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Child is underweight. What diet should be given to gain weight?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi Doctor,

My son is 3 year old plus and his weight is around 11.6kg only. He is a picky eater and does not like to drink milk. Please advice on the type of nutritious food to help him gain weight. Thanks.
Posted Wed, 24 Apr 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 15 days later
Thanks for posting your query.
Due to inadequate intake his weight is a bit below expected which should be atleast 13-14 kg.
Though a healthy nutritious diet is the best choice in the long run, I would advise you get him evaluated by his doctor to rule out certain deficiencies like iron deficiency anaemia or calcium vitamin D deficiency .
In case his examination and tests reveal such deficiencies it would be best to treat it with appropriate hematinics and calcium supplements for three months . This might even help with his weight gain and appetite .
Meanwhile you can start changing his food habbits to include healthy foods as follows.
Brown rice and other grains( wheat , ragi sooji)
Sweet potatoes
Kidney beans
If you are a vegetarian include other dairy products like cheese , paneer, curds , butter milk instead of milk . You can also try to add fruits to his milk ( make milkshakes or fruit smoothies ) or use commercial additives ( pediasure, complan ) etc to improve its taste .
Try to give him 5 meals ( breakfast , milk/ fruits, lunch, snack , dinner ) . For recepies for picky eaters you can search online ( www. WWW.WWWW.WW or any other site).
As of now I do recommend an evaluation and multivitamin and nutritional supplements as per his doctors advice.
Hope that answers your query.
Please feel free to ask any further doubts .
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