Whether you have a picky eater or an under-eater, it is sometimes important for your child to pack on some weight. That’s when we, as parents, turn to supplemental nutritional drinks and foods that are high in calories that will help them gain weight faster.
Jai recently had a nasty cold which suppressed his appetite and caused him to lose about one pound. At his age, this weight loss was less concerning, but he was already on the low end for his age range, thus causing him to be underweight. During the cold, he was only consuming liquids like breastmilk and water, so I wasn’t worried about him being dehydrated, but I wanted to make sure he was getting all the important nutrients he needed and his daily caloric requirements. I also wanted to help him quickly add that pound back on and maybe an extra one for good measure.
I went out and bought a name-brand nutritional drink for toddlers. I looked at the label and was not happy with how much sugar the product contained. He hadn’t had that much sugar up to this point in his life, but I was concerned about his needing to gain weight so I bought the stuff.
He seemed to like it at first, but after a few sips he rejected drinking more. I suspect it was too sweet for him. I couldn’t try it myself, but even Ash was unimpressed with the flavor.
We put him to bed several hours later. I had thought the drink had left his system, but the sugar and chemicals caused him to be a light sleeper and he woke up around 1am and screamed uncontrollably for about an hour (we tried to console him as much as we could). The only thing different about his eating habits that day was this drink.
We vowed never to do that again.
That didn’t solve my concern regarding his weight and need for nutrients and calories. I decided to experiment with what I had in the house.
I came up with a dense ice “cream” that uses fruit and maple syrup to sweeten it, but has avocados and peanut butter as a means to heft up the calories and protein.
Because it doesn’t contain any dairy, this will be okay for your little one while they have a cold, the frozen nature of the treat will soothe throats but not increase mucus production. It is also a tasty snack, so it shouldn’t be hard to get them to eat it if you have a picky eater. You can find the recipe after the cut.
Disclaimer: You should always follow your pediatrician’s advice and recommendations. This is meant as a temporary solution to pack as many calories in a small amount, so I wouldn’t recommend feeding this longer than necessary to your child. If your child has any known allergies, please make the appropriate substitutions for their safety.
Chocolate Power Protein N’ice Cream
Serving Size: 2
1 medium avocado, diced & frozen*
2 medium bananas, sliced & frozen*
1/4 Cup blueberries, washed
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons all-natural, no sugar or salt added peanut butter
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Cup (or as needed) breastmilk or unsweetened non-dairy milk product of your choice
- Combine the ingredients in the following order in your blender: cocoa powder, peanut butter, blueberries, bananas, avocado, and maple syrup (top off with milk product if you want to make this thinner and more like a “milkshake”). Blend until smooth and at the consistency you would like.
- Pour into a airtight container for the freezer. Serve or freeze immediately.
- This will keep in the freezer for up to 5 days (it will start to get icy the longer it sits). Before feeding to your little one, let it sit out for about 5 minutes in order to soften
- If your are concerned about nut allergies, replace the peanut butter with sunbutter or your “butter” of choice
- The cocoa is meant to hide the avocado color. If your little one isn’t picky about how it looks, omit or replace with something else of your choice.
- I threw the blueberries in because that’s one of Jai’s favorite fruits, but this can easily be substituted with your child’s favorite fruit
- Make it an Almond Joy! Substitute almond butter and throw in a splash of refrigerated coconut milk
*To make this into a drink, instead of freezing these ingredients, pop them in the fridge first so they get cold.
If your little one wants to keep consuming this frozen treat after they’ve gained the necessary weight, omit the avocado. This is what helps makes it so calorically dense.
1 Serving: 380; Fat: 19.3g; Sat. Fat: 3.1g; Protein: 6.8g; Fiber: 10.2g
The ingredients used means it contains the following (I do not have the percentage information): Vitamins A,C, D, E, K, B6; Thiamin; Riboflavin; Niacin; Folate; Pantothenic Acid; Choline; Betaine; Calcium; Iron; Magnesium; Phosphorus; Potassium; Zinc; Copper; Manganese; Selenium; Fluoride
After eating this snack for several days, Jai was able to quickly add on that extra pound. He had his normal checkup and the Nurse Practitioner was impressed at how quickly he gained the weight back. So overall, this delicious treat was a success!
Comment with your thoughts and any adjustments you make to the recipe. I’d love to know how it worked for you.
Liked this post? Make sure to follow me on your favorite social media platform and show some love by sharing it. Links found below.