What can I do? My child’s breath has a rotten egg smell. - Evewoman

My child’s breath has a rotten egg smell

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Dear Dr. Ombeva,

My baby girl is now 11 months 2 weeks old. She is a good feeder, but two months ago, I observed that sometimes she would get the foul egg smell. I have given her extra quantities of roughage and water to reduce all this. I would like to know if there are specific variety of foods I should give her especially for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner as well as the required portions. Jose, Nairobi


Dear Jose,

Thank you for your question. It is indeed true that smell or odor can be as a result of diet or type of food but it may also be due to other reasons, including poor oral hygiene, infection in the nose, tonsillitis, and other gut infections, among others.

The first step is to have a pediatrician review your baby to clearly establish the cause of the persistent smell. Secondly, you need to feed the child on appropriate diet for her age.

At 11 months, the main diet should comprise breast milk, maybe formula milk when breast milk is not adequate, soup, non-acidic fresh fruit juice and water. Mashed potatoes and cereal may also be added.

The child at that age needs to be fed on demand and not scheduled into breakfast, lunch and dinner. Infants take in small feeds, and have a large surface area to volume ratio, with higher metabolic rate than adults, so require small but frequent feeds varied along the diet spectrum to make the diet balanced.

The idea is to ensure the child receives an adequate share of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. It should be a flexible regime, based on the baby’s likes and parents efforts to balance, and not a rigid diet structure.


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