How to increase baby weight by food
15 Foods to Make Baby Gain Weight – Cafe Baby®
- by Jeannie Marrugo
- Mar 10, 2022
If you need to add foods to Baby’s diet to help them in gaining weight, be sure to add these to your grocery list or to your next Café Baby order. Sometimes every extra calorie counts in their tiny bellies.
If your child needs to be on high calorie fortified infant formula or breast milk, please talk to your pediatrician first. You need to know the right recipe to prevent an excess intake of nutrients to prevent constipation and dehydration.
Avocados are a sugar-free healthy choice that contributes 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 gram of polyunsaturated fat per 25-gram serving to Baby's diet.
2. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are a plant-based protein, or non-heme iron source, rich in most B-vitamins, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain two that are commonly deficient in babies: folate and iron.
Not only are eggs a prime source of the best-quality proteins after breast milk, but one egg contains thirteen essential minerals like copper, zinc, selenium, calcium, iron, cholesterol, fat, fatty acids, and vitamins like vitamin D, B12, E, choline and folate.
Bananas are loaded with nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, and vitamin B6 and can help babies gain weight by increasing calorie density.
Mangoes are rich in fibres and digestive enzymes, which means Baby won't have any trouble going number two. Mangoes are very low in fat but contain lots of good calories which can help Baby gain weight.
Lentils are low in sodium and saturated fat, and high in potassium, fiber, folate, and plant chemicals called polyphenols that have antioxidant activity.
7. Ground Meat
Did you know it's important to add iron- and zinc-rich foods to Baby's diet? At about six months of age, Baby starts to run out of their natural iron stores that they were born with. Ground meats are an important source of heme iron, which is more easily absorbed into the body than non-heme iron (plant-based protein).
8. Whole Milk Yogurt
The best option is plain, unsweetened, pasteurized yogurt (regular or Greek) made from whole milk and containing "live cultures. " Yogurt made from whole milk is best for Baby because they need the calories and fat in full-fat dairy products.
9. Full-fat Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has plenty of healthy fats and protein, plus some B vitamins, calcium, selenium, and zinc. To avoid loads of salt, look for options that are:
- Low in sodium (ideally less than 100mg sodium per serving)
- Made from whole milk
- Without added preservatives or sugars
10. Mashed Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes provide nothing but good calories, making it a healthy food option for Baby. The high amount of calories in sweet potatoes help in weight gain and physical development in children.
11. Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes might be mostly white, but that doesn’t mean they don't contain nutrients. They are are a source of fiber-rich carbs, which are one of the best sources of fuel for Baby’s brain.
12. Mashed Butternut Squash
The Omega-3 fats that are found in butternut squash are present in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, and this is what helps to reduce inflammation.
13. Peanut or Almond Butters
Nut butters can be a source of fibre, protein and healthy fats, as well as minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin E. If you're worried about food allergies, check out our blog series about starting solids and allergies.
14. Fresh Goat Cheese
Fresh goat cheese has lots of protein and healthy fats, plus calcium, copper, iron, and vitamins A, B2, and B6—essential nutrients to power your baby’s growth. When selecting goat cheese for Baby, look for a cheese that is:
- Low sodium (less than 100mg per serving)
- Whole fat
15. Cooked Quinoa
Quinoa is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. It's also a great source of Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids, which are good for Baby's brain and eye development.
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The Best Foods for Your Baby to Gain Weight
It’s hard to imagine that your little one could be any cuter — but you might be wondering whether they’re growing as fast as they should.
If you’re worried that your baby might weigh too little, bear in mind that newborns normally lose 3–7% (and up to 10%) of their birth weight in their first few days of life, which they regain by about the end of their second week (1, 2, 3).
Until they reach the 6-month mark, infants should gain about 1 pound (0.45 kg) or more each month. They should weigh about triple their birth weight around the end of their first year (1, 2, 3).
Keep in mind that these numbers are averages, and a healthy baby may have different weight gain numbers depending on their birth weight, rate of linear growth, and other factors.
You can ask your baby’s pediatrician about weight gain at any time, such as at their well-baby exam.
If you and your healthcare practitioner have ruled out medical reasons for your baby’s slow weight gain, such as heart or digestive issues, consider feeding them calorie-dense whole foods. These may encourage healthy weight gain (4).
Here are the 7 of the best foods to help your baby gain weight. We’ve grouped them below by age group.
A baby under 6 months that’s putting on less weight than average can be troubling. Since all or most of their calories at this point come from breastmilk, formula, or both, what you can control right now is how often they feed and whether they’re getting enough (4).
1. Breastmilk or infant formula — often and enough
Breastfed newborns will feed every 2–3 hours, so account for 8–12 or more feedings per day for the first 4 months.
Be sure to let your infant fully empty your breast. One reason this is recommended is because hindmilk, which comes out last during a feeding, may be richer than foremilk, which comes out first.
Let your baby feed fully, until your breast feels very soft. This will ensure they’re getting all the milk available, and it sends your body a message to make more.
You can try consuming foods that are thought to increase breastmilk production. These include lactation teas or bars with fenugreek, blessed thistle, or fennel. Oatmeal and dark beer may also help. Still, more research on these solutions is needed (5).
Additionally, avoid wearing tight-fitting bras or tops.
Until your baby begins solid foods, they will not need to drink water. Offer them breastmilk or formula instead to maximize the number of calories you’re getting into their tiny tummies.
Your doctor may also ask about any latching issues and investigate any underlying medical issues that may affect your baby’s nutrient absorption or metabolism at this age.
Speak with a pediatrician for guidance if you’re considering whether to supplement breastfeeding with formula or wondering which formula to choose.
These choices are complicated and depend on many personal factors, and a doctor can help you make informed decisions. You may also consider talking with a lactation consultant.
Most babies will start to show readiness to eat solid foods around the 6-month mark.
Speak with your healthcare professional about when to start your baby on complementary solid foods.
Whether you’re taking a baby-led weaning approach, a more traditional puréed foods style, or a combination of the two — avocado is a great transitional food for babies starting on solids.
What’s more, avocado’s healthy fats and relatively mild taste make this a great food for when you’re trying to get your baby to gain weight (6, 7).
Mash it up or serve it in thick spears. You can also add it to other foods, such as rice cereal or another fruit.
It’s a good idea to introduce new foods one at a time. This way, if your child has any sort of allergic reaction, you have a better sense of what might have caused it.
Oatmeal cereal is another wonderfully rich food that’s easy to add to your baby’s diet.
To make it, blend plain oats cooked in water, adding water as needed to achieve a soupy texture. To make it heartier, cook and thin out the oatmeal with formula or breastmilk instead. Gradually thicken it as your baby gets more comfortable.
Oatmeal packs lots of fiber, including beta glucan, which is one form of soluble dietary fiber. It promotes the growth of your baby’s beneficial gut bacteria and may encourage bacterial diversity in the gut (8).
What’s more, oatmeal is fairly neutral in taste, which makes it easy to combine with other hearty, healthy foods. For instance, you can spoon in puréed fruit and cinnamon for more flavor.
Be sure to never feed a baby under 1-year-old honey, as doing so can put them at risk of botulism and pose a choking hazard (9).
4. Peanut butter
Peanut butter packs protein and fats — both of which can encourage weight gain in your baby.
Keep in mind that peanuts are one of the 8 allergens that can cause the most serious allergic reactions in the United States (10).
The latest evidence supports feeding infants as young as 6 months foods that commonly cause allergies. This includes peanuts. Research suggests this approach may actually help prevent allergies from developing (11, 12).
You’ll want to introduce allergenic foods methodically, always one at a time and introducing new, higher-risk foods at least a week apart.
It’s important to feed these to your baby on a regular basis — always watching for signs of allergies, including hives, redness around the mouth, or wheezing. If this occurs, seek medical help immediately (11, 12).
Never feed your baby peanut butter straight from the jar, as doing so may pose a choking hazard.
The best way to feed them natural peanut butter, or any other type of nut butter, is to blend them with either warm water, applesauce, breast milk or formula, or — if you’ve already introduced dairy — yogurt.
You can add it to oatmeal for added richness.
If your child is at a higher risk of allergies or has had eczema, speak with a healthcare professional before feeding them any nut butters or higher-risk foods.
They may advise waiting until they’re older and then want to supervise this in their office or suggest an allergy test first (13).
8 most common food allergies
- cow’s milk
- crustacean shellfish, like shrimp
- tree nuts
Learn more about food allergies here.
Eggs are another powerhouse food that’s great for infants and adults alike. They provide a filling combination of fats and protein. They’re often gentle on the stomach, versatile, and easy to prepare (14,15).
Be mindful because this is another common allergenic food that you’ll want to introduce slowly and methodically. Keep an eye open for an allergic reaction. Seek immediate emergency care if your baby is wheezing or having trouble breathing (11, 12).
Once eggs are a mainstay in your baby’s diet, you could try scrambling them and sprinkling in some cheese and veggies for added nutrients.
You can also use eggs in other dishes. For example, try adding them to rice with cheese and veggies for some quick rice patties, then cut these into strips to serve.
You certainly don’t have to hold off until the 9-month mark to introduce fish, but it might be easier for babies to handle the texture at this age than earlier in life.
Fish delivers protein and healthy fats that are vital to your little one’s growth. Do be mindful to seek out low mercury fish, like salmon, herring, and trout (16).
Furthermore, these and other fish contain brain-nourishing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential for proper brain development in early childhood (17).
Pair fish with a rich lemon full fat yogurt dip or marinara sauce for added nutrients.
It seems counterintuitive, but when babies hit their 12-month milestone, you may find they’re eating less.
This is because their growth rate slows. In fact, most toddlers will only put on about 5 pounds between their first and second birthday (18).
Of course, they’re still growing and needing lots of nourishment — they are simply not growing quite as rapidly as they were in those first 12 months of life.
So, don’t be worried if your champion eater suddenly slows down or plateaus at this phase. If they still have the energy to play and seem alert, they’re probably doing just fine.
7. Olive or avocado oils
Your toddler should get a fair amount of healthy fats. In fact, 30–40% of your toddler’s calories should come from fats (19).
They need roughly 1,000-1400 calories each day at this age, so that translates to about 30–50 grams of fat per day (19).
If your toddler needs a bit more support, consider adding a splash of olive oil or avocado oil to their food, about 1/4–1/2 tablespoon (4–7 mL) to start. You can add it into a bowl of soup or hummus or sop some whole grain bread into it.
Take care not to feed your baby too much oil, as doing so could cause gastric upset or diarrhea.
If your baby has energy to play and is tracking along with developmental milestones, they’re probably growing just fine.
Unless a healthcare professional has identified an issue with your baby’s weight, you probably don’t need to worry.
Keep in mind that babies born prematurely and those with special health needs may not track along with general growth charts.
That said, parental instinct is real. Always voice any concerns with your child’s healthcare professional. Take note of what exactly you observe that troubles you, in as much detail as possible.
For example, you could record the times, dates, and amounts and types of food your child has eaten.
If your baby seems lethargic, is refusing to feed, or isn’t meeting developmental milestones, you should make an appointment to speak with a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician.
In addition to a medical evaluation, they may refer you to another specialist, lactation consultant, occupational therapist, or dietitian.
Your little one’s early nutrition can have lifelong impacts. Making sure they’re getting enough to eat — and growing enough — is a concern for many parents.
If your child is not tracking along or suddenly not feeding as well as they used to, speak with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying causes. Do keep in mind that babies’ food intake normally slows at around the 12-month mark.
There are many wonderful, nourishing foods to help support your baby’s growth — including eggs, avocados, and peanut butter.
If they’re younger, or under 6 months, try to provide enough opportunities for them to breastfeed or drink enough formula according to their hunger cues.
All that said, if your little one seems alert, is meeting the developmental milestones for their age, and has enough energy to play, they’re probably getting enough to eat.
Just one thing
Try this today: The article 21 Homemade Baby Food Recipes is a great resource with tips on how to make a variety of tasty, nutritious meals for your baby once they start eating solid foods.90,000 how to help them develop?
The birth of a small child is not uncommon today. Often, such babies are born on time or a little earlier, but due to a lack of weight, they can significantly lag behind their peers in development. Pediatricians and neuropathologists closely monitor the child's condition, because a child's body weight deficiency is a risk factor for changes in the neurological status, functional disorders of the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. But because of their weakness, underweight children do not eat well, and the rate of weight gain in children born with low body weight determines their further physical and psychomotor development and the formation of the immune system.
How much should a newborn gain in weight?
To assess the development of your child and the compliance with the norm of the main indicators (height, weight), you can contact a pediatrician or independently - according to existing tables. In the first months, the child is actively growing, adding up to 25-60 grams per day. Small children with adequate nutrition can increase body weight more intensively than their peers. For the first month of life, children should gain up to 1.3-1.7 kg. After 5-6 months of life, the intensity of weight gain decreases somewhat - in 30 days, the increase can be only 400-700 grams.
The length of the child's body during the first month increases by 4-7 cm, and after 5-6 months of life, growth is added less intensively - by 2-3 cm. But parents should understand that these figures are approximate. Each child is individual. Its weight and height depend on many factors: heredity, the quality of the mother's nutrition, the state of health of the newborn, the severity of childbirth.
Why is the child not gaining weight well?
The main cause of underweight in the neonatal period is the baby's refusal to breastfeed. Small children have poor appetite and spend most of the day sleeping. Often, parents have to wake up the child for a long time, and after a few minutes of sucking on the breast or a bottle of formula, the newborn falls asleep again. Children are especially sleepy, in whom pronounced physiological jaundice was observed in the first days of life.
As a result, after the next weighing, the doctor can tell the mother that the newborn has not gained weight at all or the increase is insignificant. If the situation does not improve for several months, the mother and baby may be hospitalized for a comprehensive examination and tube feeding in a hospital setting.
Sometimes the cause of low weight gain lies in non-compliance with breastfeeding tactics. Pediatricians recommend applying the baby to only one breast during feeding so that it sucks out the "hind" milk, which is of particular energy value and rich in nutrients. Due to their inexperience, mothers offer both breasts to newborns. In this case, the child sucks the upper milk without making any effort and quickly falls asleep, slightly satisfying his hunger.
If the baby has had an infectious disease, has been ill for a long time, suffered from a high temperature or an intestinal disorder, then the monthly weight gain may be significantly less than usual. In this case, the timing of the introduction of complementary foods is also shifted, and during the period of illness, in general, many children practically refuse to eat, which is reflected in their weight. Parents should actively communicate with the pediatrician, if necessary, ask him questions of interest and adhere to all recommendations.
How to help a child gain weight and catch up with his peers in his development?
If you are breastfeeding, pay special attention to your diet. Drink as much liquid as possible: low-fat milk, compotes, hypoallergenic juices. Your diet must include boiled or baked meat. Take extra vitamins (as advised by the doctor). Breastfeed your baby immediately after waking up, when he is active, in a good mood and does not want to sleep.
But sometimes women's milk is produced in insufficient quantities or the baby does not have enough strength to suck it out. In this case, it is necessary to start supplementing with special infant formula as soon as possible. For children prone to allergic reactions, special hypoallergenic products are intended, which can be bought at a pharmacy, having previously discussed the mixture option with a pediatric nutritionist or pediatrician. Small babies are not adapted to intensive sucking, so the nipple on the bottle must be soft and pliable so that the child can fill up without problems.
In addition, in order to increase the rate of weight gain and, accordingly, for the proper growth and development of the child, it is recommended to give courses of preparations containing L-carnitine (levorcarnitine), an essential vitamin-like substance that has anabolic properties and has proven itself to normalize body weight in case of its deficiency. In addition, by increasing the secretory and enzymatic activity of gastric and intestinal juices, appetite and digestion improve. One of these drugs is Elkar, containing an aqueous solution of L-carnitine. Elkar is included in the "National program for optimizing the feeding of children in the first year of life" as a means of correcting malnutrition of the II degree.
In children, in contrast to the adult body, where levocarnitine is among the substances produced, the synthesis of this compound covers only 1% of the required amount. Of course, the required amount of L-carnitine is found in breast milk, but if natural feeding is impaired or impossible, the drug must be added to the diet.
In underweight children, psychomotor development is often retarded, which can subsequently manifest itself in the form of speech defects, instability of the nervous system. Elcar improves the energy supply of brain activity, which will help to avoid or reduce the degree of development of functional failure in various areas of the child's neuropsychic response (motor, emotional-motivational, vegetative, cognitive spheres).
Another very important point: levocarnitine improves immunity, which is vital for small children, since almost all of them are predisposed to the development of infectious diseases.
The rate of weight gain is influenced by many external and internal factors. The task of parents is to help the crumbs get stronger as soon as possible. Walk more with your child in the fresh air so that his body receives the necessary amount of oxygen. And don't forget to visit your pediatrician. Small children need professional medical supervision and the attention of loved ones.90,000 choice of the best products that will help your child gain weight healthy
- The best products for a healthy weight gain
- Fat and oil Coars
- Fruits and vegetables
- Don't let kids spill drinks
- Allow food whenever you feel hungry
- Try several small meals a day
- Prevent kids from accumulating empty calories
- Incorporate high-calorie supplements into daily meals
- Don't limit exercise
- Visit a nutritionist
All children need to gain weight as they grow and mature, but for some children gaining weight can be a real hurdle. In fact, despite rising rates of childhood overweight and obesity, many children need a little help to put on a few pounds.
With the right nutritious foods, you can help your child gain weight in a healthy way. Here's a look at the best nutritional and calorie-dense options to prepare your child's meals and snacks that are both nutritious and promote weight gain.
The Best Foods for Healthy Weight Gain
Consider all food groups when working to move the needle on the scale. It's not just a constant diet of hamburgers and pizza that will make your child gain weight (although that may be their preferred route!). Even some fruits and vegetables contain more calories than you think.
Try any of these foods:
- red meat, including ground beef, steak and lamb 9oil from nuts and seeds, such as cashew butter, almond butter, peanut butter and sunflower oil
- nuts and seeds, including pecans, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds and flax seeds
- soy proteins, such as tofu, tempeh and soy milk
- Dry breakfasts with a high fiber and protein content
- whole -grain bread
- Macaron products
- BATOM MURES (look for Batonchiki with low sugar content, for example, 5 grams or less for a barn)
Fruits and vegetables
- raisins and other dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries and currants
- zucchini and other root vegetables
- whole milk hot cocoa
Reasons your child might need to gain weight
There are many causes of underweight children, many of which have to do with three little words (which can sound a little scary): failure to thrive.
This medical term is not a disease and has no clear definition, but usually refers to a child's slow growth due to malnutrition.
In infants, developmental delay may occur due to feeding problems, such as:
- allergy to formula ingredients
All of these can lead to stunting.
Children of any age may suffer from developmental delay due to:
- undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance
- oral problems
- gastrointestinal diseases
- behavioral, developmental or neurological problems Certain are also notorious for interfering with appetite, causing weight loss or weight stabilization in children.
Medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children, such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall, are particularly known for their appetite-reducing side effect. If you think your child's medications may be affecting his appetite or weight gain, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Do not stop taking any medication abruptly.
Sometimes your child's slow weight gain may be because he or she is not eating enough calories for her age. Active, growing children may need more calories than you think. For example, teenage boys often need the same amount of calories as adults.
For reference - and for your own peace of mind - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines "underweight" as being in the bottom fifth percentile of the height chart.
Regardless of the cause of your child's slow weight gain, the good news is that you, as a parent, have a lot of control over one major healing factor: their diet. A nutritious, high-calorie meal plan is the best place to start.
You can also set a good example by modeling healthy eating behavior and making food choices.
When not to worry about your child's growth
When the graph point on your child's growth chart falls short of what you expect, it's only natural to take notice. But some deviations in the growth process are normal.
Pediatricians usually look at changes in your child's weight over time rather than a single weigh-in at the child's examination. They can also help focus your efforts at home on helping your child gain weight.
Don't worry if your child skips meals here or there, or suddenly turns up their nose at certain foods (or, frankly, for toddlers, an entire category of foods).
Children's appetites may be fickle. Give your child time and space, knowing that this may very well be a temporary phase. (But keep offering a wide variety of foods!)
Tips for Healthy Weight Gain
Using the foods listed above as building blocks, you'll be on your way to creating meals and snacks that will help your baby fill up. To further increase their healthy weight, try these tips.
Don't let children pour drinks
Hydration is certainly important for children from infancy to adolescence. But sometimes too much liquid can compete with food for space in your baby's tummy. To stimulate your appetite, try offering food before drinks during meals. Also, avoid sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices.
Eat whenever you feel hungry
Of course, for most of us, eating doesn't have to be an all-day entertainment. However, for children who are struggling to gain weight, allowing them to eat at any time of the day may be a perfectly acceptable approach.
Consider skipping pre-set meal times and snacks that you think are "normal" or "correct" and simply encourage your child to eat when he is hungry.
Try a few small meals a day
Here's another strategy that goes hand in hand with the "eating is always okay" model.
Instead of sticking to a rigid breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule, feel free to play with the frequency of meals and snacks. Your child can consume more calories with six to eight small meals a day than with three meals a day.
Prevent children from accumulating empty calories
Foods such as sodas, potato chips, and fast food can lead to weight gain, but since these foods tend to be low in nutrients, they will not benefit your health. child. Choose more nutritious, whole foods as often as possible.
Include high-calorie supplements in your daily meals
We don't like the practice of hiding healthy foods in "kid-friendly" packages (watch you hidden veggie cookie), but adding high-calorie supplements to your daily meals is a different story.
For example, nut butter, avocado, coconut milk, and other high-calorie ingredients can be easily added to smoothies to add volume.
And when your child needs to gain weight, there's nothing wrong with using buttermilk in pancakes, sour cream in baked potatoes, or extra cheese in pasta or casseroles.
Don't limit exercise
Because weight gain is essentially an equation of calories in and out, it can be tempting to tell an underweight child not to be too active. But children need plenty of daily exercise. Unless recommended by a doctor, it is best not to limit their activity.
See a nutritionist
Putting everything together to help your child gain weight can be tricky. You don't have to go alone!
Seeking help from a nutritionist, especially a pediatrician, can make a huge difference. With expertise in baby nutrition, a pediatric dietitian can help you make the best choices for your child's diet.
When to talk to your pediatrician
You should never be embarrassed to ask your pediatrician a question, even if it seems silly. (Seriously, they heard it.)
If you are concerned that your child is not gaining weight properly, or if he seems to be regressing in his growth chart progress, do not be afraid to voice your concerns to your pediatrician.
Also, if you feel that your child looks "thin", has little energy, or has experienced behavioral changes or sudden weight loss, don't be shy. All of these are good reasons for further investigation.
Make sure you complete all recommended checkups for your baby to adequately monitor your baby's weight progression.
It is also definitely worth seeking professional help if your child refuses to eat for a long time, eg more than 24-48 hours, especially if you cannot identify the underlying cause, such as an illness.