Child nutrition from age 6 months to 5 years growth and development of a child depends on the nourishment received by the child right from birth. Healthy diet and proper eating habits are essential to be inculcated in a child as early as possible. A balanced diet given to the child at the earliest provides all nutrients required for adequate growth and development. Nutritional value of every food item introduced in the child’s diet should be gauged prior and then given to the child.
Nutritional requirement of children varies in accordance to the age group. It is necessary that the parents should have knowledge about the age-specific requirements of the diet, which will benefit the child in their growing years.
Following is the ideal child nutrition ranging from the age group of 6 months to 5 years.
1. 6 months to 12 months
A. Right from the birth of a newborn child, it is necessary to begin breastfeeding for the baby. It should begin within an hour of the child’s birth. It is the ideal way of providing proper nutrition to the child.
B. Breastfeeding is beneficial by providing nourishment and also by improving the immunity of the baby.
C. From birth to 6 months, only breastfeeding is advised. It is a critical source of nutrition for the child even during illness.
D. After the baby turns 6 months old, solid food can be introduced in the child’s diet.
E. Breastfeeding can be continued and supplemented with other food items.
F. Usually, fruit juices are introduced first in the diet.
G. Feeding bottle should be avoided and the child should be fed with a spoon and cup. Proper hygiene and good handling of the food is required.
H. It is necessary to wipe the gums and developing teeth clean with a wet gauge to prevent any decay that can be caused by sticking of the food on the teeth surfaces fed to the child.
2. 1 year to 3 years
A. Children in this age group can tell when they feel full after feeding. It is necessary to listen to their demand for food and also avoid overfeeding children.
B. This age group requires children to eat all types of nutrients, so parents should focus on providing a variety of food items to replenish their child’s nutritional requirements.
C. Children in this age group require fat-rich foods and should be given dairy products for calcium requirements.
D. Processed foods should not be given to children at this age. Calories intake should be monitored to the optimum level.
E. Since children at this age are involved in activities like walking, running around and playing it is essential to keep feeding them at regular intervals to maintain the energy levels of their bodies.
3. 3 years to 5 years.
A. Children belonging to this age group require to eat a well-balanced, nutrient rich diet.
B. Grains should be included on a routine basis. They provide the child with carbohydrates, fibres and minerals. All these nutrients provide energy to the child’s body.
C. Inclusion of whole wheat grains provides fibres in adequate quantity.
D. Refined foods should be avoided, whole grain bread should be included in the diet.
E. Fruit intake should be increased, as they are an important source of various vitamins. Fresh fruit should always be preferred over juices for growing children.
F. Sugar intake should be kept to a minimum quantity since refined sugars do more harm to the child’s health than any good.
G. Vegetables should form a considerably greater part of the child’s daily diet, with the inclusion of a variety of vegetables.
Apart from the above specified food items, daily intake of milk is necessary for children of growing age. It provides the body with sufficient calcium to facilitate bone growth in growing children. Also, nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews are advised to be given to the children daily.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
1. Myth - some food in the mother's diet will cause colic in the baby and should be avoided
Fact - the mother can eat any nutritious food that she is used to. It will not cause any health problems in the baby.
2. Myth - giving gripe water to the baby will help digestion
Fact - the baby's saliva and digestive juices will digest the breast milk completely. There is absolutely no need to give gripe water or any herbal products for digestion.
3. Myth - whenever a baby cries continuously it is due to hunger or abdominal pain
Fact - while crying the abdominal muscles tend to contract giving the abdomen a rigid look which has lead to this common misconception. A baby may cry due to many reasons. It may be hungeror insect bit or due to cold or hot environment or the baby might simply want to be held by the mother. If the baby can't be consoled or if it refuses to feed, a visit to the doctor is a must
4. Myth - by massaging the head and nose, facial features can be altered
Fact - facial features are geneticaly predetermined and cannot be altered by massaging. It is best to avoid such practices.
5. Myth - giving honey or sugar will boost immunity
Fact - mother's milk is the best immunity booster. Until 6 months of age exclusive breast feeding is the norm. Giving honey to children less than 1yr can cause botulism.
Dear parents, skin rash in infants and older children is a common nagging problem which keeps recurring inspite of treatment. One of the commonest reasons is the presence of dry skin condition in the child. This can be treated with the use of appropriate moisturising emollients in the right dise for the prescribed period of time. Also frequent bathing can worsen the dry skin. Use a mild baby soap. Do not use scented oils nor talcum powders.
Hi dear parents, congrats to the parents that your infant is getting ready to take solid food. Its always doubtful for mothers when to start weaning i.e. when to start solid food to an infant.
According to Indian scenario the best time is when the baby is already 5 months old (it means baby has already completed 5 months and 6th month has started) and the appropriate food would be at the beginning, rice based diet and fruits. Mothers feed (breast milk) should be continued and you can first begin with boiled mashed apples, bananas usual small types and go on with rice based khichidi, pongal, idli etc.
Slowly start with single vegetable a day boiled mashed (dont mix several vegetables at a time) after rice slowly start adding wheat and ragi.
For non-vegetarians start egg yolk mixed with rice by seven months then after few days the white protein can also be given. Mutton soup and minced meat also after 7 months.
Things not be done.
1) dont start cow milk.
2) dont give buiscuits, bread, cakes, they are maida based and very unhealthy.
3) dont use sugar or salt till ten months. After 10 months you can use jaggery, honey, and organic salt.
4) dont use mixer (mixie) to grind food. And wait for my next episode in the week end.
As a new mother, you will be always in a constant state of worry whether you are doing things right. And of those many, many things you worry about, your baby’s bowel movements are one of them.
A baby’s poop is a sign of his/her health. Thus, you do need to know what is normal and what needs medical attention. Read on to know more about your baby’s poop.
The kind of poop depends on how you are feeding your child. If you breastfeed the baby, his/her poop will be:
Small in size—no bigger than a coin
Light in colour, usually a greenish-brown or bright yellow
Sloppy in texture
The first few weeks of breastfeeding will produce waste daily, after each feed. The frequency will diminish later, but that is not a concern, as long as the waste is easily passed and is soft.
If you are feeding your child formula, the poop will be different. You will notice that the poop is:
Yellow-ish brown or pale yellow in colour
The next worry you have is when you change your baby’s feeding routine. When you switch from breastmilk to formula, you will notice:
The poop is darker in colour.
The texture becomes thicker.
The smell also becomes stronger.
The other dramatic change you will see is when your baby starts eating solids.
What isn't Normal?
If your baby has diarrhoea, you will notice:
The poop is runny
Frequency and amount of poop is increased
And if you suspect constipation, be aware of the following signs:
Your baby finds it difficult to poop
The poop is dry and small
The tummy is hard when you touch it
There might be blood in the poop
If you're breastfeeding, green poo can be a sign that your baby is taking in too much lactose (the natural sugar found in milk). This can happen if she feeds often, but doesn't get the rich milk at the end of the feed to fill her up. Make sure your baby finishes feeding on one breast before you offer her your other one.
If you are feeding your baby formula milk, the brand you are using could be turning your baby's poo dark green. It may be worth switching to a different formula to see if that has any effect.
If the symptoms last longer than 24 hours, visit your health visitor or GP. The cause may be:
a food sensitivity
side-effects of medication
your baby's feeding routine
a stomach bug
Very pale poo:
Very pale poo can be a sign of jaundice, which is common in newborns. Jaundice causes your newborn's skin and the whites of her eyes to look yellow and usually clears up within a couple of weeks of birth. Tell your midwife or doctor if your baby has jaundice, even if it looks like it's going away.
Also tell your midwife or doctor if your baby is passing very pale, chalky white, poos. This can be a sign of liver problems, especially where jaundice lasts beyond two weeks.
Infantile spasm is a seizure-related disorder that is witnessed among infants and young children. The average age for getting affected with infantile spasm is four months, but some kids might experience this disorder within a month of the birth. This disease can have a subtle appearance, and as such, it is difficult to recognize as a serious condition. While a full seizure in an adult is scary, the one observed among infants can be as little as a minor head drop, along with minor body shakes. This might appear to be that serious, but infantile spasm is more serious as compared to a full body convulsion in adults. Unfortunately, an infant suffering from infantile spasm is at great risk of developmental disability, if the condition is not detected and treated early.
There are very few medicines that are approved by the FDA for treating infantile spasms. The two medicines that are widely used by doctors include Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and Vigabatrin.
Second line therapies:
Ayurveda is a life science that has been around for centuries. There are many treatments and medications in Ayurveda that improve the way of life. One such powerful method that increases the immunity in children is suvarnaprashan.
We live in a world where we are surrounded by chemicals be it in food, water or air. With the erratic changes in the climate and our lifestyle need a lot more care than before; giving Suvarnaprashan to your children is one way the parents can ensure that their children grow up to be smart, healthy and strong.
What is Suvarnaprashan?
Suvarnaprashan literally means gold bhasma and is one of the 16 rites of passage of human beings. This all-natural product has been used for over 1000 years and has proven to improve the health and mind of the child.
Suvarnaprashan is a mixture of gold ash, ghee, and honey and is fortified with herbal extracts like brahmi, vacha, shankhpushpi and others. Investing in the early stages of the child’s life is imperative. The early stages are where the body starts to grow and the mind is said to be most intelligent. Administering suvarnaprashan at this stage will make sure you reap the maximum benefits. Suvarnaprashan can be given to children up to the age of 16 years.
Let us take a look at the benefits of Suvarnaprashan:
One thing to keep in mind is that Suvarnaprashan should be consumed on an empty stomach. It is best to consume food only 30 minutes after having it. This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring the good health of the child.
Honey is an age-old treat for both babies and adults and elevates a person’s mood. Introducing your baby to any new food is one of the most exciting phases of parenthood.
Mild and unpasteurized honey is a powerhouse of nutrients and offers ample health benefits, making it ideal for babies.
Honey is a great medicinal supplement for treating cough and infections in babies. It keeps the digestive tract clean and also prevents diarrhea. Apart from serving raw honey to your babies, you can add it to porridge and fruits or in any other baked foods.
Rich in minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes, honey is full of essential nutrients to promote better health in babies. However, to get the most out of this sweet nectar, it is best to pick honey that is not processed. Possible benefits of honey for babies include:
Honey contains a substance that acts as a cough suppressant termed as dextromethorphan.
Add a little amount of pure honey in some warm water for treating cold, cough or fever in babies. Give the mixture to your baby twice a day for the best results.
If you want to introduce honey in your baby’s dietary regime, you can just add a bit of it to their bit to their favorite foods. It is beneficial to introduce honey slowly in their diet to avoid any allergic reaction. Try any of the following methods to incorporate honey in your kid’s diet:
Babies should be given honey only after they cross a 12-month mark i.e. they are more than 1 year old. Honey has a rare type of bacterium, Clostridium botulinum that can cause extreme food poisoning in babies. Honey is also bad for baby’s emerging teeth, that’s why consumption of honey by a baby who is less than 1 year old is not recommended.
There is no doubt health benefits of honey are exceptional and increase immunity is babies. This thick liquid serves as an excellent addition to your baby’s dietary regime, however, it’s necessary to wait until your baby is at least 1 year old.
If your baby is less than 12 months old, it does not matter whether raw or mass-produced, you must avoid including liquid honey in their diet.
Hence, before giving honey to your baby as a supplement or including it in their meals, considering their age is very important. It is also advised to take consultation from a pediatrician before giving honey to your baby.
Benefits of breastfeeding
Its tough in the begining
Consider a breastfeeding class while you're pregnant. Getting baby to latch on may not feel natural. Ask for help in the hospital. Those first days, you might feel what experts call extreme tenderness and what we call pain. But once your baby is properly latched, discomfort should diminish during each nursing session and go away completely with time. Don't ignore shooting pain; a knot in the breast accompanied by soreness and redness could be a plugged milk duct, which can lead to mastitis, a nasty infection that requires antibiotics.
Start by getting comfortable. Support yourself with pillows if needed. Then cradle your baby close to your breast rather than learning forward to bring your breast to your baby. Support the baby's head with one hand and support your breast with the other hand. Tickle your baby's lower lip with your nipple to encourage your baby's mouth to open wide. Look and listen for a rhythmic sucking and swallowing pattern.
If you need to remove the baby from your breast, first release the suction by inserting your finger into the corner of your baby's mouth. If your baby consistently nurses on only one breast at a feeding during the first few weeks, pump the other breast to relieve pressure and protect your milk supply.
You're the food supply, so mother yourself
The nutrient needs of a woman are at an alltime high during breastfeeding. Keep taking prenatal vitamins, get ample calcium. By weight, 88% of breast milk is water. Breast milk volume increases from as little as 50 ml on the first day, to as much as 750 ml a day, when breastfeeding is well established. So, the most critical nutrient needed for the production of ample breastmilk to meet a suckling baby s demand, is water. Aim to drink at least 1.5- 2 litres/day.
You'll also need to learn to relax, however you can -- stress might affect letdown (the start of your milk flow). Take a warm shower, sink into a chair, and remember to breathe as you help your squirmy baby latch on.
Select wholesome food such as wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds to maximise the overall nutrient quality of your diet.If you need medication (for anything from a cold to a chronic condition), check with your doctor. Most meds, but not all are fine in breast milk.