(India, Tamil Nadu)
I just saw your ‘what foods to avoid for babies’ and am suddenly worried. I’m from south India and here all people give only fresh cows milk directly from the farm as soon as it is milked, if the baby is not taking breast milk. Is this wrong?
Anyways coming to my baby’s food habits… I fed my son only breast milk once in 2 hours day and night till he completed 6 months, then started lactogen stage 2 and cerelac for semisolid food introduction. When he was 8 months I gave him broken rice starchy food with little salt and ragi milk also home made we call it ragi kanji here. I introduced idlis (if you have not heard of it, it is made by grinding rice, urad dhal and fermented and baked into soft round forms) when he was 9 months. After he completed 10 months I introduced rice to him.. rice cooked very softly with thoor dhal, few french beans and half a carrot and one small garlic flake and salt, grinded it coarsely in mixie and gave him for lunch daily..
He took breast milk til he was one year, though only at night once or twice, other times I fed him lactogen. After one, I started toned cow’s milk, eggs, and all other vegetables except egg plant.. I gave him drumstick, ladies finger, bitter gourd, beetroot, potatoes, carrot, cabbage, snake gourd, radish, etc..
He won’t eat any fruits at all.. he liked mangoes once but then lost taste for it again.. after he was two I started mutton.. just once a week and three small cubes of regular home made mutton curry along with rice..
Now he is 2.3 years, my mother in law wants to start on fish.. Here they either deep fry fish with chilli and salt or put it in a spicy gravy… I’m not sure of how to introduce fish to him, I am a strict vegetarian and all this non veg foods are so new to me and I can’t decide.. usually non veg people start giving fish and meat to babies after 10 months itself and I was so strict over my son not to give till he turns 2. All the food he eats is prepared as it is for adults with chilli powder etc, but little less spicy I give him..
My son is a picky eater and eats very low quantity food..
PS: he loves to eat masala maggi noodles and biriyani rice very much.. both has lot of spices like cloves and cinnamon sticks added to it.. am not sure of these too..
Baby Help Line:
Good Foods To A Picky 2-Year Old
How great that you are really trying to give your son a good start! And to me it seems like you do!
First, you ask about cow’s milk as a substitute for human breast milk. This is actually a hard question. Human breast milk is likely to be the best food for an infant by far. Second would be formula, provided that it can be given in proper amounts and with clean water and equipment. I know for many moms around the world this simply isn’t a possibilitiy. Either formula is too expensive, the water isn’t clean enough or both. Then, if the baby is younger than 4 months old, cow’s milk is probably the best choice. Cow’s milk, however, doesn’t have the same composition as human milk, for example it contains a lot more protein. It isn’t ideal, but a better choice than formula based on contaminted water, or diluted to fit the wallet of the family. If feeding a baby cow’s milk, again making sure that the milk as well as the equipment is completely clean, preferably boiled, is key.
For a baby older than 4 months, another option is to start with solid foods instead of cow’s milk, or at least in combination.
Regarding your son’s eating habits, it seems to me that you have given him an excellent start. Something to think about is to keep his intake of salt to a minimum. Studies have shown that too much salt in childhood produces a serious rise in blood pressure that progressively worsens with age.
Since your boy is at an age when he grows rapidly, introducing some meat or fish could be a good idea, both for protein and iron. You’ll find some recipes here if you are interested. (There is a recipe for scrambled eggs too in that link, another option to give your son enough protein.) Another option could be to simply simmer some fish (instead of frying) with herbs and serve him small pieces of boiled fish together with rices and vegetables.
You are also a bit worried because your son is becoming more picky. That is actually very normal for his age. Before the age of 2 years, many (not all!) toddlers are open to all sorts of foods, but then it is suddenly “no” to everything. This can continue for quite some time, years even, and is a good time as a parent to practice patience and creativity. Always serving something the child recognises and likes along with anything new, never force the child but rather encourage, and make the food look nice are good rules of thumb. Also offering healthy snacks often and on the go, are good ways of getting nutrition into an active, picky 2-year-old.
Many vitamins are also available in different fruits and vegetables, so if your son does eat vegetables, he is probably getting a lot of what he needs anyway. (For a list of vitamins and where to find them, click here.) It is all a matter of making the eating a positive experience and encourage your child any time he shows interest in new foods.
I hope this provides you with some help.
We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below or return to Baby Feeding Q&A.