Food and Nutrition

7 foods for Weight Gain in Toddlers

Puja Sharma Vasisht
1 to 3 years

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7 foods for Weight Gain in Toddlers

For a toddler, who is on the verge of being an independent child from a baby, food often becomes a reason to assert her. It so happens that the toddler may refuse to eat or even try food. So, low weight is an important watch-out in this age group. As a mom, one is worried for one's child's growth and development, especially regarding her weight. Is s/he gaining enough weight, what can I do to improve my child's weight, what foods could I try to help my child gain a healthy weight —are some questions a mom is battling with. Here are tips on how to increase your toddler's weight in a healthy way.

Is My Child Really Underweight?

The problem with us Indian moms is that we tend to associate 'chubbiness' with 'being healthy'. Also, most of us co-relate a child's weight with the way the mother is bringing her up. But is that right? I strongly feel as long as the child is thriving properly, is active, healthy, and happy, there should not be a cause of concern. Having said that, it is equally important to keep a check on the baby's weight, time to time, and get your doubts verified by a paediatrician. A paediatrician will rule out any possible chances of medical problems, and also let you know if the child is really underweight. And if he really is, then nutrition will play a key role here.

Being Underweight And Your Child's Development

If your child is not thriving well and has a low body weight for his age, it can be quite a serious issue. Children who are underweight can suffer from developmental delays and irritability. Such children are also at an increased risk for depression and infections since they also suffer from low immunity levels. For an underweight child, it is imperative to aid growth with diet that is nutritionally rich and well-balanced. Adequate nutrition and weight gain may also be achieved by including certain foods in your toddler's diet, as given below.

7 Foods For Weight Gain In Toddlers

The ages between 1-3 are very crucial for a child as most good and healthy habits are formed in these years. It is also in these years that these small children grow a lot, and they need more energy and calories to thrive. Children this age have smaller stomachs, so they cannot get all calories from 3 straight meals and may need multiple meal times to boost energy intake. The key here is to offer your child a varied, nutritionally balanced diet comprising of meals and snacks at frequent intervals. Here are some foods to help you get started-

  1. Cereals: Now is the time to start with finger foods or foods which the child can handle herself. So now besides the usual mashed rice/chapatti or porridge you can give small bite size of chapatti/parantha or even rice with vegetable/egg/dal/chicken. Add extra spoon of ghee or butter to the chapatti or rice. Paranthas/dosa can be stuffed with potato, paneer, cheese etc. Children in this age group start enjoying pasta, so apart from chopped/pureed vegetables, cheese/shredded chicken can also be given to them. Add butter/olive oil to make the dish calorie rich and dense
  2. Fruits: Fruits like banana, cheeku (sapota), mango, custard apple can be given as they are or added to milk shake, custard or ice cream. Avocadoes are particularly helpful as they are rich in fat and calories and also a nutrient dense composition. These fruits can also be used to make smoothies with honey, powdered nuts and curds. However, make sure that your child is not allergic to nuts
  3. Vegetables: Starchy vegetables with a good amount of carbohydrates can help your toddler pack some good calories. Use more of potato, sweet potato, colocassia, yam besides other vegetables. You may add these to their roti/sandwich or parantha, dosa, khichdi, soups or to other vegetables. Try to give atleast one serving of these vegetables everyday
  4. Eggs: Eggs are a protein powerhouse and highly beneficial to children and adults alike. Eggs can be served to your child in a variety of ways such as hard-boiled, sliced into small bite sized pieces or omelette. It can also be used to make custard, pancakes or as filling for kathi rolls, parantha or dosa. French toast can give the added advantage of carbohydrates and calories
  5. Fish/poultry/meat: If your child eats poultry and fish, try to give him two servings of it alteast twice a week. They are not only rich in proteins but also have dense vitamins that can be found only in fats. Offer your child varied stews and well-cooked meat. Poultry, fish can be given as it or added to sandwich, parantha, dosa, pasta or made into curries and served with rice or chapatti
  6. Home-made paneer: Whole milk can be used to make home-made paneer. It can be cut to bite size portion or grilled tikka. Offer this as finger foods or a quick snack to the child. Cheese can be given as small cubes or as it is to practically all types of dishes the child eats like sandwich, rolls, macaroni, pizza, parantha or any others. Infact, macaroni and cheese is a wonderful combination of nutrition and taste for young kids
  7. Nuts and dried fruits: Nuts serve as great energy boosters and a handful of them can be every beneficial for a child's growth. Nuts like walnuts, peanuts, almonds and dried fruits like raisins, currants and dried apricots can be given to children. These can be given to snack on as they are or rolled together with oats to make granola bars. Instead of regular chocolates and candies, such bars are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals besides being dense in calories and proteins. These would certainly give a boost to their weight. You can also opt for nut butters which can be added to breads, crackers, and smoothies for extra calories and nutrients

weight gain in toddlers

How Do I Get My Toddler To Gain Weight?

  1. Offer your child a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry in atleast 5 portions in a day
  2. Choose starchy carbohydrates with dense nutrients based on potatoes, pastas, breads and rice. Opt for wholegrains and not refined versions
  3. Additional ghee/butter/oil can be used if the child is really underweight. In case the child's weight is normal, please use these in moderation
  4. Avoid giving empty calories in the form of sodas, packaged juices and sweets
  5. Whole cream milk can be used to further enhance the energy intake and weight. Once the child is on normal weight, use toned milk
  6. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids, preferably water, atleast 6-8 times in a day's span
  7. Make soups with milk instead of water, add grated cheese to toasts and pastas to give your child some quick calories
  8. While giving above foods, give only little amounts first, to check for any allergy. If there is no allergic reaction only then continue with those foods

Should I Use Toddler Weight Gain Supplements?

Though most underweight children can largely benefit from a well-planned calorie rich and dense diet, there may be some whose being underweight is related to some chronic medical condition or genetics. Some children also have a naturally poor appetite and may be very picky eaters, not deriving enough benefits from even the best of diets. If such is the case with your child, an expert on the subject would be able to help you in deciding whether you should supplement the diet with weight gain commercial supplements. These supplements offer varied vitamins and minerals, proteins and carbohydrates in concentrated forms. Mostly designed so as to appeal to children, they come in a variety of powders, mixes, tablets and liquid concentrates. Pre-packaged weight gain supplements should be given to a child only under a doctor's recommendation and advice. Do not opt for OTC supplements as many of them are suitable of us adults, but not for children.

Please note that the suggestions given here are dependent on the health condition of the child. In such cases, where the child has any illness or disorder, you should consult your doctor and a dietician for a personalized plan for your child.

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Dimpy Jakhotiya

| Oct 10, 2017

thnks it's very useful for me

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Ramya Savin

| Oct 06, 2017

My baby is 1 yr 9 mnths old, pls suggest can i give her egg daily as she loves it as omellete.

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Monica Koshta

| Sep 13, 2017

thanks very nice information... thankuu

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Monica Koshta

| Sep 13, 2017

thanks very nice information... thankuu

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Harmeet Kaur

| Sep 12, 2017

thank u

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Ashwini Vanakuadri

| Sep 07, 2017

thank you.....

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Manjusoyal

| Sep 05, 2017

thnks fr the tips

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Rupal Shah

| Sep 02, 2017

Thanks for the tips

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Sharvari Kanade

| Sep 02, 2017

Thank you very useful

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Nandini Shettyrar

| Sep 01, 2017

P

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Vrushali Sakhare

| Sep 01, 2017

It's really very helpful. Thanks

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Sushma Yadav

| Aug 31, 2017

nice update, vry helpful for baby's growth

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sakshi agrawal

| Aug 28, 2017

thank you so much

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sakshi agrawal

| Aug 28, 2017

thank you so much

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sakshi agrawal

| Aug 28, 2017

thank you so much

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Arti

| Aug 24, 2017

thank you

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Priyanka Singh

| Aug 24, 2017

thanku

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Sabina Begum

| Aug 17, 2017

useful tips thanks

  • Report
Jaya Bohare

| Aug 13, 2017

nice information

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Sandeep Roonwal Vithal

| Aug 10, 2017

thank u

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Priyank Vashi

| Aug 10, 2017

thanks for valuable article

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Seema Yani

| Aug 08, 2017

thanks pooja

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Seema Yani

| Aug 08, 2017

thanks pooja

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Seema Yani

| Aug 08, 2017

thanks pooja

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Smruti mohanty

| Aug 08, 2017

thanks for sharing this .... my baby is under weight... I will try this for her....

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Rashmi Rawat

| Aug 06, 2017

Thanks my child is really underweight and a fussy eater. I am trying all that but only God knows when will he gain weight

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Richa Bansal

| Aug 04, 2017

Thanks but I already did that

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nilofur danish

| Aug 02, 2017

thank you...

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Meenakshi

| Aug 02, 2017

thankyou so much

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Bhavya Satish Urs

| Jul 28, 2017

My 1yr 7months kid does not eat food at all... Pls help

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machhys indra

| Jul 25, 2017

Hai my baby is not interested in nuts and fruits . What I have to do. He is not interested in juices also. He likes only dry items like plain rice, chapati, puffed rice. I m gng to mad.. He's weight is normal

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Saranyasampath

| Jul 24, 2017

Thank you .

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Qamar Unnisa

| Jul 22, 2017

thank u

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Rehana Abbas

| Jul 22, 2017

Thank u..

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Shiv Kumar

| Jul 20, 2017

Thanks

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Sunita Dabholkar

| Jul 20, 2017

thanks

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Shivani Chanana

| Jul 19, 2017

Thank you so much

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Yamini

| Jul 19, 2017

thank you so much

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Sheetal Verma

| Jul 19, 2017

thank u

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Vandna Chourey

| Jul 17, 2017

thanks mam

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Jayashree

| Jul 17, 2017

thank you so much

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Jayashree

| Jul 17, 2017

thank you so much

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Shweta Chhugani

| Jul 16, 2017

thanks

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Shweta Chhugani

| Jul 16, 2017

thanks

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Preeti Vishal Bhardwaj

| Jul 13, 2017

thanks

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suryakala

| Jul 12, 2017

thank u so much

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Archna Pandey

| Jul 06, 2017

thank you

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Vineeta Bagree

| Jul 05, 2017

Thank you very much

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Kumari

| Jul 01, 2017

thanq so much

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Sandhya Rani

| Jun 30, 2017

Thanks a lot

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Pemthingchon

| Jun 21, 2017

thanks a lot

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Yadwinder Makkar

| Jun 15, 2017

Hello Dr. Surbhi thanks for giving me ur suggestions.

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Pooja Sharma

| May 14, 2017

Hello Dr. Thanks for giving this useful information It gives me help to gain weight for my 3 years old daughter whose weight is only 10 kg. I'm very worried about her weight. Please suggest which butter is good like amul butter ,white butter ,nutralite butter.

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Swati Gupta

| May 04, 2017

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Sushil Sharma

| May 01, 2017

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Sushil Sharma

| May 01, 2017

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Navyachandru

| Apr 25, 2017

Thank you.

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Navyachandru

| Apr 18, 2017

hi mera beta 2 yrs ka. o kaneka bahoth jidh hi. healthy vazan badana hi.

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Vanitha Vani

| Apr 07, 2017

thanks for useful information

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Susmita Sarangi

| Mar 28, 2017

thanks for the comment

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Sowmya Shylendra

| Mar 27, 2017

thanks for useful informations

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Heena Shukla

| Mar 20, 2017

Nice

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Anitha S

| Mar 20, 2017

thank's for your useful information about weight gaining foods.

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Bindu Srinivas

| Mar 19, 2017

hai, my daughter is now 3 years and her weight is only 11. 5kgs. her birth weight was 2. 5kg... she will not eat what ever in her plate in full. she will eat half or 3/4 of the food. she will eat cashew not the almond. what is the way to increase her weight. can I know what should be the weight for her age.

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Asha Dhungana

| Mar 15, 2017

How to gain weight for 20months old baby ..she is only 8. 5kg now (birth weight-2. 9kg)

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Ranita Sen

| Mar 12, 2017

hi can any one suggest how to identify normal weight and height of a baby. my daughter is 2years old and she is only 11 kgs.

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Aparna pandey

| Feb 28, 2017

my one year old daughter doesnot take milk. what can add to makebis tasty for her. she still take breast milk with solids

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tusha sinha

| Feb 28, 2017

I need food chart for my -13 months old son

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Pravara Deshmukh

| Feb 26, 2017

Very nice info. My 2yr old son doesn't have dat much liking for dry fruits, even if I soak n powder the nuts to add it in the milk, he doesn't have it. I want him to eat dry fruits. Is there any other way ?

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Simitia Sanyal

| Feb 22, 2017

it sounds good ..

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puloma pandey

| Feb 21, 2017

fruits n dry fruitshelps a lot in weight gaining.. besides i give homemade cerelac made of different grains .. i made a routine for giving her 1-2 fruit n 2-3 almonds n 1 egg daily..

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Nidhi Bhalla

| Feb 21, 2017

Can you please provide me diet chart for my 20 mnth baby boy. He doesn't take milk in any flavor. But have his liking towards curd n paneer.

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fathimasahana1gmailcom

| Feb 17, 2017

some more suggestions nd remedies plz....

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fathimasahana1gmailcom

| Feb 17, 2017

good... I tried all these above things.... try all mothers also.

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Venna Kevin

| Feb 15, 2017

Soundz helpful

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Anamika Roy

| Feb 08, 2017

Please gv me a diet chart for my 20 month old baby girl ... she has suddenly become a fussy eater ..

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Sarah Shaikh

| Feb 07, 2017

my son is 15 months,,,he dosn't anything... plz suggest..

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Sindhupolepalli

| Feb 07, 2017

Good suggestion

  • Report
Kamiya singhal

| Jan 30, 2017

I pls suggest something for 3 year baby girl.. She is under weight..

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Uma Himanshu Sharma

| Jan 28, 2017

Thanks for information very helpful

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Raja Mohamed

| Jan 27, 2017

I need diet chart for 16 months baby

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Uma Himanshu Sharma

| Jan 25, 2017

I want a diet chart for 21 month old baby girl... plz help me out.. for her weight gain...

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Prashant Loya

| Jan 24, 2017

I need a diet chart for my son who is 2yrs 3 mths old.

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Archana Chavan

| Jan 24, 2017

i want food chart for my 16 months baby boy

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Nitya Prabhakar

| Jan 23, 2017

km

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Mala Ratra

| Jan 23, 2017

I want food chart for my 18 month old baby boy. Please help me in this regard. Regards

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Geetha Nair

| Jan 20, 2017

thanks for the info

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Farha Babar Raza

| Jan 20, 2017

very NYC information thanks guys..

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Sripathi Soujanya

| Jan 19, 2017

thnx for information

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Nithya Suresh

| Jan 19, 2017

Thank you, very good info...

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Jonaki Mehta

| Jan 19, 2017

thanks for info

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Anu Raymond

| Jan 19, 2017

very useful information. thank you

  • Report
Swarna Jayanti

| Jan 19, 2017

Very nice and valuable information.... i will try for my daughter who is on lower side of her weight.

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divya ravi

| Jan 19, 2017

nice article

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Arati Nandi

| Jan 18, 2017

thanks

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Alekya

| Jan 18, 2017

my daughter age is 4years 8 months,she is didn't eat anything... , she likes junk food, every day,we feed vry froces to eat & her wt is 14. 5 kgs kindly suggest

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Malini

| Jan 18, 2017

My son is 16month he d'nt eat anything. Plz suggest

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Manisha Shrikant Sita

| Jan 17, 2017

thanks for information

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khushboo singh

| Jan 17, 2017

ďe

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sonia mehta

| Jan 17, 2017

thanks very useful information. my two year old son doesn't eat any thing.

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Rupika Mittal

| Jan 17, 2017

my daughter is 3. 7years old... nd her weight is only 15kgs... she doesn't like food.. milk.. anything m very upset.. what can I do??

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Shreshta Veeresh

| Jan 17, 2017

my daughter is 16 months old, when she born she is 3 . 7 kg now she is only 9. 75 kg can I feed cheese paneer to 16 months old baby

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