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Child Diet

Here are some essential tips on your child's diet.

Age Food Recommeded General guidelines
0-3 months Exclusive breast-feeding. (Give no other fluids including water) *Baby should be put to breast within the first hour of birth.*Encourage colostrum intake as first and subsequent feeds.*Discourage prelacteal feeds such as honey, sugar, jaggery and water.*Breast-feed as often as possible.
4-6 months Semi solids; Mashed fruits-Banana, papaya, chikoo, and mango; Cereals-Wheat flour, suji, ground rice, ragi, millet in the form of porridge. *Mash all foods. *Give semi solid foods; do not over dilute.*Start with 1-2 teaspoons.*Over 3-4 weeks increase to 50-60 grams or cup or 1 banana a day.*Introduce one food at a time for the baby to adapt; continue breast feeding.
6-9 months Mashed rice with Dal or Khichri; Mashed vegetables; Chappathi softened in dal or milk; Green vegetables can be incorporated in dal, khichri or roti. *Same as 4-6 months.*Gradually increase volume of food. *Feed the baby 4-6 times a day as they have small appetite.*Increase variety in food items.
9-12 months Rice, dal, roti, khichri, idli, upma, curd rice, vegetables and seasonal fruits. Cooked egg, fish, minced meat, curd, kheer, dalia, bread. *More variety of household food can be added.*Can eat almost everything cooked at home.*Give softened food without spices.*Continue breast-feeding.
12-18 months Can eat all the food prepared for the family, but food should be softened and without spices. Include green leafy vegetables for adequate vitamin A and iron intake *Needs about 1000 calories or roughly about half the amount that the mother eats.*Continue breast-feeding.
1.5-3 years Energy requirement per day-1240 Calories; Protein requirement per day: 22 gms; to meet the above requirements the day's diet should include: 3 cups of milk, 1 egg or 1 piece of fish or chicken.1 slice bread, 3 chapattis or 60 gm rice. *Foods should be mildly flavored and not spicy.*Green leafy vegetables should be incorporated in Dal, stuffed roti or in cooked form.*Meals should be colorful and attractive.*Served food should neither be too hot or cold.

3-4 years

Cup dal, 2 fruits, 2 cup vegetables, 4 tablespoons oil, 4 tablespoons sugar *Handy finger foods are easy to pick and eat.*Small pieces of food should be served for easy handling.
4-6 years Energy requirement-1690 calories; Protein requirement-30 gm. To meet the other requirements the day's diet should include: 3 cups milk, 1 egg or 1 piece of fish or chicken, 2 cups vegetables, 2 fruits, 1 potato or starchy vegetables, 3 slices bread, 4 chapatti or 80 gm rice, 5 tablespoons of oil, 5 tablespoons of sugar. *Feed the child 5 times a day.*A good breakfast is a must.*There may be a dislike for vegetables, so vegetables should be incorporated in cutlets or roti or cut in different shapes as salad. *Colorful food adds variety and stimulates interest.
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