If you have a child that is underweight, it is important to feed them healthy foods packed with fat, calories and nutrition. Unfortunately, the media and Michelle Obama have made it appear that the nation is facing an epidemic when it comes to over weight children. While that may be true to some degree, there is also an issue with underweight children in this country and many families are suffering through every meal trying to get their child to eat.
Dinner time at our house has become a struggle with my daughter. She’s very thin and eats very little. We’ve tried begging, bargaining, arguing. You name it, we’ve tried it. Nothing really works to get our daughter to eat more than a few bites. On occasion, she’ll eat an entire meal and surprise us but this is not the norm in our house. She’ll gladly eat an entire donut after refusing to eat dinner but that’s just not healthy either. She’ll eat fruit all day but she’s not gaining any weight and fruit has a lot of sugar.
Here’s a list of calorie packed healthy foods for children that if they eat even just a little, you’ll feel good.
Fage Yogurt. Fage Yogurt has 20 grams of fat in one single serving container of plain yogurt. We add agave syrup for flavor but you can substitute honey or maple syrup and get a similar sweet taste. Agave has a lower glycemic index then other choices so we prefer it. Fage Yogurt contains live active yogurt cultures. These yogurt cultures have proven health benefits for children and adults.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies have both fat and nutrition. There are about 100 calories per serving and about 5 grams of fat. Substitute raisins with cranberries, dried cherries or dried blueberries if your child does not like raisins.
French Toast. Use the healthiest whole grain bread you find and add heavy cream instead of milk to your recipe. This will add fat and calories to an already healthy breakfast. Top the french toast with cinnamon and agave syrup for flavor. Cinnamon contains high levels of calcium and significant levels of vitamin C and K. This is a very healthy breakfast for children.
Smoothies. Smoothies are packed with vitamins and minerals. Make smoothies using Fage Yogurt or whole milk, bananas and berries and you have a healthy high calorie snack for children. Hint, children like drinking from a straw!
Muffins. Homemade muffins can be very healthy and nutritious if you add the right ingredients. Banana oatmeal muffins are a wonderful choice. Add a sprinkle of natural cocoa powder to muffins and you have a healthy chocolate muffin. Cocoa powder is high in antioxidants. Hint, children like mini muffins better than large muffins.
Macaroni and Cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese is a much healthier version of the store bought mac and cheese alternative. When making macaroni and cheese use real cheese and whole grain pasta. A dash of ground black pepper will add antioxidants to the meal.
Chicken Nuggets. Homemade chicken nuggets are so easy to make and much healthier than the store bought alternative. Use ground chicken, eggs and panko bread crumbs for a healthier version of a kids favorite fast food. I prefer to bake home made chicken nuggets but other prefer to fry. Frying will add more calories but is not as healthy as baking chicken nuggets.