Despite a growing concern of overweight children in today’s society, children who under eat or have a hard time putting on weight is an issue that many parents face. Having them indulge in junk food or developing poor eating habits is not the solution. The target is to get them to create and encourage better eating habits by giving them high-calorie nutritious foods and extra calories in meals. If you have this concern or any dietary issues regarding your child, it is always best to consult with your doctor. As every child is different, no approach is the same. Consulting with a doctor is the most effective and safest way to help your child add weight. Try booking an appointment with your health practitioner through the Okadoc app or by visiting okadoc.com.

Below are some healthy ways on how to encourage your child to eat more or add weight.

1. Make A Smoothie

Making a smoothie as an on-the-go snack, breakfast or dessert is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to feed your kids. What’s great about making smoothies is that you can control what nutrients you’d like to add in them. Smoothies are also good if your child struggles to eat fruits, or has trouble eating large portions. Smoothies are ideal as they are calorically dense while also being nutritious. Smoothies can be made with ingredients such as fruits, full-fat yoghurt, vegetables, seeds, grains and whatever you can get creative with.

2. Make Meal Plans

When trying to encourage children to eat more, it’s best not to pressure them, make them feel uncomfortable or even rush. We don’t want them to have a negative association with eating. It’s best to make mealtimes that work around your child’s schedule. A routine that can easily be managed helps towards planning when, where and what you want to feed your child a day in advance. By organising this, not only will you be able to track their macronutrients better, you can see what plan works best for your child and what habits they can adapt to.

3. Nutrient Rich Products

Ensure that all the required macronutrients for your child are met on a consistent basis. This means giving them food that has high proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Foods such as eggs, peanuts, milk, cheese, whole wheat bread and potatoes are good for weight gain. Foods that are rich in nutrients will ensure that your child is not only gaining weight but doing so in a healthy manner and is safe.

Like previously stated earlier, it’s always best to consult with a doctor. As every child is different, results may vary from every approach you take. It is essential to speak with a doctor to find out what suits your child the most.

Here are two examples of high-calorie foods with plenty of nutrients that will most certainly help kids increase weight:

4. Mash Potatoes

Not only will potatoes add carbohydrates to your child’s macronutrients, but you can also include milk, butter and cream. These are ingredients that are calorically dense and will add the few extra calories your child will need to gain weight. You can also control the quantity of the ingredients you’d like to add to the mash potatoes. For example, if you want to reduce fat, you should reduce the amount of butter you put in.

5. Cheese

Cheese is a popular food amongst kids as it tastes great, and can be added to meals, or eaten on its own. What makes cheese such excellent food for children to add weight, is that like mash potatoes, it is calorically dense and has a high protein and fat profile. It not only works as a calorie boost but also a flavour boost.