Achieving the ideal weight for infants is of utmost importance, as it reflects good health and proper growth for the baby. So the breastfeeding period is considered one of the most crucial stages of a child's growth and development. Infants require a healthy and balanced diet to ensure their proper growth and development. However, some infants may experience weight deficiencies or slow growth due to various factors. This necessitates the implementation of a safe and healthy dietary plan to promote weight gain in infants.

This article aims to emphasize the significance of having a suitable dietary plan for infants who are struggling with weight deficiencies. We will also discuss the factors that influence a child's weight and the foods that should be eaten and avoided.

Proper Growth Lies in a Healthy Weight.

Increasing weight for infant children is essential to ensuring their healthy growth and development. The proper weight reflects the child's state of health and contributes to strengthening their immune system as well as developing their organs and nervous system. For this reason, eating food for infants to gain weight is crucial to achieving these goals, as it aids in proper growth and development and enhances overall health.

Criteria to Consider Before Creating a Dietary Food for Infants to Gain Weight:

  1. Determine the child's specific nutritional needs based on age, weight, and current growth, done through consultation with the treating paediatrician.
  2. Identify the primary cause of weight deficiency, whether it's due to health issues or other factors like lifestyle and diet.
  3. Identify suitable foods to help infants gain weight that contains essential nutrients, such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
  4. Determine appropriate quantities of foods and milk to provide the child regularly, based on their specific nutritional requirements, while avoiding reducing the amount of milk or food offered.
  5. Adhere to a balanced diet that includes healthy foods rich in essential nutrients, and avoid foods containing harmful substances or low nutritional value.

Food for Infants to Gain Weight

In order to create healthy weight gain foods for infants, these foods should be regularly introduced, and appropriate quantities should be determined based on the child's specific nutritional needs. It's important to monitor the child's weight regularly to ensure the desired weight gain is achieved.

  • Whole-Fat Milk: Full-fat milk contains essential proteins and healthy fats necessary for a child's growth. It can be regularly offered to infants.
  • Protein-rich Yogurt: Yogurt rich in proteins, healthy fats, and calcium can be provided to the child as a snack or incorporated into meal components.
  • Healthy Fat-Rich Foods: Foods like avocado, plant oils, nuts, and seeds are rich in healthy fats. They can be ground and added to the child's food.
  • Protein-Rich Foods: Protein sources such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes can be offered to the child as part of their diet if age-appropriate.
  • Carbohydrate-Rich Foods: Carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and whole grains can be added to main meals.

Foods to Avoid for Underweight Infants

Nourishing underweight infants requires special attention and careful food choices. There are certain foods that are preferable to avoid or limit for these infants, as they might negatively affect their weight or hinder the absorption of essential nutrients. These include:

  • Low-nutrient foods, such as high-fat and high-sugar processed meals with little nutritional value, can impede nutrient absorption and hinder weight gain.
  • High-calorie sugary beverages are devoid of nutritional value should be avoided in favour of moderate consumption of water and natural fruit juices.
  • Sweets contain added sugars and unhealthy fats, potentially leading to increased calorie intake without providing essential nutrients.
  • Dietary supplements or vitamins and minerals taken without medical consultation could lead to an unnecessary excess of certain nutrients in the body, adversely affecting the child's health.
  • High-fiber and allergenic foods cause sensitivities, allergic reactions, and digestive disturbances that hinder the absorption of other essential nutrients.

In conclusion, we all recognize the importance of providing food for infants to gain weight, laying a strong foundation for their early growth. This involves ensuring the necessary nutrients and calories for healthy and proper growth and development, encompassing a variety of proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. However, it's essential not to overlook the importance of consulting a paediatrician or nutrition expert before implementing any weight gain dietary plan for infant children, as the plan should be tailored to the child's specific needs and health circumstances, ensuring all essential nutrients are present in the child's customized diet.

For more information about maternal and infant health, we recommend visiting the Qatar Moms blog.