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Children grow at their own pace. As a mother, it may be difficult for you to identify if your child is underweight, but your paediatrician records your baby’s height and weight at every visit and will let you know if there is a problem.
Soak 45 gm of ragi in water for a night. Drain the water in the morning, spread the grains on a plate and cover them with a damp cloth for a day. Dry the ragi in sunlight and then roast it till it gains a malted flavour. Grind it to a powder and store it in an airtight container.
Finely powder three tablespoons of roasted bajra, one and a half tablespoons of roasted green gram or any other dal, one tablespoon of roasted and hulled sesame seeds, and two tablespoons of sugar. Mix them and store the powder in an airtight container.
Both of these recipes are ready-made mixes that can be easily used whenever needed by just mixing the required amount in a little hot water/breast milk to get a smooth consistency. You can also make the porridge mix from rice, broken wheat, semolina, or millet. These ready-made mixes can also be used for weaning babies.
Take 1½ tablespoons of roasted wheat flour and one tablespoon of roasted Bengal gram, and prepare the batter in water. Boil spinach leaves in water and strain through a cloth to make a thin juice and add it to the wheat batter. Add jaggery and powdered roasted peanuts to it. Do not use discoloured or fungus-coated peanuts. Stirring continuously, cook the batter until it is semi-solid.
Boil around 30g of rice or vermicelli in water. Add around 100 ml of milk to it and boil for some time. Add 20g of jaggery to sweeten it just before serving.
Take washed, dried, and roasted ragi and grind it to a fine powder. You may also use ragi flakes by soaking them in water. Take one or half a banana to a blender and add three spoonfuls of ragi powder or flakes. Add 15g of jaggery or palm sugar. Now blend it into a smoothie with 200 ml of milk or coconut milk.
For children older than 12 months, take three-quarters of a cup of whole milk, half a cup of soy milk, two frozen bananas (sliced), and one teaspoon of honey and peanut butter. Combine both types of milk in a blender, add all the other ingredients, and blend until you get a smoothie. energy-dense.
Prepare custard or pudding from ripe bananas and seasonal fruits like mangoes or chikoo as your baby starts eating lumpy or granular foods.
For children who eat solid foods, prepare a trail mix (with nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and chocolate chips). When required, mix it into full-fat yoghurt for a healthy snack.
As your child grows, increase textures and flavours with foods like poha, khichdi, idli, and paratha. Talk to the paediatrician to know when you can introduce eggs. However, you should avoid giving salt, sugar, honey, or cow’s milk to babies under one year. Introduce combinations like moong dal and rice and besan mixed with Bengal gram flour and wheat flour in ghee to your child’s diet when they learn to eat with a spoon. Give cheese or yoghurt to increase energy intake, and add cream to the food to make it
Monitor your child’s height and weight by using a standard growth chart. Speak with the paediatrician if you notice any deviation from the growth chart. Work with your paediatrician and dietician to ensure your child has a steady and appropriate weight gain. With smart meal plans and your doctor’s advice, you can expect a healthy improvement in your child’s weight.
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1. Vikaspedia. Low cost nutritious supplements
2. Vikaspedia. Hygienic and healthy food for the growing baby
3. Eatright Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Safe weight gain tips for underweight kids
4. NHS. Foods to avoid giving babies and young children
5. KidsHealth. Growth charts