Healthy diet tips for underweight children

Its a common complaint of most mothers "My child is very thin";"My child is underweight"; "He is very hyper active but does not eat properly"; "He is very choosy in his food" and so on. A healthy, balanced diet is the key to your child's healthy weight gain. All children during their growing period requires the energy (calories) and nutrients that come from a varied and balanced diet.

The possible reasons of your child being underweight
  • The child may not be taking enough calories (energy ) in his diet. Some children are very active and have fast metabolisms. He will lose weight if his diet does not keep pace with the amount of calories he is burning off.
  • If he is very "selective in eating", this can also cause him to lose weight.
  • Temporary illness
  • Hereditary
  • Occasionally, being underweight maybe due to some underlying medical condition. It is important to contact your doctor if you are concerned about your child's weight.
Healthy diet tips for underweight children
A healthy diet with all the right nutrients is vital as your child grows.
  • Make sure that you give full-fat dairy foods like milk, fresh cream, yogurt, paneer and cheese.
  • Make you child get into the habit of eating other milk made food like shrikhand, mishti doi (sweetened curd), smoothies with high calorie fruits like bananas, mangoes.
  • Add small amount of butter or ghee to his daily foods like pulses or dal, stuffed parathas, rice pulao, vegetables, curries.
  • Use peanut butter on toast at times.
  • You can add roasted crushed peanuts instead of bread crumbs while preparing cutlets. Peanut chutney, a good source of calories can be taken with snacks.
  • Other nuts like almond, walnut,and cashewnut can also be included in his diet. He or she can take it whole or the nut can be added in baked goodies, kheers and puddings
  • Use mashed potatoes with butter, grated cheese in his diet.
  • Offer healthy and tasty snacks like fruit chat, chicken mayonnaise, cheese sandwiches
  • You can use avocado, which is high in calories and full of vitamins and other nutrients, in mashed potato.
  • Banana with full-fat yoghurt or fresh cream is a very high calorie diet.
  • Roasted dry fruits like cashew nuts (kaju), raisins and almonds can be given as snacks. Almond powder added to your child’s glass of milk is also helpful.
  • Coconut is high in calories. So if you want you can add coconut milk or grated coconut to your child’s food which can help increase his calorie intake.
  • Your child should also be given 2-3 servings of fruits, which provide the essential vitamins and minerals to keep digestion and absorption easy.
  • It is said that adding a strand of saffron in milk for your child will help keep him warm in winter. This is said to increase immunity also.
  • If your child takes non veg items, then add chicken, fish, mutton, eggs in his diet. Maynot be regularly but atleast 3 times a week. And dont forget to add ghee or butter in his gravy.