Do you know what leads to poor weight gain in children? In more that 90 percent of cases the problem is that child isn’t taking in enough calories. Other causes could be malabsorption not absorbing nutrients properly or chronic condition that causes them to require more to grow. If you are child is underweight, you can help make a difference by ensuring that most meals and snacks are nutrient rich. There are lot of simple and delicious things you can do to add healthy calories to your child`s diet.
1. Offer foods that are nutrient dense and also high in calorie – Good sources of essential fats – nuts, seeds, avocados, fish help children gain weight. Try adding nuts, seeds to soups, salads, pasta and porridge. Add avocado slice to sandwiches, smoothies, burgers and salad as a topper for scrambled eggs. Hummus and other dips can provide protein and fat.
2. Underweight should not become overweight – There may be a temptation to give your child anything he wants to eat. He needs extra calories, so he can have ice-cream, cookies, fried foods as he wants, right? Not really. While this might increase in weight it might create a habit of having high calorie low nutrient dense foods. Your child may end up overweight if he continues choosing these types of foods on regular basis.
3. Exercise or sports will stimulate muscle growth so that child adds lean weight instead of fattening up. Exercise will also stimulate their appetite so they will want to eat.
4. Real food vs. nutritional supplement – Pediaisure and other supplements are short term measures. Combine them with regular meals and snacks which are nutrient dense.
5. Along with these foods make mealtimes pleasant and not rushed. If your child is getting enough calories but still not gaining weight, talk to your GP for an underlying condition. With patience and consistent effort with meal planning, child will strike healthy weight and height balance.