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Feeding Queries & Problems
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Feeding Queries & Problems >>>
 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My daughter hates drinking milk. She is eleven months old. Besides cerials, what other homemade breakfast can I give her?

Joshna (Delhi, India)

A: At 11 months you can give your child anything you want. You can try porridge with wheat, pulses, nuts etc. You can also try yoghurt.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: I have a seven month old son. I cannot breastfeed him any more. Can I start giving him fresh cow milk or dairy milk?

Disha (Deira, UAE)

A: Avoid giving your infant fresh milk, till they are at least a year old. I would suggest that you go for formula feeds because they are less allergenic. Check with your family physician first.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My niece really troubles my sister a lot while eating. She is 1.5 years old, but still cannot eat semi solid food at all. Her mother has to puree the food for her each time. If the food is not pureed, she will just not eat it. What should we do to make her start eating semi solid foods? Please advice.

Jamina (Haryana, India)

A: Here are some tips for the food for the baby. 1. Puree the food less every time. Keep some solid bits in the pureed food. This way she will slowly get accustomed to semi solids, and then solids. 2. Do not make the food very bland. 3. Taste the food before giving to the child. If you don't like the taste, neither will your child. 4. Try new varieties of food every time. 5. Give your child small frequent feeds. Most children do not eat large quantities at a sitting.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My daughter is five months old. When can I start giving her cerelac or other baby food. Also, when should fruits and juices be introduced?

Madhu (Mumbai, India)

A: Stick to breastfeeding till your child is at least 6 months of age. Fruits and fruit juices need be given only after 8 months, and semi-solids like Ragi and rice porridge should be started after 6 months.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: How often should I breastfeed my five months old baby? Is it okay if I breastfeed him every two hours. How much should a baby weigh at five months? Is raw egg healthy for a baby? Can I mix it with milk and give it to him?

Vaishali (San Francisco, USA)

A: A baby should double his/her birthweight by 5 months and triple it by 1 year. I do not think you have to feed him once every 2 hours at this age. Once in 3-4 hours is enough even for a newborn baby. Alternatively demand feeding is best. 3 meals and 2-3 snacks with adequate milk should be enough. However, I would not suggest that you give him raw egg. It can spread diseases like salmonella.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My son is a very fussy eater. I try making different kinds of food but he just doesn't like to eat. He is underweight according to his age. Although, he is very active throughout the day, but his entire energy is wasted jumping from here to there and also in crying. He will be schooling soon. What can I do?

Prerna (San Francisco, Dubai)

A: I would expect your son to be at least 13-14kgs. He is definitely underweight. I am sure you are making every effort to make him eat. Forcing him to eat will only make things worse. Positive rewarding like giving him a gift if he agrees to eat might help. Try different foods like pizza one day, dosa another. Ask him what he would like to eat when you are deciding the menu. Make what he likes to eat.

Dr. Balasubramanian`


Q: How safe is it to give my child food containing MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)? Are there any side effects?

Jane (Melbourne, Australia)

A: MSG is a preservative and could be harmful for the child's liver in the Long run. It is better to avoid foods with MSG - especially for children. In fact, this ingredient has been banned in various countries.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My son loves eating mashed potatoes. Since, he is a fussy eater, I keep trying different things to make him eat. Can I give him mixed fruits. He loves eating crisp cornflakes, but without mixing it with milk. Is it okay to eat it without milk?

Kiran (Noida, India)

A: The answer to both your queries is YES.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: How often should I give my baby water? Also, should I give him boiled water or normal filtered water?

Supriya (Bangkok, Thailand )

A: Give your baby water only after giving a solid feed. Make sure you boil the water well, and that it is very well sterilised.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My five month old daughter has reduced the quantity of milk she used to drink earlier. Is this natural that the milk intake reduces with age? My doctor advised me to start giving him cereals. But there are so many flavours. What should I start with?

Pratibha (Plymouth, U.S.A)

A: It is natural for a child to drink less milk and take more solids. Your doctor has correctly advised you. Start your child on rice based cereals.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: What is the balanced diet chart for a 14 month old baby?

Neelam (Dehradun, India)

A: Your child at 14 months should be getting breast milk 4 times, 2 semi-solid feeds like khichdi, boiled vegetables and fruits. You may also give your child eggs.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My baby is four months old. I have been a working women and have been on leave since my ninth month. Can I start weaning my baby as I have to resume work.

Jyoti (Delhi, India)

A: 4 months is too soon to start weaning. Try going back to work when your child is at least 6 months.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My daughter is very mischievious. She likes to do the same things as others. If someone is eating, she grabs it from the hand. Even if her stomach is full, she will eat whatever others are eating. How can I discipline her?

Naimita (Mumbai, India)

A: There is no need to discipline her regarding feeding. Of course you should not give her things like soft drinks, ice cream and too many chocolates. Very small quantities are fine. She is just developing his taste buds and so wants to eat everything. As she grows up, he will be ok.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My baby is 4 months old. Apart from milk, what diet should I include and at what age?

Komalika (Calcutta, India)

A: Your baby is only 4 months old. It is better to start with cereals. Once he starts to like the cereals, you can start him on mashed bananas and potatoes. When he is 5-6 months old you can give him almost all the vegetables which are well cooked and soft. Similarly, you can give him any fruit after a couple of months.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My son is a very slow eater. He will put one piece of chapatti in his mouth, and leave it there for 20 minutes without chewing it. Mealtimes are becoming a nightmare. How can I motivate him to chew and swallow his food fast? He chews and swallows her favourite dishes (except chappati and rice) very fast.

Shivani (Arlington, USA)

A: As long as he is eating, I would not bother about how long he takes. Moreover, you have mentioned that he likes certain foods better than others. Don't do anything. Don't push him around.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My daughter doesn't drink milk. He does eat all other food rice, roti, etc. How can I make her drink milk? She is very active.

Suman (Manglore, India)

A: At this age, since she is eating everything else, there is no need to get unduly worried about milk. Perhaps she doesn't like the taste. You could try adding some flavouring to make it more appealing. Try giving her milkshakes. You could also try giving her milk in some other form, such as buttermilk, paneer or cheese.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: I think my child is allergic to his formula. Can you tell me some symptoms or things to look for? What formula do you recommend?

Bina (Mumbai, India)

A: Generally if a child is allergic to milk formulas, he either has diarrhoea or repeated wheezing. The child will not gain weight. Since your baby's weight is normal, I do not think your baby has an allergy to the formula milk you are giving him.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: Can I give my daughter apples and banana milkshake? Can I give him rice pudding (kheer)?

Nisha (Snowdon, U.K)

A: Children are expected to eat all the home foods by one year including fresh milk. So you can feed her whatever you eat.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: I would like to know how many calories intake per day my child should consume.

Meghna ( Washington, USA)

A: Your child should be consuming about 1000 calories per day. 50% of it as milk, and the rest through semi-solid feeds.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My nephew likes egg. Can we give him one egg daily? Should we give him boiled or fried egg?

Shabnam (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia )

A: Please do not hesitate to give your child anything that he likes. Egg is good for health. Give it in the form that your child likes most.

Dr. Subba Rao


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