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Weaning food for babies

A lot of factors have to be taken into consideration while planning a diet for children. Children need more calories and protein for growth and tissue repair. All nutrient requirement is increased during the growing stage. This article of mine is meant for new mothers who are searching for information on the weaning foods for their loved little ones.

Weaning can be started at the age of 3 to 4 months along with breast milk. Nutritional supplementation can be started with soft and mashed cereal foods. Always the new food should be introduced at lunchtime, when the infant gets adjusted with that food it can be extended gradually to other times. Some infants get mild indigestion in the beginning. These foods should not be bottle-fed; it has to be spoon-fed. Rice is good to start as first cereal and it has to be cooked soft. It can be given with salt and ghee or mixed with curd. When child gets used to this, khichdi (rice and moong dhal) can be given. Soups and strained vegetables and fruits may be gradually introduced during the supplementation period. A new food to be given for ideally 2 weeks or minimum 1 week before introducing another food item. The fruits and vegetables will correct the deficiency of iron in breast milk. Fruit must be fully ripe. The well nourished infant doubles his birth weight by 3 to 5 months of age. Ragi powder, suji, and raw plantain powder can be cooked in milk with sugar and can be given for the breakfast. Here are the few sample recipes for your sweet ones.

Moong dhal khichadi

Ingredients
Rice - 1/2 cup
Moong dhal - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Pick and wash rice and dhal in water and keep it aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, turmeric powder, salt, rice, and moong dhal. Stir-fry for a while.
  3. Add water and bring rice to rapid boil and reduce the heat and simmer and cook till very soft.

Nutritional information

This khichadi will provide proteins, carbohydrates, calories, and little fat for the infant. This can be given for lunch. When the child gets used to this after two weeks add finely chopped carrots, cauliflower, and tomato along with rice and dhal. That will provide vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional value for the total preparation Protein gms Fat gms Fibre gms Carbohydrate gms Energy kcal 12.5 10.7 0.4 93.9 523

Poshtik porridge

Ingredients
Whole wheat - 50 gm
Groundnut - 50 gm
Roasted and dehulled Bengal gram - 50gm
Milk as required
Ghee - 1tbsp
Jaggery or sugar to taste

Method

  1. Soak wheat in about 40 ml of water for 12 to 14 hours.
  2. Then dry the soaked wheat in shade ( during the process of drying some of the wheat may start sprouting)
  3. Roast lightly the dried wheat on hot pan.
  4. Remove the peels of the roasted Bengal gram by lightly rubbing with hand.
  5. Roast and dehull the groundnuts.
  6. Grind the wheat, Bengal gram, and groundnut into a course powder and store in airtight container.
  7. Take 3 to 4 tbsp. of this powder and jaggery or sugar as required and add milk and cook it on slow fire till it start thickening.
  8. Remove from fire, add ghee cool it to desired temperature and give it to the child.

Nutritional information

This Poshtik porridge provides proteins, carbohydrates, calories, fat, iron, folic acid, calcium, and fibre for the infant. This preparation can be given for breakfast. Jaggery is preferred to sugar since it has more nutrients than sugar. In the same way wheat, ragi and Bengal gram mix powder can also be made.

Nutritional value for the total preparation

Protein gms Fat gms Fibre gms Carbohydrate gms Energy kcal
30.36 33.29 2.65 115.9 885.7

Mixed vegetable soup

Ingredients
Onion - 1 medium size
Carrot - 1 medium size
Potato - 1 medium size
Cabbage - 1/4 size
Spinach - A small bunch
French beans - 3 to 4
Tomatoes - 2
Cauliflower florets - 4 to 5 small size
Butter - 1tbsp
Whole meal flour - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - 2 cups
Milk - 2 cups

Method

  1. Peel onion, potato, carrot and chop them as fine as possible.
  2. Clean and finely chop the cabbage, spinach, French beans, and tomato.
  3. Grate the cauliflower along with the tender part of the stem.
  4. Heat butter in a thick bottomed saucepan and add the chopped onion and saute for two minutes over medium heat and add all the chopped and grated vegetables. Stir and cook on high heat for few minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the whole meal flour and cook for two minutes. Stirring continuously over medium heat or till flour starts giving a cooked aroma. Add salt.
  6. Stir in the water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till the vegetables are cooked and the soup reaches a fairly thick consistency.
  7. Gradually stir in the milk and simmer for few minutes.
  8. Cool and can be given it to the child.

Nutritional information

This soup provides carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins especially this soup will give beta carotene, folic acid, fibre, and small amounts of vitamin C. This can be given any time or before dinner. First time it should be given during the daytime.

Nutritional value for the total preparation

Nutrients Values
Protein gms 19.29
Fat gms 21.81
Minerals gms 6.81
Fibre gms 4.63
Carbohydrates gms 62
Energy kcal 521.1

By Ms Mumtaz Khalid Ismail
Consultant Nutritionist

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