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How to Maintain Proper Infant & Toddler Weight

  • During your first Tipat Chalav (well baby check-up clinic) visit with your infant, you will be introduced to Israel’s most commonly used growth valuation system, based on percentiles and growth curves.
  • Following childbirth, it is recommended to exclusively breastfeed or feed your infant with Stage 1 infant formula.
  • From the age of four months, you can offer your infant tastings of pureed solid foods -  just a teaspoon or two! Their main form of nutrition is still based on nursing or formula.

During your first Tipat Chalav visit with your infant, you will be introduced to Israel’s most commonly used growth valuation system, based on percentiles and growth curves. The nurse measures the infant’s height and weight, inputs the data into the computer system to determine the infant’s place on the growth curve and discovers the infant’s growth percentile, as compared to other infants their age. An infant belonging to the 60th percentile, for example, is larger than 60 percent of their peers and smaller than 40 percent of their peers. An infant belonging to the 20th percentile, is smaller than 80 percent of their peers.

Your child’s percentile depends on the nutrition they ingest, as well as their body type - and their parents’. At every subsequent Tipat Chalav appointment, the nurse will check to see that your infant is growing within their curve - or if their percentile went up/down.

An abnormal jump or fall off the growth charts can stem from many reasons. As such, it’s recommended to consult with a doctor or Tipat Chalav nurse regarding further courses of treatment. However, one of the most significant reasons for a drop in the charts is a nutritional deficit. While this does not mean your infant will have to shift over to a fatty diet, you will need to ensure they receive a healthy and varied diet that is suitable for your child’s age, in conjunction with proper eating habits.

Birth to four months: Nursing + Vitamin D


Following birth, it is recommended to exclusively breastfeed or feed your infant with Stage 1 infant formula. It’s a good idea to get your infant used to orderly feedings spaced three hours apart and containing an age-appropriate amount of nutrition, from a young age. Avoid establishing bad eating habits, such as: feeding in front of the television, or feeding to sleep. From a young age, your infant’s hunger and satiation mechanisms develop, which you must respond to appropriately to prevent obesity from developing at a later age.

Four to six months: Tastings of solid food + iron


From the age of four months, you can offer your infant tastings of pureed solid foods -  just a teaspoon or two! Their main form of nutrition is still based on nursing or formula. You can start with pureed steamed vegetables, such as: carrots, potatoes, etc. Later, offer fruits as well.

As your infant advances and shows interest, you can offer more and more foods and food groups, such as chicken and legumes, until you begin substituting a milk meal with a solids meal at the age of six months. In addition to tastings, the Health Ministry recommends giving your infant a daily iron supplement - even for infants nourished by iron-enriched formula.

Studies show that in Israel infants and toddlers suffer from an iron deficiency for a number of reasons: the process of koshering meat adversely affects the meat’s iron levels, Israel’s diet (as a country) is mostly based on chicken and legumes, which aren’t nearly iron-rich enough, etc.

As dairy products inhibit the benefits or ingested iron, it is recommended to give your infants a supplement designed to enable absorption by their little bodies.

Six months and up: A healthy, varied diet

From this age onwards, your infant will gradually transition to eating a solids-based diet. In order to build a complete and varied diet that contains all food groups in their required quantities, it’s a good idea to get to know the main food groups a little better and integrate them into meals throughout the day:
● Grains - This is the food group your little one needs to eat the most of: whole grain rice, quinoa, bread, pasta and more. It’s recommended to serve whole grain grains, as they contain more dietary fiber and protein, and avoid sweets based on white flour, sugar and fat, such as cakes and croissants.
● Fruits and vegetables - It is recommended to give your infants three servings of fruits or vegetables a day (more vegetables than fruits).
● Protein - Dairy and meat products. Meat products are rich in iron and Vitamin B12n and dairy products are rich in calcium. As such, offer your infant both on a daily basis.
 Fats - Butter and unhealthy fats, as well as foods rich in cis fats: avocado and tahini. Serve these foods in moderation.

Beyond offering healthy and varied foods, you should also avoid offering sweet drinks and treats that are not essential to your child’s nutrition. Instead, get them used to only drinking water. If you want to pamper your infant with something sweet, opt for a homemade baked good, yogurt, fruit, etc.

Adhering to a healthy and varied diet will help prevent your child from developing nutritional deficits, or from gaining too much weight, and will allow them to develop with ease.

Bon appetit!

Category Title : Infant Development
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