What should you feed your baby at what age, and what should you avoid feeding? When the child starts going to school, irregular eating habits are often seen. In that case, what kind of food should be kept in the tiffin? Manisha Dutta Ghosh, a clinical dietitian and Certified Diabetic Educator, explained in detail about the child's feeding and related problems.
According to her, feeding a six-month-old baby is crucial, and introducing a variety of foods is essential. While some parents start offering external food before six months, it's advisable to refrain from doing so. Pay attention to providing the right balance of vitamins. Often, infants are limited to plain rice, neglecting the importance of vegetables. However, incorporating a bit of boiled carrot, potato, or bean can be beneficial.
Parents might encounter preferences like "my child doesn't eat veggies" or "my child doesn't like fish," leading to potential nutritional gaps. Calcium deficiency may arise if eggs are excluded. Parents should gently encourage a diverse diet, even if storytelling is needed.
For those who dislike the fishy smell, try cooking fish with rice. Aim to provide fish regularly, preferably fresh, rather than relying on frozen alternatives. Establish a routine of one to two hours between meals and ensure gradual transitions between different food types. Children aged six months to three years often develop a habit of playing with their food; however, letting them explore can enhance their interest.
Extra attention is needed for children showing reluctance to eat. Extra weight gain in children should be monitored carefully to prevent future health issues. Including fruits rich in vitamin C daily can boost their immune system. Protein intake during lunch and dinner, whether through eggs, fish, or boneless chicken, is crucial. Avoid packaged snacks and opt for healthier alternatives like root vegetable curry or carrot roti.
Discourage phone usage during meals; instead, create a conducive environment for storytelling or discussions. The habits formed during the early years play a significant role in a child's future choices. Encourage communal dining to instill a sense of shared meals, fostering healthy eating habits.