Monday, 3 December 2018

Best Foods for Healthy Weight Gain in Babies, Toddlers and Kids

Nutritious food is one of the pivotal building blocks of a child’s health. But many times it is seen that once the child is introduced to solid food, in addition to mother’s milk; s/he loses interest in food. At times, children are more interested in making friends, exploring the outside world and playing in the park. That’s why they are less interested in eating food. As a result, their weight and growth gets affected.  There are many things that you as a parent can do to improve this situation. One of them is to know about the best foods for healthy weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids. And try to include them in your child’s daily diet. It will also help if you know how to cook and present the food items in an interesting way to the children. 

We all agree good or bad nutrition has an everlasting effect on the child’s physical growth and mental development. It helps them to fight off illness and improves their capacity for mental concentration. In short, it helps them to live a healthy life. As a mother working in a job with frequent transfers all across the country, I learnt about many best foods for weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids. In this article I am going to share the list of most commonly available and used best foods for healthy weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids.

 Let’s begin with the lists of best foods for healthy weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids
1.            High Calorie Foods for Infants:
All kinds of Beans (cooked and mashed)
Lentils (cooked and mashed)
 Fresh ground meats (chicken, beef, lamb, pork)
Whole milk yogurt
 Full fat cottage cheese/Paneer
Mashed sweet potatoes 
Mashed potatoes

2.              High Calorie Finger Foods for Toddlers:
Peeled/Diced Banana
Sweet potato fries
Lassi (Sweet/Namkeen)
Homemade cheese crackers or cheese puffs, Mathris
Fresh/Dried fruits such as apple, oranges, pears, peaches, chikoo
Hard boiled eggs
Frosted wheat biscuits
Diced grilled cheese sandwich
Homemade pancakes, waffles
 French toasts
 Peanut/Groundnut Butter balls
Sugar plums

3.            High Calorie Additives for babies, toddlers and kids 
The items listed below can be added to pureed and mashed baby food, soups, dalia/khichadi, veggies, rotis/paranthas/other forms of bread, yogurt, cereals, and eggs. Start with 1/2 teaspoon for every ¼ cup and work up from there based on your child’s preference and after talking with your doctor.
 Oils (canola, safflower, flaxseed, walnut, and sunflower oil)
Butter/Pure Ghee/Makhan        
   Ground flaxseed 
Full cream
Dry milk powder 
Sour cream
Maple syrup

4.            In today’s world, where partners/working parents are moving globally, it becomes vital that some meal and snack ideas I have tried using best foods for healthy weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids:   
we introduce our children to eat all kinds of healthy food. Sometimes, the child may not get its share of rajma-chawal or butter chicken, so he/she must be accustomed to try some new/ local dishes. I was travelling a lot from south to north to west in India when my daughter was just four months old. I realised I had to groom her to be ready to try everything. With my mother, mother-in-law, my neighbours and my competitive maid at my side, my daughter ended up learning to eat varied food items. Here are
a.            Breakfast ideas
Porridge/ kheer/payasam/phirni/cereal with cream,
Scrambled eggs with grated cheese,
Peanut butter/jam/honey/nutella/avocado on toast,
 Toasted cheese and eggs sandwich, 
Stuffed Parantha/Kathi Roll 

b.            Lunch ideas
Rajma-chawal, Kadhi-chawal, Dal-chawal,
Mashed/Roast chicken with Rice/Pulao/ Biryani,
Aloo ki sabzi-Poori,
Pav Bhaji,
Home-made mini pizza with meat, cheese and vegetables  

c.            Dinner ideas
Fried/Boiled Chicken/Veggies with mashed potato and grated cheese,
Omelet with potato, tomato, cheese,
Macaroni cheese or pasta with any kind of meat/veggies and cheese, 
Chicken legs/drumsticks with soft potato/cucumber salad, 
Fish fingers and vegetables with cheese on top,
 Soft baked potato with baked beans and cheese, 
Rotis-sabji/Stuffed Paranthas such as aloo, gobi, muli or pudina/palak,
Tacos/Wraps with lots of meat/veggies, sauce and salad

d.            Snack ideas
Yoghurt, frozen yoghurt,
Fruit cream/custard, 
 Flavoured milk/milk (for babies under 2 years) 
Fruits milkshake/smoothie (for babies under 2 years) 
Crackers and cheese,
Fruit muffin, homemade slice/biscuits,
Soft vegetable sticks with dip or cream cheese,
Hard boiled eggs,
Fresh cut/diced fruit and custard/ice cream, 
Dried fruits/nuts with cut/diced fresh paneer,
Toasts with spreads (jams/ marmalades, butter or Makhan and jaggery) 

When infants and toddlers get the right nutrition for their needs it helps them to grow, be healthy and heal more quickly after any illness.  Extra nutrition and extra energy (calories) diet are important to help children gain weight in a healthy way. I will share some easy to make and serve recipes of best foods for healthy weight gain in babies, toddlers and kids in my next article, till then 

Happy Shopping! Happy cooking! 

Happy Parenting!

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