How do we Increase Weight in Kids?
Weight gain in kids can be difficult because they do not eat everything that is put on their plate. With a little planning and the addition of energy-dense healthy foods to their diet, weight gain is achievable. Parents need to first find out the child's weight status category:
- Less than the 5th percentile: underweight
- 5th percentile to less than 85th percentile: normal or healthy weight
- 85th to less than 95th percentile: overweight
- Above 95th percentile: obese
With the help of this "Height and Weight Calculator for Children", parents can easily calculate the ideal height and weight of the children according to their gender and age.
The best time to establish healthy eating patterns is early childhood because these habits and patterns will impact how kids eat as adults. A nutritionally-balanced and wholesome diet is required for optimal growth and development.
Being underweight or malnourished increases the risk of acquiring infectious diseases. Therefore, it is important to introduce healthy foods one at a time and speak to your little one about its amazing benefits for the body.
1. Breast Milk
The unique composition of breast milk makes it a perfect source of nutrition for the infant. Six months of exclusive breastfeeding in the first year of life is recommended.
Breast milk contains long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that help in normal growth and development of the baby. These fatty acids also help the immature brain to develop.
Breast milk increases the concentration of growth factors in the body, which cause weight gain in underweight infants.
Eggs are power-packed with high quality proteins and healthy fats. One egg contains approximately 6 grams of protein. Daily consumption of eggs enhances muscle gain and weight gain in underweight children.
Whole eggs also contain vitamin A and vitamin B12, which are required for the growth and development of a child. It further promotes healthy development of the brain and the central nervous system.
Bananas are a great source of energy and one banana has around 100 calories. Bananas contain less moisture content and more carbohydrate content that help in healthy weight gain. You can give this energy-dense nutritious fruit to your child in different forms, like:
- Mashed banana
- Banana milkshake or smoothies
- Banana topped with peanut butter
- Or plain banana
4. Dairy Products
Dairy products like milk, curd and cheese are packed with the goodness of proteins and calcium and other vital nutrients as well. Calcium supports healthy growth and development of the bones in children.
Make sure you give your little one two glasses of milk per day. If your kid does not like plain milk, give milk in the form of milkshakes.
Chicken is an amazing source of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, B12, copper, phosphorus and selenium. This power-packed lean meat helps in building muscles, which is the best way to make your child put on weight. Muscle gain does not make your little one look flabby.
Chicken is easy to cook and a versatile ingredient. It can be used to prepare curries, pulao, sandwiches, soups or chicken can be simply grilled or baked.
6. Nuts and Dry Fruits
Dry fruits are a dense source of calories and nutrients. They are a healthy snack option, which can give your little one a much-needed energy boost.
They are rich in dietary fiber and other nutrients, which strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay.
Besides this, nuts contain healthy fat that promote weight gain as well as healthy development of the brain and the central nervous system.
People think oatmeal is a diet food, but when combined with whole milk and topped with healthy nuts and dry fruits, oatmeal porridge can be a perfect recipe to boost weight gain.
This nutritious food ingredient is loaded with dietary fiber that aids healthy bowel movements and prevents constipation.
If the bowel movements are healthy, your child will feel hungry and eat properly from time to time. A proper eating timetable can help your little one gain healthy weight.
Avocado is a fruit with high amounts of healthy fat. Unlike other whole fruits, its sugar content is low, whereas its fat content is on the higher side.
Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, avocado has a creamy and rich texture. Such a composition of avocado, makes it calorie dense and promotes weight gain.
You can make avocado dip, milkshake or simply bake avocado slices for your toddler.
9. Pure Ghee
Pure ghee when added to the diet of underweight kids, helps in weight gain and boosts immunity too. It strengthens the bones and improves hair and the skin.
Though it is one of the foods known to help gain weight, initially start with half teaspoon and never give more than a teaspoon because it can render the digestive system sluggish.
Replace other cooking oils with pure ghee once in a while to boost weight gain.
Mashed potatoes or baked ones can be a good snack option for kids who are underweight. Potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates, which can help in putting on weight.
Children who are underweight tend to get tired soon. Starchy foods like potatoes increase the muscle glycogen stores, which is a main source of energy for most of the activities.
- Make your child eat small, frequent and nutrient-dense meals.
- Eating just deep-fried foods and sugar-laden foods can cause unhealthy weight gain. Give your little one food containing protein and healthy fats to promote healthy weight gain.
- Introduce new foods slowly and one at a time.
- If kids are not eating plain vegetables or fruits, pair them with hummus, avocado dip or nut butters.
- Often kids do not enjoy plain milk. Add some fruits or dark chocolate to the milk to enhance its taste.
- Parents can replace water and add milk to soups or use milk to knead the dough.
Help in Early identification of Diabetic Retinopathy
- Parental Perception of Weight Status and Weight Gain Across Childhood - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4845878/)
- Tips for Parents – Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight - (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html)
- Nutrition Research in India: Underweight, Stunted or Wasted? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822549/)
- The Role of Dairy Products in Healthy Weight and Body Composition in Children and Adolescents - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267168/)
- The effect of egg supplementation on growth parameters in children participating in a school feeding program in rural Uganda: a pilot study - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5475308/)
- Assessment of Intakes and Patterns of Cooked Oatmeal Consumption in the U.S. Using Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997416/)
- Role of Protein-Based Food (PBF) in Combating Undernutrition; Milk and Eggs as an Example - (https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/role-of-proteinbased-food-pbf-in-combating-undernutrition-milk-and-eggs-as-an-example-2161-0509-1000184.php?aid=68675)