During their nascent stages and early childhood, kids need balanced and precise nourishment. Providing a meal with all essential nutrients, such as proteins, fats, carbs, and micronutrients, helps in your child's overall growth and development. And, most importantly, it keeps your child healthy and happy, which leads to blissful family time.
Malnourishment in its early stages can lead to low weight, stunted growth, potential diseases, and poor development of the body and brain. One of the most common concerns among parents is the weight of their child. Naturally, you look around for solutions, and guess what, we have them right here! Weight problems can be easily solved with a few diet fixes. This article will help you gain insights on typical food for 6-month baby to gain weight.
Why Is My Baby Not Gaining Weight?
The growth pace for all babies is different, but generally, the growth is easy and fast during the first six months. Typically, by their 4th or 6th month, newborns should weigh double what they did when he/she were born. However, even with a healthy appetite and the right amount of food, some children fail to gain weight. Such a condition is known as “failure to thrive." It may sound scary, but there is nothing to worry about as it is remediable.
But before we talk about remedies, here are a few causes that can lead to your baby not gaining weight -
- If your child does not eat properly or has the habit of skipping meals, it can disrupt the growth of the body. Such fussy eaters do not get the required nourishment which is a common reason for not gaining weight.
- The proportion of food that you serve during mealtimes should fulfil the daily requirements of your child. If the calorie requirement is not met, your baby might not gain weight.
- Food allergies and general insensitivity to certain food items mean you have to exclude them from the diet plan for your child. At times, important nutrients are missed out due to this and can prevent weight gain in your child.
- Metabolic disorders often cause irregular eating patterns in your child. Severe cases might even lead to vomiting due to indigestion. This affects the well-being of your child and harms their weight development.
- If your child regularly falls sick or is prone to infections, it can harm your child’s overall growth and development and also prevent gradual weight gain.
Should you be worried about your baby’s weight?
The growth of the baby, overall development, and weight are often the most common topics of concern among parents. The paediatrician will maintain a record of the weight of your child and also track the BMI of your child. You could track this with the average values of children of the same sex and age. When you notice that there is a significant gap in these values or that there is far less development than there should be, it is time to consult your pediatrician.
What are the nutritional requirements for your baby?
As parents of a newborn, you wonder a lot about weight-gaining foods for kids that will provide all the essentials for their development. A well-balanced meal that contains proteins, fats, carbs, minerals, and vitamins is the best that you can serve your child. Although, a solid form of food is introduced only when your baby reaches the age of 6 months. Before that, the only form of food was breastmilk and formula milk.
Here are some of the essential foods to help toddlers gain weight:
- Proteins: These help in the muscle building and bone development of your baby. It accounts for 15% of the energy intake of your child and thus, is a must in your child’s diet.
- Lipids: As opposed to contrary beliefs, fats are essential for your baby’s overall growth. Omega-3 can help in the cognitive and neural development of your baby. Monounsaturated fats and saturated fats also provide substantial health benefits.
- Carbohydrates: These are the primary source of energy for your child and are present in almost every food item. It helps in the overall development of the child and should be in the diet.
- Calcium: It is essential to include calcium-rich foods in your child’s diet during early stages because it helps in the development of bones and strong teeth.
- Zinc: This micronutrient is an important element for cell growth and cell repairs, and thus, food items rich in zinc should be a part of your child’s diet.
Top 10 Weight Gain Foods For Healthy Babies
Here’s a list of weight-gain foods for babies that have high nutritional quality and must be included in the diet plan:
Breast milk: It is known to provide the ideal nourishment for a young developing baby. It is rich in antibodies that protect the baby by developing its immune system. Also, it contains important proteins like whey and casein, that supports growth and promotes digestion. It’s rich in essential fats that help in brain development, along with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and most importantly serves as a high-calorie food for baby weight gain.
Bananas: When it comes to fruits, bananas have a higher calorie density and can help your baby gain weight. They’re also enriched with important micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, among others. Thus, it is a well-worthy addition to your baby’s meal plan.
Millets and Ragi: Millets are composed of complex carbohydrates that keep your baby’s tummy full. Moreover, they are rich in good cholesterol that helps in increasing the weight of the baby. On the other hand, ragi has a plethora of nutrient benefits namely calcium, proteins, iron, and vitamins B1 and B2 along with dietary fibres that help in maintaining the weight of your child.
Dairy: All varieties of dairy products such as eggs, yoghurt, cottage cheese, cheese, milk etc. are essential for your baby’s diet plan. Eggs are known to contain vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, fatty acids, etc. Cottage cheese and milk and cheese have a host of benefits and should be included in your child’s diet to help with weight gain.
Dry fruits and seeds: A combination of almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, dates etc. is a power-packed mixture that must be present in your baby’s diet. These are nutrient-dense containing vitamins A, E, and B3, potassium and healthy fats. They are also a good source of energy and great for maintaining the daily calorie requirement of your child.
Health mixes: Recent studies have found that children that consume formula milk along with breastmilk and a healthy diet gain weight faster. Thus, it's a good addition to your diet plan.
Whole grains: These are a great source of proteins, carbs, and fats for supporting the growth and development of the baby. It’s rich in nutrients such as riboflavin, zinc, and iron along with dietary fibres that help in better digestion and weight gain.
Oats: These tiny grains are loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, and also carbs and proteins. It is one of the most versatile weight-gaining food items and will help in the weight-gain process.
Health drinks: It’s good to bring about change in the diet plan by adding health drinks to it. They keep the tummy full and are enriched with minerals and vitamins.
- Tropical fruits and vegetables: What’s better than adding a good chunk of fruits and greens to your child’s diet? Nothing! These are rich in multivitamins and natural sugars that help in building your child’s weight. Additionally, they contain immunity-building properties that will prevent your child from falling sick.
The Bottom Line
It is essential to provide a healthy diet plan in your child’s early years to support their growth and development. You must provide your kid with enough food to keep their tummy full. If they face trouble while eating or have allergic reactions, you must react proactively by consulting a paediatrician. With so many nourishing options to choose from, you can curate the best baby weight gain food chart for your child.
The best way to increase your baby’s weight is to make small tweaks to their meal plans. Add weight gain foods for babies that will help in the process of weight gain. Introduce healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil that provide the needed calories and health benefits. You can also add weight-gaining fruits such as bananas, pears, and avocados to your baby’s everyday diet.
Some of the baby weight gain food are dairy products, trail mixes, nuts, avocados etc. which are good sources of essential fats. Dairy products like milk, cheese, paneer, and eggs provide the right nourishment that helps in the overall growth of your baby. Fruit and vegetable salads are a healthy option for weight gain and must be included as a part of your child’s diet.
Some of the common food items that help in baby weight gain are cottage cheese (paneer), mashed potato, goat cheese, milk, yoghurt, quinoa, peanut butter etc. These food items contain essential nutrients like fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that help with weight gain.
The lifestyle of your baby is the primary reason why they are not gaining weight. Either your child is not consuming enough calories, has a high metabolism, or is a fussy eater and does not eat all varieties of food. If your child falls sick more often or is prone to allergies, it might lead to weight loss.