Vegetarian Foods To Help Your Baby Gain Weight and Recuperate

This week we had a very important query from one of our FirstCry mums. Mum Kriti Sharma, mother of 08-month-old baby boy Vihaan, wrote in saying, ‘Vihaan has just recovered from an illness. He has lost a little weight and become weak. Please suggest some age-appropriate vegetarian food that would help him recuperate and gain weight.’

As we do each time a mum comes to us with a query, we put the question to all of you mums out there, and you wonderful mommies came back with a number of recipes and ideas to help the little one. Isn’t it right when we believe that Mommy Knows Best? Read on to know the various recipes, some and tried-and-tested ideas and some new innovative ones!

According to mum Aarti Vedpathak, nachani with crushed almonds should help the baby, while mum Uzma Kazi says that daliya with almond should be great. Also, a balance of vegetable soups and semi-solid food from 06th month on should be good for baby’s health. Mum Sara Khan seconds that, while mum Simonelle Hessing agrees, adding that in addition, dal and rice with a little bit of ghee should work well.

Mum Priya Jain feels that a baby should be given lots of fresh fruits or shakes, which babies and kids usually love. Also, vegetable soups with some amount of beetroot helps in providing strength while crushed or grated almonds are good for baby’s brain development and growth.

Mum Monika Mahendru says suji ki kheer will make the baby gain weight, and mum Parveen Julka Verma says suji ki kheer with grated soaked almonds and banana is very good for baby’s growth.Mum Shrish Rathore swears by mashed banana and milk, while mums Sudarsana Venugopal and Shabnam Desai recommend ragi/nachni khichdi, sooji kheer, upma, daliya and mashed potatoes with butter.

Quick Recipe 1: Take 01 banana, mash it with spoon, add malaai and crushed sugar. Baby will love it.

Mum Goldy Gera says lentils and spinach in the form of soups or khichdi is ideal for baby’s growth and is also frequently recommended by pediatricians.

Remember: While most mums helped mum Kirti with innovative and healthy recipes, mum Garima Gulati Bhutani says that, while she used to worry about her son’s weight, she also realised that it is more important to feed them the right ingredients than only trying to make them eat all the time, as it will help the baby grow properly. Mum Charanya Madan says don’t just concentrate on making baby put on weight, make sure that baby is active and happy, that is always an indication of good health. Weight is just a number after all!

Quick Recipe 2: Fry some wheat on tava without oil and when it starts giving a nice fragrance, ground it in a mixer. In a pan, add some ghee, some ground elaichi (cardamom), the ground wheat and a little sugar. Stir. Add some water and quick for about 20 minutes. Shared by mum Naina Lalwani

Mum Nishi Rampuria says that giving baby a tomato soup mixed with yellow moong dal, apple and a little salt and sugar should definiltey help.

Mum Meenakshi Tandon says grind apple in a grinder and give baby everyday. Also, soak 02 almonds in the night and make a fine paste in the morning by rubbing the almond on a rough surface and add some jaiphal (nutmeg) and chuara (dry dates) – good for baby’s mind and body. In the afternoon, make a khichdi of yellow moong dal and daliya and add a little ghee, turmeric and salt. Also, give some mashed banana with butter, to make the immune system strong. Important: Don’t give too much of everything at the same time, make sure you give a little bit of everything to baby, preferably after gaps of about 2 hours.

Think: Though many mums have advised using nuts in baby’s diet, mum Swati Verma Mathur says that it’s important to be cautious while giving babies nuts, and that one should avoid feeding nuts to baby before the first birthday. We would advise mums to have a word with baby’s pediatrician first, in order to avoid any allergies or discomfort.

Quick Recipes by mum Maya Silavat:

Morning: Prepare normal khichdi with a little bit of ghee and give your baby along with a little milk without sugar.

Afternoon: Softly cooked rice with potato gravy mixed with ghee and give baby with curd – curd makes baby’s body temperature normal.

Evening: Give daliya cooked with 5-6 kishmish (raisin)

Night: Daliya

In addition to the home recipes, we asked mums about what, according to them, is a healthy vegetarian option to help babies gain weight and strength.


I have been giving this recipe to my son since he was 08 months old till he was almost 2. My son is now 03 and I am now giving him a different version of the same. This is a vegetarian recipe and easy for babies to digest. Recipe: Take half a bowl of uncooked rice, 02 teaspoons each of pulses (moong, tur, chana, masoor, wheat) and add 02 tablespoons of groundnuts. Mix the above ingredients, wash them properly and dry in the sun. Dry roast them in a pan until they become light and crispy (make sure it doesn’t turn dark brown, only light brown). Let it cool and grind in a mixer to make a fine powder. This mixture stays good for almost a week to 10 days (can be refrigerated). For a single feeding, take 01 tablespoon of the mixture and about half a bowl (small) of boiled water and let it cook for 05 minutes. Once it comes to boil, it will turn into a white/cream coloured paste. Add salt to taste and half a teaspoon of ghee. You may add water, depending on the consistency and your baby’s preference. Pediatrician suggestion –  Add half a teaspoon of dry fruit powder (mix of cashew, almond, pista, apricot) at least 2-3 times a week. This recipe will help the child recuperate and gain back weight.

The Results:

Highest number of votes – Fruits and shakes

Second highest number of votes – vegetable soup

Third highest number of votes – ragi, nachni or suji khichdi

Least votes – crushed almonds


4 responses

  1. Wonderful… wishing Vihaan the best of health…

  2. Pallavi Parab– I am giving my baby the same- we call it Bhardi. But I personally think at this age we shouldnt add much of dry fruits, and cashew- a big NO. Cashew causes dryness, apart from that cashew causes un -needed obesity. Almonds are good, after an year of age a child can be given 1 almond a day , as we know it is very good for brain development.
    about ghee – I think baby shouldn’t be given much fatty foods. Ghee once aday is okay. but not more than that. and we can switch to sweet potato instead of potato, it has lots of fiber in that.
    I give my baby soup – I make it this way Bottlegourd + tomato + spinach boiled with mung daal n bit of ginger. we can add cumin seeds.. and healthy soup is ready isn’t it ..
    Raagi can be given with apple / prunes.
    One of my friends had suggested that avocados are also good for weight gain..
    well n rest is upto our LOs.. they should also like it after all! 🙂

  3. where do you buy this stuff from its not in my food markets

    1. Hello Nicky,
      Most of these ingredients should be easily available in the local food stores. Else you can try out food store chains like Hyper City, More, Reliance Food, Big Bazaar as they usually stock these food products.

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