As a new parent, you may be anxious about your baby’s weight gain. It is important to remember that healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes. While some babies are naturally thin, others are chunkier. Sometimes a baby is born with low birth weight and it may take them a few weeks to catch up to their peers. It is also important for you as a parent to understand that your baby’s growth will fluctuate from time to time depending on the food they eat, sleep etc.
Sometimes a baby gain weight fast and other times they gain weight slowly, do not worry too much about these fluctuations. When it comes to the question of how many calories your baby needs, there’s no one answer that fits all babies. Though you can use a simple formula to figure out how much food your baby should eat each day based on his or her weight and age.
If you are worried about your baby’s size or shape, your doctor can do measurements at well-baby checkups. It is important to bear in mind that a baby’s weight may fluctuate from time to time depending on the amount of milk they drink and other factors such as sleep, activity level etc. However, for a healthy weight gain, there are many important healthy foods you need to introduce to your baby. In this blog, we have compiled a list of 9 healthy foods you can give your baby and toddler to gain weight.
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Best weight gain foods for babies and toddlers
Although weight gaining foods for babies may sound like a cruel joke, gaining weight in the right way is important for a baby’s growth. Weight gain foods are usually high in calories, vitamins and minerals which are essential for your baby’s proper growth. They are also loaded with proteins, carbohydrates and fats. So what are the best weight gaining foods for babies and toddlers? Below we have discussed best gaining weight baby food and they are:
1. Breast milk and infant formula
Best for 0-6 months
Breast milk is the best source of nutrients that are essential for your baby’s growth. Breast milk also contains fats, proteins and carbohydrates which are important in providing energy to your baby. Infant formula can be used instead of breastfeeding if you feel not comfortable with it or are unable to produce enough breast milk for your baby. However, infant formula does not replace breast milk completely. The birth weight of a baby is usually around 3.4- 4 kg, a weight gain of around 600 grams per month from birth to six months is important for your baby’s health.
Furthermore, nutritious foods are necessary for both babies and kids. Healthy food intake is important for all of us to lead a healthy life. However, the meals consumed by our little ones are even more important as their diet would determine how fit and fine they would grow up to be. So, what you feed your child is crucial for his or her optimal health. In addition to that, it’s also recommended that kids should eat wholesome foods so that they get the proper nutrition.
Best for 6-9 months
Avocado is one of the best weight gain foods for babies and toddlers. Avocados consist of healthy monounsaturated fat, which helps in reducing LDL levels while increasing HDL production. Although avocado should be avoided in kids who are under 1 year old because of its choking hazard effect it can provide lots of health benefits to older kids. Avocados can be given to babies who are 6 months old but should be mashed with a fork or spoon before serving it. You can also give a sweet potato to your babies and kids.
Moreover, a healthy balanced diet plan for weight gain contains all three nutrients i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats which are necessary for a healthy body. Carbohydrates provide energy to our body and should always be included in a balanced diet plan for weight gain because the source of energy comes from carbs and not from fats or proteins. For your child’s diet avoid junk food and keep your children away from such foods which contain artificial flavors and coloring.
Best for 9-12 months
It is one of the best gaining weight baby food because it contains healthy carbohydrates and proteins. To prepare oatmeal, you should mix water or breast milk with oats to make it soft for your little one. It can also be given without mixing it with full-fat milk but this version of oatmeal might not suit your kids taste buds. You can give your baby mashed banana during the age of 9 months to get healthy calories.
As well as introducing solid foods after 6 months of age, some pediatricians suggest introducing semi-solid foods at 4 to 6 months while others don’t recommend it. It is because there is no evidence that such early introduction of semi-solids would help in gaining weight or reduce the risk of food allergy. As you know the birth weight is 3.4- 4kg and by the age of 12 months, it should be around 5 kg. So, follow the food chart of your child’s diet to increase their birth weight to the estimated weight. Generally, babies gain weight more rapidly during the second six months of life and one’s diet should be such that it helps them in gaining weight.
4. Peanut Butter
Best for 6 months to 3 years
Peanut butter is one of the high-calorie foods for babies and kids. It also contains pro-vitamins, minerals and proteins which are necessary for proper growth in children. In addition to that, peanut butter has unsaturated fat, antioxidants and fibers which make it a complete food for your kid’s weight gain diet plan. Moreover, pregnant women should also include peanut butter in their diet as it is very healthy during pregnancy and it reduces the chances of many diseases like diabetes, cancer etc.
Although for gaining weight healthy food plans should be rich in calories, parents must ensure that they feed their children healthy food. Peanut butter for a child’s weight gain diet plan should be included in the meals as it contains healthy calories and nutrients. However, children can have peanut butter as a snack with whole wheat crackers or bread. As well as processed foods your kids will gain weight faster with processed foods if they are on a calorie-restricted diet. So, nutritional benefits of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be given to your child.
Best for 12 months to 3 years
For your little one’s diet, eggs can be one of the best weight gain foods. Eggs contain good amounts of proteins and healthy fats which are necessary for gaining weight within a short period of time. However, you should cook eggs thoroughly to avoid choking hazards caused by eggshells. You may scramble them or roll them into an omelette and serve it after boiling or roasting them. Furthermore, one of the best weight gaining foods for toddlers is beans. White beans are cooked and mashed well before feeding them to your toddler.
Moreover, a healthy weight baby’s diet plan should include whole-grain cereals, beans, pasta and other high fiber foods to keep your child’s diet balanced. Whole grains are loaded with good amounts of healthy fiber which helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. Beans, peas and lentils are rich in proteins and should be included in kids’ diet plans as they provide enough energy to our body for active functioning. You can also serve your babies and kids baked or grilled fish, which is another healthy weight baby’s diet plan for toddlers.
Best for 1 to 3 year
Fish is an essential part of a healthy weight baby’s diet plan. Fish contains good amounts of proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients which are necessary for the optimal growth of your child. Hence it can be one of the best weight gaining food for toddlers. It reduces high cholesterol levels by removing harmful toxins from our body. However, avoid feeding your little ones with too much fish as it may cause mercury poisoning in your child.
Remember! The high protein, low fat and carbohydrate-rich diet plan can help you or your child to gain weight within a short period of time. While the high fiber and dairy products diet plan for babies and toddlers can help them to grow strong bones and teeth. So, include a healthy weight babys’ diet plan for toddlers to make your kids grow up healthier.
Best for 8 months to 3 years
Bananas are one of the best weight gaining foods for babies. Bananas are rich in fibers which are helpful in digestion. So, it is advisable to include bananas in your infant’s diet plan so that your baby does not suffer from constipation and diarrhea problems. You can also mix cereal or porridge with mashed bananas and feed them to your baby. Thus, bananas are low in saturated fat and cholesterol which makes them a healthy weight gaining food for babies. Furthermore, you can also give mashed avocado to your baby if he is of 6 months age group.
Although if you give boiled eggs with bananas your child may suffer from diarrhea so avoid giving boiled eggs with bananas to your baby. You can also give cereals that are rich in fiber and proteins to babies if they are 8 months old. You can also add other seasonal fruits and vegetables to your infant’s diet plan to maintain a balanced and healthy weight gain in kids.
8. Whole cow’s milk
Best for 0-3 years
Whole cow’s milk is a perfect choice of weight gaining food for babies and toddlers. Make sure that your kid is above a year old before you start giving him whole cow’s milk to drink. Whole cow’s milk contains more natural fat than reduced-fat or skimmed options, which may help obese children in losing weight.
However, it also contains more calories, so it must be consumed carefully. Whole milk should also be avoided in kids who are below a year old because of the choking hazard associated with it. Therefore, children should be taught about the importance of eating right from a very young age. Weight gain babies should be fed in a healthy manner for their optimum growth. Child gain weight foods should be given in appropriate amounts so that children remain healthy and fit.
9. Boiled Broccoli
Best for 9 months to 3 years:
A cup of boiled broccoli can be one of the best weight gaining foods for babies. It is loaded with high amounts of protein, fiber, minerals, iron and other nutrients which are necessary for a healthy body. Hence, broccoli can be given to babies from the age of 9 months old. However, boiling broccoli helps in removing harmful toxins from it and provides more amount of nutrients than raw or steamed broccoli. You can also give your baby green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and lettuce which are rich in proteins.
Moreover, you can also include sweet potatoes in your little one’s diet to gain weight. Just bake or roast it and feed your baby after mashing it well. Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates which provide energy to our body and should be included in a healthy weight baby’s diet chart plan for toddlers. By following this diet chart, you can help your child to grow healthier and stronger, so don’t forget to add all the required nutrients to their nutritious meals.
Therefore, if your baby or toddler isn’t gaining weight they should consult with your pediatrician to see if any of these foods might help them put on a few healthy pounds. All of the foods on this list are nutrient-rich and offer plenty of opportunities for toddlers to get the vitamins and minerals their growing bodies need. For instance, breast milk can be a great way to provide nutrients and calories without adding too many extra carbs or fat. However, it does have its limitations so you may need to supplement with other types of food. As well as all the nutrition and energy foods can add to a child’s diet, they make eating and mealtimes more fun and encourage your child to learn new tastes and textures. If you have any queries or concerns about your child’s health, please consult with your pediatrician. If you think we have missed anything in the above list then reach us through a comment box below.