While most adults and children struggle not to gain weight , there is a small percentage of children who must gain weight to stay healthy. When it comes to helping a child gain weight, the same healthy eating guidelines need to be followed for all children.
Supplementing your child’s diet with junk foods and sweets may increase calorie intake, but will not provide the nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development. You can talk to your pediatrician to discuss your child’s needs before making any dietary changes.
CHILDREN, CALORIES, AND WEIGHT GAIN
Children need adequate caloric intake for proper growth and development, with needs ranging from 1,200 to 2,600 calories per day , depending on age, gender, and activity. If your child is underweight, it is necessary to add more calories to his usual intake to promote weight gain.
While every child is different, increasing your intake to 250 calories per day can result in an increase of about 250 grams per week. Control the weight and what your child eats by making adjustments by adding or subtracting 100 calories depending on what he needs at all times. Even if you want your child to gain weight quickly, it needs to be done at a slow pace to be healthy. It’s the same as losing weight … but in reverse.
BALANCED NUTRITION FOR CHILDREN
Although your focus is on extra calories and weight gain , your child needs to eat a healthy, balanced diet to get all the nutrients necessary for proper growth and development, along with healthy weight gain. Following the same guidelines for all children will ensure proper nutrition.
That means offering a healthy mix of foods from all the food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy, and healthy fats like oils, nuts, and seeds, but perhaps more.
RIGHT FOODS FOR KIDS AND HEALTHY WEIGHT GAIN
All food groups include a number of high-calorie foods that can increase a child’s calorie intake to help with weight gain. Brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and whole grain waffles are all good choices. The fruits dry fruits bananas are high in calories and can be served as a snack between meals.
Peas, squash, corn, and potatoes are healthy weight- gaining veggies that your child might enjoy for lunch and dinner. Mix in eggs for breakfast or add beans to your child’s soup for extra calories and protein. With dairy products, offer low-fat or full-fat milk and yogurt, along with cheese to help your child get more calories. Nuts, seeds, and oil are a concentrated source of calories and are good calorie boosters for vegetables, grains, and meats.
TIPS FOR GAINING WEIGHT
To help your child feel part of the process, plan, buy and prepare meals together with your child. This could encourage not only higher calorie intake, but healthier calories as well. Making meals enjoyable is essential. If your child doesn’t want to eat, don’t force him to.
Watch your child’s drink intake if he is not hungry for a meal. You can give him a juice if he is not hungry but remember that there are children who can easily fill up with milk or juice . Increase your child’s calorie intake by adding powdered skim milk to milk, cereals, yogurt … this way you will increase the calories without affecting the taste too much.