Baby Food

Enjoy Cooking -- Enjoy Serving --  Enjoy Eating --  Eat Fresh -- Eat Limited -- Eat Regularly -- Stay Healthy -- Stay Fit

Baby Food

“hello gayatri garu... I have been watching your videos since your first video.. I am a big fan of yours.. I have a 1 year old daughter..its very difficult to come with new ideas for her food... could you please show some recipes to prepare for 1-2 year old baby food...”

I am tempted to write this article after getting this request from one my viewers.  I am narrating my personal experience for the benefit of all young mothers.

Long long ago, as a young mother of an infant, I wanted to feed my child with best of the food and used to get three varieties of “NESTUM” and two varieties of “CERELAC”. It so happened, I needed to go Dr Nilesh Vohra for a check-up.  In usual fashion as any other mother would, I complained to the doctor that my child would not like to take food, instead prefers to drink milk.  Very coolly he asked me “Do you cook food at home?”  Surprised at this question I answered” Yes”. How many recipes do you prepare at home he enquired?   Quite a few, I told him. He questioned as to why I needed to prepare so many varieties, why not restrict to one or two or a maximum of five dishes. I said because it’s for a variety and taste. He smiled and said – “You need variety, but your child doesn’t need a variety?” Surprised at this question I told, “Doctor, I am giving him 5 different varieties of baby food and whether it is not sufficient?”  The answer was an emphatic “NO”.  At this point I raised the same question which I quoted above in this article.  Dr Vohra suggested the following

  • Prepare one Dal (Pulses) and Curry (Vegetable or Green leafy) every-day at home.
  • Initially cook the cereal separately for the child, which should be a paste. Add more water to get this pasty texture.
  • When the child is small (say 6 months), add only the top water of the dal and one or two mashed curry pieces to the meal.
  • Put cereal only into a mixie and grind it into a coarse paste.  The coarseness depends upon the age of the child.
  • Decide the total quantity of the cereal to be given say six spoons. Divide it into three parts. One part with Dal (water), the next is with Dal spiced with two mashed vegetable curry pieces and the third portion is with curd (not sour) / yoghurt / milk (at times curd can be spiced with a little achar/ pickle) etc. It’s a six spoon lunch, having THREE courses!!! Similar to what we have, but quantity and content moderated as per the age of the child.
  • Prepare the baby food fresh for each feed.  It doesn’t matter even if the Dal, vegetable and cereal cooked in the morning are given in the afternoon also. But every mix should be fresh. Once we touch it with hands or spoon the food should be discarded after the feed.
  • The cereals can be Rice, Wheat Germ (Godhuma Rawwa), Rice Rawwa, Rice Flakes (Atukulu), Raagi Flour (in limited quantities). Cook them into paste as per the child’s requirements.
  • Often mothers prepare a single course lunch for the children and expect the children to do justice which they refuse.
  • At times give the child fresh Fruits – mashed and pulped.
  • If  the child gets a variety of what you eat, he too would enjoy his meal. Rather he gets more variety because you are changing the cereals too.
  • However good brand image, the food stuff may carry, avoid frozen and canned foods because they all contain preservatives i.e. Chemicals.
  • Do not buy any more baby foods unless you are on an outing or travel.
  • I believed the Doctor and followed his advice. But I was not satisfied, because my child was no more looking chubby and is looking thin (in Telugu – Dokkuku poinadu – sannaga peelaga). The comparison was more pinching when I saw other children in the same age group who were looking attractive. Out of schedule I visited the doctor to complain “my child has reduced and does not like the food too. Rather both of us feel milk is a better option to depend upon.” I was waiting for my turn in the hall to see the doctor. The doctor could observe us both through the glass partition. As soon as I entered the room he remarked “the child looks healthy and active”. Yet I took the opportunity to tell what I wanted. His next remark was “you want to have a DOLL or CHILD in your hand?” I could get what Doctor wanted to convey.

    In the subsequent counseling what I understood is  

  • Reduce the quantity of milk gradually and increase the solid intake with the age of the child
  • Thereafter, retain the milk intake to a reasonable quantity
  • Don’t expect your child to have his full quantities, as you imagine, consisting of milk, solids, fruits etc. He would suffer from indigestion. Strike a delicate balance of the quantity of diet, which only a mother can judge.
  • Whenever you feel he is not eating, look at his stomach size and the size of your feeding glasses and bowls in which you are serving.
  • Never compare your child with others. He is a gift of God and enjoy his company.
  • While feeding keep on talking and keep up encouraging conversation instead of sermons and threats.
  • Last but not the least – Do not stifle him with your affection – leave some space for his enjoyment. A single child suffers more because of parental undivided, focused attention.  Only when the next sibling arrives, the former gets respite and his sufferings reduce.  As the mother has to manage two kids, she is fully occupied with the chore of the house, and thus they both enjoy their life and company. Thus the concept “WE TWO – OURS TWO”.
  • What I want to convey to young mothers is, do not take tension to prepare special foods for your babies. Feed them with what you eat. They would enjoy and it is good for both of you. Be choosy while deciding the proportions of the ingredients depending upon the spicyness and hardness.

    When my child was 5 months old and was still on breast feed, my mother was preparing snake-gourd curry. She brought a boiled piece (before spicing it), mashed it between her fingers and gave it to him. He merrily enjoyed nibbling. Later he tasted cooked potato, carrot, beetroot, bottle gourd etc. That’s how he was introduced to stewed / boiled vegetables.

    Sometimes our affluence / affordability becomes a bane for the children. In the fifth month of my delivery, I joined my husband at Bombay.  Soon on reaching there, attracted by the advertisements in the media, I purchased "Nestum" and  "Cerelac" to feed the child . Its only after the Doctors counselling I could understand that my MOM and Doctor are talking the same.

    Just imagine your mothers who must be of my age group & we did not have the privilege of having any special variety of foods.  Yet we grew up healthily and are taking care of you all, isn't? The calf initially feeds on its mother’s milk and later starts eating the blades of grass which its mother munches. Are they not healthy? Do they need to visit the often? Try to be as near to the nature as possible.

    Take no tension on baby food. Feed them with what you eat only but with moderation.

    Enjoy and Let the Child also enjoy!!!

    If you have followed what is described above and find it useful, share with others by clicking here. It would help others also to go natural in the upbringing of children, so as to avoid baby foods . All baby foods contain chemicals which are added for preservation, texture, easy mixing etc.

     Your Earlier comments on the Blog
    ms said...

    hello gayatri garu ur site is super
    it is useful moreme in US.i have a suggestion or u canthink request to send me few recepies for newly deliveredmother food
    that she need to take

    we dnt knw what she need to take at thattime

    July 27, 2011 4:06 AM

    Rohini said...

    Hi Gayathrigau,
    Baby food article was jst awesme. Iam a new mom and my DD is 11 mnths old. so far ,I havent started her on any home made food except for idli which she clearly hates. After reading your blog,Iam more encouraged to try on rice and other food.
    Thank you and keep posting your tips and food recipes(if any).

    May 19, 2011 7:28 AM

    Rachana.G said...

    Hello Gayatrigaru...naa peru Rachana, maa amayee age 3 years...she is a picky eater...meru chinna pellaliki sambandhi-chinna kooni theene padharthalu chapthara....maree constipation ki koni cheetikalu chapthara....mee website lo konni vantallu nenu chesenu...ruchi chaala bagundhi...Pls reply whenever possible.Thank You.

    April 19, 2011 4:13 AM

    Gayatri Vantillu said...

    Rachana Garu,

    Best way is to find out what the child wants and try to prepare them at home. All store bought items have preservatives and other stuff which also results in constipation.

    Introduce more fruits and vegetables in the child's diet.

    April 22, 2011 4:41 AM

    Sunita said...

    Gayathri garu,

    Meeru cheppinattu vantalu cheste chala baga vastunnayi. Ma Ayanaki, Babu(3 Years vadu) ki kuda chala nachutunnayi. Ma babu ki idivaraku verega vandedanni. Mee site lo chadivaka vadiki kuda memu tineve pettadam modalupettam. Meeru cheppinattu chese vantalu anni vadu allari cheyakunda tenestunnadu.

    meeku chala THANKS.

    July 8, 2010 6:37 PM

     Our Earlier discussions on the Blog
    Anonymous said...

    hi gayatrigaru,
    mee recipes anni bagunayyi ,, maaku 1year old boy ,mee recipes ella cheyyalo video pedathara..

    waiting for your reply nd videos,,


    July 16, 2011 10:20 AM


    hara said...

    hi gayatri madam, I am following your posts from last 3 year's.It's really good and also helpfull.Thank's for ur recipes.

    I read ur baby food's good.With this regard, i have one issue.Even though i am maintaining varity in baby's food some time my baby is not taking well.Give me your valuable suggestion on baby is 1.8 month's old.

    Is it good to introduce oat's,dry fruit's etc in daily food schedule.please give some some intresting baby recipes.


    March 17, 2011 12:12 AM

    Gayatri Vantillu said...

    Malavika Harnath Garu,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    If your baby is 1.8 months old, I presume he is less than 60 days old. If so he is too small for solids and mothers milk must be sufficient.

    If the Baby is 1.8 years old, he should be on solids. I already shared my experience in the article. Hope your elders at home should be able to give some solution

    March 17, 2011 4:42 AM 
    madhavi said...

    gayatri garu
    just now i read about baby food in ur blog. i like it very much. what all u said is correct. we stay in kerala. my baby is 1 n half years old. he can only take banana, apple n papaya among fruits. can u plz suggest someother combinations or varities of fruits.

    September 1, 2010 10:50 AMDelete


    Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

    Mahavi Garu,

    Try to give baby things which your family likes!!! It should work.

    September 3, 2010 5:06 AM

    Shri said...

    Hello Madam,

    I accidently happened to visit your website today and got interested in the "Baby Food" section eager to know what is being discussed here. I completely agree with your views and it is actually a re-assurance to me that I worked the right way in introducing and graduating to a variety of solid foods to my son. He is 2yrs now. I had a pack of readily available baby food only for travel or unexpected situations, else he always ate and eats freshly home cooked food. Even today he eats home made foods and I resist the idea of giving anything purchased from the market. I can write down a few nutritious baby food recipes (that I cooked for my son while he was between 6mths to 1.5yrs) and email them to you. If you feel fine you can include them in your "Baby food" section so many other new mothers can benefit from them.

    November 7, 2009 3:33 PM

    BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

    Shri garu,

    Thanks for your feedback on my "Baby Food" article. Its a great idea to post recipes on baby food. I desire that the credit for the originality for your work should go to you only. Therefore, i suggest, you should open a blog on the subject and post the recipes there, while I post your comment and the link your blog in my "Baby Food" article.

    Wish you all the best.

    November 9, 2009 7:32 PM

    Legend said...

    HI Gayatri Garu
    Mee Recipes bagunayii.mee USA lo unttam so mee site valle chaala vantalu neerchukunanu.eppudu naaku 6 month old baby food ela prepare cheyalo video s post cheyachu kada adhi chaala help avuthundhii

    September 14, 2010 2:46 AM

    Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

    Legend Garu,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    When my son is married and is blessed with a child, I would probably be able to host these recipes when I prepare!!!!!

    You may find my following article useful regarding baby food

    September 19, 2010 8:05 PM

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Gayatri garu,
    I liked your recipes and your articles. And I felt like there is somebody else with some similar views (healthy eating) and tastes and felt like you are the one who can help me to solve my problem which I've been facing for the past 7 years. And I felt very good to know that you are from Vizianagaram too.
    I have a 7 years old son and 5 year old daughter. I'm in US for the past 14 years. I used to go to work until 1 and 1/2 years ago. I quit my job just not miss my kids when they are young and mainly because they are not eating their lunch at daycare. My main concern was their food. And it is still... My son goes to full time school. We are vegetarians and they don't eat any meat or even egg.
    They have 5day week. He eats his school cafe lunch 2 days a week. They provide vegetarian lunch only 2 days a week. That too pizza or mac N cheese or pasta along with some fruit and milk.
    So I pack the fresh home made lunch 3 days a week and give it to him just before his lunch time. Even then, he does not eat it. The reason is he talks with his friends instead of eating his lunch.
    Even when he is at home if we feed him he eats good, but if we ask him to eat on his own, he eats very less and very late.
    So, can you please help me to plan a schedule for his daily meals like what to feed him and when (not counting his lunch at school).
    Here is his current routine:
    He leaves home by 8:45AM and comes back by 4PM.
    As of now he eats some cereal with milk in the morning.
    I usually pack idly or pongaram, a fruit or vegetable and milk for his lunch(12:10PM). Most of the times he finishes his milk and very few bites his main course.
    I give him a fruit or nuts or a cereal bar for his snack.

    I used to give him milk and some readymade snacks like corn chips etc..But recently, I started feeding him 1 or 2 items like pappu annam and perugu annam, or koora annam and perugu annam as soon as reaches home at 4 PM.

    And usually he goes to some activities like Soccer or Tennis or Swimming in the evening.

    And again at around 8PM I'm feeding him 1 or 2 items like pappu annam or koora annam or perugu annam.
    I'm really having a hard time planning the right meals and when to squeeze them in their schedule.
    As you suggested some daily meal routine for adults in one of your articles, can you please suggest a daily routine for growing kids too in a clear and detailed manner??? Like how many times and how much they have to have rice/rotis, pappu, fresh vegetables or koora, dairy products(like milk/yogurt/paneer/cheese), fruits, sweets or readymade snacks.
    Please suggest me a practical daily routine with clear examples and choices or alternatives.
    Your help in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance...

    May 3, 2010 12:34 PM

    Padmaja said...

    Dear Gayatrigaru, I read the comment left by anonymous on May 03, 2010 at 12:34 pm, and will say this is my problem also. My children (ages 3 and 4) will not eat what I send in the school tiffin box. Please suggest any recipes. When I was growing up in US, we used to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day. (it was vegetarian, and my classmates didn't make fun of my lunch for being "different"). Now with peanut allergies, I am at a loss as to what to send with my children. Many American vegetarians rely on soy based "meats" for thier children's lunch. I am scard of using these, because we don't know the future health consequences. Please help.

    May 11, 2010 12:17 AMDelete

    Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

    Padmaja garu,

    I frankly admit that there is a generation gap. I cant advise in the matter

    June 4, 2010 4:52 PM

    urmila said...

    hey gayatri..i loved ur cooking recipes as wellas the way u explained about baby food. Thanks a lot, now i have confidence that i can feed my 15 months old daughter (who doesnt eat anything otherthan milk)with homemade normal food. thanks a lot

    August 23, 2011 10:07 PM

     Your emails to