Every parent wishes to see their child happy and healthy. In fact, they will do anything they can to help their little one grow and develop properly and live a long and healthy life.
Weight Gain in Kids
One of the biggest challenges many parents face is making sure their kid is receiving the right amount of nutrition. Food provides children with necessary vitamins and minerals that help them grow up well and strong.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard parents try, there are children who may experience slow growth that is caused by a lack of nutrition. In most cases, this usually results in kids becoming underweight and facing eating problems which can have severe consequences on their wellbeing.
However, by implementing all kinds of nutritious foods into the diet and changing their eating habits, you can easily help your children gain weight the healthy way.
Consider all food groups
The first step you need to take in helping your child gain weight is to consider implementing all food groups in their diet such as fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and dairy. Although all of these are calorie-dense foods, sometimes you will need to rely on weight gaining shakes for kids packed with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to help your child consume the adequate amount of calories for healthy weight gain.
Here is a brief explanation of each food group.
Red and white meat, fish, eggs and nuts are excellent examples of proteins. These types of foods are very beneficial as they are the building block of the muscles, skin, enzymes and hormones.
Fruits and vegetables
The best way to introduce more color into your child’s plate is to add lots of fruits and vegetables. They all consist of numerous vitamins that enhance the immune system of your child and ward off colds and seasonal flu.
Carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, whole grains and oats are broken down by the body into simple sugars which circulate in the bloodstream and are used by the body’s cells for energy.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are the richest sources of calcium and vitamin D which are necessary for having healthy bones. Calcium keeps the bones strong, while vitamin D helps with calcium absorption.
Try several small meals per day
Another effective way to help your little one gain weight is to offer them several small meals a day instead of sticking to the traditional eating schedule.
For example, break down the main meals into two more and implement at least one more snack so your child will take in more calories. This is especially important if your kid is active all day long and needs the energy to function properly. Because kids are calorie burners, they need to replace what they have lost during their activities and compensate for it by taking in more calories through various healthy foods.
Allow eating whenever hunger hits
While adults aren’t really allowed to play the eat-all-day-for-free card, children who struggle to put on weight should eat whenever they feel hungry. This is because their body is saying it needs an energy boost which ideally should be in the form of something nutritious.
This is the moment where you can step away from the regular eating schedule and provide your child with an extra meal or a snack that will keep them full until the next mealtime comes up.
For example, high-calorie snacks are one perfectly acceptable approach. Instead of giving them an apple or any other fruit, you should make a fruit smoothie with banana or avocado and mix it with seeds and nut butter to provide your child with adequate energy while keeping their tummy full at all times.
Avoid processed food
Processed food contains high amounts of calories, but these calories aren’t the ones your child needs to gain weight. There are many products that are altered from its original form and have lots of added or artificial ingredients that may lead to increased health risks.
Foods like soda, potato chips and fast food are generally low in nutrients. This simply means your child won’t be receiving the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for their proper growth and development.
A healthier alternative to processed sodas are freshly squeezed juices which can include all kinds of fruits and vegetables your child likes. Also, instead of chips and crackers, your child can snack on dry fruits, vegetables or nuts to keep feeling energized and full.
Offer food after physical exercises
It is well known that kids are very active and lose lots of calories when they are engaged in any type of physical exercise. Unfortunately, this may lead to losing more pounds and becoming underweight.
In order to prevent this from happening, you must feed your child high-calorie foods after being physically active. This way you will help their body compensate for the extreme calorie loss and even gain more by opting for a plate full of meat and vegetables. If you fail to do this, the chances are your child will lose more weight instead.
That’s why you should also consult with your pediatrician to let you know how much physical activity your child needs so it doesn’t lead to weight loss.
Monitoring the food intake of a child who is underweight is an overwhelming task for parents. Instead of reaching for processed foods that don’t include the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development, parents should opt for balanced food to achieve better results and help their kids gain weight the healthy way.