While the baby is growing, we need to make sure that the right nutrient is provided to them at the right time. The food that we provide to them should be high in calories, and it should be high in other nutrients.
All of the focus of such foods should be towards making sure that the baby gains the right amount of weight while growth is happening simultaneously.
Why Babies Need High Calorie Diets?
We live a generation where in some instances, the desire to get the right look has trumped common sense. To that end, in the name of keeping their babies healthy, many of the health nuts over the globe tend to starve their children.
Eventually, it happens to have an adverse affect on babies and they have nobody else to blame but themselves. However, why is high calorie food so important for the baby’s growth?
Once an infant comes into this world, convention dictates that for the first 6 months they rely on the mother’s milk. During this time, the baby relies on the mother’s immune system as well.
However, once this period of time is over, babies have to rely on conventional diets. Since their bodies are still weak, they need all the strength that they can get. Furthermore, gaining weight is extremely important at this stage for their growth.
They have an extremely limited window for their initial growth. This period is up to when the baby is a year old. A high calorie diet actually accelerates the process to make sure that this happens along with a lot of energy boost that they will definitely need.
How To Provide More Calories To The Baby?
There have been strategies that have been developed to make sure that babies get more calories:
1. The first strategy is to start the feeding with the highest calorie than move on to lowest calorie in the last. The high calorie foods that is given first includes the following
A. Baby formula
B. Cereals that are meant for infants.
C. Vegetables and meat.
D. Meats and vegetables
Note: The above two are also formula foods where the latter entails less caloric content than the formal.
The low caloric food entails the following:
A. Pureed or mashed fruits
C. Mashed vegetables
2. Use Additives To The Food To Provide Them With Extra Calories.
Needless to say, the first ways is considered to be the best strategy when you are providing food to your baby. To that end, it is necessary for you to start with the right foods.
Ten Best High Calorie Foods for The Baby
We have already established that one of the strategies to provided high calorie to the baby is to start off with high calorie diets. To that end, below is the list of 10 best foods that for your baby’s growth and weight gain:
1. Dairy: at the end of the day, milk is what one would call an example of a complete food. It starts off when the baby is first born and a mother’s milk contains cholestrum that keeps the baby protected from any sort of diseases. However, once the feeding time is over, cow’s milk has the same effect.
2. Dense foods: There are some foods on a baby’s platter that are dense with nutrition. Club a fruit salad together and put some cream cheese on top.
To make sure that health is still the focus, make sure to make these into small portions. This high density of calories will make sure that your baby is energetic at all times.
3. Peach: After 6 months when the baby is done with the mother’s milk, they can move on to highly nutritious and calorie filled fruits. One such fruit is the peach. Now peach is brimming with high amount of dietary fibre, vitamin A and a lot of vitamin C.
If the baby is not willing to e4at the peaches raw, make sure to include them in milkshakes and smoothies. If you do this, they would get two classes of nutrients at the same time.
4. Banana: “Nature’s very own lunchable” as it is called, the banana contain everything that a baby might need from Vitamin B6 to Vitamin C to fibre and potassium an Iron. Now, you cannot expect the baby to eat it raw.
To that end, you need to make sure that you puree the banana into a mach and put them in pancakes, or banana muffins. Even milkshakes can be amazing here.
Now, many of these might be a bit cold when winters come. To that end, you can also provide the Banana Powder s also one of the options that you have. They are like the ultimate way to bestow weight gain to the baby.
5. Sweet Potatoes: When the first 6 months of the baby’s birth have passed, you can move on to sweet potatoes. These high caloric foods have a very low amount of saturated fat with a combination of a high dietary fibre, magnesium and potassium.
As sweet potatoes are generally boiled, you can give them to the baby as it is. However, if you have the option of khichdi and pancakes, you must prepare them as well.
6. Chicken: to the omnivores among you, you can actually give plain meats to your baby once they are 8 months old. Chicken entails a lot of nutrients like protein, cholesterol and also vitamins and minerals.
Given them to the baby either cooked, pureed or the combination of both. You can also give them chicken stock if you have to.
7. Ghee: Ghee or purified butter is one of the staple things that you can provide to the child. Once the baby has crossed being 7 months old, you can start with adding a few drops of ghee to their food.
Be moderate as ghee entails a lot of fat. Furthermore, you also need to make sure to provide them with a ghee option that is free of any form of preservatives.
8. Peas: This is one high caloric food that can be given to the baby once they are above 6 months old. Once they are mashed, their texture can provide the baby with the first right taste of solid foods.
Peas are also high in magnesium, Vitamin c, Niacin, phosphorus and Vitamin B6 and A. The might be arguable the best high calorie food that you can give to your baby.
9. Whole Wheat: While wheat is not being something that can induce weight gain in an adult, let alone a baby, Whole wheat is a whole different story. Now only it is a good course of dietary fibre, it is also the source of low fat.
Furthermore, being some of the most versatile foods, you can turn whole wheat into anything that you think is palatable by a baby.
10. Eggs: They can be given to the baby once they are above 8 months old. With eggs, you have the best protein and fat source to give to the baby. However make sure that you introduce the yolk before you do the white.
These are the 10 foods that are filled with energy and are good for the baby. Furthermore, when growth is concerned, they make sure that the baby grows healthy and right.
Dr Rahul Bhargava is the Director of Pediatric hematology, hematology and stem Cell transplantation at Fortis Hospitals. Being India’s Pioneer in Stem cell Transplantation of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment through Stem cell transplant, he is also pretty up front with the nutritional needs that children need to have while they are growing up.