This post contains affiliate links.
My mother in law tried desperately to fatten up my husband when he was in high school. She made him an ice cream milkshake every day after school for an entire year. He didn’t gain an ounce. So, it’s safe to say that I have 3 skinny kids running around.
For the most part, I don’t worry about their weight too much. The doctor has always told me that as long as they maintain in the same percentile on the scale as they’ve always been, or go up, there is no need to worry.
But, this past year, we’ve been worried about our oldest because she isn’t the best eater at school, and she’s been having low energy and has not been gaining weight. We’ve even been concerned that she’s losing. So, I jumped into action and decided to come up with a plan to help her gain weight. We’re just getting started, but here are some ideas to help fatten up your skinny minis.
Add Olive Oil to Everything. Of course fatty foods will make your child gain weight, but you also want to increase the right kind of fats. Start by adding olive oil to pretty much everything your child will let you add it to. It’s also a great source of Omega-3s which is great for brain health, too.
Full Fat Dairy. We’ve always done organic whole milk in our house, but someone suggested going as far as to add heavy cream to her milk. Of COURSE she would love that. Another great idea is to use heavy cream to cover fruit for a healthy snack, or stick with whole milk yogurt.
High Calorie Shakes. Turns out that my daughter actually likes protein shakes. The only thing you have to be careful of is that you don’t choose shakes that are just full of sugar. We are still experimenting with different shakes for kids, but also protein drinks like Muscle Milk to see which ones seem to help her best.
Olvatine. This is a staple in our house and always has been. Even my pediatrician said it was a great source for vitamins for picky kids. Add it to some whole milk, and you’ve practically got a meal. I just wish they could get rid of the red dye #40 in it.
Nuts or Nut Butters. Unfortunately, my daughter HATES nuts. But, I love them. I mean, what is better than a spoonful of peanut butter? Think about adding nut butters to everything, too including shakes, on fruit, or just a spoonful in the afternoon. Energy bite recipes are popular on Pinterest, too and a great source of calories and energy for kids!
Avocado. This is seriously my favorite food on the planet. I could eat them with a spoon. If your kid doesn’t like avocado, try mixing it in a shake, or mashing it up like guacamole and turning it into a dip. Kids love to dip things!
Extra Meals. We no longer just do snacks after school, I make another meal. And, sometimes, if she eats good, I let her eat another meal before bed. We have an issue with high metabolism over here, and honestly, I think she will struggle with being skinny her whole life. But, eating more than 3 balanced meals is a great way to up the calorie intake.
Eat a Cheeseburger. While I don’t condone fast food in general, I recently discovered my daughter loves cheeseburgers! I never cook with red meat, and apparently she loves it. So, I now let her get a cheeseburger when she’s in the mood.
Say yes when they’re asking for food. Honestly, it seems like my kids are ALWAYS asking for food, and frankly, it’s exhausting. But, I’ve changed my attitude about no snacking between meals now that we’ve been having this problem. Instead, I say yes when she wants a snack, and try to steer her toward healthy choices that will also have healthy calories. If you’ve got a skinny kid, chances are they just need more calories, and need to eat more often.
Honestly, I suspect that she’ll struggle with this her whole life, but I hope that she’ll find a way to get the calories she needs, and learn healthy eating habits, too. What do you do to help your kid gain weight?
Please note: This post is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. As always please consult your child’s physician if they are having problems gaining or maintaining weight.
If you’re still struggling, check out these cookbooks to find some new recipes for your skinny kid.