Foods that help a toddler gain weight

Toddlers, like all children, need plenty of healthy fats in their diets for vitamin absorption and healthy brain growth. Failure to thrive, a scary sounding term to me at least, basically means your toddler is underweight. I don't buy into the fact that every single toddler or baby or child or even adult needs to fall exactly in the normal range for weight percentile. Some people are small, some are big, and despite diet, sometimes that's just how it is... But, if your toddler needs to gain weight by recommendation of a doctor, perhaps because they were teething or colicky and not eating much, there are foods that are rich in good fats you can feed them. Luckily, they're quite tasty too!

Now, of course we don't want to overload this generation's kids on saturated fats and oils and sugar (albeit I ate a LOT of chicken nuggets and I turned out fine, lol), which of course contribute to weight gain. Instead, let's focus on foods that are both fatty and nutritious, containing proteins, vitamins, and minerals for a growing child. Make every calorie count!

Cheese is great to help a toddler gain weight, assuming they don't have any milk allergies or lactose intolerance. One neat thing about cheese, too, is if you eat it along with foods high in B vitamins or a supplement, especially B6, it turns into a serotonin boost in the brain, great to remember if you're having a bit of postpartum depression. Anywho, cheese is of course packed with calcium, but also protein for growing muscles. Lots of vegetarians eat cheese and beans and nuts as their main source of protein and good fats. Little cubes or melted over veggies should do the trick.

Other dairy products are also beneficial, like milk and greek yogurt. Full-fat greek yogurt is not only tasty, but packed with calcium and protein too. You can use a sweetened version with fruits, or use plain in sauces, dips, etc. It's a very versatile food!

Nuts and nut butters are great too. Who doesn't love a dollop of peanut butter? You can mix it up too with almond butter, cashew butter, just about any nut. A handful of nuts has got lots of good fats in it too, and is great for mommy and toddler. Plus, it's a super simple snack to keep in your purse. A handful of nuts every day is supposed to significantly increase your life span too. I know my hubby loves ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, raisins on top) and I think that would be a fun food for toddlers to help make. Maybe you can play Antz in the background while you snack. :D

Avocados! Super food alert! I love avocados on pretty much everything. You can puree it, turn it into guacomole, put it on sandwiches, tacos, burritos, just about anything. You can also use them as an egg substitute. They are jam packed full of healthy fats, easy to eat, and totally nutritious. Plus, if you get a bag, you can use it as an excuse to have a facial too. ;) If you have a daughter, why not spread some on her face too while you watch a movie and munch on veggies or chips and avocado dip? She'll feel like a big girl, she'll get a bunch of good nutrition, and you get to pamper yourself! Sounds like a win win win to me.

Coconut oil mixed in just about anything or used to cook is a great source of good fat too. Also a great lotion and lip moisturizer for mama too.

What foods do you use to help a toddler gain weight?

Moms Expertise
    I would just be careful with nuts--you want to wait until your toddler has the teeth to chew them to avoid choking hazards. Other than that, the items you listed are both calorie and nutrient-dense, which is great!
    True that! I didn't even think about the teeth issue. If you crush them and put them on yogurt/ice cream/whatever, is it still a hazard? I have no idea about crunchy foods and toddlers.
    I think even if baby does have teeth, you would still want to halve things if they look like they could be a choking problem. Crushing them would probably be okay. :)
      8Theresa Gould
      Great information, Cassaundra! Lots of healthy choices to help gain weight, that's what I like! ;)
      About Cassaundra Owens
      Birth: February 13
      On since: Oct 11, 2013
      I'm a little strange, pretty green, and learning to live life as a wife, future mother, and entrepreneur. Right now, my husband and I are trying for our first after 3.5 years of infertility and 2 losses. Viva la adventure! Join me too at!