As frequently as we hear about child obesity. It will come as a surprise to learn that many people have to hunt for tips on how to make kids gain weight or foods for kids to gain weight. In India, 36% of children under the age of five are underweight, 38% are stunted, and 21% suffer from eating disorders. Children that are underweight typically don’t eat much or load up on fast food or snacks. Therefore, a body’s need for key nutrients is never met. Here are some tips to help you understand how to help a child put on a healthy weight.
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HOW TO GAIN WEIGHT in kids?
Encourage your child for physical activities. Indulge them in some sports like swimming, cycling and running which can help to increase their appetite.
Focus on a healthy, well balanced, nutritious diet instead of just thinking about weight gain. Food for kids to gain weight should be nutrient-rich, energy-dense with adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates. It should include foods from all food groups. Some fruits and vegetables have more calories than you might have thought of.
Also check, Foods for kids to gain weight
Try to give 4 to 5 small meals, despite feeding 3 bigger meals. Also add 2 to 3 healthy snacks which may include fruits, nuts and seeds. They are the best baby food for weight gain. These in-between healthy snacks can help your kid to take in more calories than by eating three bigger meals.
Also check,12 ideas for healthy snacks that kids can make with you
Not skipping meals:
Don’t allow kids to skip meals, or at least encourage them to eat something instead of skipping a meal.
Avoid processed food:
Processed and packaged foods often contain added sugar, Salt, unhealthy fats and lose their original nutrients during the food manufacturing process. Discourage your kids for these easily available foods. They won’t favour a child’s health in any positive manner. (How does fast-food impact bones?)
Hydration is important for kids. But drinking liquid just before or during meals can affect your kid’s appetite and make them eat less. Studies have shown that drinking water prior to meals can reduce calories intake. (Impact of sugar on the body?)
Proper sleep is utmost important for kids in their overall development. A decent night sleep can make a positive impact on your child’s entire day and on their appetite also.
Also check, 5 foods that help your child in sleeping well
Creating calm atmosphere for child’s eating:
Kids are most frequently distracted while eating by the television, phone, or computer. You may feel hurried when there are too many distractions, which puts pressure on your infant to eat. In these circumstances, your youngster can also refuse to eat. Having a calm environment will help you and your youngster focus on the task at hand.
Also check, How to reduce screen time in children?
Increase calorie intake:
Some youngsters only consume very little food. So it’s advisable to offer high-calorie foods for toddlers weight gain when increasing the amount of food doesn’t seem to be helping. This will guarantee that your child is receiving the appropriate amount of nourishment. Include items like cream cheese, mayonnaise, full-fat dairy products, and milk puddings.
Also check, Lactation: How to increase weight in babies?
Make the kid’s food easy to eat:
As crucial as choosing the proper diet for an underweight toddler is knowing what your child enjoys and how he prefers to consume it. The youngster can be fed with finger foods that are bite-sized. Serve him his favourite dishes as well to make sure he looks forward to eat his meals.
Also check, 5 best recipes for finger foods
Fixing the child’s mealtime
For your child to develop a regular feeding habit, you must maintain an organised routine for mealtimes. Keeping an eye on the time and giving him meals at regular intervals can aid in his weight gain. If doing so requires removing your child from their current playtime, that’s fine.
Also check, The weight gain diet plan: 8 recipes to gain healthy weight
WEIGHT GAIN FOODS FOR CHILDREN
Foods to increase weight in children include:
Ghee is a form of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acid, which helps in healthy weight gain among kids, aids in brain development, great for metabolism and keeps the tummy troubles like gas and constipation away. Lactose intolerance babies can also safely consume ghee as the clarification process removes milk solids and decreases the lactose content of ghee. You can start giving a spoonful of ghee to babies as soon as they start weaning off breast milk. Ghee is considered as one of the best foods to increase weight for babies. (How to make medicinal ghee at home?)
It is a form of Indian cottage cheese, high in protein, phosphorus, calcium and selenium. The fat present in paneer provides the essential nourishment that is required for a kid’s healthy development. It also has a good amount of vitamin A which aids in night vision and provides healthy skin. 20 gram of paneer has 90 calories hence it helps underweight kids to gain weight. It is one of the best weight gain foods for kids.
Also check, Recipe of Soya chilli paneer
FULL FAT YOGURT:
Yogurt being high in calcium and protein aids in building strong bones, which leads to weight gain. It also helps in digestion as it has good bacteria (probiotics). Adding curd rice to your kid’s diet which has 179 calories in just ½ cup, can help them to gain healthy weight. (Easy and tasty probiotic recipe)
It is not only the perfect first food for babies but also one of the best baby foods to increase weight. Sweet potato provides a good dose of calories as per 100gm it contains 86 calories. It is also loaded with calcium and iron, both of which are vital for an overall kid’s growth. Sweet potatoes are low in saturated fats and high in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, B6 and C. It has antioxidants like catalase, zinc superoxide, which prevent inflammation and help to increase weight. All these nutrients make it one among the best weight gain foods for kids.
Also check, Laddu recipe with sweet potato
Peanut butter is a rich source of unsaturated fats, protein, B vitamins, iron, folic acid and fiber. It is an excellent food for weight gain as it has 62 calories per tablespoon. Add peanut butter to the kids meal either by spreading on bread or on wraps. Many kids like peanut butter with apples too. (30 reasons why peanuts help kids?)
RAGI (FINGER MILLET):
Ragi is loaded with protein, calcium, fibre, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and it is the food for kids to gain weight. With around 130 calories per ½ cup, it also strengthens the bones, teeth and aids digestion. Ragi can be given as ragi porridge, kheer or in the form of flat bread.
Also check, 6 quick and healthy recipe for ragi flour
All pulses are high in calories and considered as baby food for weight gain. They are rich in protein, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium which plays an important role in the overall development of kids. Moong dal (mung bean) and urad dal (black gram) are the best options, if you are looking for weight gain foods for kids. Urad dal contains fatty acids that help in brain development too. According to ayurveda, urad dal can help to gain weight because of its Guru (heavy) and Balya nature. (Ayurvedic herbs for kids body, brain, bones and immunity)
Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin E, protein, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus and fatty acids. High fiber content of almonds aids in digestion. Almonds have 170 calories in one ounce (30 gram), which makes it one of the best healthy weight gain foods for kids. Almonds can be consumed in many ways by Kids.
Roasting almonds and dipping them in chocolate makes a great snack for kids to eat any time during the day. Almonds can also be made into a butter for spreading on bread or grinding into a flour to make cookies or add to cake batter. Roasted almond powder can also be added to porridge. Roasting Almonds does not impact the nutritional value of the nut. (6 reasons why kids should eat almonds everyday).
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