Encouraging Healthy Weight Gain in Toddlers
Nothing is more disturbing to parents than health concerns with their children. Having a toddler who is not gaining the proper amount of weight can be very worried, but do not despair! With some thought, creativity, and help from your child's doctor there are some things you can do to encourage weight gain in toddlers.
The first thing to do is to check with your child's doctor to make sure that a problem actually exists. Some children are just small. Your doctor can run tests to rule out medical conditions that may be contributing to your child's lack of weight gain. Also, always make sure to check with your doctor before altering your child's diet or implementing any plan to help them gain weight. Sometimes no medical cause can be found for a child's lack of adequate weight gain. There are some things you can do at home that may help.
Food is often a battle between parents and children. This can cause stress in a child that may cause them to eat even less. Toddlers' stomachs are small and they tend to be grazers. Try leaving healthy snacks out for your child all day long. Cut up fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, crackers, pretzels, etc., are all good snacks for toddlers. If they are eating plenty of healthy snacks all day long it's not such a big deal if they only take a few bites at meal times.
Adding extra fat to everything you can is also a good idea, as long as your child's doctor says it's okay. You can use heavy whipping cream in foods where you would normally use milk. You can also add olive oil or butter to almost everything. Saute crackers and pretzels in butter to make them more calorie density. Fruit can be served with whipped cream. Be creative!
Another idea is to make food fun. Toddlers love to dip. You can make all kinds of healthy, calorie dose dips for your child to eat. Guacamole, bean dip, and cream cheese dip are all healthy, calorie rich snacks. You can make food into fun shapes for your toddler. Cut fruit or cheese into all kinds of different shapes. Make ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins). Make a pancake into a face or pour the pancake batter to make the first letter of your child's name. Sandwiches can be cut into shapes too. The possibilities are endless!
Medical issues aside, I have shown you many things you can do to encourage weight gain in your toddler. Making food fun and staying relaxed at meal times is key! I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Good luck!