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Nutrition Guide for Failure to Thrive (FTT)

Nutrition in the early years of life is a major determinant of growth and development and it influences their health during adulthood. A child’s growth, including brain growth is rapid in the first 2 years of life. When the growth falters, deficit may also be seen in the child’s emotional and intellectual development.

FTT could be due to the following factors:

  • Fatigue while feeding
  • Uncoordinated sucking and swallowing abnormalities
  • Frequent vomiting
  • On fluid restriction
  • Altered gut function

How to manage?

  • Infants with FTT may require higher calorie feeding which is 22-30 calories per ounce (30ml). Basic formula and human breast milk have 20 calories per ounce (30ml).
  • Use high calorie formulas or consult a Dietitian on how to mix your baby’s formula to have more calories per ounce.
  • Start to introduce weaning foods gradually when your baby is about 6 months old while continuing on breast milk/ formula milk.
  • Regular main meals with frequent snacks is important. Refer to the table below for the frequency of meals and snacks:
Age Meals/day Snacks/day
6-8 months 2-3 times 1 -2 times
9– 11 months 3 –4 times 1 –2 times
1– 2 years 4 –5 times 1– 2 times
  • Mashed fruits/vegetables/ rice/ mashed potato or baby cereal are some good choices to be used asweaning foods.
  • For children more than 1 year old, encourage small and frequent meals with energy dense snacks in between meals. For instance, flavoured milk, cream biscuits, deep fried snacks, milk shakes.
  • Opt for high calorie milk formula for drinking or in making puddings, jelly, smoothies and cookies.

Monitoring Your Child’s Growth

Monitor your child’s weight and heightusing the growth chart according to gender and age.

Normal weight and height should fall between 5th to 95th percentiles in the charts.

Referral to the Dietitian

For more nutrition information and consultation, please contact IJN’s Diet Clinic.

Diet Clinic Block A:    03-26006596

Diet Clinic Block B:    03-26006942


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