Your baby may be eating solid foods, and at first you were delighted with his new diet. He seemed to be enjoying his cereal of rice, peas, and carrots . He’s still eating quite well, but he’s not gaining weight … During his last checkup, maybe your baby was on the lower end of the percentile growth chart.
Your pediatrician is a bit concerned and can recommend a variety of methods to encourage your baby to gain weight … Remember, though, your pace should also be respected . What matters is that your baby eats well what he is hungry and that he looks healthy and active.
EVALUATION OF THE LITTLE ONE
The doctor will tell you what percentile your child is in at the moment of life that he is. During the evaluation, your pediatrician will ask for a detailed history of your child’s nutritional intake. You will want to know the exact amounts and types of foods your baby is eating and drinking , including the juice he is drinking.
Also, you will want to know about the presence of any medical symptoms, such as diarrhea, fever, or vomiting. Your pediatrician will likely order a complete physical exam, with a thorough evaluation. If no medical symptoms are detected, your pediatrician may just want to carefully monitor your baby’s weight gain over the next several months. In extreme cases, you can refer your baby to a pediatric nutritionist or other specialist.
To increase your baby’s food intake , your pediatrician may suggest that you incorporate a variety of procedures to make mealtime easier and less stressful. Many pediatricians tell parents to allow the baby to feed as much as possible by offering finger foods and to keep it on a three-meal schedule a day with only two or three snacks.
Offer juice or other liquids only after meals, and avoid trying to “bribe” or force your baby to eat. A baby who gets into a power struggle with his parents may become resistant to eating. Feed your baby high-calorie snacks with lots of nutrients and don’t let him fill up on large amounts of juices or sodas. Instead, you can give breast milk or formula, which has more nutrition.
WHAT YOU MUST NOT FORGET
Also, your doctor may recommend that you feed your baby a more concentrated formula. For older babies, you can substitute whole milk , and put half and half, evaporated milk or condensed milk. Offer whole milk shakes, made from ice cream, or instant breakfast powder mixed with milk.
Add cheese or peanut butter (making sure your baby is not allergic) to vegetables. Also, you can make a high calorie jelly using fruit juice instead of water. Older babies can eat meats and breads with additional butter or sauces.
If a baby is having difficulty gaining weight, you, as a parent, must remember that it is your responsibility to feed him correctly. You want to make sure he learns to eat healthy by offering him a diet that includes vegetables, fruits, lean meats and protein, whole grains, dairy or soy products.
In addition, it is recommended that you give a low weight baby at least one high-calorie food at each meal, such as avocado. You can also try cooking with olive oil and fortifying baby’s pasta or cereal with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Once you discuss it with your doctor, you can also give your baby a multivitamin. Even very young babies can take a liquid multivitamin as prescribed by the doctor.