Mealtime is something that can scare even the most experienced parent into a harried state. Whether your kiddo is a picky eater or a non-eater, it’s super hard to keep toddler weight gain in check and ensure they’re getting all the nutrients and calories they need to grow. A lot of parents out there are worried about their skinny kids, but the good news is that there are a few tips and tricks that can really make a world of difference. Here are some golden nuggets of wisdom:
How to ensure adequate toddler weight gain
Mix calorie-dense foods into their favourites
If your kid is a big fan of yoghurt but hates veggies, steam some bland veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots. Mash it up and add it to their yoghurt once it has cooled down completely. Start with small doses and gradually increase it until you’ve hit the sweet spot of 50/50 with the yoghurt. You can apply the same hack to mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and even sandwiches. Regardless of whether your kid knows what they’re eating, their body certainly does.
Up the calorie game
If variety isn’t the main issue, you’ll have to figure out how to up your kid’s calorie intake to ensure proper toddler weight gain. Instead of just three, try offering your toddler 4 meals per day. Do breakfast, early lunch, late lunch (after the nap) and then dinner at least 2 hours before bed. This gives your kid’s body enough time to digest and not too much time to burn off the calories.
This might seem a little counterintuitive to what we tell ourselves and older kids because most of us don’t need to be eating while we’re sitting down or doing other activities. But when it comes to worrisome toddler weight gain, it’s important to allow them to have nutritious and calorie-dense snacks on hand. Cheerios are great and you can also try some peanut butter granola bars and organic cheese and crackers.
If your toddler is a fan of milk, try whipping up various concoctions and see what they like. Chocolate milk with peanut butter, bananas and greek yoghurt work well. You can also add strawberries instead of the peanut butter and bananas. Plain milk mixed with blueberries and bananas can also be a great idea. These smoothies are great calorie boosters and are packed full of vitamins and healthy proteins. Don’t replace meals with smoothies, instead, offer them after the main meal.