Improving Your Baby’s Immunity: Live Q&A With Expert Sonali Shivlani
It breaks our heart to see our babies fall sick. Colds, coughs and tummy bugs are very common in a baby’s first year as their immune systems are weak. We can’t keep our babies away from illnesses, but what we can do is improve their body’s ability to deal with the germs and a lot depends on the food they eat. We had a live chat with child nutritionist Sonali Shivlani and got all our child immunity questions answered.
Q: My baby is 4.5 months old his weight is 7.8kgs, everything is ok, I want to start some liquid diet after 15 days.as per my doctor’s advice. What should I start first and how much? Secondly, my baby is too gassy. How much top milk to start?
A: When you start a liquid diet it means a puree. Do not strain the same. The best option is to start with mashed fruits or pureed vegetables. A baby's stomach is best suited for mother's milk and some babies do tend to get gassy with outside milk. If possible avoid. You may also want to burp the baby well and offer plenty of tummy time in between feeds.
Q: My baby is 6 months old. What should I give her as first food?
A: The best foods to start with since they are non allergen as well as very healthy would be fruits or vegetables. I would suggest vegetables as they are non sweet in flavor. Opt for items like bottle gourd, pumpkin, carrot etc.
Q: My baby is one year old but his weight is just 9 kg. I want to increase my baby’s weight. I am giving all different foods to him. Please give me some weight gain tips.
A: If your baby has tripled the birth weight, then we are not worried. Also if the baby is gaining weight steadily then also we are not worried. Most children this age are very active and hence tend to appear lean and skinny. Don't offer foods rich in saturated fats and sugars just for weight gain. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, for a one year old whole cream milk can be used and also discuss the possibility of adding some nuts to the diet with the baby's doctor.
Q: I want to ask you a question : My baby has completed 9 months yesterday, I was giving her 3 meals daily. Lunch, fruit for evening snack and dinner, so now can I start 4th meal? And from past two to three days she is suffering from diarrhoea and she is teething too, so which food should I give to her, so that her immunity will increase?
A: I would wait till the loosies settle before adding a fourth meal. Fruits like apple banana and sweet lime are considered to be stool binders. Offer her light meals like curd and rice as that is easy on the stomach. Over all children at this age due to teething put things in their mouth. Try and ensure that all toys are well cleaned, wash her hands often during the day with warm water and soap and over all ensure two to three servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Q: My baby is 5 months and 29 days old, .his weight is 8 kgs. I wanna know how to increase his immunity?
A: Breastfeeding helps increase immunity the best. Now that you must be ready to start solids ensure that breast feeding does not stop. Continue till the first year at least to build a strong immune system.
Q: My one year old is active but gets hungry very often. What is that food that will keep him full for long? He seems underweight as well. What are high iron and calcium foods? How to increase immunity?
A: At this age your little one will want to eat foods which are quick and easy for him to eat on the go. You can make paratha and chillas of many things. Items like nachni have a lot of iron and calcium so instead of a regular chilla make a nachni chilla. Method rotis or spinach rotis made with curd can be very yummy easy to carry and also very healthy.
Also read: Ways To Improve Immunity in Children
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