Is your toddler a fussy eater? Are you losing sleep over her slow weight gain? If you answered yes, then you are part of a growing number of parents who are looking for ways to feed their toddlers healthier food.
Many mothers are constantly looking for tricks to ‘fatten’ up their babies. Part of the reason is that we as a society equate chubby with healthy. That is why many women with overweight kids don’t see their babies’ size as a problem (1).
But just because your toddler is thin doesn’t mean she is unhealthy! Genetics plays a big role in determining how ‘big’ your toddler will go on to become (2).
But if you are still worried, don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician. Once he rules out an underlying health condition, you can go ahead and try to help your little one at home.
The best route to help fussy toddlers gain weight is to ensure that every bite they eat is filled with calories. But how can you do that? By including high calorie foods in her diet!
High Calorie Foods For Toddlers To Gain Weight:
Your toddler needs a healthy and balanced diet to gain weight. You might despair at your toddler’s small appetite. But remember that she has a small stomach. It is difficult for her to get all her calories from three major meals. So, you need to ensure that she also gets healthy snacks throughout the day. If you are confused about what to feed your little one, try this food guide. It lists all the high high calorie healthy foods for toddlers..
Your toddler’s diet must include:
- French toast
- Banana bread
- Raisin bread
- Pasta with olive oil or butter
- Fried potatoes
- Fried onion rings
- Vegetables like peas and carrots topped with cheese
- Dried Fruits
These are just few of the high calorie toddler foods you can include.
[ Read: Nutritional Foods For Toddlers ]
How Can You Make Every Bite Count:
There are ways you can turn simple everyday dishes into calorie rich delicacies! Wondering how? Let us show you!
1. Use Good Fats:
Top up your toddler’s daily foods with fats like butter, cream, cheese, or mayonnaise. Fats are full of calories and essential for your toddler’s brain development.
2. Go For Full-Fat Dairy Products:
Make sure your toddler’s diet has ample amounts of full-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. You can add shredded cheese to her vegetables, rice, and other dishes to bulk them up. You can also give her cheese slices as finger food.
3. Try Smoothies:
So your toddler likes all things liquid? Try healthy smoothies! Here are some smoothie recipes for you to try:
- Orangy Delight: Just blend orange juice and vanilla ice cream. Your toddler will surely enjoy the taste and will also get the required amount of vitamin C and calories!
- Fruity Goodness: Blend whole milk yogurt, high-calorie milk, and fruits of your choice. A great way to provide your fussy toddler with her daily fruit portions!
- Go Grapy: All you need for this recipe is some full fat milk and grape juice concentrate. Mix and serve!
4. Cook Healthy Soups:
Does your toddler like soups? Well, make some with milk instead of water!
[ Read: Soup Recipes For Toddlers ]
5. Add Calories To Potato:
Most toddlers love to eat potatoes. If your little one too enjoys eating these starchy veggies, add some more calories to them. Simply mix cheese or milk to the potato.
Things To Keep In Mind:
Providing your toddler with calorie rich food is not enough! You need to keep some points in mind to ensure healthy weight gain.
- Introduce solids, and a variety of them, to your baby as soon as you can. Babies, who are exposed to different foods at an early age, go on to enjoy eating later in life (3).
- A majority of toddlers fill 40% of their energy needs through empty calories (4). You may be tempted to feed your little one junk food in the hope of putting some food inside her. But in the long run, you may be doing more harm than good. The empty calories derived from junk food does nothing for your toddler’s health but can cause obesity (5).
- When it comes to milk, talk to your pediatrician. Most doctors prescribe full-fat milk for toddlers. But according to research, even skimmed milk can lead to weight gain in children between two to four years of age (6). So, before you turn to full-fat milk, discuss it with your doctor.
- Avoid juices. They are full of vitamin C but can also cause tooth decay. Juices also lack sufficient calories. So, feed your toddler juices in moderation. Also, give her solid food before liquids.
- Give her healthy snacks. Instead of cookies and chips, let her graze on avocado slices!
- Don’t load your toddler’s diet with fiber-rich foods. These can fill her up without providing sufficient calories.
[ Read: Nutritious Snacks For Toddlers ]
A toddler needs 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day. That may sound like a lot, but if you follow the tips provided here, you’ll do just fine.
So what are you waiting for? Start adding this list of high calorie foods for toddlers diet!
And do share your tips and recipes with us in the comments section below!
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