Tag Archives: fussy eater

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.


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.


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.


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.



Dr Rahul

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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.


Dr Rahul Varma

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.



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.


Dr Rahul

stay healthy

“healthy kids, Happy family”

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)


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


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


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.


Stay Healthy and eat healthy.

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


Dr. Rahul Varma