Planning Balanced Meals for Infants

The first few months of feeding our infants is simple as it is basically about milk, breast milk or formula milk and cereals. After 6 months the new mother is so confused as everyone is making some suggestion and promising good health or great growth with that one particular food. Here are some guidelines and tips. Breakfast can be ragi porridge and milk, rice powder porridge with milk or a commercial cereal like Cerelac, Nestum, etc. Please make sure that the first meal you introduce must be a breakfast meal. This would be around 8am-9am after the baby has had an early morning breast feed around 5-6am.

Egg yolk may be introduced after 7 months. It must be fully cooked and mashed. Half boiled or raw egg cannot be digested and is just thrown out of the body. Idli, dosa and upma can be given for breakfast from the 7th or 8th month. Please note egg alone does not constitute breakfast. Egg must be given along with a carbohydrate food like bread, idli, etc.

Lunch must be a balanced meal of rice, dhal and vegetables well cooked and mashed together. Dinner can be a cereal meal till 8 or 9 months and then changed to a meal similar to lunch.

Boiled chicken and fish may be added to the lunch after 9 months. Whole egg can be introduced in the diet after 9 or 10 months. Butter and Ghee can be added after the baby is 9 months. Before this it is taxing to the digestive system to digest these fats. By 10 months, pieces of fruits and boiled vegetables may be given as finger foods cut into finger shaped sticks, which they can hold and eat on their own. Biscuits also may be eaten on their own, under supervision.

Great care should be taken to keep all utensils and one's hands very clean and to use properly boiled and cooled water while preparing juices. Please wash hands and fruits thoroughly before preparing and feeding the child. Do not get into the habit of grinding food in a mixi. After 6 months of age the food should be very well cooked and soft and can be mashed with a fork and fed in a semisolid consistency.

Diet plan for Infants 1-2 years of age
Morning 1 glass milk
Breakfast Idli 1-2 + Sambar; or
Dosa 1-2 + Sambar; or
Ragi / Oats porridge with milk, or
Bread 1-2 slice + Egg cooked 1 no.
11 am: Mashed banana 1 no. or Mosambi juice 1 glass
Lunch: Rice -3/4 C + Dhal C + Veg C + Curd C, or Non-veg 1 piece
4-5 PM: Milk 1 glass + Biscuit 1-2 nos.
Dinner: Rice C / Chapati 1 + Dal C + Veg C, + Curd C + Apple
Bedtime: Milk - C
Cup= 225 ml or 8 oz

What is the Ideal Weight range for Infants?

Age Weight (kgs) Height (cms)
At Birth 2.75 3 kgs or more 35 45 cms
At 3 months 4-5 kgs 50 cms
At 6 months 7-8 kgs 60 cms
At 1 year 9-10 kgs 71 cms
At 1 1/2 years 11-12 kgs 75 cms
At 2 Years 12-14 kgs 80 cms
At 3 years 14-15 kgs 90 cms

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