In fairy tales, all that is required to fatten up young children is to lure them to your candy house in the woods, lock them in a cage and feed them table scraps.
If only it was that easy in real life.
Many children with special needs are skinny little dudes. Oskar included. I have had such a hard time getting him to gain weight. The words “ feeding tube” have been mentioned to me before, and while I know they are a godsend to many parents who can’t get their kids to eat and drink enough, I’ve done everything I could to keep him from needing one. And so far, we’ve squeaked by. SQUEAKED. Oskar’s weight and height run right along the very bottom line of the growth chart, but he’s on it, and the pediatrician who helps me with his diet says that’s okay.
Here are some tricks for fattening your kids up, in case you don’t have a candy house in the woods.
#1 hands-down best fattening tip: Fage Greek Yogurt. Full Fat! Even when Oskie was on the modified Atkins for seizures, this was okay for him to eat. It has tons of protein and 300 calories in just one container. I would just put jam or stevia in there to sweeten it up a little bit and he loved it. Now we’re off dairy, so no more magic bullet, but it was great while it lasted. He gained weight so quickly the pediatrician who watches his growth asked me what I was doing so she could tell her other patients.
#2 Butter and oil. In everything. This seems obvious, but it wasn’t natural to me. Now I add butter (or Earth Balance if you are non-dairy) to his oatmeal, his applesauce, his smoothies in the am. Anywhere I can think of that it would taste okay. I add olive oil to all his savory foods. 1 tablespoon of melted Earth Balance has 100 calories.
#3 Neocate Nutra. This is something my aunt, who is a nutritionist at Childrens’ Hospital in St Paul told me about. It’s a powder that you mix in with pureed foods or liquids that doesn’t add bulk, but adds calories. 175 calories per serving. I used this for about a year, but it’s a little bit expensive ( 35$ a can) so I just lean on the butter hard
#4. If you use store bought babyfood, pick the highest calorie kinds. Then add stuff. Have you ever looked at those babyfood labels? The fruits and vegetables have, like 20 calories in them.
What else can you think of that’s fattening? Make it a hobby. Peanut butter or sun nut butter and applesauce are a great snack. Cook Oatmeal or Cream of Rice in milk instead of water. One of the super fattening breakfasts I make for Oskar that is delicious is Cream of Wheat cooked in almond milk, then I add Earth Balance, protein powder, a banana, strawberries and some coconut yogurt. It adds up to about 500 calories and he loves it.
It’s really too bad Oskar doesn’t like Cinnabon. My problems would be solved.