How did I fatten up my kids?!
Both of my kids had problem with weight. They were both underweithg at some point in their lives few times.
I remember when my son was born, he is the oldest one, and we had our first appointment with his pediatrician when he was one month old. God I was so nervous! This was my first child and I was scared as hell. I had to learn everything by myself. Only help was my husbund and he was also scared to ! So you can imagine how it was for me.
Anyway for our first month with baby I had to learn how to breastfeed. For the whole month we learn, me and the baby, how to correctly breastfeed. Normally because of that my son only gain 250 grams (0.55 lb) in his first month. We didn't even come close to his birth weight after a month. I was devastated. First I have thought that I have faild as mother who is taking care of her newborn. Then my second thoughts were that my milk is no good, that I don't know how to breastfeed, that I don't have enough milk in my breasts and so on....
The pediatrician also did not help me with advice or comforting word, she only told me that I need to start to give formula to my newborn. And she has written that my son is underweight. I was so sad and in the end I have cried in the car on the way home.
After that I have changed to other pediatrician and she was graet. She said to me that everything is ok, that my son is not underweight and that he will gain weight differently beacuse he was breastfeed and there was no need for introducing formula to him.
In next months he did gain weight, around 600 gr (1.32 lb) each month. When he was 6 months old I have started to gave him solid food (first mashed fruits and vegetables and after that meat, fish, eggs, etc....) . Few times when he was growing up he did have that phase of underweight. He nursed until he was 3 years and 8 months old.
With my second child, my daughter, she was born a chubby one. She was 500 gr (1.10 lb) heavier then my son on birth and she was great with breastfeeding. She gain 1 kg (2.20 lb) three months in row. After that her weight gain started to slow down, which is normal, but hers weight gain was falling down fast which was not good. When she was 7 months old she gain only 200 gr in month and half. She did start to eat soild food when she was 5 months old.
She is now 2 years old and we are now in one of here phases of underweight. I'm trying to fatten up her again, but it always takes time. She is still nursing very often.
It is very easy to fatten up your little one but it takes time beacuse children are growing fast and moving around all the time so you need to be presistent and have patience to see a result.
Lets talk about food!
Olive oil - it is very healthy and you can added to almost any food that you prepare for your little one. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil gives you 15 ml of this precious liquid and it has 16.37 grams of fat in that one tablespoon. I always add one tablesoopn of olive oil to my daughters lunch. But you can add it in mashed fruits, vegetables, pour over meat or fish, you can even add it in cereals, yogurt etc...
Coconut oil - it is also good for fattening up our little ones. But it has to be extra virgin cold pressed unrefined coconut oil. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of fat. You can add it in mashed fruit or vegetables, cereals or you can spread it on meat and fish.
Grana Padano cheese - famous italian (made in Italy) cheese with delicious taste that is rich in fat. It is a hard cheese so it is easy to cut it into little pieces or to grate it into the food. I always add one little piece into my daughters lunch together with olive oil. This cheese is also good because it is rich in calcium. In 100 grams of Grana Padano cheese you have 28 grams of fat. In one tablespoon of this cheese you have 1.5 grams of fat and 60 mg of calcium.
Cottage cheese with sour cream - this is very delicious meal. You can add it into salty meal to boost up fattines or you can give it to your little one to eat plain like this. Just blend it together and add a little bit of salt. Also you can spred it on slice of bread or if your kid loves pancakes (at home we make French panacakes and you can fill them with anything you like, salty or sweet fill) you can fill them with blend of cottage cheese and sour cream plus add little bit of Maple syrup to get sweet fill. I always use full fat cottage cheese and sour cream. In 100 grams of cottage cheese you have 4.3 grams of fat and 83 mg of calcium. And in 100 grams of sour cream you have 20 grams of fat and 141 mg of calcium.
Greek yogurt - creamy yogurt also one tasty meal with great deal of fat. You can add it to mashed fruit or just eat it as is. I use full fat greek yogurt. And in 100 grams of greek yogurt you have 9 to 9.8 grams of fat. Depends of manufacturer.
Cream - you can add ( I'm talking about cooking/pouring cream here in EU and in USA that would be heavy cream or double cream) to salty meal together with olive oil and Grana Padano cheese. I do that very often. You all know that this kinde of cream is rich in fat. So on 100 grams of pouring/cooking cream you get 20 grams of fat. And on 100 grams of heavy cream you get 37 grams of fat. In double cream is even more fat 47 grams on 100 grams.
Whole milk - I start to give whole milk to my daughter when she was 17 months old. With my son I was even stricter. He tried his first cow milk when he was 2.5 years old. The only reason is and was breastfeeding. My daughter eats whole milk with Cokolino ( read chokolino it taste like chocolate). Even I grew up with Cokolino and I'm 35 years old. It is very famos meal (cereals with chocolate flavor) for babies, kids and even grown ups, here in my country. Also suitable for diabetics. It is manufacurated by Podravka.
Oatmeal - with whole milk and if you add a mashed or sliced banana and Maple syrup or honey, mmm mmm. Delicious ! And very good for fattening up our little ones. You get 10 grams of fat per serving. Nice!
Bananas - are also good for fattening up. But one banana per day is enough. Bananas can also cause constipation, so use bananas that have brown spots on peel, they are sweeter and easier to digest.
Avocados - rich in fat and you can add it in salty or sweet meal. In 100 grams of avocado you get 14.7 grams of fat. Wow! Avocado shake with whole milk, vanilla extract and Maple syrup or honey. Yummy!
Fish fillets - salmon, cod, alaska pollock and tilapia. Fish are not so rich in fat but they have Omega-3 fatty acids which are very important for growing children. So baked or cooked fish fillets with boiled potatoes, swiss chard and carrots (mashed, blend or sliced together) add oilve oil and a little bit of salt and you have great healthy meal. And you can blend one clove of garlic with 1 dcl of olive oil and pour over baked/cooked fish. Fantastic taste, real Mediterranean cooking!
Eggs - hard boild, scrambeld or poached. Eggs are healthy and rich in fat. One large egg has 4.97 grams of fat. Boiled egg has 5.28 grams of fat, scrambled egg has 7.45 gram of fat and poached egg has 4.95 grams of fat.
Protein powders - only organic,vegetable base and non-GMO. And only rice, hemp or pea protein powders. Proteins are important for weight gain. Children require for ages 1-3 about 1.1 gram of protein per every kilogram of body weight each day. That would be around 13 grams of protein per day. For ages 4-8 children require .95 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight each day. And that would be around 19 grams of protein per day. You can add it to mashed fruits, shakes, yogurt, oat meal etc.
Multivitamins - vitamins and minerals have big role in getting weight up. B vitamins are good for opening up appetites. Especially if folate levels are low then it can cause a loss of appetite. Also low levels of vitamin K can cause appetite loss, bone loss and slowed growth. We need good multivitamins. I use liquid form and I use multivitamins for adults, but to my kids I give only half dose of what is recommended for adults. And I'm mixing it with orange juice and a little bit of honey or Maple syrup to get them to drink that.
How do I prepare meals for my daughter ?
For breakfast I prepare oat meal with whole milk, mashed banana and two or three pruns and a little bit of honey. Or Cokolino with whole milk.
For lunch is always first soup, clear beef or chicken or lamb broth soup. Then meat ( beef, chicken, lamb, veal or turkey) with boild vegetables. I add some cereals like oat, barley, corn grits to vegetables when boiling. After that when meat, vegetables and cereals are prepared I add one tablespoon of olive oil, one little piece of Grana Padano cheese, sometimes hard boiled yolk or whole boiled egg and a little bit of salt. Then I blend that with hand blender and in the end I add teaspoon of cooking cream.
If it is fish day then it is baked fish fillet with boiled potatoes, swiss chard and carrots one tablespoon of oilve oil and a little bit of salt. Blended with hand blender.
In the afternoon she eats mashed fruits with one butter cookie and two tablespoons of greek yogurt and also one tablespoon of olive oil. Blended together.
We have two dinners.
First one is in six or half past six o'clock in the evening and she eats what is left from her lunch and I add one tablespoon of cottage cheese with sour cream. Or if she had eaten her whole lunch I prepare boiled vegetables with one hard boiled egg and I add olive oil and cottage cheese with sour cream then I blend that together with hand blender. Or I give her plain cottage cheese with sour cream and one tablespoon olive oil or French panacakes with sweet fill.
Last meal is right before she goes to bed. It is Cokolino with whole milk.
She is nursing very often, more then 10 times a day and during the night 5 to 8 times. She is co-sleeping with me since birth.
I give her multivitamins three times a day. It is 15 ml dose divided in three doses, each dose is 5 ml. First 5 ml dose is right before breakfast, second one is in afternoon before mashed fruits with butter cookie and greek yogurt and third dose is in the evening before last meal for the day.