Every mother I know is constantly looking for weight gain foods for babies. Mommies are always worried about “How to increase baby’s weight?”
“If your baby is active and looks happy, don’t worry about the weight.” is what all pediatricians say. We all have heard it. Yet most mom constantly search for weight gaining foods for babies and are never satisfied, with their child’s weight. It is very important for the babies to gain weight according to their age but we tend to forget that a lot depends on their genes.
Before you get all worked up on the weight gaining issue remember that a newborn infant initially loses a little weight and then regains its birth weight by the time it is 14 days old. The infant then doubles its birth weight by the time they are 3 to 4 months old and triples by 1 year.
Although it’s crucial to pay attention to your baby’s weight, it is also important to see if he is active enough and not cranky all the time. There is a difference between the baby’s growth and its weight. The overall growth of the baby is measured by its weight gain but it’s not the only criteria.
Let me share some points with you to ease your tension on the health of your baby.
- Is your baby sucking on your breasts correctly and taking in the calories required from the breast milk?
- Is your baby wetting 6 to 8 diapers and passing 3 or more stools in a day?
- Are you able to supply enough breast milk for the baby?
- Does your baby look satisfied and active after feeding?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to the above questions and still your baby is not gaining weight then it’s time to look at some other factors. There are a few things to keep in mind which can help you figure out the reasons for low weight in your baby.
- Are you bathing your baby right after the meals?
- Are you breastfeeding or giving water right before the meals?
- Are you giving enough gaps between meals?
- How To Make Baby Gain Weight Faster
- Top 21 Weight Gain Foods for Babies and Kids
How To Make Baby Gain Weight Faster
- Give solid food to the baby only after 6 months, till then only breastmilk.
2. Be patient and try new foods. Change the menu completely every 10 days.
3. Stick to breast milk till the baby is 6 months old. It’s the best weight gaining food available for the baby.
Now that we have covered most of the issues related to the weight gain in your baby let’s talk about the weight gain foods for the baby.
Top 21 Weight Gain Foods for Babies and Kids
#1. Breast milk
I cannot emphasize more on the goodness of breast milk for your baby. Make sure you feed your baby with ample amount of your milk till its 6 months of age unless you have certain medical conditions or advised by your doctor.
Breast milk is nutritious and balanced for your baby and it is easy to digest. Breast milk contains all the important nutrition needed for the baby’s development like iron, fluoride, water, vitamins and mineral supplement and multivitamins.
#2. Sweet Potato
Sweet Potatoes are a great way to start new weight gain food for the baby after it is 6 months old. They are low in saturated fat and high in dietary fiber. They have a large amount of magnesium and potassium, Vitamin B6 and high doses of Vitamin A and C. You can try pureeing it for the baby. Most babies love its sweetness and the smooth texture of the Sweet Potato.
#3. Whole cream milk
If your baby is 8 months or older and has started eating solids you can introduce whole cream milk. Milk is very high in Calcium which helps in the growth of bones and teeth. It is high in protein and given fat for energy and growth. It is also loaded with Vitamin A and B. Try giving small amounts of whole milk in the beginning as it may cause upset stomach and gas issues.
#4. Ghee (Desi Ghee)
Try introducing small amounts of Desi Ghee to your baby’s food in the beginning, maybe a few drops and increase the amount gradually. Ghee is one of the best food sources for weight gain. Make sure you use homemade ghee instead of buying it off the counter to avoid preservatives and chemicals.
Introduce Cheese to your baby’s diet after 8 months. Cheese is very rich in Vitamin A, D and B 12, Phosphorous, calcium and selenium. Don’t overdo it though, you can try giving small amount of cheese maybe twice in a week and gradually increase the intake. Try pouring cheese onto the porridge or fruit salads or hand it to the baby to suck on it.
Just mentioning the fruit peach waters once mouth. You can introduce Peach after 6 months as they are rich in fiber, niacin, Vitamin A and are a great source of Vitamin C. Try introducing Peaches as purees after 6 months and you can make milkshakes for them after they are 1 year old.
#7. Green Peas
What! You didn’t know that? That’s ok. It’s true, green peas are one of the most nutritious vegetables that you can give your baby after 6 months. It has a huge amount of Dietary fiber, thiamine, Vitamin C, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus and Vitamin A and B6. I am sure you can find many more nutrients in it if you search more. Puree the peas for the baby. It has a unique sweet taste of its own. Try to find fresh peas instead of the frozen ones for the baby.
Oat is the healthiest food for kids and adults of all ages. It is rich in manganese, magnesium, thiamine and phosphorous and low in saturated fat. It is the only cereal that has legume (Protein). You can make oat porridge, kheer and try to mix oats with other fruits like apples and banana purees. I am sure your baby would love its taste and texture once mixed with different flavors. Avoid instant oats as they are highly processed and instead go for steel cut oats.
#9. Ragi/Finger Millet
Other then Oats, Ragi is also one of the best weight gaining foods for babies. Ragi or finger millet is one of India’s forgotten grains. It has high levels of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin B1, B2, B6. Try making Ragi porridge and kheer and mix them with different fruits if you want to be adventurous.
Potatoes are the best! You can’t deny that. It’s an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and a bunch of photochemical like carotenoids and natural phenols. They are known for rich carbohydrate content as well.
Babies of all ages love potatoes for its taste and that smooth texture. Make sure you introduce small amounts in the beginning as it may cause gas and upset stomach. You can puree them, mash them, mix them with almost any vegetable and the babies will appreciate your recipes.
If you are strictly vegetarian, no issues but if you eat eggs introduce them to your baby after 8 months. (It is advisable to consult your doctor if you are planning of introducing egg before 1 year) Initially give the yolk as the egg white may cause allergies in some babies. Eggs are rich in proteins and saturated fat. Boil and mash the yolk and watch your baby devour it.
Yogurt is a yummy treat for your baby’s new pallet. It provides a good amount of fat and nutritious calories which helps in gaining weight. It has ample amount of calcium, vitamins and minerals. Yogurt goes easy on the baby’s tummy and is great for immune system. It is advisable to introduce yogurt after 8 months of age.
Avoid buying flavored yogurt, it’s better to give homemade yogurt to the baby to avoid preservatives and chemicals. Make your own fruit yogurt by blending bananas, mangoes or any other seasonal fruit.
#13. Whole wheat
Whole wheat is advisable for people of all ages as it is rich in dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants and minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium. One should introduce whole wheat to the baby after 10 months to avoid straining the digestive system. Start with giving whole wheat as cereals, porridge and rotis.
Banana is one fruit liked by almost all kids of all ages. It’s yummy treat for the baby and provides dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C and very good source of Vitamin B6, and is a energy dense nutritious food. You can start banana after 6 months by mixing it in the porridge or mashing it with a spoon.
#15. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is made from peanuts and is a great source for gaining weight. Make sure you check for peanut allergies before introducing it to your baby. Put half spoon of peanut butter in the porridge or mix with other fruit purees. Most babies like its taste and texture. Be careful not to give peanut butter as is, because it is quite viscous and may end up getting stuck in your child’s mouth or throat.
Avoid buying packaged peanut butter as they usually contain lots of sugar and preservatives. It’s not that difficult to make peanut butter at home!
#16. Chick peas
Chick peas also known as Kabuli Channa or garbanzo beans are high in proteins therefore are a good source for weight gain. You can boil them with a little turmeric and salt and mash them with a spoon. You can also puree it with other vegetables.
If you are a non vegetarian you must have heard that Fish is the best meat to eat if you want to stay healthy. It has high contents of Omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for the baby’s immune system. Introduce fish after 8 months. You can make a fish soup or ground fish to the baby and see how it likes the taste. It may take some time before the baby starts enjoying the different taste of fish, so be patient.
Soya is a rich source of protein, calcium and iron. It’s essential to know that soya beans are is the healthiest way to attain proteins if you are a vegetarian. Boil the beans and grind them in a mixture to make a puree or you can try making soup with it. If your baby is eating soya beans you can be tension free as it will remain health.
Some people still don’t know the difference between paneer and tofu. Tofu is paneer made of soy milk and its quite healthy. It is rich in proteins and minerals and its easy on the baby’s tummy. You can add tofu in any dish and turn it into a health dish for the baby.
#20. Coconut milk
Do I really need to mention this? Yes, I know you know that coconut is called the life saver fruit so don’t hesitate incorporating coconut milk in your baby’s menu. It has a smooth creamy texture and it’s naturally sweet. It builds up the immune system and improves digestion.
You can easily make coconut milk at hour home. Buy a fresh coconut. Break it open by being careful to not spill the water. Grind the coconut meat and water together in a mixture. Strain it and its ready to drink. It’s a treat for the baby. Try it.
If you follow a non vegetarian diet then meat is a food that can really help to increase your baby’s weight. While many people start meat as soon as their little one is 7 to 8 months old, in India some prefer to wait for a year. Whichever way you choose to go, you can always supplement your kid’s diet with meat 2 to 3 times a week after he is 10 months old. Begin with lighter meat like chicken and then progress to mutton.
I am sure, you ladies are eager to try these weight gaining foods to improve your baby’s weight but keep in mind that if your baby is happy and eating, don’t over stress yourself over it. There a few things you should keep in mind when you start working on the weight of your baby.
- Although chocolates sounds yummy but it if given too much it causes dental cavities later and can lead to obesity.
- If your baby is eating well and active, don’t worry about weight gain as an active baby burns the calories and still be healthy.
- If your family and your husband’s family is thin don’t expect your baby to be chubby.
- Instead of giving your baby large amount of foods forcefully try small quantity of food in small intervals. This distracts the baby and it will be more open towards eating.
Try these weight gaining foods one by one and see which one your baby likes. Try and be adventures by mixing them with fruits and vegetables but make sure your consult your doctor and check for allergies before trying anything new.
As always I want to stress on the fact that breast milk is the best and only way to go if your child is under 6 months. Feed your baby till it seems satisfied and at regular intervals from both the breasts.
So mommies, take out your shopping list and add these weight gain foods on them and head out to the market to buy them!