My kids are all teeny weeny- clearly they didn’t get that trait from me, but I am not complaining! Over my mothering career, I have been told a few times that my kids could stand to gain a little weight. For my son, it was due to him having RTA when he was younger, and had lots of trouble growing and gaining wait. For my youngest pea (this cute one pictures below), it’s due to her being a picky eater and the stomach I swear is the size of a peanut. For both kids, I have tried to do small things to add in extra calories into their diet- the healthy way! Obviously they’d love for me to give them three ice cream sundaes each day, but that would add the WRONG kind of calories to their diets. These changes (or more likely “additions”) are small things you can add to your children’s meals if they could stand to gain a few pounds, like mine. So if you have this problem, then these 10 easy ways to get more calories into your kid’s diet will get your started- the healthy way!
Let me begin by saying I am NOT a doctor, and these suggestions I am giving are a combination of advice given to me by my pediatrician and books I have read on this subject. Obviously you will need to talk to your child’s doctor to be sure you are adding the right kind of calories for them!
So if you struggle with getting your child to gain weight, these 10 easy ways can add in some extra calories to an average meal, without forcing your kids to eat they wouldn’t want to be eating in the first place. While we are still on this rollercoaster, I am say that these have helped, so we will be keeping up with them!
1.Always serve whole fat dairy products (milk, yogurts, cheeses)
2.Add in more cheese: top eggs with shredded cheese, add in an extra slice to sandwiches, serve a cheese stick with their snack. Cheese is a good source of nutrition, and most kids love it, so that’s an easy addition!
3.Make a smoothie as apart of lunch. If they like it, add in peanut butter for extra protein. One of mine loves it, one hates it, so for the one that hates it, we make more “milkshake” flavors- like banana nutella. Add in some instant breakfast powder for more calories.
4.Make a trail mix snack mix- and add in some dried fruit and/or nuts for an extra calorie punch.
5.Bump up the starches/grains: think sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, rice, quinoa. Cook them with some butter and top with a dollop of whole fat sour cream for more calories.
6.Cook a sauce or gravy for your meal- then you can add more to a child’s portion and not everyone’s if that’s not wanted.
7.Serve a dip with veggies and crackers: mashed avocado, hummus, or any nut butter is a great option. If you have a picky eater (like me), ranch is still a good option that most kids like.
8.Cook with healthy fats and oils, like olive oil. Toss some olive oil in your child’s pasta before serving.
9.Add in a little cream to oatmeal, cereal, pastas, and smoothies.
10.Serve only whole grain breads.
It’s funny how it’s so easy for us moms to gain a few extra pounds, but extremely challenging for our kids! These little tips, along with being sure to serve smaller meals and plenty of wholesome snacks, will help to sneak in some extra calories into your child’s diet and will hopefully get them to bulk up some in no time!