August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Low body weight, also known as failure to thrive in children age 2 or under, can lead to serious repercussions for your toddler.
Milk and cheese are dense in calories and fat and can serve as bulking agents in foods for toddlers.
According to pediatric dietitian Jacqui Lowden from the Manchester Children’s Hospital, small children should consume a starchy food, such as pasta, rice, bread or potatoes, at each meal. Small children require more fat and dense calories than adults, particularly if they are underweight. Nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter, are a positive source of unsaturated fat as well as modest amounts of protein and fiber.
According to experts at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, small children who do not gain appropriate weight or grow sufficiently can suffer from irritability, fatigue and delayed development.
They also provide nutrients, such as vitamin D and calcium, that are important to infant growth and wellness. Whole grains, though ideal for adults, may contain too much fiber for toddlers and fill them up quickly. Foods dense in healthy fat, such as avocados, are nutrient-rich and include a dense amount of calories. Researchers at the Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, found that preschoolers who don't receive adequate nutrition are at risk for depression and infections.
Though nuts contain healthy fats as well, they are less ideal, because they are small and could potentially obstruct a toddler's airway or cause choking.
Use whole or 2-percent milk rather than water in hot cereal, mashed potatoes, soups and hot chocolate. Macaroni and cheese is a positive meal choice, because it provides starchy carbohydrates as well as fat and calcium. Consider avocado puree as a butter-substitute in sweet foods, such as brownies, for a more nutritious option.
Incorporating particular foods into your toddler's diet may benefit the weight-gaining process. Consider milk or yogurt-based smoothies as a valuable and versatile option for your toddler. Pasta topped with tomato sauce provides starchy carbohydrates as well as various vitamins and minerals, such as lycopene and vitamin C.
Avocados will affect the texture and flavor slightly, but the result is a sweet treat that offers positive nutrition. Keep in mind that whole-grain breads and cereals can be added gradually as the child develops and once proper weight has been attained. I buy organic kefir by the quart at my local health food store, and find it to be very budget-friendly as well.
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