This generation toddlers are said to be very fussy eaters. They easily tend to lose weight and lag in growth. Weight gain might have been good until they are breastfed. Once they start walking, their interest in food comes down. There are many natural ways through which we can try to increase their weight by making food interesting. Let us look at the list one by one.
The best weight gain food for toddlers
Potato helps babies and toddlers to gain weight, as it is full of carbs. One good thing is, potato can be served to kids in many ways.
- Mashed potato with salt and pepper – steam the potato, peel off the skin and mash it nicely. Add salt and pepper for taste
- Potato fries – fondly called as French fries, is a very attractive food for kids. Cut the potato into lengthy pieces and soak them in salt water for 20 mins. Drain the water and fry them in olive oil. You can serve them with ketchup or mayonnaise. But this is for occasional use only!
- Potato cheese balls – steam the potato, peel off the skin and mash it nicely. Mix grated cheese with the mashed potato and add a pinch of chili powder. Shape them into small balls and roll it on bread crumbs. Fry them in olive oil.
Urad dal and Moong dal
Dal in general contains lot of protein and essential fatty acids which helps in active brain growth. Urad dal and moong dal are easily digestible for kids. There are many ways in which you can include both the dals in regular diet for kids.
- Urad dal vada – Soak Urad dal for 45 mins in enough water. Drain excess water and grind the soaked dal into a thick paste. Add full pepper, salt and cut curry leaves/spinach in the paste. Make small balls and deep fry in refined oil.
- Idly – Soak urad dal and idly rice in 1:3 ratio, separately for 4-5 hours. You can also soak a spoon of fenugreek seeds along with urad dal. Grind urad dal, fenugreek and rice separately into soft paste. Mix both the batter thoroughly and add salt. Leave it overnight for yeast formation. Once the batter is raised, mix it nicely. Take required quantity for idly and store the rest in refrigerator. You can used the batter to cook idly in an idly maker.
- Moon dal halwa – Soak moong dal for 3-4 hours. Grind it into a smooth after draining excess water. Add ghee to pan and add the paste. Keep stirring until it comes like a ball by leaving the sides of the pan. Add milk and sugar to the mixture and keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick. Serve hot with nuts topping.
- Moon dal khichdi – Add moong dal with your regular rava khichdi/rice khichdi twice or twice a week
Yogurt / Curd
Yogurt helps your baby to gain weight. Homemade yogurt is said to be best as it does not have any preservative in it. You can also buy flavored yogurt which is available in the market.
- How to made curd/yogurt at home – Boil milk and cool it down till lukewarm. Add a spoon of curd to the milk and leave it to ferment. Curd/yogurt should be ready when you leave it overnight. If the weather is very cold, add a cleaned dry chilly to it. It is said to quicken the fermenting process and create heat. You can remove the dry chilly once the curd is ready.
To make it interesting, you can add sugar in yogurt/curd and serve. Avoid curd/yogurt if the weather is cold. You can also avoid it during the night.
Egg has all the required protein and fat for a toddler. It can be cooked in many ways. But only fully cooked egg is advised for kids.
- Boiled egg – boil the egg in water for 7 mins. Remove the shell and feed the egg white. The egg yolk is dry and your baby might choke on it if given separately. It is advised to add egg yolk with rice or khichdi.
- Omelette – Break the egg, beat the egg white and yellow together until you see foam like layer. Take a pan and heat it, pour the beaten egg and sprinkle required amount of salt and pepper on top of it. Cook it on both the sides like a dosa and serve medium hot.
You can serve steamed or plain cooked meat/chicken for your toddler along with rice or roti. Avoid adding spices and chilly.
You can also make stew or soup out of it, and serve in small quantity, once or twice per week.
Cheese contains a lot of good fat which can help in weight gain for kids. You can make it interesting in many ways.
Cheese can be added with bread, salad, and bun. It can also be plainly given as finger food. It can be made into a soup which would make feeding easy and the taste more flavorful.
Make sure that you don’t overfeed your baby with cheese, as it might become difficult for digestion. If your serve cheese, reduce other fatty food for the day.
You can add ghee to any type of food you make for your kids on a daily basis. Add only melted ghee or add ghee to hot food so that it melts. Thick/frozen ghee will not get digested, as human body does not generate that much heat to melt and digest the ghee.
Start with half a spoon of ghee per day. You can increase slowly as per your kid’s taste.
You can add ghee to khichdi, idly, rice, and bread. It can also be used along with oil when you fry any food. Desi ghee is best.
Avocado is one fruit which can be served like ice-cream! It has a whole lot of nutrients and good fat. It helps a lot in weight gain.
Just add little sugar or honey to make it tastier. Pick a ripe avocado – that is key!
Cottage cheese or paneer is a very good source of good fat. It is also very easily digestible. Paneer can be added to rice, khichdi, gravies and sandwich or served as a plain finger food.
How to make paneer?
- Boil milk and allow it to cool
- Add lemon juice to the milk
- Strain the milk with a white cloth and squeeze it thoroughly
- Now press the cloth with a heavy vessel or pan to squeeze the excess water out.
- You can shape it and then cut into pieces.
You can also use the paneer available in market. Homemade paneer is tastier.
Health mix powders are available in market which also helps in weight gain. Please check the ingredients to make sure if your child is allergic to any of it. Homemade health mix powders are best.
Happy parenting !!