If your child is thin or has a slender frame, it doesn't mean that he's underweight. But if he is, he will need your help and guidance so that he can achieve a healthy weight. It's ideal to talk with your child about your goal and let him know that you're going to need his cooperation.
It's always best to consult with a medical professional, but here are a few ways you can try to achieve weight gain for your underweight child safely.
Don't skip meals
If you have a weight goal that you want your child to reach, every meal and snack time are crucial in achieving that goal. Do not skip breakfast, lunch or dinner plus the 2 snack times (you can even add a light one before bed!). Once his body gets used to the amount of food he consumes every day, consider serving your child with larger than normal portions. You can offer an extra pancake for breakfast, two sandwiches for lunch instead of one or a bigger serving of dessert during dinner. This way, his appetite will become bigger through time making it easier for him to achieve and maintain his weight goal.
Introduce high-calorie and high-fat foods in his diet
When we say high-fat foods, we're talking about foods with a good amount of healthy fats like avocadoes, olive oil, peanut butter and nuts. This way you know that your child is gaining weight through healthy and nutritious food. It's also ideal to make it a habit to check food labels when grocery shopping to help you select foods that have a high calorie content. For example, Cheerios only has 100 calories per cup compared to granola which has 500 calories per cup. In knowing this info, you'll be able to substitute lower calorie food with high calorie foods to offer your child.
Have him drink a lot of juice and milk
When he's thirsty, quench his thirst with juice instead of water. Opt for liquids that have a high calorie content. Fruit juices and low-fat milk are good options. But of course, water is still the most important liquid there is – make sure he is also well-hydrated with water throughout the day and especially during meals.
Follow these easy and effective tips to help your underweight child gain weight, but be sure that you have also asked the advice of your doctor beforehand.