A couple once visited Dr. Joshi and they had a weird complaint. Their son was slowly turning pale and they could see bubbles/foam in his stool. He used to cry a lot and sometimes he cried so much, that he could hardly breathe. The boy was 18 months old. Doctor’s intense questioning revealed that the 18-month kid was on the diet of only milk. Food did not interest him. He would only drink his mother’s milk. Only when the mother’s milk would not suffice, he would drink the milk of outside sources but through a bottle.
More questioning revealed the boy would refrain from eating food but was found to be eating mud, chalk, plaster off the wall or ice. The parents had tried to explain to the child that he shouldn’t put them those things in the mouth. Not only this, while brushing teeth the boy would swallow the paste too.
Then the doctor saw the whole picture. The reason for the bubbles in the stool was the toothpaste.
Secondly, since the boy was living only on the nutrition from the mother’s milk, he had developed anemic conditions due to a lack of iron in the body. Blood reports showed a lack of hemoglobin in the blood and due to deficiency of iron in the body, the boy would be found eating mud, chalk, plaster off the wall or ice time and again.
For treatment, the doctor informed the parents that an 18-month-old child slowly should be given vegetable soup (which in reality should be started from the 3rd month), then iron-rich predigested cereals (which should be started after the 4th month and eventually, start with a nutritional diet.
Immediately they started giving iron to the boy. The doctor told the parents that if any child looks pale after the first month they should get the hemoglobin tested, in case the hemoglobin is less iron tonic should be given and the child should be given soups to develop their taste buds.
In addition, the doctor also said that nature gives teeth to chew and so once the child gets teeth slowly milk should be replaced with food. Child’s grooming is an art as well as science. For child development, one should read the many books that doctors have written or one should visit pediatrics for the same. One should closely observe every movement of the child and any change observed should be brought to the doctor’s notice from time to time, which is a good practice for the child.
Here the doctor also says that parents want their kids to be healthy and chubby. In order to do so, parents feed a lot to the child. For this, they often give more proteins or carbohydrates or vitamins to the child which is harmful rather than being helpful. Reading headlines parents tend to overfeed their kid which is not correct. A child should be healthy and not fat. The definition of being healthy is not being fat.