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Additional Ingredients for Children Who Need to Gain Weight

With the media so highly focused on being fit and looking thin, we tend to forget that sometimes we need to pack on a few pounds, especially children who are constantly staying active and growing. Children require more calories during this crucial part of their lives.

It is important to take note of what kind of weight-gaining foods your child consumes. Ice cream can add a pound a two, but its sugar content can actually disrupt his or her energy levels. Plus, sugar adds to inflammation, overloads the liver, and contributes to insulin resistance, which could lead to diabetes down the road. The goal is to eat high protein, high calorie, or both to achieve positive weight gain.

We are here to help! Below, we have assembled lists to turn homemade dishes into nutritional but also weight-gaining meals.

Everyday dishes should include…

Flaxseed oil (no flavoring)

  • 1 tblspn = 0g protein/120 calories/13.6g total fat

Coconut oil (adds sweetness)

  • 1 tspn = 0g protein/39 calories/4.5g total fat

Chicken broth (mild flavor; great for whole grains, like pasta and rice)

  • Swanson Broth’s Chicken Broth: 1 cup = 1g protein/10 calories/.5g total fat
  • Swanson Broth’s Certified Organic Chicken Broth : 1 cup = 1g protein/15 calories/.5g total fat

Chicken liver (mild flavor; freeze and then grate it a little over food)

  • Pan-fried: 1 oz = 7.3g protein/49 calories/1.8g total fat
  • Simmered: 1 oz = 6.9g protein/47 calories/1.8g total fat


When preparing a salad or snack, include…

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds: 23 nuts = 6.02g protein/163 calories
  •  Peanuts: 1 oz = 6.71g protein/166 calories
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tblspn: 1.6g protein/52 calories
  • Sunflower seeds: 1 oz [kernels only]: 5.48g protein/165 calories


  • 1 fruit = 6.8g protein/365 calories/30.6g total fat


  • Castella Ripe Black Olives: 1 oz = 0g protein/47 calories/3.8g total fat
  • Castella Spanish Green Olives, Manzanilla, Stuffed w/ Pimento: 5 olives = 0g protein/25 calories/2g total fat

Easy Substitutions

Skim milk —> Whole milk

Why? Check out the reason TIME magazine says to make the switch!

Regular Yogurt —> Greek yogurt

Why? Check out the reason US News: Health says to make the switch!


Still struggling to gain weight? Add these ingredients:

  • Baked potato with extra butter
  • Pizza with extra cheese
  • Hamburger with cheese and/or bacon
  • Fruit slices with peanut butter

Sources: The Washington Post, Dr. Decuypere’s Nutrient Chart, Calorie King


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