Make Meal Times Easier For Both Kids And ParentsTo make mealtimes easier and maximize the chances that your child will eat, you can :

  • avoid trying to force or bribe your child to eat. Turning meals into a power struggle usually doesn’t help and may make your child more resistant toeating.
  • Have a schedule for meals and snacks, which should include 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day of high calorie foods with lots of nutrients (see below).
  • Allow your child to feed himself, especially finger foods, as much as possible.
  • Only offer liquids, especially juice, after the meal.
  • Avoid large amounts of juices, sodas, or water. Offer milk or formula, which have more calories and protein, instead.

A Pediatric nutritionist can also suggest ways that you can provide your child with more calories by offering high calorie foods that are high in protein with lots of nutrients, especially since he will need additional calories to help him catch-up with his growth, including (disclaimer: only use these suggestions for increasing the calories that you are giving your child under the guidance of your Pediatrician or a Pediatric nutritionist):

  • avoid junk foods, such as candy, which may have calories, but are usually low in protein.
  • for younger children, under the direction of your Pediatrician or a nutritionist, your infant’s formula can be concentrated to provide more than theregular 20 calories/ounce.
  • for older children, over 12 months of age, instead of milk, you can offer Pediasure, which has 30 calories/ounce (vs 20 calories/ounce for whole milk) 2-3 times a day.
  • or mix whole milk with a packet of instant breakfast powder (adds 130 calories) or dry milk powder (adds 33 calories per tablespoon) to increase
    calories.
  • when baking and cooking, substitute whole milk, half and half, evaporated milk or condensed milk mixed with dry milk powder for water or milk.
  • for high calorie snacks, offer milk shakes made with a cup of whole milk, a packet of instant breakfast powder and a cup of ice cream blended together (can provide over 400 calories).
  • pudding can also provide a lot of calories if you add 1/2 cup of dry milk powder to the milk and instant pudding mix. add cheese as a topping for sandwiches, vegetables, etc.
  • use peanut butter (about 100 calories/tablespoon) as a snack and as a topping for vegetables, crackers, and fruits or blended with milk, ice cream or yogurt make a high calorie fruit snack using fruits canned in heavy syrup, add sugar or yogurt to fresh fruit or add a packet of instant breakfast powder to strained fruits.
  • make high calorie jello by substituting fruit juice for water in its preparation
  • serve meats and breads with added butter, margarine, gravy or sauces
  • serve fried foods, such as fish and chicken and add breading or flour before cooking

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