My 11-year-old son has lots of white spots on his nails. I seem to remember learning that a vitamin deficiency causes this. Can you tell me which vitamin and if there are any other problems that occur with this deficiency? Thank you.

This happens mainly because of zinc and calcium deficiency. Other consequences are easy-to-break nails and hair.

My wife has tried to lose weight ever since the birth of our first child. What are some hints for helping someone in your family stay on a diet?

First of all, help her by sharing her load. So, she can focus on herself too. Secondly, prepare her meals on time so she doesn't skip a meal just because it's not ready. Go for a walk with her daily.

Hi, I’ve been thinking of going vegan but my mom keeps telling me that it wouldn’t be good for me as I used to eat meat a lot and now such a drastic change would have a negative effect. What is your opinion on that and can you prescribe any vegan diet that is as good as eating meat?

There's no issue in going vegan but don't shift to it suddenly. Make gradual changes and you'll be good.

I have high cholesterol and I need a meal plan, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can you provide some options?

Some good options are whole wheat chapati, eggs, multigrain bread, vegetables, lentils, lean meat, skimmed milk, plain yogurt etc. Contact a dietitian for a proper plan.

My mother in law is on dialysis. What is the best diet for her?

Generally high protein and low sodium diet is good for dialysis patients. But please consult a dietitian for a meal plan. •