7 Healthy Foods to Help Your Child Gain Weight
Help your kid gain weight in a healthy way with these foods
Much has been said about childhood obesity, but underweight children are also a concern. 16% of children in South-East Asia are underweight, and in South Asia, a whopping 28% of children are underweight.
Parents of underweight children may be inclined to feed them high-calorie foods to boost their weight. However, eating healthily and making sure that kids are getting enough nutrition—not just calories—is more important.
1. Protein-rich foods like fish, beans, and eggs
Proteins help with your child’s growth and muscle development. Fish is a great option because they’re also rich in Omega-3, which has been proven to help with different aspects of a child’s development. Beans, on the other hand, are packed with vitamins and minerals, as are eggs.
2. Nutritious carbs
Refined carbohydrates like white rice cause spikes in sugar levels, so instead of piling on more white rice onto your child’s plate, go for more nutritious options. Whole grains are high in fiber and have tons of health benefits, but it is difficult for young children to digest, and could make the child feel full too quickly. Go for potatoes, pumpkin, and other root vegetables.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber AND vitamins and minerals. Mix with whole milk and fruit for a delicious meal or snack. For younger kids, you can use ground oats for a smoother version.
4. Cheese and whole milk
Cheese is high in calcium—great for bone growth—and most kids love it! As cheese by itself is savoury, you don’t have to pair it with another flavourful snack. Try low-salt biscuits instead.
Whole milk is good for underweight children because it is rich in calcium and fat.
5. Energy-dense fruits like bananas and avocados
These fruits are packed with calories, and are great treats! You can turn them into smoothies or serve them as part of a dessert.
6. Nuts and seeds
Kids who love crunchy snacks would enjoy nuts and seeds, which are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats that help with cholesterol. For young children that could choke on nuts or seeds, go for nut butters or smoothies instead.
Because yoghurt is easy to eat and is good for gastrointestinal health, yoghurt is perfect for young children. However, stay away from sugary options that are high in artificial flavours, and opt for plain yoghurt instead.
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