Saturday, 29 October 2011


Weaning is the transferring of an infant from breast feeding to normal feeding. Breast feed should not be stopped all of a sudden. Weaning can start from the 5th or 6th month. The process should be gradual. The child can be completely weaned at the end of 9th or 10th month. The breast milk can be replaced by cow's milk and some solid foods.

Points to remember in the introduction of solids to infant's diet.
  • Introduce only one new food item at a time. Allow the infant to become familiar with the same before starting the other.
  • Give very small quantity of any new foods.
  • Use very thin consistency when starting solid foods.
  • Bribes or threats should never be used to get a child to eat.
  • Whenever possible the child should be permitted to feed himself, but quietly give help when he shows his inability to eat.
  • Never force an infant to eat more of a food than what he takes willingly.
  • If after several trials, the baby dislikes a food, omit that item for a week or two and try it again. If the dislike persists, it is better to omit that food and substitute another.
  • Use foods of smooth consistency. When the baby is able to chew, gradually substitute finely chopped fruits and vegetables.
  • Mother or anyone feeding the baby must be careful to avoid showing any dislikes for the food given to the infant.
  • There should be choice for food.

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Do you feed your infant not with Breast milk? | Artificial feeding for infants

Bottle feeding
It so familiar now a days, people are started to feed their infants with foods other than breast milk, even though breast feeding is better and good for an infant in early weeks. Artificial feeding is considered as feeding of an infant with other foods in the absence of breast milk. Breast milk is often substitute by cow's milk. The cow's milk is substitute by dried milk, evaporated milk.
Cow's milk can be humanised by diluting, boiling and adding sugar. It is not desirable to give whole milk to infant in the first few weeks, because the protein in the cow's milk is not in a easily digestible form. By 6 to 8 months, the baby can have undiluted milk.

Preparation of formula
The milk formula should be planned to meet the nutritional requirements of the infant which is based on his age and weight.
Caloric requirement - 110 calories per kg of body weight.
Fluid requirement - 165 ml per kg of body weight.
Milk requirement - 110 to 130 ml per kg of body weight.
Number of feeds in 24 hours - 7.
Intervals - 3 hourly.

To prepare the milk formula for a day
Take 460 ml of milk, 140 ml of water and add 9 teaspoon of sugar and boil it and keep it in the refrigerator. For each feed take 85 ml of milk, warm it and feed the baby.

Different ways of feeding an infant.
  • By using the feeding bottle and teat.
  • By belcroy feeder.
  • By dropper.
  • By using spoon.

Important points to remember when artificial feeds are given
  1. Plan the formula according to the nutritional requirement of the baby.
  2. The feeding bottle, eat and other articles used for the feeding should be sterile.
  3. The milk feed should be warm. Test the temperature of the milk on your inner aspect of the wrist.
  4. The mother and the child should be in a comfortable position. the bottle should be held at 45 degree so that the teat is filled with milk.
  5. Ensure a slow and steady flow of milk by making a hole in the teat neither too big nor too small. This is done with a red hot needle.
  6. Burp the child in between and at the end of every feed.
  7. The mother should show no hurry or tension.
  8. The feed should be given at regular intervals.
  9. The mother should wash her hands thoroughly before preparing the feed and feeding the child.
  10. Offer a small quantity of water after every feed.
  11. Never pinch the baby's nose to make him to open his mouth; instead press his cheeks.
  12. Add vitamin A in the form of liver oil, vitamin C in the form of orange juice and iron in the form of egg yolk from the first month itself.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is the best food for the baby. It is not only gives nourishment's but suffice the baby's emotional needs. The advantages of breast feeding are :
  1. Makes the mother feel close to the baby emotionally.
  2. Gives the baby a sense of security or oneness with the mother.
  3. Protect the child from intestinal upsets as breast milk is sterile.
  4. Protect the child from communicable diseases as it contains protective antibodies.
  5. The mother's nipple satisfies the sucking reflex more adequately than the artificial nipple and infant is less likely to be a thumb sucker.
  6. Aids in the involution of the uterus.
  7. Breast milk is at correct temperature.
  8. Breast fed baby is said to have better tissue and bone development and resistance to infection.

The contra-indications for breast feeding are:
  • Diseases of the breast. eg; breast abscess, mastitis etc.
  • Active tuberculosis, cancer, cardiac diseases, contagious diseases.
  • Unconscious mother.
  • Mental diseases in the mother.
  • When another pregnancy ensues.
  • Premature babies and sick babies who are very weak to suck.
  • Babies with hare lip and cleft palate.


Obesity is one of the major health problem that is quite common now a days. Obesity is a condition in which an individual's bodyweight is higher than the normal due to excess deposition of fat in the adipose tissue. The common cause obesity is the excess intake of foods than normal requirements and lesser physical activity. Excess food that consumed is converted into fat and stored in the adipose tissues. Obesity is very common among people living in Western countries and other developing countries. Excess intake of foods and increase in the bodyweight leads to some other major complications.

Predisposing factors and occurrence of obesity
Many factors contribute to the development of obesity. Some of these are discussed below:

Age and sex: Obesity can occur at any age in either sex. But the incidence is higher in persons who lead sedentary lives.
Economic status: Obesity is found more common among the higher status groups as they consume excess food and do less physical work than the low status groups.
Physical activity: Obesity occurs rarely among persons who do hard physical work. With the extensive use of transport facilities and mechanisation of industry, the proportion of people who lead sedentary lives has been increasing. And this will increases the chance for obesity.
Body weight assessment
Proneness to obesity: Some individuals are more prone to develop obesity than others. Recent study's about obesity  have shown that these individuals are having usually large proportion of adipose tissue cells compared with normal persons. These cells are filled with fat when there is an excess intake of food.

Obesity can be assessed by (1)body weight (2)estimation of total body fat (3)skin-fold measurements. A persons whose body weight is higher than normal by 20 percent may be considered as obese. An approximate classification of different degrees of obesity based on body weight is given below:

Obesity leads to the development of several complications such as: (1)Physical disability, (2)Metabolic disorders, (3)Cardiac disorders, (4)Proneness to accidents and (5)Low life expectancy. Obese persons suffer more often from metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and heart diseases. They meet with accidents more frequently. The life expectancy is also reduced in view of the above hazards.