The Best Foods To Help Your Baby Gain Weight

The Best Foods To Help Your Baby Gain Weight


Sometimes, babies just need some extra calories
and healthy fats to put on enough weight to keep them in the normal range, and if that’s
the case, here are some healthy foods that will help your baby grow up big and strong. According to Medical Daily, there’s a very
real danger in introducing your baby to solid foods before they’ve reached five months old. Studies have shown there’s an increased risk
of an unhealthy amount of weight gain, and the best time to start adding solids to baby’s
diet is when they’re between five and seven months old. That said, adding certain high-calorie solid
foods is a great way to also add extra calories and help a baby who’s developing slowly. The University of Wisconsin says cheeses are
a great way to add those extra calories, and notes that not only can cheddar cheese and
soft goat cheese be offered as finger foods, but cheeses of all kinds can also be used
as additives in other foods your baby has already developed a taste for. Hide a dollop in mashed potatoes or pureed
vegetables, or melt over rice or pasta. There is one word of caution to be added to
this, though. Since dairy is often allergenic, the Australian
Society of Clinical Immunology says you should introduce dairy-based foods slowly, and don’t
add any other potential allergens to your baby’s diet along with the cheese. That way, you’ll be able to keep an eye out
for any allergic reaction, and you’ll know what caused it. The idea that breast milk is best has been
repeated a lot, and part of the reason for that is it’s been linked to the development
of healthy weight gain. According to a 2018 study in Pediatrics, babies
who are exclusively raised on breast milk until at least six months of age have a better
chance of being at a healthy weight at their first birthday. They also found that not all breast milk is
the same: when babies were given pumped milk, they gained more weight. While they’re not entirely sure why there’s
such a pronounced difference, they speculate that it has something to do with the freezing
and thawing process interfering with the activity of valuable enzymes. That said, it’s entirely possible that some
babies might still need a little bit extra, even when they’re only being fed breast milk. According to Children’s Hospitals Minnesota,
fortifying breast milk with powdered formula can be an excellent way to increase calories
while still giving them all the goodness of breast milk. Medical research largely agrees that this
should meet all your baby’s dietary needs until they’re around five or six months old. According to the Benioff Children’s Hospital
in San Francisco, iron-fortified baby cereals can be a great way to get extra calories and
nutrition into your little one’s diet. If having a picky eater is one of the biggest
problems you’re facing, there’s good news: this is another option that you can prepare
in a number of ways, and hopefully, you’ll find something that your baby likes. If you’re having trouble getting them to transition
from breast milk to solid food, mixing cereal with breast milk can be a great way to make
the switch easier on them. You can also add a teaspoon or so to other
foods that they might already like. Add it to yogurt, pureed fruit, veggies or
meat, or even mix it in with eggs. While you’re going to want to keep your baby
away from artificial sweeteners and sugary foods, sweet potatoes can be an excellent
way to add not just some high-calorie options to the menu, but to expose them to a flavor
that’s completely unlike any other. The University of Wisconsin says sweet potato
mash an excellent option for any parent who needs to add some extra calories to their
baby’s plate, and sweet potato fries are a great finger food that will help encourage
exploring babies who are starting to figure out how to feed themselves. Parenting says there are all kinds of other
benefits to sweet potatoes: they can relieve and prevent constipation, they come with a
ton of vitamin A, and they also help prevent anemia. There’s another bonus, too. If allergies are presenting a problem when
it comes to finding high-calorie foods to encourage weight gain, sweet potatoes come
with almost no risk of a negative reaction like the ones that potentially come with things
like dairy and eggs. It’s also versatile enough that you’ll be
able to find something that’ll have even the pickiest eater finishing their meals, whether
that’s sweet potato mash, fries, or a sweet potato and carrot soup. Avocado might have a reputation as a trendy
hipster food, but it’s also great for babies who need a little extra help gaining weight. VeryWell Family says they’re one of the perfect
foods to start babies on, and they’ll raise baby’s daily calorie intake, along with giving
them all kinds of heart-healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s great, and here’s the really neat thing
about avocados. Most of the avocados you’ll find in the store
are either Florida or California avocados. If you want something filled with the extra
goodness baby needs, be sure you get the California variety. That’ll have twice the fat and about a third
more calories than the Florida version, and that’s what you’re going to want to give your
little one. A single ounce of California avocado has about
50 calories and 4.5 grams of total fat. Win, right? It gets better: the unique texture of the
avocado is great for a baby just learning what solid food is all about, and it can be
either pureed or cubed for a quick and healthy snack. When you’re an adult, you’re more likely to
try to lose weight than gain it. Oil and butter are on the list of things to
stay away from, but according to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a bit of butter or a
dash of some healthy oils can help your baby get much-needed calories. Oils and butter both have the advantage of
being a calorie-heavy topping, which means it’s easy to beef up what your baby is already
eating with just a little bit of either. Put a teaspoon of dairy or soy-based butter
on your baby’s vegetables, or mashed potatoes, and you can use oil in much the same way. Choose a healthy oil, like olive or safflower,
and use a teaspoon in pasta or on toast. You can also opt for getting out your baking
pans, too, and making some healthy, butter-filled muffins, pancakes, or soft snack bars. The bonus to those? You’ll love to snack on them, too. “Fresh creamery butter, is there anything
more comforting?” Different types of yogurt have different types
of benefits, but it’s only whole milk yogurt that’s suitable for babies. The extra additives that come with fat-free
or low-fat yogurt makes it unsuitable for infants, but they can absolutely benefit from
the good fats, calories, probiotics, and vitamins in whole milk yogurt. If you’re concerned about your baby trying
to digest the often difficult enzymes found in milk, rest easy. According to Happy Family Organics, the fermentation
process used to make yogurt does most of the heavy work for them. Yogurts are easy on the stomach, and when
you pick up the types with no added sugar, you can be sure they’re gaining weight thanks
to the natural fat, calories and nutrients, not artificial sugars. They also say that yogurt is gentle enough
to be given to a baby once or twice a day, and that’s important when you’re trying to
increase caloric intake. It’s also versatile: serve it right out of
the container, or add pureed fruit for yet another calorie boost. Ground seeds can be used as high-calorie additives
to foods your baby already likes, and that makes them a great way to get extra nutrition
for even the pickiest eater. The University of Wisconsin recommends ground
flaxseed and chia seeds in particular, as they not only come with some much-needed calories,
but other benefits, too. A single tablespoon of flaxseed has 37 calories,
and while that’s not a lot for an adult, it’s a powerful caloric punch for your baby. Chia seeds come with a whopping 138 calories
per ounce, and both types are high in healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, too, making
this additive an all-around win. Eggs are a little tricky, and here’s why. For years, pediatricians recommended holding
off on giving your baby eggs because of the potential for an allergic reaction. According to Healthline, the current recommendation
is now to give eggs as one of an infant’s first solid foods, and that’s good news for
a lot of reasons. Australia’s Women’s & Children’s Hospital
says eggs are great not just as a high-calorie snack, but they’re also a great base for adding
other things to. Look at it this way: a single egg has around
70 calories, and that means a hard-boiled egg is great for a quick little meal. But it also means that if you scramble that
same egg then add a bit of cheese, cream, or margarine, you’ve got an even higher-calorie
breakfast that still has a baby-friendly texture and a mild taste. And since texture can be a huge deal for anyone,
not just a baby, eggs are great for experimenting with. If he doesn’t like scrambled or hard-boiled
eggs, there are plenty of other options. It’s also worth mentioning, though, that as
with other potential allergens, you should introduce eggs slowly and separately from
other foods, so you know what’s causing the reaction if one develops. Cottage cheese might be good for you, but
it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s the texture, right? But here’s the thing: that same texture that
makes it icky for many adults makes it perfect for baby. That’s good news, because the University of
Wisconsin calls it one of the best high-calorie foods for infants, especially considering
that the only version you’ll want to feed them is the full fat version. But let’s talk texture. Different cottage cheeses have different levels
of chunkiness, but that can work in your favor if you’re having trouble getting the little
one to eat. You can puree it to change the texture to
something that’s more palatable to her, and since it has such a mild, bland flavor, you
can also use it as a calorie-rich base to mix up a little snack you know she’s going
to like, or add a dollop on top of a main meal. Add pureed fruits, some avocado, ground seeds,
a dash of seasoning, or even some beans. And here’s another bonus to making cottage
cheese a regular feature on the menu: if they grow up eating it, they’re more likely to
keep eating this healthy cheese even after they’re old enough to make decisions for themselves. When you baby isn’t gaining weight like he
or she should, mealtimes can become stressful and nothing short of anxiety-inducing. That might make the problem even worse, so
let’s talk about something fun you can make that you both can enjoy: waffles. Waffles? Absolutely! The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital says waffles
are one of the best ways you can serve up a healthy helping of grains to a child who
is underweight. Not only are waffles packed with calories,
but they’re also easy to cut into finger foods that are perfect for a baby who’s just started
munching on foods with more texture. They’re also versatile when it comes to toppings,
and they go great with a wide variety of tasty foods that are going to help you add still
more calories. Top with pureed fruit, bananas, cottage cheese,
a dollop of butter, or a spoon of fresh whipped cream. Sure, they might be a bit more complicated
to make than just popping open a jar of baby food, but you can treat yourself, too. Make your own waffles, top them with something
special, and take the opportunity to sit down and eat with your baby. Food is a family affair, after all, and let’s
be honest: you deserve it. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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12 Comments

  1. The university of cheese, I mean Wisconsin, wants to feed kids cheese at 5 months old. Shocker. They are probably patenting a bottle for getting cheese into babies with formula too.

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