “Tailor made as per requirement of your baby” )
  • No preparation is needed, ready to use.
  • Hygiene is maintain, no chance of contamination with micro organisms.
  • Best nutritious value i.e all the ingredient of balanced diet for baby.
  • Increases Immunity of your baby.
  • Prevents against allergies.
  • Prevents various Infections. There is less incidence of ear infections, cough, cold, loose motions and other serious illnesses in breast feed babies.
  • Best for optimum growth and development of your child.

Benefits for you (Mothers):

  • Pre Pregnancy figure achieved earlier and easily in mothers who opt to breast feed their baby. More calories is lost in breast feeding.
  • Natural Contraception. For 1st 6 months if Mother decides to exclusively breast feed child and her periods have not started, then high chance are there for natural contraception.
  • Less incidence of ovarian and breast cancers in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Increased bonding with their child.
  • Less incidence of emotional disturbances

Besides above mentioned advantages, another point I want to make is ” breast feeding is cheapest,  most hygienic and most nutritious food for your child, which will help in better brain development also “

Stay healthy

regards

Dr. Rahul Varma

Complimentary feeding or Weaning diet in young infants

She is a Rice girl

Complementary feeding: (weaning food)

It is defined as any non breast milk food or nutritious foods given to young children in addition to breast milk.( i.e. it is to complement breast milk, not to replace it.)

Age of Introduction: after 6 months (before 6 months exclusive breast feeding is best for the baby)

 cf

Attributes of Complementary feeds:

  • Soft and flowing
  • Thicker than Breast milk
  • Bland in taste
  • Homogeneous ( based on cereal or root staple foods)
  • 1 to 2 times a day to start with
  • Gradually increase frequency and quantity

  complementary_feeding_practices 

Foods appropriate for complementary feeds:

  • Pulses (lentil, beans, peas), meat milk, vegetable oil and sugar
  • To increase dietary energy levels : oil, ghee, sugar
  • To increase quality of protein: milk product and animal food
  • Calcium: Milk
  • Iron: Meat, chicken, fish
  • Rich in Vitamin & Minerals: Vegetable and fruits

  CF 3

Conclusion:

Anything which is free flowing and well mashed and easy to swallow and calorie dense can be given. And you should always consult your Pediatrician at the start of weaning diet/ complementary feeding, so that he or she can guide you in best possible way which is culturally acceptable as well.

Weaning

Stay Healthy and eat healthy.

For any queries feel free to contact your child specialist or contact us at Maya Clinic.

Regards

Dr. Rahul Varma

 

Right weaning foods for your baby

Weaning Food

weaning foods

Most babies are ready to start solids from the age of 4 to 6 months in addition to continued breastfeeding. If you are planning to wean your little one, you must probably be wondering which weaning foods are ideal to begin with.

There a lot of opinions on which is the best first food for a baby. “Starting from six months, you can feed a variety of foods to a baby. However, it is advisable to feed the baby one food at a time so that any allergies can be easily tracked,” says Dr Rahul Varma, child specialist, Maya Clinic, Delhi NCR.

Start with a single-grain cereal such as rice and then gradually introduce other foods. Babies have delicate digestive systems, hence it is important to introduce age-appropriate foods to enable complete digestion.

The right weaning foods for your baby

Before you start your baby on solids, do take weaning advice from your paediatrician to steer clear from possible allergy-causing foods, specially if your family has a history of allergies. Here is a combined weaning food chart that indicates when to safely feed common cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables to your baby.

weaning foods

 Weaning foods for the 4 to 6-month-old

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding an infant for 6 months with continued breastfeeding in combination with the right solids. Since your baby will be starting solids for the first time, it is a good idea to make the foods semi-liquid by mixing it with breastmilk or formula. Feed only 1-2 teaspoons of the food once a day to begin with.

Fruits: Puréed and mashed banana or stewed apple or pear purée are good first fruits.

Vegetables: Well-cooked green beans, sweet potato, pumpkin and bottle gourd (lauki) are nutritious first foods. Blend them with your baby’s cereal or feed them as a soup.

Cereals and pulses: Rice and sooji suit an infant’s stomach. Begin with rice kanji for a few days. You could then try making sooji halwa with cooked, mashed vegetables in some water. Moong dal is the safest legume to introduce in baby meals as it is easy to digest. “Start with moong dal in a pureed, free-flowing form. Moong dal water has no calories and will not help your baby gain healthy weight,” informs Dr Varma. Gradually, you can thicken the consistency to make moong dal soup or moong dal khichdi when combined with rice.

Dairy: Some people introduce paneer or curd made from cow’s milk at six months.Paneer and curd are rich in calcium and proteins and are already in a fermented or broken down form and are hence easily digested by the baby. “A child should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months but incase of less milk secretion, cow’s milk can be safely given at the age of six months,” says Nidhi Dhawan, HOD, department of dietetics and nutrition, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi. Do consult your baby’s doctor before introducing any cow’s milk and milk products.

Weaning foods for the 6 to 8-month-old

Your baby will be ready to experiment with thicker purées and textured foods by the time he is eight months old.

Fruits: Pulp from ripe mangoes or chikoos can naturally sweeten a baby’s blended oatmeal. These are safe to introduce at this age.

Vegetables: Your baby can now try soups made from spinach, tomato or carrots.

Cereals and pulses: Wheat can be introduced when your little one is around eight months old. Try giving him small pieces of bread. Daliya with mashed vegetables can also be introduced. Masoor dal is light on the tummy and can be fed at this stage.

Non-veg foods and dairy: Boiled egg is a good source of protein for a baby if you wish to start non veg foods. But if there is a family history of allergies, avoid feeding egg till the baby is a year old. Steamed, minced fish such as pomfret, rawas, cod (gobro) or sole (repti) cooked with less spice, are safe to begin at 8 months. You may continue feedingpaneer or curd to your baby as per the doctor’s advice.

Continue reading to know more about introducing foods as per the baby food chart for the 8 to 12-month-old baby

weaning foods

Foods for the 8 to 10-month-old

Finger foods, coarser textures and more variety is advisable for the 8 to 10-month-old.

Fruits: Your baby can now enjoy bite-sized pieces of ripe papayas, cherries, melons and grapes.

Vegetables: Boiled, flavoured and mashed broccoli, potato and cauliflower are healthy vegetables for a 8 to 10-month old. You may even try tiny pieces of fresh cucumber. Be cautious about the baby choking on them, though.

Cereals and Pulses: Wheat, rice and oats can now be served in more complex forms.Chapatis, parathasrice kheer and mixed dal khichdi are some ideas. Your child may also enjoy well-cooked whole wheat or durum wheat pasta cooked with tomato gravy and a little cheese. Boiled and mashed kidney beans (rajma) and chickpeas (chole)  can also be introduced at this stage.

Non-veg foods and dairy: For vegetarians, soft soya granule sabzi can be tried once your baby is 9 to 10 months old.

Foods for the 10 to 12-month-old

As your baby approaches toddlerhood, he can start eating most of the foods off your plate. The foods must still be soft to chew.

Fruits: Figs, citrus fruits and coconut are some fruits your little one can safely enjoy at this stage.

Vegetables: Most soft vegetables (variety of gourds, tinda, green leafy vegetables etc) can be served.

Cereals and Pulses: Most cereals and pulses are digested by the 10-month-old.

Non-veg foods and dairy: Fish cubes and minced chicken are good sources of lean protein for children. From this stage, pure cow’s milk can also be slowly introduced as top feed.

Things to note

  • Be gradual when you introduce new foods. This will help your baby get used to varied tastes and textures.
  • Instead of ready-to-use baby food, stick to homemade food from the kitchen. “If you’re cooking dal, keep some aside for your baby before you temper it. This way, he will get used to your food sooner,” cites Dr Varma.
  • Once you begin solids, start giving your baby some boiled, cooled water. “It will not only keep the baby hydrated, but also keep constipation at bay,” informs Dhawan.
  • Experiment with finger foods once your baby can sit independently. Steamed carrot sticks, boiled potato cubes, paneer cubes etc. are some ideas.
  • If your baby expresses dislike to a particular food, don’t push him. Try the same food again the next week.
  • Each baby will have his own food preference. With trial and error, you will soon be whipping up tasty baby food the way your baby likes it.

Once you celebrate your child’s first birthday, you can confidently give most of the food that his chubby fingers point out to. But keep his diet healthy and simple to allow him to get the maximum nutrients he needs to grow.

This article was written on Indus parenting site with my inputs by Preeti Arthi.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Is it possible to eat healthy food at nearby fast food joint?

fast food

With changing culture and family dynamics in India, there is more and more nuclear family with both parents working. Life has become busy; so many parents opt to eat out at a food joint rather than preparing a healthy meal at home. And with media exposure and cultural change, children are also demanding. Due to this more and more children are overweight and are at increased risk of obesity and other major diseases.

Eating fast food once in a while is fine, but it should not become a regular feature of your child’s staple diet. Twice a month, eating out will be just fine, not more than that.

Being a parent, it is our responsibility to provide child with healthier options and lead with example. We can encourage them to go for healthier options.

healthy food for kids

Few things to keep in mind while eating out that can help you and your kids are:

  • Control the portion size: This is the most important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Do not get carried away by temptation from food joints who offer to upgrade to larger size or combos to save money. The price difference between a medium drink and large is kept very small so that you are tempted to buy a bigger one.
  • Encourage them to eat roasted, steamed or boiled food rather than fried. It helps to decrease the number of calories and is much healthier option.
  • Order some salad or fruits along as a side dish. It will make you fuller at very low calories and with healthier options.
  • Order some non aerated drinks (without soda) like water, juice or milk. Avoid aerated drinks with soda like cold drinks; they are just empty calories. But to go for healthier options like fruit juices or smoothies.
  • Do not get lured by word “Diet”: Diet food or diet cold drinks or diet chips are not a healthy option. Diet cold drinks have artificial sweetener and other stuff inside which can even be more dangerous (most of such drinks have labels stating that not meant for less than 18 years). Diet chips still have lot of salt (high sodium content) and masala that is not good for your heart and cholesterol.
  • Similarly “Fat free” does not mean a healthy option and you can eat large amount. They still have carbohydrates and lots of calories which can make you obese.

 

Remember you can buy a new house to stay but you have only one body to live.

If your body is not in good shape, all your materialistic wealth will be of no use.

Respect your body: Eat healthy, do exercise and be mentally strong.  And have faith in your abilities, you can do lot better than you think you can.

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

How to increase breast milk effectively? (For breast feeding mothers)

Breast Milk production increases by two major mechanism, one is when your baby latches on breast well and frequently feeds (prolactin hormone is secreted), and 2nd is when you are relax and stress free (oxytocin hormone is secreted to increase milk output).Mother’s should drink plenty of liquid, it will help them keep well hydrated.

One of the things that worries most new mums is whether they’re producing enough breastmilk. Unlike feeding bottles, breasts do not come with volume markings to measure the quantity of milk consumed.

Often, when a baby seems to demand more feed or the breasts seem less full, a mum concludes that she has low milk supply. But in most cases, this isn’t true. “The amount of breast milk depends on the health of the new mom and her attitude towards breastfeeding,” says Dr Swati Thoda, nutritionist and lactation consultant, Hiranandani Fortis hospital, Navi Mumbai.

A mother’s body produces milk in response to her baby’s suckling. The mum who allows frequent suckling, easily increases the supply of milk with the increase in the hormone, prolactin. During the initial week post birth, the lactating mother may experience pain and discomfort in her nipples as her infant nurses. This shouldn’t deter her from breastfeeding as it may affect the supply.
Breastmilk production works on demand. The more your baby nurses, the more your body produces milk. Do not keep a tab on the clock and unlatch your baby. You may feel you’re breastfeeding the entire day, but it is good for your baby and for your milk supply!
Consuming adequate liquids will keep you hydrated and enable you to produce milk effectively. “A dehydrated mother may fail to produce adequate milk for her newborn,” asserts Dr Thoda. Drinks like sodas, coffee or tea are to be taken in moderation, as large amounts of caffeine can dehydrate the body, thus decreasing breastmilk production.
Assume a comfortable feeding position when nursing your infant. This will prevent tiredness and back pain and allows the new mom to participate in feeding willingly. Moreover, it permits the baby to latch correctly, enabling effective suckling. The use of a feeding pillow might help a mum to achieve a good latch.
Breastmilk formation greatly depends on the will of the mother. If you are stressed, it may hamper your ability to nurse. Take a deep breath, relax and willingly feed your baby.
Eating healthy throughout the day will maximize the energy you have as a new mum and make up for the calorie loss that happens during breastfeeding. Certain foods also aid in boosting milk production naturally.
Galactagogues are herbs or medicines that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother, or in a mother who wants to induce lactation. Herbs such as shatavari, ashwagandha and fenugreek are great galactagogues used in certain tablets and powders available in the market. “These may be used in first 2-3 days post birth but only under the advice of the gynaecologist or a lactation consultant,” informs Dr Thoda.
For mums whose babies are unable to latch or are confined to the NICU, a breast pump may be used to mimic the action of suckling and hence, jumpstart the production of breastmilk. Connect with a veteran mother or a lactation consultant if you need to use a breast pump.
Smoking, drinking alcohol, stress, consumption of birth control pills, fatigue, immediate new pregnancy also may be causes of low breastmilk supply.In addition to the above, hypothyroidism, medicines like antihistamines, decongestants or diuretics, Polycystic Ovarian Disease(PCOD), or an attempt of quick weight loss post delivery could also contribute to lowered milk production.

 

Fussy eater/Picky eater: What to do?

Almost every mother has one complaint that her baby does not eat well. What can be done?

Meal time is a stressful time for most parents nowadays. Kids just seem to resent routine home based food, and at the same time relish junk food and eating out. So in most cases fussy eating is more of a habit/ behavioral problem, rather than a medical cause.

So how do we get our fussy eaters to eat healthy ?

Here are few ideas as to how you can make meal time interesting for kids. Ask your kids to help you when you are preparing meals. Even little ones can help you with sorting vegetables, carrying small utensils etc.  Try to make food look appealing to kids. Experiment with variety, colors, size , shapes and texture.

picky eater

Meal time should be a family affair, with no distractions. Switch off the tv, and put down your phones and i-pads.  Set an example for kids by eating healthy yourself.

Offer fussy eaters a choice of foods from which they can choose. Encourage them to try new foods. Serve small portions initially and offer more later.

Discourage all-day snacking, though it may be tempting for you to keep offering your child snacks in between meals.

It is of utmost importance to have patience. Never force feed your child, it will create aversion for food. Imagine how you would feel if someone puts food forcefully in your mouth , kids hate it equally. Don’t worry much if your child misses a meal of two. Chances are that your child will eat once he/ she is hungry.

poor eater
If problem persists, Consult your child specialist. we need to rule out some nutritional deficiency as well. sometimes adding supplements like Iron can increase appetite (if the baby is anemic).

There is no magic medicine or tonic which can be given and your baby will start eating. We have to make effort, do things differently and be patient and most importantly do not be over obsessed with feeding of your child.

Read on the below link to know more.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/How-To-Please-Fussy-Eaters.aspx

 

Regards
Dr Rahul Varma / Dr Smitha Sairam

Why do babies turn into Picky eaters ?

Between 20% to 50% of kids are described by their parents as picky eaters.

Why do babies turn into picky eaters? What are the signs? And what can you do about it?

Understanding the Signs

The symptoms of a picky eater can seem pretty obvious: Your baby may push away the spoon or turn his head from it. She might close her mouth as you try feeding her, spit out food, or become cranky or tired at mealtime.

Yet these signals don’t necessarily mean your baby is picky. They can also be signs your little one is simply full, distracted, or not feeling well.

A baby can seem picky for dozens of reasons — or no reason at all. He may have an immature digestive system, which will cure itself with time. She might be teething, have an infection, food allergy, or just may not be ready for solid foods yet.

As long as growth and weight gain are normal, there’s usually no reason to worry about a fussy baby who prefers a limited diet. But if you find yourself worried about infant feeding problems, talk to me at maya clinic and try the following tips.

Tips to Help Tame a Picky Eater 

Never force feed. If your little one turns her head from the spoon, she’s telling you clearly she’s had enough — even if it seems she’s had very little. Trust that your child will eat what she needs. If you force baby to eat despite signs he says “no more,” your little one may start associating eating with tension and discomfort — and become even more fussy.

Try different textures. Even babies have food preferences. Some enjoy wet foods, others may prefer finger foods. Some may want to graze through a half dozen mini-meals, while others may favor liquids over solids for a time.

Transform the tempo. Some babies want to eat fast, others slow. Could you be frustrating your little one with the wrong feeding tempo? There’s only one way to find out: Try slowing down the next feeding, or picking up the pace.

Minimize distractions. Make food the focus of mealtime. Turn off the TV, remove toys and books, and help your little one focus on one thing: Eating.

Keep meal length reasonable. It’s tempting to let a picky eater take as long as she wants to eat. Although you shouldn’t rush mealtime, don’t let it go on much longer than 20-30 minutes.

Let baby touch his food. You probably wouldn’t eat a food you’ve never seen before without first looking it over. Your baby is the same, so let your little one touch a new food before you offer it.

Follow your baby’s timeline. Most babies begin eating solid foods between four and six months, but some may start a little earlier, others later. As with crawling, walking, potty-training, and just about every other infant milestone, there’s no perfect time, there’s your baby’s time.

Let your baby participate. By about nine months, many babies are interested in trying to feed themselves. Although your picky eater is likely to make a mess waving around the mealtime spoon, letting him take control is important to a child’s growth and development.

It’s natural for babies to slow down their feedings. As they reach the end of their first year, babies’ growth tends to slow and so too can their calorie needs. Be patient; growth spurts are on the way.

Keep trying, gently. Some babies may need to try a food eight, 10, even 15 times before they enjoy it, so be patient and continue to revisit a rejected food over time.

Don’t let on that you’re frustrated or angry. React emotionally to a picky eater and even a 1-year old will understand her power over you. Realize that you want your baby to eat for her own well-being, not to please you and that baby’s rejection of a food is not a rejection of you.

Understand who’s responsible for what. It’s your job to feed your baby, but it’s your baby’s responsibility to decide what and how much to eat. Children will always eat when they’re hungry. Remember that so long as a child is growing and gaining weight and you are feeding them healthy options, there’s little need to worry about a baby who’s a picky eater.

regards

Dr Rahul

stay healthy

“healthy kids, Happy family”