While in the big cities it is true that obesity in kids is on the rise, there are also a bunch of us who have skinny kids who never gain weight! “Oh, do you feed him at all?”; “Why is he so thin?”; “Please feed him more!” are comments which we are sick and tired of hearing. From looking out for the best foods for kids to gain weight to searching for diet plans for kids to gain weight, parents with skinny kids try everything to get a thin child to gain weight successfully. While it is true that the focus for all of us irrespective of the physical form of our kids should only be whether they are healthy, here ARE some healthy ways to gain weight for kids/teens/toddlers:
1. Buy whole milk instead of toned milk or skim milk for the kids.
2. Add cheese to anything and everything– Add it to dosa to make it cheese dosa. Melt the cheese between two rotis and turn it into a Quesadilla. Put it on biscuits, veggies, fruits, and salads!
3. Keep dry fruits and nuts around all the time so that your kids can snack on it whenever they feel like munching on something- Nuts are packed with calories and are yummy too – find out what kind of nuts your kids like- peanuts, cashew, almonds- and stock up on it.
4. Become the expert at milkshakes– The more number of milkshakes and fruit smoothies you give your child, the better!
5. Be generous with the Ghee– Sometimes since adults have become conscious of not eating ghee, we may tend to hold it back for the kids too- Let the kids go to town with ghee!
6. Inch up the portion sizes– Slowly increase the portion sizes that your child eats. If you try to suddenly up against it too much, they won’t be able to eat it. But work on it slowly and steadily.
7. Increase the number of meals– If your child is very skinny, just doing the 3 meals may not be enough. Introduce small healthy snacks at intervals – Like a slice of cheese, or an apple.
8. Dried fruits– Try to include dry fruits in every possible way- they are healthy and calorie-dense- chop them up and put it in pancakes, dosas, idlis, pulao, milkshakes, etc
9. Set the tone– Make mealtimes enjoyable and relaxed. If you are used to sitting in front of the TV, turn it off and eat at the dining table. It is believed that focusing on eating will aid in better digestion and assimilation of food.
10. Offer; Don’t force– Finally, do not force any food on your child just because he/she is skinny- this would lead to an unhealthy attitude towards food- keep offering them alternatives and options and hopefully they would consume them.
Don’t worry if, after everything you try, your child still remains skinny. If you are sure there is no underlying medical condition, do not sweat it – When everybody else is fat at middle age, he will still look lean and young which is when he will be glad of his fired-up metabolism!