The Diet of the Growing Infant
With growing infant the need to supplement the milk-diet with other type of food often arises. In cases the baby has been underweight from the time of its birth, it needs additional supplies of iron, calcium and vitamin D right from the age of one month. Apart from such special cases, a baby should generally be given calcium, iron and vitamin D in addition to its usual supply of milk in order to ensure rapid development.
DIETARY REGIMEN FOR THE WEANED BABIES
(1) During the third and the fourth month: The baby should be given a small ripe banana after mashing it well. Porridge prepared from sooji, rice or broken wheat can be given in amounts ranging from two teaspoonful to half a cup. Mashed fruit such as papaya, mangoes, chikoos (sapota), boiled apples, etc., can also be given in reasonable amounts. Some people prefer baby foods prepared from cereals, such as Farex, Nestum, Bal Amul, Lactogen, etc. The powders are no doubt very convenient to use, but they have a tehdency to make babies round and overweight. They also place a heavy burned on the finances of the parents.
(2) During the fifth and the sixth months: In addition to the above diet, soft-boiled vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas, etc., can be cut into small pieces or mashed up and given to the baby, in accordance with its preferences. But excess should be avoided.
(3) During the seventh and the eighth months: To the above diet can now be added rice gruel or khichdi with ghee and curds, Kheer, dal, and bread or chapatties soaked in milk or dal too can be given.
(4) After teething: Once the baby has acquired some teeth, reasonable quantities of biscuits, pieces of carrots, ripe bananas and such other additions to its diet are permissible.
Great care must be taken to see that cups, saucers, bowls, spoons, etc., used in serving food to the child have been cleaned thoroughly, with boiling water and good cleaning powders. Ashes from wood or dung stoves are permissible cleaning agents, but clay or street dust should not be used by any means, as these involve the risk of infection, and may cause vomiting, diarrhoea and dysentery.