Underweight baby food ideas

Best Weight Gain Foods for Babies and Toddlers

By Min On , Updated

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Here are the top foods to help your baby or toddler gain weight. All of these are high calorie whole foods that can be easily added to your child's food to make it more filling and delicious.

Jump to:
  • Does your child need to gain weight?
  • Best Solid Foods for Babies to Gain Weight (6 months and up)
  • Weight Gain Foods for one year old and beyond
  • Nutrition Supplement for Weight Gain
  • Tips for Adding High Calorie Foods
  • High Calorie Baby Food Recipes (and for toddlers)

Does your child need to gain weight?

First, it's important to determine if your child is indeed underweight and in need of intervention.

There are so many factors that influence how your child grows, such as genetics (that's a HUGE one), nutrition, environment, and activity.

So when you find yourself comparing your child with how other babies are growing, please remind yourself that every child is unique. Healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes.

If your child is in the 10th percentile, this doesn't mean they're doing better or worse than your friend's child who is in the 70th percentile. 

You can rest assured that your child is getting adequate nutrition and growing properly if they're maintaining a usual and predictable pattern of growth on the curve.

On the other hand, if you start to see flattening of the curve or dips, or your child seems to always be hungry, these high-calorie, high-fat foods will help them with healthy weight gain.

Top Foods for 8 Month Old

Best Solid Foods for Babies to Gain Weight (6 months and up)

  1. Breast milk and/or Infant Formula
  2. Avocado
  3. Banana
  4. Beans
  5. Beef
  6. Butter *
  7. Chicken thighs or drumsticks
  8. Coconut
  9. Eggs *
  10. Full-fat Dairy products * (whole milk, cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. )
  11. Lentils
  12. Peanut Butter *
  13. Nuts *
  14. Nut or Seed Butter * (e.g. almond, cashew, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed)
  15. Oils (avocado, olive oil, sesame oil *)
  16. Potatoes (both white and sweet potato)
  17. Whole grains, like Quinoa
  18. Salmon *
  19. Sardines *
  20. Seeds (hemp, chia, sesame, pumpkin, or flax seeds *)

Note: Foods with * by them are one of the top allergens. When first introducing, be sure to serve a tiny amount.

Weight Gain Foods for one year old and beyond

Continue serving all of the foods listed above. However, you may find that it's becoming more challenging to feed your toddler who seems to be showing less interest in eating and displaying picky eating tendencies.

Be sure to read my top foods for 1 year old post to better understand and help navigate through this tricky feeding phase.

My top tips for feeding your underweight child is:

  • Make every effort to include high-calorie, high-fat foods as much as possible
  • You might be tempted to offer high calorie foods, like ice cream, soft drinks, juice, pizza, milkshakes, etc. And while it might add a few pounds to your child, those foods will not provide the nutrients they need for healthy growth.
  • Instead, focus on serving nutritious meals with essential nutrients. You want to add extra calories not empty calories.
  • Feed them every 2-3 hours.
  • If your child doesn't eat much during mealtimes, you may consider providing up to 3 snacks, including a bedtime snack for additional calories.
  • Consider snacks as mini-meals so your child gets up to 6 eating opportunities to consume adequate calories and nutrition.
  • Don't pressure them to eat - it will only backfire and can actually shut down their appetite.

Here are some specific tips on how to help your underweight child.

Nutrition Supplement for Weight Gain

Many families turn to these as they are a convenient way to boost calories and nutrients to support weight gain. My personal recommendation is to focus on food first.

However, if your child is really struggling, then talk to a dietitian or health care provider to find the type that is most appropriate for your child.

Tips for Adding High Calorie Foods

Babies and toddlers have small tummies so it's important to try to make every bite count with healthy fats and important nutrients.

But this doesn't mean you have to spend all of your hours and energy in the kitchen.

Here are some super easy ways to help your baby gain weight.

  1. Yogurt with
    • hemp seeds and banana
    • mashed avocado and chia seeds
    • peanut butter and cooked quinoa
    • flaked salmon or sardines
  2. Toast with
    • mashed beans and tahini
    • almond butter, banana, and unsweetened coconut flakes
    • mashed avocado and hemp seeds
  3. Oatmeal or lentils with
    • hummus
    • mashed avocado and beans
    • eggs and sweet potatoes
  4. Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
    • with butter and cheese
    • with minced chicken or beef and yogurt
    • added as a quesadilla filling with cheese
  5. Eggs
    • fried in olive oil
    • scrambled in butter with quinoa
    • scrambled egg avocado sandwich
  6. Smoothies with avocado, peanut/nut butter, seeds, milk, or yogurt
  7. Cook vegetables in extra oil, butter, tahini, etc. You can also serve them with high-calorie dips like nut butters, yogurt, guacamole, bean dips, etc.

High Calorie Baby Food Recipes (and for toddlers)

In addition to the simple ideas above, here are some actual recipes that can help your child gain weight while learning to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and textures.


Single Serve Chia Puddings for Babies and Kids

Single serve chia seed pudding for babies 6 months and up is the perfect make ahead breakfast or snack that you can whip up in under 5 minutes!

Get the recipe

Healthy Sweet Potato Cookies

These super moist sweet potato cakes made with just 5 simple ingredients, including chickpeas, oats, and chia seeds, are perfect for babies and toddlers.

Get the recipe

Peach Banana Smoothie

Creamy and perfectly sweet, this 5-minute, high-protein peach banana smoothie is the perfect breakfast or snack for the whole family!

Get the recipe

Banana Overnight Oats

These banana overnight oats are a perfect make ahead breakfast or snack option for babies, kids, and adults alike!

Get the recipe

Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookies

Made without flour and sugar, these peanut butter chickpea cookies are so easy to make with just 5 ingredients.

Get the recipe

Healthy Yogurt Muffins

Light, fluffy, and incredibly moist, these whole wheat greek yogurt muffins are made with just a handful of ingredients and can be flavored in so many ways!

Get the recipe

Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich

Invite fun and variety into the classic banana peanut butter sandwich by grilling and adding unexpected but delicious ingredients that kids and adults will enjoy!

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Green Smoothies for kids

These healthy green smoothies for toddlers and kids are super easy to make and can be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or snack.

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Peanut Butter Cheerio Cereal Bars

These no-bake peanut butter cheerio bars are so easy to make with pantry ingredients! They are the perfect breakfast or snack for kids.

Get the recipe

Vegetable Omelette

Nutritious and easy to make, this baby-friendly omelette made with whatever veggies you have on hand is the perfect breakfast/snack for babies and toddlers!

Get the recipe

Healthy Banana Recipes for Babies and Kids

Transform plain ol' banana with these super fun and easy breakfast or snack ideas that you can make with your child!

Get the recipe

Healthy Zucchini Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

These zucchini oatmeal cookies are so easy to make with wholesome, minimal ingredients and no added sugar!

Get the recipe

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Smoothie Bowl

Loaded with nutrition, this carrot oatmeal smoothie bowl is the perfect veggie smoothie (but thicker!) for babies, kids, and adults!

Get the recipe

Vegetable Waffles with Peanut Butter

EASY to make, healthy peanut butter vegetable waffles for babies and kids! A great way to enjoy more protein, fat, and veggies for breakfast.

Get the recipe


Vegan vegetable quinoa muffins

Made with healthy ingredients like broccoli, carrots, and quinoa, these egg and dairy-free vegetable muffins with quinoa are perfect for baby led weaning and school lunchboxes.

Get the recipe

Chickpea Patties (gluten free)

These flavorful chickpea patties with quinoa are easy to make with simple pantry staples. Shape them into patties or even nuggets

Get the recipe

Scrambled Egg Sandwich

Making a scrambled egg sandwich isn't hard. But here are some simple tips to take this iconic breakfast to the next level!

Get the recipe

Chicken pesto flatbread pizza

This pesto flatbread pizza is the perfect busy weekday meal! It can be on the table in under 20 minutes with minimal effort and ingredients.

Get the recipe

Omelette Pizza

Pizza eggs - your favorite pizza toppings, flavorful sauce, protein-rich eggs, and cheese all cooked to perfection in one pan. Enjoy for breakfast or any time of the day!

Get the recipe

Hummus Grilled Cheese

10 minutes is all you need to whip up this exciting twist on a kid favorite lunch - grilled cheese. The simple addition of hummus will amp up flavor and nutrition.

Get the recipe

Easy Salmon Bean Salad

This mayo-free, refreshing yet hearty salmon bean salad couldn’t be easier to make! You can serve with crackers, vegetables, bread, salad, cheese, or whatever you fancy!

Get the recipe

Curry Chicken Avocado Salad

EASY, healthy curry chicken salad with avocado and vegetables for babies, kids, and adults! It's high in protein and perfect for a quick lunch at home and school lunchboxes.

Get the recipe

Healthy Beef Meatballs

These healthy beef meatballs are made with just 5 simple ingredients and are egg free and dairy free. Tender and flavorful, these are perfect for babies and kids of all ages!

Get the recipe

Mini Shepherd's Pie Muffins

A quick and easy, baby and kid-friendly twist on an Irish classic comfort food, these mini shepherd pie muffins are filled with beef, vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes

Get the recipe


Zucchini Pesto with Almonds

Upgrade pasta with this simple and healthy zucchini pesto. It is light and creamy and can be ready in 15 minutes!

Get the recipe

Beetroot Pesto Pasta Sauce

Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, this beetroot pesto comes together in minutes and makes for the perfect pasta sauce for babies, kids, and adults!

Get the recipe

Broccoli Hummus Dip

If your child won't eat broccoli or you've been looking for different ways to serve it, give this hummus a try! It's also a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition for babies and kids.

Get the recipe

Pumpkin Seed Spinach Hummus

this spinach hummus with pumpkin seeds instead of tahini is a healthy snack or meal for babies and toddlers. It is so versatile and here are some ways to serve it to your family.

Get the recipe

3 Ingredient Thai Peanut Coconut Sauce

Made with just 3 ingredients, this Thai peanut sauce with curry paste and coconut milk is a great way to introduce spicy flavor to babies and kids.

Get the recipe

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Dip

This creamy roasted cauliflower dip made with an ENTIRE head of cauliflower, tahini, and milk is super simple to make, delicious, and versatile. It will be an AWESOME way to make veggies exciting for kids!

Get the recipe

Beetroot Dip with chickpeas

4 nutritious ingredients, a food processor/blender, and dippers are all you need for this smooth, creamy, and vibrant beetroot dip for babies and toddlers!

Get the recipe


Easy Bolognese with Vegetables

This kid-friendly veggie-loaded meat sauce with ground beef and medley of vegetables is hearty, filling, and nutritious! 

Get the recipe

Instant Pot Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

Another EASY, 30 minute weeknight meal you can enjoy with your baby and kids! This Instant pot chicken and broccoli is also a great way to continue exposing your child to one of the top food allergens, peanuts.

Get the recipe

One Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

In need of an easy weeknight dinner? 15 minutes is all it takes to make this healthy one pot creamy broccoli pasta

Get the recipe

No stir Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms

This 30 minute mushroom quinotto or quinoa risotto is much easier to make compared to traditional risotto and requires zero stirring!

Get the recipe

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Lasagna with Quinoa

This vegetarian sweet potato lasagna with quinoa requires no boiling of noodles and assembly couldn't be easier!

Get the recipe

Thai Red Curry Pasta

20 minutes and a handful of pantry items are all you need to whip up this super easy vegetarian Thai red curry pasta with vegetables.

Get the recipe

Pizza Casserole with Couscous

this pizza casserole is not only quick and easy to make but also nutritious, with ingredients like chicken, whole wheat couscous, and spinach!

Get the recipe

Beef Stuffed Shells with Veggies

These stuffed shells with ground beef and vegetables are a hearty make ahead dinner or freezer meal for the whole family to enjoy!

Get the recipe

Vegan African Peanut Stew

This vegan African peanut stew is rich and flavorful and uses staple pantry ingredients. Made in one pot, requires minimal prep work, loaded with nutrition - It's an easy family meal! 

Get the recipe

Chicken Spinach Quinoa Casserole

A baby and kid-friendly comfort meal you don't want to miss! This chicken spinach quinoa casserole with black beans is super easy to make and loaded with iron and protein.

Get the recipe

Low Sodium Baked Spaghetti Pie

Baked spaghetti pie with ricotta that's healthy and easy to whip up. It's the perfect comfort food recipe for the entire family!

Get the recipe

Instant Pot Korean Chicken and Potatoes

If you're in need of a quick and easy weeknight family meal, here's an Instant Pot Korean chicken and potatoes recipe that everyone, including babies, will enjoy!

Get the recipe

Do you want to minimize picky eating and set a solid foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits?

Check out this 3 month mastering self-feeding program! It’s the closest thing to me being in your kitchen

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About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Best foods for weight gain in babies & toddlers (0 to 3 years)

This post has been updated with a new list of weight gaining recipes at the end of this post for toddlers – above 1 year old. Many readers have been asking for suggestions on best foods for weight gain in babies & toddlers. I have shared the tips that one can follow. If you are a new reader to this blog and have reached here looking for weight gaining foods or recipes for your little heart, please read this food chart for babies above 8 months.

I suggest following the recipes on the post as well for a good weight gain. I would also suggest to read the comments before posting your query here as similar queries may have been answered in the comment section below.

If you are looking for a food chart for baby around 6 months, you can refer this post on solids for 6 months baby.

Best foods for weight gain in babies & toddlers (0 months to 3 years)

1. Breast milk is one of the best foods for babies under 6 months to gain weight. Since mother’s milk is more nutritious than any other foods, it is good to exclusively breastfeed babies for the first 6 months.

If a baby is breast fed, mum needs to eat more nutritious foods to have enough milk supply and to increase the quality of milk.

To increase the milk supply in lactating mothers’ foods like milk, lentils (DAL), garlic, flax seeds (alasi in hindi or avise ginjalu in telugu), chickpeas (chana), almonds, whole grains, methi leaves, methi seeds, dill leaves (sabbasige soppu in kannada), fennel seeds (saunf), cumin (jeera) have been proved to be beneficial. One needs to include these in their diet moderately.

At least 2 protein rich meals and a breakfast should be included in the diet of a lactating mother. For vegetarians lentils / dal is a best protein rich food.

Chickpeas can be enjoyed by mums having babies older than 3 months. If using they need to be soaked overnight, soft cooked with turmeric and other Indian spices to prevent vata dosha.

Traditionally gond ke laddu, dry fruits ladoos and copra ladoos were eaten by lactating mothers to improve the quantity and quality of breast milk. Here are some protein rich ladoos which you can try after consulting your elders.
Gond ke laddu
Dry fruits ladoo
Copra ladoo (or dried coconut ladoo)

Here is a simple homemade powder for increasing milk supply in lactating mothers. Dry roast equal quantities of cumin and fennel seeds till they turn aromatic. Cool them and grind to powder.

Mix ½ tsp powder in ½ tsp warm ghee and consume 30 minutes before food 2 to 3 times a day. Desi ghee works best. This can be consumed for 2 weeks, followed by a break for 4 to 5 days and then repeat the cycle.

This also helps to reduce colic in breastfed babies. A small portion of ajwain/ carom seeds can also be included.

2. There is also a wide population of women who are unable to breast fed due to medical or professional reasons, yet their babies tend to grow well in terms of height and weight. For babies who are not breast fed, Formula milk has been proved to be of great help.

If your baby is over 6 months and you intend to stop breastfeeding, then choose a good formula milk with the help of your pediatrician. Formula milk is mostly balanced and has adequate nutrition which may not be available in dairy milk.

Formula milk helps to gain good weight in most babies, but one needs to be patient in trying out what works best for your baby. Many women express that formula milk is not good and hence should choose dairy milk.

Both have their own pros and cons. In the recent years, cows raised in farms are not grass-fed and are mostly on hormones either in their feed or injected to produce more milk. So it may be more unsafe than the formula milk.

A thorough research is conducted before any formula milk is sold in the market. So as a mother, you are the right person to choose between cow’s milk vs formula milk.

For babies above 12 months, fresh dairy milk can be used. Do not use milk that comes in tetra packs for babies and toddlers.

3. Foods like potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, dal, ghee, ragi, almonds, yogurt, eggs and milk help the baby to gain weight. Please take a pediatricians’ suggestion before you start any of these foods. As always follow a 3 day test rule.

How to make mashed potato for baby ?

Always choose hard potatoes that do not have any sprouts grown over them. Sprouted or soft potatoes are not healthy to use.

Wash and peel off the skin of the potato. Cook potato in excess water either in pressure cooker or a rice cooker steam basket or in a pot. It should be soft cooked.

While it is still hot, take it to a feeding bowl and mash it to soft. Add the potato stock that was left after cooking to make smooth puree. using a small steel glass you can easily mash it.

Add a pinch of ajwain and ghee and serve it warm. The same way you can also make mashed sweet potato for baby. Best time to serve these is for breakfast or lunch.

It can also be cooked along with rice to make a rice potato khichdi. You can find the recipe of sweet potato here (new post)

How much potato or sweet potato for baby?

7 months baby – 1 tbsp 2 to 3 times a week
8 to 10 months – 2 tbsp. 2 to 3 times a week
10 to 12 months – 3 to 4 tbsp. 2 to 3 times a week
toddlers- use your judgement . Can be served 5 times a week to daily.

Serve potato or sweet potato at least 2 to 3 times a week with little ajwain powder and ghee. Avoid when baby has tummy upset, colic or spit ups.

Moong dal and urad dal help a lot to gain weight in babies & toddlers. Urad dal is a power house of nutrients, high in calcium and protein and also EFA , essential fatty acids that help to develop the brain. So Idli is a very healthy food for babies.

Using urad dal make idli and serve with mild rasam or dal ka pani and ghee. This can be fed daily. You can find the recipe of soft idli here and a rasam recipe for babies here.

Include dal preferably moong dal or tuvar dal in lunch or breakfast every day. Do not mix dal with yogurt or milk. Just a simple vegetable dal rice khichdi works great for babies in gaining weight.

If your baby tends to get bored, change the vegetables used in the khichdi to give a different taste. You can find the recipe of dal khichdi here

Ragi porridge also helps to gain weight, it also strengthens the bones, teeth and helps for the overall development. Here is a complete post on how to introduce ragi to babies and how to make sprouted ragi flour for babies.

Yogurt and homemade paneer are also a good choice for babies over 8 months to gain weight. Serve yogurt alone or with brown rice and white rice in equal quantities.

I always used to make one cup curd separately for both my babies since it is not recommended to serve cold yogurt from the refrigerator. Also avoid serving in the evening or night.

how much yogurt/ curd to serve for babies ?

2 tbsp homemade unsweetened yogurt/ curd can be fed to 8 to 10 months baby, 2 to 3 times a week (avoid during winters)
4 tbsp can be fed to a 10 to 12 months baby. 3 to 4 times a week (avoid during winters)

Eggs also help babies to gain weight. Prefer boiled eggs instead of scrambled eggs. There is a loss of nutrition in scrambled eggs especially the protein content.

you can find the recipe of homemade curd here.

How to feed egg to baby ?

Make a hard boiled egg. Remove the yolk and take small portion of it and mash it with a pinch of cumin powder, add very little water and mash the egg to blend it well with water. It should become a smooth paste.

how much egg for 7 months old baby ?

For a 7 months baby – Start feeding a tsp of the above said mashed egg yolk. It can be served 2 times a week.
For 8 months baby – a tbsp and then increase the quantity.
For 10 months baby – by the end of 12 months a baby can eat the entire mashed yolk.

Include banana, papaya, apple, pear and chikoo (sapota). Serve banana at least 4 to 5 times a week. We give the small variety banana to babies. Avoid it when baby has cold and phlegm.

Serve a warm apple sauce or apple oats when the baby has cold and congestion. Banana helps to gain weight and most fruits helps to digest foods better since they contain natural digestive enzymes.

The nutrients from other foods are better absorbed by the body when a good amount of fruits are consumed (the right way).

Follow the rule, of feeding fruit alone without mixing with other foods at least once a day. Strictly do not serve fruits and milk together.

4. Ghee also helps to gain weight – How much ghee to serve for babies and toddlers ?

Start with only few drops a day when you introduce ghee to your baby. Try using organic and grassfed or desi ghee. Desi ghee can be found in ayurvedic stores or can also be bought online.

If you notice symptoms like coughing, itchy eyes or rubbing eyes or rashes stop it. Try with a new brand or try with homemade ghee. If your baby or toddler do not like the flavour of ghee, I suggest making ghee at home.

Just add few curry leaves towards the end when you make ghee at home, it adds a good aroma.

Excess usage of ghee may suppress the baby’s appetite, so use only as needed, a mother is the best judge. I followed the following measures for my babies and no cheese or butter was given to them.

If using butter then reduce the proportionate amount of ghee from the below mentioned quantity.

7 months ½ tsp ghee divided among 2 servings – start with only a few drops of melted ghee
8 months ¾ to 1 tsp ghee divided among 2 servings
10 months 1 to 1 ¼ tsp ghee divided among 3 servings
12 months on wards 1 to 1 ½ tsp ghee divided among 3 servings

Some babies may not digest fats in ghee well especially if formula milk, cheese, or butter are already a part of the diet. You can try with only half of the above quantity.

5. Can i use almonds / badam for my baby?

Experts advice not to introduce nuts to babies until 1 year as they may end up with severe allergies. So i would suggest waiting until your baby turns an year old especially if there is an history of allergy in your family.

However i have used almonds from 8 months for both my babies. Those who would like to try may start with almonds since these are the only kind of nuts that are slightly alkaline (apart from chestnuts).

Alkaline foods help us to keep our body healthy and energetic. Always try using soaked almonds. Soaking also increases the alkaline nature and hence digest well.

Soaking for about 5 to 6 hours also helps to peel the skin. They can be ground with little water and then used to cook baby foods like oats, ragi, rice etc.

6. Physical activity

Allow the baby to crawl freely, do not restrict your babies to prams or rocking chairs. Being physically active helps babies feel hungry in time. They are less fussy and eat or drink well.

Burping is very important as it helps to relieve the babies from colic and they tend to drink better. Gently Burp before feeding, in between the feeds, Burp after the feed. Keep the baby in upright position for at least 15 minutes after a feed.

Foods for weight gain in toddlers (above 1 year)

Breakfast menu
Pesarattu with ghee
Idli with ghee (1:2 proportion) – use search box for idli recipe
Soft thick dosa with boiled mashed potato
Chick pea / chana soup
chana dosa (with steamed mashed carrots)
moong dal soup
carrot milkshake
oats uttapam (use carrot for topping, follow method 2)
jowar dosa: you can make uttapam with carrot topping. Jowar makes bones strong and helps to gain good weight.
ragi mudde with rasam or any soup.
paneer paratha – no stuffing, good finger food too for snack in the evening
Boiled egg – boiled eggs have more nutrition than scrambled eggs. So try serving boiled egg with mild flavorings like pepper, cumin powder, ajwain and salt.

Suggestions from experienced mothers are welcome and highly appreciated to enhance this page.
Disclaimer: Please check with a pediatrician before you follow any of the tips or foods mentioned in this post.

My Heartfelt Thanks to all the Readers who have been consistently sharing with us their personal experiences with their babies, this has helped many new mothers to understand the baby food patterns and other food related issues.
Wishing a Wonderful Motherhood to all the MUMS

Which mixture is best for a newborn from 0 years old: rating 2020

For babies there is nothing better than mother's milk. However, it happens that breastfeeding is limited or impossible, and you have to switch to artificial. How to choose the right mixture?

nine0004 Source: ShutterStock/Fotodom.ru

The birth of a baby is a great happiness for parents. And, of course, every mother strives to give her child the best. There is no better food for a newborn in the world than breast milk.

But what if for some reason you have to formula feed your baby? Someone preserves the beauty of their breasts, someone cannot feed for medical reasons, and someone does not have milk at all. nine0003

According to the recommendations of WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), adapted formula for newborns is the third way to feed a child after breast and donor milk.

How to choose a formula for a newborn

Source here and below: Unsplash

What is the best formula for newborns from 0 months? Do not rush to take the first box that comes across from the store shelf. The range of food for babies is very wide. However, advertising, brand awareness or reviews on the forums do not guarantee that one or another composition will suit your baby. nine0003

Every baby is different, so before introducing formula into your baby's diet, you should consult with a breastfeeding specialist and try to adjust your baby's natural nutrition.

Any transfer of a child to artificial feeding should be done only after consulting a pediatrician. It will take into account the characteristics of the baby's body: its age, weight dynamics, appetite, the state of the intestinal microflora, the presence of allergies, and digestive disorders. If necessary, he can even recommend a therapeutic mixture. nine0003

Doctors warn: do not choose the formula yourself. Firstly, manufacturers, alas, do not always provide reliable and complete information about their product. Secondly, the price is not the most important reference point.

What are infant formulas

The first thing to consider when choosing the best formula for newborns is whether it is age appropriate. In the case of breastfeeding, as the baby's digestive system develops and improves, the composition of breast milk also changes. Therefore, the formula of mixtures for each age has its own. The milk formula number is indicated on the package. How to decrypt it? nine0003

  • The number "0" or the words "Pre", "Pre" in the name mean that the mixture is adapted for children who were born prematurely or with insufficient weight.
  • Number "1". So labeled food for babies from 0 to 6 months.
  • Number "2". The mixture is intended for babies up to 1 year.
  • The numbers "3" or "4". The product is designed for children over 1 year old.

Most formulas are based on farm animal milk protein. However, the baby's body is not able to absorb it. Protein has to be changed. According to the degree of its modification, mixtures are:

  • adapted - they are made on the basis of demineralized whey, as close as possible in structure to human milk,
  • partially adapted - their composition is somewhat similar to that of breast milk,
  • subsequent - these mixtures most often do not have whey, they are made from whole cow's milk with the addition of starch and sucrose.

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If a child has an intolerance to cow's milk protein, various diseases or nuances of development and health, then after examination and diagnosis, the doctor may recommend anti-allergenic mixtures based on goat's milk or soy. Therapeutic infant formulas are of several types:

  • low lactose and lactose free,
  • dairy-free, containing soy protein,
  • based on whey protein hydrolyzate,
  • gluten free,
  • iron enriched,
  • enriched with bifidobacteria,
  • mixtures without phenylalanrine.

To understand which formula to choose for a newborn, it is important to be able to read the composition correctly. Often the following ingredients are added to the product. nine0003

  • Prebiotics are oligosaccharides that tune the digestive tract to work better.
  • Probiotics are live bifidobacteria that help digestion and strengthen the immune system.
  • Fatty acids - or rather their subspecies, hidden under the abbreviation LCPUFA (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids).
  • Nucleotides are biological compounds that are constituents of nucleic acids and are involved in the processes of energy exchange in cells.
  • nine0029 Taurine is an amino acid for the formation of the central nervous system.
  • Iodine is an element in the composition of thyroid hormones that is responsible for body growth and metabolism.

5 rules for choosing infant formula

What to look for when choosing a mix on the counter? There are several characteristics that are important to check with every purchase.

  1. Best before date. It is safer to take a fresh mixture, the "age" of which is not more than 25% of the total shelf life. nine0030
  2. Packaging integrity. Tin cans without dents, packages inside cardboard boxes without cracks and tears.
  3. Composition. It is better to double-check the advertising statements about the composition made by the manufacturer on the front side in large print.
  4. Pack size. Don't be tempted to buy a large pack because many blends spoil quickly once opened.
  5. Specifications. If you are concerned about the smell or bitter taste, this may indicate improper storage conditions. nine0030

What is the best formula for newborns: ranking 2020

Attention! The rating of formulas for newborns is given for informational purposes only and does not replace the need to consult a doctor.

1. Kabrita Gold 1

One of the most expensive products on the infant formula market. The manufacturing company has about 55 own goat farms that feed exclusively on fresh grass.

The product has a delicate taste and a lot of useful properties. It's no secret that goat's milk is considered healthier than cow's milk due to its unique composition of nutrients. At the same time, the mixture does not have a specific goat smell. Its composition is truly unique and has been winning first places in competitions, ratings and tops for many years. The big disadvantage of this product is the high cost compared to competitors. nine0003

Distinctive feature: goat milk mixture.

2. Similac Gold 1

The blend is free of palm oil, a point that will please many parents who carefully check formulations for harmful substances. That is why a huge number of mothers have chosen Similac for many years.

It is quite sweet and really tasty. It contains vegetable oils that help digestion: the baby's stool becomes soft, constipation and gas formation disappear. The product also prevents colic. Of the minuses, the high cost can be noted. nine0003

Distinctive feature: prepared on the basis of vegetable oils, does not contain palm oil.

3. Nestle NAN Premium OPTIPRO 1

Perhaps one of the most popular milk formulas. It contains the highest amount of whey protein. It is this type of protein that is best absorbed.

Protein is the most necessary product for the full development of the body, even for an adult. The composition is also rich in essential vitamin complex A, E, D3, C, PP, B vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and trace elements. nine0003

This product has an anti-reflux effect (ie prevents spitting up). It is well absorbed and does not cause colic, reduces gas formation, and also contributes to the excellent functioning of the digestive system.

An additional plus is that it is presented on the shelves of most stores. The product is completely safe and does not contain preservatives. Of the minuses, the presence of palm oil in the composition can be distinguished.

Special feature: the highest protein content. nine0003

4. Nutrilon 1 Premium

An equally popular product on the market recommended by many pediatricians. A useful product that most kids like to taste. The composition includes fish oil, which is so necessary for a growing child's body.

The texture of this mixture is a white powder, odorless. Mom's convenience and speed of cooking. The composition is also good: the components help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of allergic reactions. The disadvantages include the presence of palm oil in the composition. nine0003

Distinctive feature: odorless, dissolves quickly.

5. Friso Gold 1

Another market leader. Many mothers choose this milk formula, as they have noticed a real effect in reducing colic, gas and constipation. It has a very convenient packaging, which provides thoughtful storage of a measuring spoon. It tastes sweet and very pleasant.

According to the forums, the product has almost no negative reviews. The composition contains various vitamins, as well as useful substances, such as: calcium phosphate, iron sulfate, folic acid. nine0003

The main advantage of Friso Gold is that it contains nucleotides. They help build immunity. Of the minuses, it can be distinguished that the mixture contains palm and rapeseed oil, and also has a high cost.

Distinctive feature: contains nucleotides that contribute to the formation of natural immunity.

6. Valio Baby 1

Finnish production is famous for the good quality of its products. Valio Baby Formula 1 is palm oil free and rich in vitamins and minerals. Pleasant in taste and well absorbed. nine0003

Fruitfully affects the digestive system, prevents the formation of intestinal colic, gas formation and constipation in newborns. The disadvantages include the fact that it is not represented everywhere. Good value for money.

Distinctive feature: a new product on the Russian market, the quality of which is carefully monitored.

7. HiPP 1 Combiotic

This product is gluten and emulsifier free and contains no preservatives or colorants. This mixture has a great effect on the formation of the brain and vision. All components are carefully processed, so we can confidently talk about the excellent composition of the Hipp blend. nine0003

Distinctive feature: careful selection of ingredients, interesting design.

8. Nestle Nestogen 1

Nestogen instant formula with prebiotics and L. Reuteri lactobacilli is one of the most popular formulas in the low price segment. The manufacturer is Nestle. The undoubted advantages are low cost and the absence of palm oil in the composition. But the difference in price was reflected both in the packaging of the goods (it is cardboard) and in the composition. nine0003

However, the product contains vitamins and microelements, prebiotics (not to be confused with probiotics: probiotics are a culture of beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are substances that provide normal flora with nutrition and create conditions for its development), lactobacilli.

Special feature: no palm oil and economical cost.

9. Malyutka (Nutricia) 1

This formula has been on the Russian market for many years. For some reason, some mothers are wary of this product, but in vain. He has a well-balanced composition. The producers of the Baby mix (the well-known Nutricia company) are very careful in their production and take into account all the norms and requirements. nine0003

The color of the powder is yellow, it dissolves well and tastes good. The mixture has a good effect on the gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. Packaging is cardboard. The price range is average, closer to low. The product is presented on the shelves of many stores.

Distinctive feature: balanced composition.

10. Semper Baby Nutradefense 1

Semper has long established itself in the market by producing quality baby food - cereals and purees. Semper Baby Nutradefense is formulated with a range of essential vitamins and minerals to help ensure your newborn develops healthy without digestive problems. The only problem is that the product is very difficult to find for sale on the shelves, but it is presented in various online stores. And yes, the price is quite high. nine0003

Distinctive feature: a large amount of vitamins and minerals.

11. Nutrilak Premium Blend 1

This blend is ideal for underweight babies. It does not contain palm and rapeseed oil, which is undoubtedly a big plus for many parents. I also want to note the low cost.

It is important to consider that the product should not be given to overweight children, as the mixture is very high in calories. Of the minuses, we highlight the fact that it is not suitable for all kids. nine0003

Special feature: Best value for money.

12. Agusha 1

AGUSHA produces purees, juices, yoghurts, water and many other baby food products. Many mothers have trusted her for many years. The composition of the mixture includes probiotics and prebiotics, which have the best effect on the gastrointestinal tract.

By the way, this mixture is used not only for its intended purpose, but for the preparation of various dishes (for example, children's cereals). An important pleasant bonus is the low cost. Of the minuses, one can single out the fact that the goods are not presented in all stores. nine0003

Distinctive feature: low cost and good composition.

How to introduce infant formula into the diet

The main rule when introducing infant formula into the diet is consistency. Do not immediately give the baby a full portion. It is better to gradually increase the dose and watch the child's reaction.

It is only possible to calculate the dosage of one portion intended for "acquaintance" with the mixture individually. It depends on the composition of the mixture prescribed for your child, the age of the child, his complexion, appetite and many other things. Therefore, it is better to ask this question to your pediatrician. And, of course, focus on the condition and reactions of the baby. nine0003

How long does adaptation take

The mixture is suitable if the child tolerates it well: he eats with pleasure, he does not develop dyspeptic disorders, anemia, atopic dermatitis and other similar conditions.

Children are different, sometimes the right mixture may not be suitable. It is believed that in the first five to seven days after the introduction of the mixture, the body adapts. During this period, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, vomiting, regurgitation, and malnutrition may occur. nine0003

If unpleasant symptoms persist, this is an occasion to consult a doctor to compensate for the condition and choose another mixture. However, doctors do not recommend frequently switching from one to another or trying new things to diversify the diet. By the way, manufacturers do not give test samples for review, reminding that there is nothing better for a child than mother's milk.


1. Official website of the World Health Organization - electronic source: www. who.int

2. La Leche Liga Russia official website — electronic source: www.lllrussia.ru

Photo: Shutterstock/Fotodom


Natalya Proskurina

Lactation consultant, blogger, @natali_carmine

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nine0004 09/23/2019 Reading time: 5 min