Dairy Products: Dairy foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, protein, and healthy fats. Opt for full-fat or whole milk products to increase calorie intake.
Nut and Seed Butters: Nut butters, such as peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter, are dense in calories and rich in healthy fats and protein. Spread them on whole-grain bread or crackers, or add them to smoothies or oatmeal for a calorie boost.
Healthy Oils and Fats: Incorporate healthy fats into meals by using olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil for cooking. Adding sliced avocados to sandwiches, salads, or as a topping for meals can provide a nutrient-dense source of healthy fats and calories.
Protein-Rich Foods: Protein is essential for muscle development. Offer kids lean meats like chicken, turkey, and beef. Fish, such as salmon or tuna, is not only high in protein but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for overall health.
Complex Carbohydrates: Foods like whole-grain bread, pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and oats are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and energy. They can help increase calorie intake and provide sustained energy throughout the day.
Dried Fruits and Nuts: Snacks like raisins, dates, dried apricots, and mixed nuts are nutrient-dense and provide a good mix of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. However, be mindful of portion sizes as they can be calorie-dense.
Eggs: Eggs are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are versatile and can be prepared in various ways, such as scrambled, boiled, or as part of a vegetable omelet.
Frequent, Nutrient-Dense Meals and Snacks: Offer children regular meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure they are getting enough calories and nutrients. Include nutrient-dense foods at each meal to support healthy weight gain.
Smoothies and Shakes: Create nutritious and calorie-dense smoothies or shakes using ingredients like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, nut butter, and milk. These can be a convenient way to increase calorie intake while providing essential nutrients.
Homemade Snacks and Treats: Prepare homemade snacks and treats using healthier ingredients, such as granola bars with nuts and dried fruits, homemade muffins with added fruits or vegetables, or energy balls made from oats, nut butter, and honey.