child healthy weight snacks
Lei Barga

How to Help Your Child Gain Healthy Weight

child healthy weight snacks
Lei Barga

How to Help Your Child Gain Healthy Weight

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Helping your child healthily gain weight is a question many parents face.  As a person in charge of my own family’s nutrition, I am always wondering if my little one is gaining weight at a healthy rate.  If there are no underlying medical conditions, a proactive approach is to ensure that your child is healthfully gaining weight with nutritious foods.   

If you are concerned about your child’s weight, it is important to discuss it with your pediatrician at your earliest convenience.  

Here are some ideas for yummy, nutrient-rich, healthy sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that can make meal planning for the whole family a breeze, while ensuring that your children are healthy and creating great eating habits for a lifetime!  

Healthy Protein Sources

  • Eggs
  • Nut butter (e.g., peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • Hummus
  • Full-fat dairy (e.g., yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese) 
  • Meat and fish

Nutritious Carbohydrate Sources

  • Potatoes (mashed, baked, roasted)
  • Whole wheat bread, rice, pasta
  • Sweet potatoes (mashed, baked, roasted)
  • Cooked oatmeal

Healthy Sources of Fats

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil 
  • Grass-fed butter

Including the above food sources in your child’s meals and snacks provides good nutrients for their growing bodies and can help them gain weight at a healthy pace. Below are some meal and snack ideas that include the above foods.

Meal and Snack Ideas 

  • Make guacamole to have with meals and snacks
  • Add grass-fed butter or oils to potatoes, rice, pasta
  • Add ground nuts, seeds, and granola to full-fat Greek yogurt 
  • Add nut butter, grass-fed butter, or a healthy oil to cooked oatmeal
  • Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast or snacks that includes nut butter or ground nuts, full-fat dairy, and avocadoes 

Doctors may also recommend a high-calorie supplement drink for our children to help them gain weight. If the above tips do not help your child gain weight, continue to work with your physician to determine any underlying causes.

About the Author

My motto – Personalized nutrition. I believe that each person is so unique, and so are their nutrition needs. My goal is to help each individual find a nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle plan that is beneficial for their health and helps them feel energized! My “why” – Growing up I was always surrounded by runners, and in high school and college I was a competitive runner myself. Since that time, I have always been very interested in the role that food plays in our body. I was initially majoring in physical therapy, and my very last semester I took a nutrition class. That is when I had my “AHA!” moment, and knew I wanted to be a dietitian. My hope as a dietitian is to help others understand the amazing benefits that food has to offer us. My credentials – I have a bachelor’s in exercise science from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s in dietetics from the University of Dayton. I got my master in health communication studies from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. I am a registered and licensed dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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