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How to Help Your Underweight Toddler Gain Weight


Increasing the content of calories in the diet of an underweight child is also very essential. Here are a few ways to achieve this:

• Add margarine and oil to the toddler’s food

• Apply mayonnaise in the toddler’s vegetables

• Make sure that the dairy products that you give to your toddler are full-fat rather than the low-fat usually consumed

• Add grated cheese to most of the toddler’s foods.

 Also Read: Battling Childhood Obesity

Studying your toddler’s eating habits or patterns is also quite helpful when trying to ensure that your child eats a lot more.

Find out when the toddler wants to eat most and maximize this period. Most toddlers are hungry after being very active such as moving around and playing. It is at this time that a mother should incorporate as much fat content as possible in the toddler’s meal as he will eat comfortably.

Most of the times, toddlers are not comfortable with the places where they eat such as the dining table or kitchen. It is, therefore, mandatory for you to find out where the toddler is comfortable with eating. Be it outside or in front of the television, knowing this will definitely increase the amount of food that the toddler consumes. When at work or unavailable, do not leave your child unattended to; having a well informed house cleaner or baby-sitter is highly recommended.

As much as an underweight toddler may be depressing, do not put too much pressure on the child to eat. This may have even worse effects than you probably imagined. The toddler might be even more repulsed when it comes to eating.

Do not give your toddler a bottle of milk every time. If they get used to this, they may get addicted and find solid foods less fulfilling. In addition, giving toddlers high fiber foods such as bread and rice is highly discouraged. This fills the toddler’s tummies, which are quite small as compared to those of adults. It therefore leaves little space for the rest of the nutritious food.

Having extra vitamins, which are necessary for the toddler’s age bracket, is also very essential. There should be high content of vitamins A, D and C. Vitamins tend to increase the amount of iron in a toddler’s body. High content of iron largely increases the toddler’s appetite for other foods. Do not supplement your toddler with iron directly though, as it may have dire consequences. Excess iron in the system may bring about constipation.


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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

One thought on “How to Help Your Underweight Toddler Gain Weight

  1. Swati Nitin Gupta

    It is a relevant topic these days and I am worried mom of an underweight toddler. Not that I worry too much — living in a joint family where everyone worries about his eating habits I show some concern but I know that I am trying to give him enough fat and calorie content — sufficient for him to weight gain.


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