Effective Tips for Supporting Healthy Weight Gain in Underweight Toddlers
We all go through several ‘phases’ in our lives, and toddlers are no exception. At times you will find them get over-excited at the mere sight of food on their plates. Other times, you will struggle to get them to eat.
While feeding your little one might be at the top of your mind, it’s the least of concerns for your child, who is far too busy exploring their world.
Here we have compiled some vital parenting tips for toddlers that will help allay parents’ fears where it comes to ensuring that those ‘developmental milestones’ for their children are met in time.
But first, a look at why your toddler might be underweight.
Why some Toddlers are Underweight
There are all sorts of things that might serve as causes for your toddler being underweight.
It’s far more likely that they are simply ‘burning off more calories than they are taking in’, each day. This is not all that uncommon, especially if they might be going through a longer-than-usual spell of picky eating.
There might also be an underlying medical condition behind that skinny toddler, like gastroesophageal reflux, or perhaps a thyroid problem. So, if your toddler is eating well and still not putting on the requisite amount of weight you would like them to, you might consider talking to your GP about the same.
In all probability, they will rule out something serious. If need be, they might refer your child to a paediatrician.
5 Simple Tips for supporting Healthy Weight Gain in Underweight Toddlers
Presenting the 5 most invaluable tips you should bear in mind, whentrying to get your child to eat more.
#1. Setting a Routine for your Toddler’s Meal Times
As important as curating the perfect diet plan for your underweight toddler, is establishing a sense of routine for them as far as their eating patterns go.
When you monitor the clock and feed your kids at regular intervals, it will only serve to help them gain weight.
Note: This might even entail pulling your children away from play time, if need be.
Tip: If you’re going out, ensure your child doesn’t miss their meal, by carrying along a light snack.
#2. Increase the Caloric Intake
If increasing the amount of food your toddler eats is not helping them gain weight, it might be useful to include high-calorie foods to help babies gain weight, in their diet.
Of course, you have to not only choose high-calorie foods, but those that give your little one an adequate amount of nutrition, too. Some examples of good food choices are full-fat dairy products, cream cheese and even puddings made from milk.
#3. Build your Child’s Appetite
One of the most neglected parenting tips for toddlers to eat more, is building your little one’s appetite. There are different ways you could do this, like the following.
- Ensure they get plenty of exercise. The more they exercise, the hungrier they will be.
- A Regular Toilet Routine. Unless they have cleaned their bowels, how will they ever want to eat more?
- Keeping mealtime ‘happy’. If your toddler is stressed, they aren’t going to eat well. Engage them in conversation and ensure they are ‘happy’, at mealtimes.
- Eat alongside them. Ever notice how you get hungry when someone eats in front of you? It works the same way when you eat in front of your little one!
#4. Consider an Age-Appropriate Multivitamin
Your child might be eating well, but still not gaining weight. Often the underlying reason for the same might be the ‘selective’ nature of their eating.
Your child might be leaving out one of the major food groups (dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins) and hence, not getting adequate amount of nutrition. Apart from that, they might be prone to eating more processed foods than whole, natural foods. In this case, the addition of an efficacious multivitamin to their diet, might just be a prudent choice.
#5. The ‘quality’ of food they eat
‘You are what you eat’, is a saying we have heard plenty of times. Make that diet plan for your underweight toddler count, by selecting the right foods for them. Here are some ways you can help them eat better, and thereby, gain enough weight.
- Serve small and frequent meals. This advice, that works wonders for adults, could work well for your toddler, too. We recommend you give them 4 snacks, alongside 4 small meals.
- Ensure every meal and snack is balanced. You want to make sure that every bite they eat is laced with complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Ensure good gut health. Good gut health is key in ensuring your child absorbs more nutrients from the food they eat. Help your toddler’s gut by giving them good probiotics like curd, that will help fill your toddler’s gut with good microorganisms.
Sample Diet Plan for your Underweight Toddler
Struggling to come up with an effective diet plan for your underweight toddler? Try this one!
- Breakfast: Warm milk, 1 vegetable egg omelet with whole grain bread slices.
- Mid-Day Snack: Fruit Salad with flavored low-fat yogurt.
- Lunch: Grilled chicken, stir-fried vegetables with buttermilk.
- Evening: Fresh fruit juice, a handful of almonds.
- Dinner: Multigrain phulkas with dal, paneer or mixed vegetable curry.
Foods that help Baby Gain Weight
Last but not the least, let’s zone in on some great foods that will help babies gain weight!
- Starchy carbohydrates. Bread, rice, potatoes.
- Milk and dairy foods. Cheese, whole milk yogurt, rice pudding.
- Protein foods: Meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses
- Foods high in healthy fats. Avocados, oily fish and nut butters.
- Sweets: Cakes, biscuits, chocolates, ice creams. Note: To be used in moderation, occasionally coupled with healthy meals and snacks.
At EuroKids we firmly believe that a balanced diet is key when it comes to providing your little one with the right nutrition to help them gain weight in a healthy manner. That being said, you have to maintain a fine ‘balance’ while feeding your child, to keep them from becoming overweight.