Saturday, December 6, 2008

Feeding ideas for a 15 month old

We took little N for her 15 month well baby exam today. Amongst other things, I asked the doc to draw out a typical day for babies her age in terms of feeding. This is because mine is a scanty eater and feeding her is like a huge project. And although she is hale and hearty (touchwood), she could use a little more fat. We loved the suggestions she gave us. They were geared towards naturally fattening recipes instead of the market bought ones which have preservatives and such. So I thought of sharing with you all since I am pretty sure there are others like me who could use these tips as well. Here is what she advised:

Adults eat 3 big meals a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Babies and kids under 3 need to be fed a little more frequently than that since they do not eat big portions in each meal. So insert 2 additional filling snacks during the day - 1 between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner. So here's how a typical day can look like:

7:00am - A bottle/cup of milk
8:30am - Breakfast (can be anything like oatmeal, dosa, idli, bread, paratha, chapati)
10:30am - Filling Snack (can be anything such as ragi, yogurt, banana shake, chiku shake)
1:00pm - Lunch (this can be whatever the family eats such as rice and dal or roti or paratha)
1:00 to 3:00pm - Nap
3:30pm - Filling Snack (any of the ones mentioned above. Other ideas can be whole fruit such as banana, apple, guava, papaya, chiku, etc. or even mashed banana or other fruits in yogurt)
6:00pm - A bottle/cup of milk
8:30pm - Dinner (can be whatever the family eats such as rice with sabzi and dal or roti or paratha etc.)
9:00pm - A bottle/cup of milk and Goodnight

And here are a few foods/recipes she recommended:
  1. Jacket Potato: This dish is a great idea since it includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats all at the same time. Take a baked potato, stuff it with scrambled eggs and butter to serve.
  2. Chicken/Fish/Eggs: Give these in different forms to the baby. Make sure the fish and chicken are cooked well and when offered, are boneless and minced in small pieces.
  3. Nutritious Milk: Put a paste (liquid or dry) of dry fruits in baby's milk. This is naturally fattening and healthier than store bought alternatives such as Pediasure.
  4. Nutritious Roti: Instead of struggling to feed roti and sabzi, an idea for giving kids roti and sabzi together is to put the sabzi inside roti dough and make a paratha out of it. The other thing my nanny used to do was make roti ki churi with the sabzi that was cooked.
  5. Nutritious Dinner: Instead of trying to feed rice and dal, you can make a nutritious version of khichdi. My new cook puts grated vegetables in the cooker along with rice and dal. I liked the idea of grating the veggies for babies who can be picky about finding vegetable pieces in their smooth khichdi texture.
  6. Healthy Snacks: Other than whole fruits or fruit juices, you can offer fruit milk shakes or fruits in yogurt. Again, one thing my old nanny used to give was dahi-kela. One other thing I give little N is Cerelac. I know this is a store bought alternative but it sure is nutritious and very convenient to make. You can also try pro-biotic yogurts instead of plain ones. The other suggestions our pediatrician made was chicken soup, pasta, vegetable soups, etc.
Although I am a lot wiser and enriched with more ideas about baby food, I do have a question for you experienced moms out there. When planning day trips/outings with the baby, what kind of home made food can we take along that will not have a risk of getting spoilt? When she was a little younger and we were in the US, it was easy to carry store bought baby jars. But in India's climate, I have noticed they too get spoilt if not refrigerated for the entire day. So can you wiser moms give me tips on how to travel with the little one without starving her?