Children gain weight as they get older and is also help them grow. However, many children don’t gain weight, and the reason is prevalent. Most of them do not eat enough food to meet their needs. With a little planning, your kid also can maintain weight and avoid the negative effects of poor weight gain.
Why is my kid not gaining adequate weight?
Your kid may not be putting on enough weight because:
- She doesn’t have an appetite, or she says no to food
- She is experiencing a growth spurt
- Her energy needs are high
- She is a picky eater – only eats a few types of food
- She eats too slowly
- She is easily distracted or loses interest in eating quickly
- She has an illness
If she doesn’t have any medical condition, here are some general tips for healthy weight gain for your kid:
Not Skipping Meals
- Keep a check on their meal taking counts. Consider eating four or five meals a day. Since your child likely won’t eat all the food, anyway, try to avoid giving her three big meals.
- Encourage one or two healthy snacks each day
- Avoid junk food with empty calories, candies, chips, and soft drinks. These foods are low in nutrition and don’t add value to your child’s health.
- Avoid low or non-energy-containing drinks, such as diet soda and fruit drinks
- Eat energy-dense foods, which are high in calories, have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as yogurt, whole milk, peanut butter, etc.
- Limiting drinks at mealtimes, so that your kid doesn’t fill up her stomach and want to eat more food.
- Consult a registered dietitian for help, especially if your kid has malabsorption or chronic illness, causing him to be underweight.
- Encourage your child to eat when she is the hungriest, or eat something, instead of skipping a meal at a particular time of day.
Foods to Gain Weight
While you want your child to gain weight by eating high-calorie foods, but you need to check these foods should be high- nutrient or nutrient-dense, and not merely junk food. The meals must have the right amount of protein, fat, and other nutrients in a small package, for example:
- Fried eggs
- Peanut butter
- Orange juice
- Cereal with whole milk
- Whole milk or 2% milk
- Trail mix with dried fruit, seeds, and nuts
- Yogurt or cheese made with whole milk or 2% milk
- Green vegetables and fruits
Supplements to Gain Weight
Nutrition experts usually don’t recommend giving kids food supplements to help them gain weight. But it can be often helpful to supplement the food they are eating and drinking with extra calories. We recommend you add the following nutrient-dense foods to certain other foods:
- Powdered milk
- Peanut butter
- Wheat germ
- Sour cream
- Instant breakfast mix
- Salad dressing
You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered milk to 8 ounces of whole milk (150 calories) and add an extra 40 to 60 calories to your child’s glass of milk.
If your kid is getting enough calories, and not gaining weight appropriately, consult with her doctor to discover any underlying conditions. Chances are good, and with some persistence and conscientious meals, your child will strike a healthy height and weight balance.