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Is cerelac better than homemade porridge?

Q: My 6 months old daughter weighs 5.75 kg. Her weight at birth was 3.1 kg. Has she gained enough weight? Further, we started giving her solid food (banana powder porridge) a month back. She did not like it. I go to office in the morning at around 9 and come back at 6. I come and feed her during lunch also. My doctor has asked to me to give her cerelac wheat-stage 1. Is cerelac better than homemade porridge? How many times in a day should we give solid food to the baby?

A:I am happy that despite prolonged working hours you are making a conscious effort to breast feed your baby. Keep it up for as long as you can. Your baby is certainly ready for semi-solid foods. Home made porridges are better than commercial preparations. You can make a variety: sooji kheer, rice kheer, thick soups made from a mixture of pulses, cereals and seasonal vegetables, rice-daal khichdi etc. These are nutritionally rich, made fresh from home available ingredients so that your baby learns straight away to eat the family food and they are quite economical as compared to commercial products. Give semi-solids 3 times a day along with your feeds. Increase the amount gradually till the child can accept about a bowl size. This would be adequate replacement for a feed. Introduce food items one at a time and allow time for the child to develop a liking for it. Give all home based foods. Initially, these should be mashed and homogenised. Later as the teeth erupt, you can cut the food into small pieces. Your baby's weight is fine. Remember, as the child grows older, the rate of weight gain comes down.

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