Food and Nutrition

All You Need To Know About Food For Toddlers

Lakshmi Kapoor Verma
1 to 3 years

Created by Lakshmi Kapoor Verma
Updated on Mar 13, 2018

All You Need To Know About Food For Toddlers

Beta khana kha lo! My mom’s words echo every time my little fussy eater refuses her meal. Motherhood teaches you a lot of things and a new found respect for your mom is definitely one of them. This brings me to the topic that has bothered all moms at some point or the other- nutrition for the child. This becomes harder for first time moms of toddlers (like me) because the problem is at two levels. One, the baby has for the first time made his/her progress towards proper meals and secondly, being a first time mom I am dealing with this high pressure transition for the first time!

Food For Toddlers – All You Need To Know!

So, how does one tackle this complex problem and make it a win-win situation, both for baby and the mom? Let's try to answer this question with some simple solutions:

  1. Understand how much food your child needs:

    A toddler, on any average day, needs about 1000-1400 calories a day. This is not a lot of food and as moms we really need to understand this aspect before plunging into the deep guilt of how my baby is not eating enough. A well-spaced meal 3 times a day with 2 small snacks is enough for a toddler
  2. Don’t force-feed:

    Every time you prepare a fab meal to the best of your skills and knowledge, do not expect your child to just lap it up!
    • Toddlers are known to be moody and are developing their taste buds at this stage. There will be good days where they are ready to eat everything you put in front of them and there will be days when they will refuse to take in even a single morsel of food
    • The key is to keep calm and constantly introduce tons of variety and see what hits off. If your baby is happy eating his/her favorite meal three times a day, so be it. So, do not try force feeding at any point. It will turn your happy mealtimes to a battleground
  3. Sample daily menu for a toddler:

    As mentioned earlier, a toddler needs 3 square meals, interspersed with two snacks. The three square meals can comprise a mix of:
    • Protein Rich Items such as chicken, fish, poultry, egg
    • Dairy products such as Milk, curd
    • Fruits and vegetables (at least two types of fruit in a day)
    • Cereal grains, potatoes, rice, breads, pasta. Khichdi made in ghee is an excellent example for this
  4. What to avoid:

    It is imperative to know what is important for a toddler apart from the essential food items
    • Try to steer away from food items that give empty calories like biscuits, chips, and chocolates
    • Instead you can replace them with roasted grounded nuts, makhanas and other dry fruits
    • A toddler does not need a lot of sugar or salt in their meals
    • Ghee and butter are important but in moderate amounts

Make sure that any food that you give to your baby is cooked properly, especially eggs, to remove the hazards of microbes. Also, since toddlers are just learning how to chew and swallow, any food item that can cause choking should be avoided. It is advisable to test the food once before giving it to the child for salt, temperature etc.

There will be phases when your baby will eat less for a stretch of 5-10 days and then there will be good days when they eat just right and enough. So as long as your baby is eating just enough, no need to panic and enjoy your meal times with them.

Did you find this blog on food for toddlers, useful? How do you ensure your toddler gets adequate nutrition? Share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments section!

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| Oct 17, 2018

meri baby 9month ki he par uska wait bho t kam he or baby kuch nahi kati or upar ka dud bhi nahi piti plz ans

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| Oct 17, 2018

meri baby 9month ki he par uska wait bho t kam he or baby kuch nahi kati or upar ka dud bhi nahi piti plz ans

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| Jul 08, 2018

my baby is 1 year old. she only eats kanji and only when it is made into a fine paste... can you suggest any opinion to improve my babys habits

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| Jul 08, 2018

my baby is 1 year old. she only eats kanji and only when it is made into a fine paste... can you suggest any opinion to improve my babys habits

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| Jul 03, 2018

my baby eats everything including chocolate

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| Jun 22, 2018

my baby is not like milk.. not a single spoon ..only BM liked like a crazy..

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| May 04, 2018

my baby doesn't eat any fruits . what else I can give her such that she gets a balanced diet

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| May 04, 2018

my baby doesn't eat any fruits . what else I can give her such that she gets a balanced diet

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| May 04, 2018

my baby doesn't eat any fruits . what else I can give her such that she gets a balanced diet

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| Apr 19, 2018

thanks it's very helpful.

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| Apr 11, 2018

Thanks for this article... it's helpful

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| Apr 08, 2018

thanks for the information. .

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| Apr 08, 2018

thanks for the information. .

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| Mar 14, 2018

thank you very useful information

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| Mar 14, 2018

very nice article.

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| Mar 12, 2018

Very useful information...

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| Mar 12, 2018

nice information

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| Mar 12, 2018

JH. let loose the oo

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| Mar 12, 2018

JH. let loose the oo

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| Mar 12, 2018

yZj

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| Mar 12, 2018

hi ii

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| Mar 12, 2018

one of the most wanted info

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| Jul 12, 2017

thanx

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thanx...

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thxs

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| Jul 11, 2017

thanks roohi bhabhi

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| Jul 11, 2017

q qw and rw we

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| Jul 11, 2017

thanks

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| Jul 11, 2017

thanks dear.

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| Jul 11, 2017

superb

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| Jul 11, 2017

very helpful article... thanks

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| Jul 11, 2017

today article given an important message as a mother I know more now iam cool .because of ia m feel very panic when my child not eat well and some time he can eat .now I know what's reason actually thanku so much

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| Jul 11, 2017

thank u

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| Jul 11, 2017

s todays article is very important. thank you

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thank you so much, this article has come just when I needed it the most !

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thanks for this suggestion it is so helpful

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| Jul 11, 2017

helpful thanku

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| Jul 11, 2017

thanks

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| Jul 11, 2017

Can someone share a food chart for a 13 month baby boy?

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thanks for d wonderful .....food guide.... I used to panic a lot.... Bt nw onwards I won't.... b doing

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| Jul 11, 2017

thank u so much

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| Jul 11, 2017

nice one,Thank you.

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| Jul 03, 2017

Hi, nice article. Can we get more debt charts with different options for morning breakfast and evening snacks. U mentioned makhana.. Similarly others such items... Can you also send the same.

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| Jun 26, 2017

good information I needed it badly thnx once again.

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| Jun 14, 2017

Thanks

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| Jun 14, 2017

nice information..

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| Jun 13, 2017

very useful information thank u

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| Jun 12, 2017

Thanks

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| Jun 10, 2017

nice

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| Jun 06, 2017

Thank you

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| Jun 05, 2017

informative Thank you mam

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| Jun 05, 2017

very informative thank u

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| Jun 05, 2017

so helpful thanks mam

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| Jun 05, 2017

thank you for this write up

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| May 18, 2017

very helpful information. thanks.

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| May 09, 2017

very informative .....n quiet helpful for mother in nuclear family... thanks a ton for all ur suggestions n will keep looking for more articles from u... it was simple yet small details which we sometime ignore ...thanks again... my only question will be what approx quantity they should consume as a one year old baby ...coz the quantity of food what she takes always varies. .

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| May 03, 2017

excellent information

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| Apr 30, 2017

3zcy y

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| Apr 28, 2017

can I give papaya to my 14 mnts baby boy. ,. ???

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| Apr 28, 2017

this is what I was looking for... thank you so much..

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| Apr 26, 2017

Really very informative........ I too got confused abt to give eggs no chicken in this summer.... Thanks a lot....

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| Apr 19, 2017

Its very informative . During winter i give her an egg daily but during summers twice or thrice a week my doctor has suggested me.

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| Apr 18, 2017

I consulted with doc about giving egg to my baby she is 2 yrs old,she likes egg veery much. so it's fine to give egg whites everyday in summer n yolk every alternate days

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| Apr 18, 2017

very informative

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| Apr 18, 2017

thanx a lot for the information.... m just confused whether to give eggs during summers its too hot now.

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| Apr 18, 2017

may I give him raw papaya sabji or boiled papaya with butter. his age is 1 yr 9 months

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| Apr 18, 2017

by heart thanks a lot for this information.....

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| Apr 18, 2017

thank you very much

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| Apr 18, 2017

Really it is very useful advice for me , thanks alot .❤

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| Apr 18, 2017

Great advice. It really reduced my tension a lot. I won't ever force-feed my baby again.

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| Apr 18, 2017

thankzzzz

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| Feb 15, 2017

thank u so much... reallly very useful tips..

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| Feb 12, 2017

thnxs for d blog.

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| Jan 26, 2017

Useful

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| Jan 10, 2017

Great advice thanks. It is very worrying to see little one not eating

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| Jan 06, 2017

thanks a lot

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| Dec 12, 2016

Thanks alot for this blog. Very helpful. m relieved now.

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| Dec 05, 2016

which foods increase immunity in babies

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| Dec 05, 2016

but my son not agree to eat eggs, chicken

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| Nov 02, 2016

hiiiii my baby is one year and four month and his skin is too dry Everytime so pls help me....

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| Sep 23, 2016

hi . I am twins mother. can I give pomegranate to my babies directly . I am just worried about seeds inside the fruits . my babies are 1year 1 month. actually they like it because they can eat it on there own.

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| Sep 22, 2016

very helpful advice

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| Sep 21, 2016

thank u very much for valuable information

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| Sep 20, 2016

thank u for value information

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| Aug 26, 2016

food blog z vry helpful for all New mothers

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| Aug 21, 2016

Thank for this article..

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| Aug 12, 2016

ya last lines are match with my toddler. so I leave those days very easily

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| Aug 12, 2016

Thanks for this article. It's really helpful

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| Aug 12, 2016

good article. . thanx alot

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| Aug 11, 2016

Thank you

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| Aug 11, 2016

thanku

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| Aug 11, 2016

It's very good article

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| Aug 11, 2016

thanx a lot mam

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| Aug 11, 2016

it was a good read

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| Aug 08, 2016

Wat n all good fat foods to give for child

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| Aug 06, 2016

thanks... it is helpful

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| Aug 03, 2016

Thanks for sharing.

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| Aug 03, 2016

thanks a lot! it would be a great help.

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| Aug 03, 2016

Thanks for the article......

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| Aug 03, 2016

amazin article!! mch needed.. thanks!!

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| Jul 30, 2016

My daughter is 10 mnths, she likes to have everything in the form of purie like khichdi, daliya, kheer everything she needs in purie if i give her without making purie she vomits. Is it ok?

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| Jul 22, 2016

Thank you everyone else for giving this blog a read-Rajeshwari, Ram,Shilpa,Nibedita, Rashmi,Bhargavi.

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| Jul 22, 2016

Hi Pratibha and Shobha.. I usually give 2 snacks a day to my daughter. She is 1 1/2. For elder kids this can be 3-4 . I usually give her a fruit, curd, makhanas(roasted) or any other dry fruit ( kishmish-not too much though, badaam etc)

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| Jul 19, 2016

For snacks Ragi /multigrain biscuits are ok? what are intermediate timings of snacks ? and what else can be given for snacks? Please suggest.....

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| Jul 19, 2016

excellent information. thanks

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| Jul 13, 2016

thanks for this valuable information

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| Jul 07, 2016

thanks

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| Jul 02, 2016

very nice

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| Jun 10, 2016

can u suggest some of healthy snacks items please... I just giving biscuits, chips etc..

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| May 30, 2016

thank u so much

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| May 29, 2016

oil 9opu7uuu70

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| May 29, 2016

I can totally relate to this blog. my son doesn't eat at all... its the cause of my worry all the time. this article came across at the right time. thank you again

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| Apr 27, 2016

Thanks Shruti .. And Naveen I totally agree with you .. All kids behave funny at some point

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| Apr 26, 2016

My son I'd big dram king... Apart from eating he can do any thing...

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| Apr 26, 2016

Very informative blog... thanks :)

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 25, 2016

Totally agree i need some good protein rich easy cooked meal recipies fo toddlers on ur blog

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| Apr 21, 2016

Hi Devika, it's high time you start solids for your child .. Start gradually nd slowly with food items that are easy to digest such as Apple , banana etc .. Then move to simple cooked food like khichdi nd daal nd from there to more complex stuff like egg etc .. All the best

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| Apr 20, 2016

Hi my baby age in one year no food to eat only my breast milk how solution

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| Apr 20, 2016

Hi Pranali my daughter is approx same age as your baby and is 9. 68 kg right now which doc said is average weight and normal growth at this stage . Pls don't be worried . I feel your baby's weight is not alarmingly low.. Still if you have doubts get checked with another doc or wait for a month or two and see what progress is there in the next check up . All the best

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| Apr 20, 2016

Thank you Canisha for your kind words

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| Apr 20, 2016

Hi Joyita I gave my daughter only 2-3 solid meals a day when she was under 1 . Rest was all milk and she was breast fed till she completed 1 year . Breast milk is essential for healthy growth of your baby .

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| Apr 20, 2016

Hi Monica as mentioned in my earlier comment , if your child is refusing a particular food item ; give it a break . If your son refuses to eat roti , leave it . Instead find a substitute .. A vegetable parantha with home made butter may be? Any innovation will do wonders with your child . They love trying different visually attractive stuff .. Make smilies with ketchup on parantha to make it look interesting .. Basically play around and I am sure your child will respond . All the best

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| Apr 20, 2016

Hi Pooja , hope you have tried different food items and variety with your baby . If your child doesn't like khichdi, try a combo of vegetable rice or curd rice .. Basically play around with different options and see what your baby likes . You can also try giving the same repetitive menu for a couple of days to set a eating pattern and then introduce other food items slowly . Always make meal times fun . Sit with baby , play games and make it a tension free exercise . Make sure you never ever force feed . Remember patience is the key .if you still have doubts ; speak to your doc about different food items that will suit your baby's health . All the best

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| Apr 20, 2016

Thanks Jhuma, Sabhita and Aarti for giving the blog a read . Glad you liked it and hope it was of help to you .

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| Apr 19, 2016

Hi Laxmi,my beby is 1 year 3 months old her wait is 9. 2kg doc said its low weight by 1 kg ...so what should I do? M so worried

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| Apr 19, 2016

Hi Lakshmi, quite useful and easy to follow tips here. Thanks for sharing.

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| Apr 18, 2016

My son is 9 mntha. Could u pls suggest me with his daily meal with quantity

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| Apr 18, 2016

My son is 2. 8yrs old and he is a fussy eater. He just don't want to eat anything. He mostly have fruit milkshakes in morning. Then no in between snacks. Then in lunch he eats very small quantity of rice with dal. But this not his daily routine. He sometimes don't eat anything in lunch. Then in evening some times drink milk or fruit juice. In dinner again the same drama not wish to eat anything but generally eat kheer. He just don't like rotis and sab ji. Very much worried about his health please help.

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| Apr 18, 2016

Help me.

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| Apr 18, 2016

Hello my daughter who is 2 years 5 month eat very little she come to her calories need she is below it. she is my yet cross 10 kg I am very worry about I try everything but is very fussy n moody.

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| Apr 18, 2016

Thanks lakshmi ji

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| Apr 18, 2016

Excellent... i was pretty much worried from past few days that my baby is not eating well... this helps me alot

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| Apr 17, 2016

Nice blog and really calming one.

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| Apr 17, 2016

thanks for giving it a read Tanisha

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| Apr 16, 2016

Interesting tips for mothers toddlers.

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