You are a parent of a child, who is consistently in the 5th percentile of weight and is cleared by the paediatrician of any severe disease. Your kid is considered a small child and picky eaters. Consequently, the medical practitioners say that the mother has to make the child “eat more” and then possibly to load the meals with calorie. I have heard this numerous times and as this parental instinct would push you to do whatever best you can. But this job is the most frustrating of all, and as a mother, you may find often feel that you have failed. Being a mother of this category and after a lot of trials and failures, I have learnt to arrive at small targets. If the intake of food increases by 30 pct it is a huge success. Here are the few simple tips which I have accepted to be more beneficial in fulfilling the targets.
Portion Size of the food: Give our child a big portion size. Then you can make a deal that you have to finish all. Even if your child does not complete, all he or she will eat more. Yes, of course, there is a chance of leftover food and wastage. Anyways by now, mothers have the habit of nibbling into the leftovers. So it would not be a significant issue by far.
Size of the Plate served. Previously when my child was small, I have tried feeding her in the little kid's plate. She ate as usual But when she ate in our dish it though by default it was eventually more. The satisfying or they're the fulfilment of eating is delayed we serve on a bigger plate. So she ultimately ate quite a few morsels more.
Plates made of the different medium: To add fun and variety and encourage more enthusiasm I have changed the usual dishes with sometimes banana leaf serving, or sal leaves plates. She enjoyed the meal as it was different. So eventually could sneak in more food. Even wooden bowl and plates and stonewares are available nowadays in fancy shapes. My daughter was particularly attracted to banana leave plates.
Colour up the plate. Bright colour plates entice kids more. I have seen my child eat more from a green colour melamine plate than the usual white plates or the steel plates we use in India. Buy varying shapes brightly coloured plates and bowl. At least 3 to 4 would do the trick. There is now cartoon placemat. Buy 1 or 2 if serving on a simple stainless steel plate. So remember the background of the food serving is crucial.
How much milk to drink: Full-fat milk usually fills up the kid's stomach for a long time thus preventing them from eating more calorie dense food. Do not give milk before lunch or dinner. Liquid calories do not add to the weight gain. It is a myth because after a year of providing liquid calories of a famous brand my daughter gained the same weight. It was only after I have stopped by the advice of her paediatrician that she has shown the interest in eating food.
Eating speed. The speed of feeding is a torment to the mothers' of picky eaters.Myself have tried to sit through the meal in the hope of feeding more. First of all, it is frustrating for both mother and child. Eventually, the child keeps the food in the mouth and a sense of fullness comes over. Start with reasonable speed and do not linger the process more than 20 to 25 minutes. Instead, you can opt for feeding a few more times. Small meals help the kids to eat more and faster.
The yummy smell of fresh cooking. Allow your child to sit around nearby to smell and observe the food. An aroma of fresh round fulkas or the melting or butter or ghee on the roti would help them to increase their appetite or sense of hunger. My daughter loves to eat fish, so frying fish with her sitting nearby induces her to ask for food. It makes the feeding process easy.
Cooking by kids: many researchers have said that makes a kid interested in the food. At first, I was sceptical about it. After a few trials like homemade burgers with different patties, she would be proud to eat it as she has herself cooked it. All that she has done is to make the patties, and I have pan fried it. She puts her favourite sauces and eats one. The patties can be vegetables or chicken all homemade. Omellete if stirred by her is eventually yummier and finishes it fast. So to some extent, it worked.
Homemade fast food for binge eating: you can make small burgers or cheese stick. Finger food is easy for the kid to eat and at the same time do not require a lot of time to feed. Mini vegetable balls or meatballs. Mini sandwiches. Even a small chapati filled with desired fillers or mini egg rolls are perfect calorie rich finger food.
Lastly distracting the kid while eating: It is the last resort but works well when a kid watches the favourite tv show or reading some stories. This may become an addiction but still the goal of feeding the kid more than the usual works.
All through the primary objective is to maintain the subtlety and tricking your child to eat more. Do not overdo anything . If the child is conscious, he or she will resist. Do any of these combinations and routinely change it to eliminate the boredom.
We all know minerals are essential for proper healthy growth of a child. Calcium is one of the fundamental requirement for a kid developmental process. The benefits of calcium are not unknown to us, but the challenges for parents starts whether your child is receiving the necessary amount of this mineral.A combination of food, fortified drink and sometimes even supplements are required to support it. The primary requirements for calcium is listed here.
The daily dose of Calcium is as follows:
At ages Every day requirement :
Calcium is best absorbed with the help of vitamin D. Supplements are not required if the kids have enough time to play in the sun. Only breastfed babies may need supplements of vitamin D as it is not present in breast milk.
In the earlier days, there was no such significant worry with the food intake of kids. It would typically be wholesome and organic. Nowadays children are spoilt for choices of fast food. This reverses the nutrients intake in the body with carbohydrate, sugar and fat gaining the prime seat. The food habit of children needs monitoring, and strict policing might not work with so much of temptations around. The easy and the fun way to choose food to gain the requisite quota of the minerals should be the target of parents. Children with milk allergies and vegetarian needs to look into the foods that would help to decrease the deficiencies.
Here is the list of readily available fruits that are rich in calcium, seasonal and reasonable to your pocket. Children are more than happy to eat them.
FRUITS PER 100 GRAMS
Nature has fruits for every season to build our body.
The lemonade in hot summer is an easy and favourite among kids. It is simple to make nutritious and superior for bone health than any of the shelf drink. Very few kids would resist musk melon or a glass of chilled mask melon smoothie. In the rainy season, we do have mosambi, 2 cups of juice could give necessary calcium intake. Moreover, much coaxing is not needed.
Kismis dates and figs sliced can be used as snacks for kids instead of biscuits or chips. Start an early practice of using them as healthy snacks for the children gets as inclination for healthy food habit.
Vegetables Calcium Contents per 100mg
The next in line and surprising for many are seeds which are the rich source of calcium.
Seeds (100mg) (Calcium content per 100mg)
All other seeds like fennel coriander bay leaf have a lot of calcium present in them. So when we cook Indian food, we usually add spices which not only provides aroma it isa vital source of many minerals including calcium.
Nuts like almond pistachio walnuts contain calcium but not as high as other spices. Still, it is more nutritious than white bread and carbohydrate enriched food.
Lastly, we all know the dairy products which are the most apparent source of calcium for ages. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are the primary sources of calcium for kids. There are lots of research available which contradict these dairy products as the primary source of calcium. Moreover adulteration and milk quality have become an issue. Thus we should try for a balanced diet with fruits seeds, nuts, vegetables and milk. Dependence on one type of food as a primary source is detrimental to the wholesome eating concept.
We know the benefit of iron-rich food contents for our kids. Iron is an essential building block of our immune system. Many of the drinks and cereals for kids are iron-fortified, but they are also rich in sugar and fat content. Supplementing toddler's iron content with natural methods is propitious in the long run. Moreover, these artificial supplements can cause constipation in kids.
The daily iron consumption of babies and kids are listed below.
Here are few fundamental and crucial things we need to know about this mineral.
Here is the list of vegetarian food which is readily available and can be consumed in varied combination for a wholesome iron-rich diet.
If you still feel that the iron content is not enough for your kid; consult your paediatrician for an appropriate dosage of iron supplements.
When the intense heat is reeling the Indian continent, and we have to keep the kids properly hydrated and replenish them with the proper energy. Consider the very simple homemade energy drinks with natural ingredients and fortified vital minerals. Obviously, it would be far better than the market drinks which are packed with a high amount of sugar content. Here are the four homemade summer drinks for your kids and family can enjoy.
Heat the water and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the honey gets dissolved, then remove from the stove. It takes about a minute or two.Now add the lemon juice and stir. You can add more honey if the children wants to have it sweet. Honey contains fructose which takes a longer time to digest. Sucrose in sugar and the glucose in honey gets fast absorbed. Fructose remains longer in the digestive system and thus takes a longer time to enter the blood stream. It helps to provide energy for a longer duration.
You can refrigerate and serve cool or add ice cubes
In a blender put cucumber, mint leaves and ½ cup of cold water. Press the puree through the strainer. Now add the remaining water lemon juice, honey, rock salt, chat masala and stir well.
Children often refuse milk, and in the summertime, yogurt can be spruced up with chocolate flavour and served them cold. Kids often find them hard to resist. It is always better than the market drink because you have a better control of the quality and the sugar content. The ingredients are as follows:
Drain the excess of liquid from the curd in a mixing bowl. A fork is used to whip the yogurt till fluffy. Now mix the cocoa powder, honey and the cooking cream or condensed milk together thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the squeezed curd. It acts as a thickener and makes it more fluffy.When you are adding condensed milk; adjust the honey accordingly. Now put it in the blender, and the yummy shake is ready.
Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice.Also, squeeze out the juice from the lemon. Now mix it with the orange juice. Now you can add the water and make around 3 small glasses of the refreshing drink.
Make you kids homemade drinks fortified with natural vitamins and minerals without much stress. You can also sip in as they are healthy for all.
The dreaded weaning process generally starts around 6 months of age and the challenges faced by mothers in these weaning process are many. In India we generally have some type of ceremony for rice feeding or actually introducing solids to babies. The important aspect of weaning is, it is a slow process and unique for each babies. You can hope and pray the process is easy with little hiccups. The journey of weaning is not lead by you rather by your baby. Baby led process of weaning is an age old process and no rocket science involved. The only important formula for you is to be less stressed and anxious. My experience was not a smooth one but after a guided instruction for her pediatrician I learnt to accept the control is in your baby’s hand and not yours. The duty you have is try to assist and test now and then whether solid food is accepted by your royal prince or princess.
Lastly be ready with you phone or camera to click some messy yet beautiful moments of the baby feeding themselves. These now harrowing moments you will miss badly in years to come.
Any packaged food is not as healthy as the freshly cooked food.
In India the culture does not support packaged food concept as our mothers and grandmothers and not to say our mother-in-laws would make a huge cry if packaged food is served to baby even if you can afford the higher prices . In case you decide to choose packed food over home made food you will be labelled as a lazy incompetent mother . Society would start gossiping around you like wild fire.
However the reason for choosing home made food are far stronger than this. Most of the packaged food contains harmful chemicals , preservatives , MSG and what not !!Things where are even bad for your own health . However there a few brands that are an exception more on that latter.
Thus if time permits food for babies should be cooked fresh served hot and the excess portion can be put in the freezer for further use.
Fruits to be freshly juiced and fed or vegetables to be pureed and that to served hot for baby with slight spices like cardamom, fennel, few lentils etc.
From my own experience as my baby is a very fussy eater , I have to keep improvising every day . I keep trying new tastes , spices , fruit mixes , and all that . Everyday a little bit different spice so my baby puree would make the great fussy eater like it for sometime.
I tried the flavour of the pureed packaged food but only after few bottles she would reject it outright . So the bottles sat on the fridge shelf for few months as I did not have the heart to throw them . After expiry date I reluctantly threw them.
Mix and match your own pureed food is a great start to offer variety and choice to baby.
Another added benefit of the leftover was I consumed it and my health was super fresh. Less salt, less oil, boiled vegetables and my weight was well maintained.
The added benefit was I could save money on a food processor and buy stove pressure cooker which you could use even after your baby grows out of these pureed food.
Here are few simple recipe which my fussy eater liked and was easy and quick for me to make. However for everyone of us and exceptionally for fussy eaters variety is spice of life . So join our community and share your own experience with your babies :
1 ) Chicken pumpkin puree
2) Brown rice and chicken.
As mentioned variety is the spice of life is so well taught by my baby . gets bored easily with these again started with vegetarian recipe to help her to change her taste .
3) Lentils , spinach and brown rice puree.
4) Lentils and vegetable puree.
Mash it or puree it with a blender.
That's all for today , join our mailing list for more recipes and we will keep you well supplied with recipes and other thoughts on this wonderful journey.