As commonly as we hear about obesity in children, it will be surprising to know that many have to look for tips on weight gain for kids. Children who are underweight usually don’t have very good appetite or they fill themselves with snacks or fast-foods. So, the requirement of essential nutrients for a body is never fulfilled. Many parents associate lack of weight gain to lack of eating also. While this can be true, however, there can be many reasons for not gaining weight among kids.

The most common reason to not gain healthy weight is lack of consumption of healthy and nutritious food for children to meet body requirments. By making some small changes in children’s eating habits throughout the day, you can help them to increase (quality) calories they get. If the child is a good eater, then there is less to worry about lack of weight gain. It will eventually happen with age and for as long as it doesn’t, its not detrimental to health.

If the child is a fussy eater, then the challenge is to feed nutrient dense high calorie food. It is important for kids to consume calories which come packed with necessary fats, carbs, proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Reducing drinks at mealtimes is also a quick tip to enable higher consumption of nutritious food for children, as water or drink can fill up the tummy sooner than it is ought to. Other tips include introducing four or five tiny meals instead of offering three big meals and encouraging a few healthy snacks over the day. These are some of the efforts that can really help your child not only gain weight but also get a healthy and active body.

Some nutritious food for children that can be included in your kid’s diet which can help him/her gain weight are mentioned below.

Banana: Bananas are one of the best foods for kids to gain weight as they are high on potassium, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B9. The fruit is also rich in carbohydrates and is a source of instant energy. Bananas are fairly high in natural sugar, which enables a quicker energy supply than other foods. It is also a high calorie food compared to many other fruits. A cup of apple slices has about 55-60 calories, while a cup of banana slices has around 130 calories, however both are nutritious. (Recipe for Banana muffin)

Potato: Each potato packs about 4 grams of fibre and 4 grams of protein, which keeps kids feeling full. Being a simple carb which is easy to digest, Potatoes can also raise instant energy levels. To pack more nutrition to this food, it is preferred to consume them with their skin, which adds fibre and other nutrients to the diet and makes one of the favourite and best foods for kids to gain weight. Consuming sweet potato is also a more nutritious alternative with similar calorie intake. (Recipe for fries)

Eggs: Eggs are packed with high quality proteins and healthy fats. Eggs are nutritious food for children to eat when they are trying to gain weight. The egg yolk is imperative to meet the demands of the body for healthy fats. It provides a significant amount of protein as well as Vitamin B2, phosphorus and vitamin D. Adding two eggs to the diet provides 120 calories along with 12g of protein and so much more nutrition for the body.

Milk: Milk and other dairy products contain protein and calcium, essential for weight gain and muscle building. If the goal is weight gain, whole milk can be the best option since it has a good amount of protein along with some saturated fat. Researchers believe that whey protein can be a dependable source of consuming protein to support muscle repair and development (how to make whey at home?). Additional studies have found that milk or whey and casein combined, can lead to greater mass gain than other protein sources. (Recipe for whey protein buns). Cheese and cottage cheese are other nutritive sources of high calories.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are the best foods for kids to gain weight. Nuts and nut butters are absolutely the right choice if you are looking for some foods for your kids to gain weight. Just one small handful of raw almond contains 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre and 15 grams of healthy fats. Pistachios, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia and flax seeds too are high in fat and calories and can help to gain weight and provide the essential fat for the brain. (Recipe for nut cookies or cake) or (Recipe for nut chocolate)

Soy: Soy foods are said to be high in calories, which means they are the most nutritious food for children and can help them to gain weight. 1/2 cup of soy nuggets/ granules will give about 100 calories. Soy protein is a great product to include in the diet to help with weight gain. 

Recipe for Quinoa Rice flakes meal- 6 veggies, 2 grains, 1 sprout and nut

  • Heat oil for sautéing veggies
  • Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, chopped onion, garlic, potato to the oil
  • Once onion and potato become light brown, add peas, chopped carrot, chopped cauliflower
  • Add salt as per taste
  • Cover and cook till edible soft (don’t add water)
  • Add chopped mung bean sprouts and coriander
  • Add cooked quinoa and soaked rice flakes (poha)
  • Mix and cook till all is mixed well on low flame (5 min)
  • Sprinkle lots of lemon juice for tangy flavour
  • Top with roasted peanuts
  • Serve hot!

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