Calorie Rich Food for a 2 Year Old

Updated on December 15, 2008
S.L. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

My 2 year old daughter looks so skinny to me since she is growing in height, but not weight. The doctor said to give her calorie rich food, but make sure it is healthy (not junk food of coarse). Does anyone have any suggestions on calorie rich food that still fall within "healthy"foods? I have some ideas, but all suggestions would be appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for ALL the good advice! Some things we already give her that were mentioned, but there are so many great ideas we will surely make part of her diet. Also, it is good to be reminded that some kids are just on the skinny side.

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answers from San Diego on

My grandmother made Oatmeal Cake for us when she came to visit one summer. I gained weight because it it so rich. You can find it on line. Easy to make, easy to eat. Easy to gain weight. I was real skinny too.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Peanut butter, avocado, top her pasta/salads with olive oil - well, don't smother it but do like you would dressing, hummus and crackers. Smoothies - yogurt,milk of your choice (we use almond milk), frozen fruit (mango/strawberries/banana's/blueberries), blend and enjoy - you can also add to it, peanut butter, ground flaxseed, tofu, etc.. Offer 3 healthy meals and allow her to graze in between. She should have a little something very 2/3 hours. Remember her tummy is tiny. So it's best to put a teaspoon or so on her plate of each item then allow her to serve herself more if she'd like. Put the food in little bowls with spoons at the table.

Here is a list of healthy fats and not so healthy fats: (taken from - sorry it is long but informative.

Green light. Fats in this category contain at least 80 percent unsaturated fats. Most contain some essential fatty acids, and all contribute to the health and well-being of the mind and body. (Note: The green light is not a license to overeat fat. Eating too much fat regardless of the type can cause obesity, which itself raises blood cholesterol levels.)

Human milk Richest overall source of healthy fats Algae oil Richest source of DHA
Flax seeds, flax oil Richest source of essential fatty acids and DHA.
Fish (cold-water, especially Atlantic salmon and tuna) Coldwater fish, especially salmon and tuna, are, like flax, rich sources of DHA.
Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) Rich source of essential omega 6 fatty acids, mostly unsaturated fats.
Canola oil Ranks second to flax oil as the oil richest in essential fatty acids, especially DHA
Soy products (e.g., soy milk, tofu, tempeh) Rich in essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, similar to fish oils. Also, contains lecithin; can reduce cholesterol
Olive oil Mostly unsaturated fats
Nuts Almonds and walnuts contain 90 percent unsaturated fats; cashews are low in total fat that is mostly unsaturated.
Monounsaturated Fats
Peanut butter Mostly unsaturated fats; buy organic and unhydrogenated; Also, good source of protein. Healthy alternatives to peanut butter are soybean butter, sesame seed butter, and cashew butter.
Hummus (a spread made from chickpeas) Approximately 85 percent unsaturated fats, plus good source of protein, folic acid, many vitamins and minerals, and no cholesterol
Wheat germ Mostly unsaturated, plus rich source of many other vitamins and minerals

Yellow light. Fats in this category contain a balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids which, if eaten in moderation, contribute to the health and well-being of the body. Look for lowfat varieties. In addition, many of these foods are rich sources of other nutrients as well.

Yogurt (low fat) Like all dairy products, mostly saturated fats.
Milk (1 or 2 percent) Around 50 percent of the fat content of whole milk
Egg More unsaturated than saturated fats; yolk is high in cholesterol; use only egg white if you are cholesterol sensitive.
Beef (sirloin, trimmed) High cholesterol, around 50-50 saturated and unsaturated fats.
Turkey (breast, skinless) Around 50-50 saturated and unsaturated fats.
Veal (loin) About 50-50 saturated and unsaturated fats
Cocoa butter Even though it is a saturated fat, it is metabolized like a monounsaturated fat similar to olive oil.

Red light. You could eliminate all the fats in this category and you would be healthier for it. Any nutrient that might be in any of these fats could be obtained from other fats with better nutritional credentials.

Tallow (chicken or beef) Ninety percent saturated fats
Lard High in saturated fatty acids
Palm-kernel oil Mostly saturated fats. Contains palmitoleic acid, a fat, which eaten in excess, can interfere with essential fatty acid metabolism.
Coconut oil Over 90 percent saturated fats
"Hydrogenated," or "partially hydrogenated" Tops the list of fats that are bad for you.
Margarines High in hydrogenated fats, especially those with a lot of coconut, palm- kernel, and hydrogenated oils.
Shortening Especially those with lard, hydrogenated oils, palm kernel, coconut oils, or tallow.
Cottonseed oil More unsaturated than saturated fat, but usually hydrogenated and may contain pesticide residues.

Back to topSMART FATS
Fats make up sixty percent of the brain and the nerves that run every system in the body. So, it stands to reason that the better the fat in the diet, the better the brain. So, with all the fat eaten by the average American, why don't we have more geniuses in this country? The average American brain is getting enough fat, but it's not getting the right kind of fat.

Think of your brain as the master gland that sends chemical messengers throughout the body, telling each organ how to work. An important group of these chemical messengers are the prostaglandins (so-called because they were originally discovered in the prostate gland). Prostaglandins initiate the body's self-repair system. The body needs two kinds of fat to manufacture healthy brain cells (the message senders) and prostaglandins (the messengers). These are omega 6 fatty acids (found in many oils, such as safflower, sunflower, corn, and sesame oils) and omega 3 fatty acids (found in flax, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, and coldwater fish, such as salmon and tuna). The foods from which oil can be extracted are generally the foods highest in essential fatty acids.

Most important to brain function are the two essential fatty acids, linoleic (or omega 6) and alpha linolenic (or omega 3). These are the prime structural components of brain cell membranes and are also an important part of the enzymes within cell membranes that allow the membranes to transport valuable nutrients in and out of the cells.

When the cells of the human body - and the human brain - are deprived of the essential fatty acids they need to grow and function, the cells will try to build replacement fatty acids that are similar, but may actually be harmful. Higher blood levels of "replacement fatty acids" are associated with diets that are high in hydrogenated fats and diets that contain excessive amounts of omega 6 fatty acids. Levels of replacement fatty acids have been found to be elevated in persons suffering from depression or Attention Deficit Disorder. A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids (such as the LNA from flax oil or the EPA and DHA from fish oils) not only provides the body with healthy fats, but it also lowers the blood level of potentially harmful ones, such as cholesterol and, possibly, even reversing the effects of excess trans fatty acids.

Using the lock and key analogy will help you understand how the brain communication system works. Neurotransmitters are biochemical messengers that carry information from one brain cell to another, sort of like sparks flying across the gap between nerve cells. Each cell membrane contains a series of locks. The various message carriers (prostaglandins and neurotransmitters) are like keys. The keys and the locks must match. When the cell membrane is unhealthy because it is made of the wrong kind of replacement fatty acids, the keys won't fit, and brain function suffers. Nutrients may also fail to fit in a mismade lock.

The eye is a perfect example of the importance of getting the right kind of fat. The retina of the eye contains a high concentration of the fatty acid DHA, which the body forms from nutritious fats in the diet. The more nutritious the fat, the better the eye can function. And since most people are visual learners, better eyes mean better brains.

Western diets contain too much of the omega 6 fatty acids and too little of the omega 3's. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in ground flax seeds and flaxseed oil, coldwater fish (primarily salmon and tuna), canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, wheatgerm, pumpkin seeds, and eggs.

Smart fats for growing brains*. Fats can also influence brain development and performance, especially at either end of life -- growing infants and elderly people. In fact, there are two windows of time in which the brain is especially sensitive to nutrition: the first two years of life for a growing baby and the last couple decades of life for a senior citizen. Both growing and aging brains need nutritious fats.

The most rapid brain growth occurs during the first year of life, with the infant's brain tripling in size by the first birthday. During this stage of rapid central nervous system growth, the brain uses sixty percent of the total energy consumed by the infant. Fats are a major component of the brain cell membrane and the myelin sheath around each nerve. So, it makes sense that getting enough fat, and the right kinds of fat, can greatly affect brain development and performance. In fact, during the first year, around fifty percent of an infant's daily calories come from fat. Mother Nature knows how important fat is for babies; fifty percent of the calories in mother's milk is fat.

Different species provide different types of fat in their milk, fine-tuned to the needs of that particular animal. For example, mother cows provide milk that is high in saturated fats and low in brain-building fats, such as DHA. This helps their calves grow rapidly, though it may not do much for their brains. In adult cows, the brain is small compared with the body. Cows don't have to do a lot of thinking to survive. In human infants, the brain grows faster than the body. Highly developed brains are important to human beings, so human milk is low in body- building saturated fats and rich in brain-building fats, such as the fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega 3 fatty acid.

DHA is the primary structural component of brain tissue, so it stands to reason that a deficiency of DHA in the diet could translate into a deficiency in brain function. In fact, research is increasingly recognizing the possibility that DHA has a crucial influence on neurotransmitters in the brain, helping brain cells better communicate with each other. Asian cultures have long appreciated the brain-building effects of DHA. In Japan, DHA is considered such an important "health food" that it is used as a nutritional supplement to enrich some foods, and students frequently take DHA pills before examinations.

Just how important is DHA for brain development? Consider these research findings:

Infants who have low amounts of DHA in their diet have reduced brain development and diminished visual acuity.
The increased intelligence and academic performance of breastfed compared with formula- fed infants has been attributed in part to the increased DHA content of human milk.
Cultures whose diet is high in omega 3 fatty acids (such as the Eskimos who eat a lot of fish) have a lower incidence of degenerative diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.
Experimental animals whose diets are low in DHA have been found to have smaller brains and delayed central nervous system development.
Some children with poor school performance because of ADD, have been shown to have insufficient essential fatty acids in their diet. (See A.D.D. - A Nutritional Deficiency)

Just as there are fats that improve how the brain functions, there are fats that hinder the brain's work. The dumbest fats are those that are man-made through the process of hydrogenation. These fats are referred to on package labels as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated." A diet rich in these fats not only deprives the eater of the smart fats, but they can actually interfere with the action of smart fats on brain function.


Even though the brain has completed most of its growth by adolescence, it continues to make vital connections. This is another window of opportunity for brain growth when a healthy diet is important. However, adolescence may be a period when there is a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. There are several reasons for this deficiency: adolescents tend to eat a lot of saturated fat foods and foods that contain hydrogenated fats. Young athletes often restrict their fat intake in order to keep fit and trim. When they cut out fat, in general, they also cut out healthy fats. Teen brains need more fish and fewer fries.

Fat Food for Growing Brains

While a baby is in the womb, the brain grows more rapidly than in any other stage of infant or child development. And during the first year after birth, the brain continues to grow rapidly, tripling in size by an infant's first birthday. So, it would make sense for a pregnant and lactating mother to supplement her diet with brain-building nutrients, primarily the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and flax oil (one tablespoon of flax oil daily, four ounces of tuna or salmon three times a week). In fact, some nutritionists recommend that pregnant and lactating women take 200 milligrams of DHA supplements a day.

Tastes like fat, looks like fat, but it's not fat! A dieter's dream? Read on. The newest fake fat (e.g., olestra) is so fake that the body rejects it, even though the mouth seems to get the pleasure of fat. This fat substitute is made by joining together molecules of vegetable oil and sugar into a compound with molecules so big that they are not absorbed through the intestines and into the bloodstream. So far, so good. You get the taste of fat without the calories. Sound like a good deal? Wrong! Since this fake fat can't get into the blood, it has to get out of the body somehow, so it makes its greasy way through the intestines, taking along some of the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D,E, and K) and other nutrients that depend upon fat for absorption, such as carotenoids. These nutrients that should have gotten into the body, go out with the waste. So, even though the fat you may not want is not absorbed, some of the nutrients in the foods you do want are not absorbed either.

"No problem" say the food chemists "we'll just add more of the nutrients you lose into the food you eat." Beginning in May of 1998 the FDA requires snack food packagers to put the following warning (in small print on the back of the package, of course). "This product contains olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping or loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A,D, E and K have been added."

So to a bag of potato chips the manufacturer of olestra must add 3,400 IU of vitamin K, 240 IU of vitamin D, 56 IU of vitamin E, and 160 mcg of vitamin K. (This is beginning to sound like the "enriched" white bread story.) The problem with decreased absorption of carotenoids (plant phytonutrients that fight against cancer, heart disease, and may contribute to better vision) also seems to have been discounted.

Besides causing bloating, diarrhea, and cramping abdominal pain in some people, these synthetic fats allow people to simply change brands without changing their eating habits. They believe they can eat more fat without guilt, which further contributes to the development of a "fat tooth"-the need to taste fat in order for the food to be satisfying. Another heavy fact is these synthetic subs encourage eaters to overdose on fat-filled foods that have no nutritional value. In a study reported in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, children ate more food when olestra was substituted for ordinary dietary fat. The potato chips contain half as much fat, so you may feel you have the license to eat twice as many. But our advice is don't be a guinea pig. Wait a while to see the long-term health risks of this new experiment.

We all know that if we eat too much fat, most of us will get fat. What many people do not realize is that even eating excess sugar can make you fat. Here's how.

Sugar is a prime energy source for the body. Sugar molecules are constantly traveling to each cell to provide energy. Within each cell is a tiny furnace, called the mitochondria. The sugar or glucose molecules enter the furnace and are burned as energy for the cell. This energy- conversion process creates carbon molecules that are building blocks for both cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. When you eat more sugar than your body needs for energy, excess carbon molecules are produced. If carbon is produced faster than it can be converted by the body into carbon dioxide, water, and energy, the excess saturated fatty acids and cholesterol are then deposited as fat or carried in the bloodstream as cholesterol. The body does this because the excess carbon molecules would otherwise be toxic to its metabolic processes. However, while the body can turn excess sugar into fat, it can't turn fat back into sugars. It must burn off the excess fat as fuel through exercise.

Another side to the sugar-becoming-fat story is the survival mechanism of the body operates on the feast or famine principle. When you feast on excess high-carbohydrate foods, the body stores these excess calories as fat as a way of storing energy in case of famine.


Low-fat is healthier for your heart and reduces your weight. Not necessarily. Overeating any food, whether it's fats or carbohydrates, will put fat on the body. "Low-fat" snacks and fast foods tend to be loaded with carbohydrates and junk sugars. Without the fat to fill up on, it's easier to overdose on carbs. If you eat more carbohydrates than the body can burn, the excess carbs will not only be deposited as fat, but also raise the level of triglycerides in the bloodstream, which in itself increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. A low-fat diet can lead to a lean body only if it's part of an overall low-calorie diet.

If you really want to both trim the amount of fat in your diet and eat the right kinds of fats, here are some important fat facts to consider:

1. Fishy fats. Ever wonder why cold-water fish contain more monounsaturates and are healthier to eat than warm-water swimmers? The fat in the fish is adapted to the temperature of the water. The more unsaturated a fat is, the more oily it becomes. That's why fish fat flows i.e. it's oily. The oil in fish acts as an antifreeze in the cold water, so the colder the water the better the oil has to be. Coldwater fish are naturally higher in unsaturated, healthier fats. The fat an animal contains is perfectly suited for its survival. If a fish contained the same amount of fat as a steer and the steer was loaded with fish oil, the steer would feel like flubber and the fish would sink. Also, consider the skin of the fish. The healthiest fish oils are found under the skin. Unlike poultry, it's best to eat the fish with the skin on.


Fat from fish is nutritionally preferable to animal fats for several reasons. Fish fats are much higher in unsaturated fatty acids, where most animal fats are around 50 percent saturated and 50 percent unsaturated. Another factor is the difference in the essential fatty acid content of fish and animals. Fish fats contain primarily omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are important to the formation of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that help the body repair and heal itself by replacing old tissue with new tissue. It is interesting to speculate that there might be a connection between the rising incidence of inflammatory and degenerative diseases (such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and colitis) and the predominance of animal fats over fish fats in the average American diet. It is also interesting that cultures that eat a lot of fish have a lower incidence of these diseases.

2. Fat calories are fatter. If you are trying to lose weight or stay lean, be especially vigilant about counting fat calories, since these are absorbed and stored as fat more quickly than calories from carbohydrates or proteins. Calories from fat are more fattening than those from carbohydrates or proteins, for three reasons.

Each gram of fat contains over twice as many calories as the same amount of proteins or carbohydrates.
The body stores the calories from dietary fat as body fat more easily than calories from other nutrients.
When you eat a food, the body burns some of the calories from that food just to metabolize it. The body uses only three percent of the calories from fat to metabolize it, yet burns 20 to 25 percent of the calories from carbohydrates to convert them into sugars. The body prefers to burn carbohydrates as a quick energy source, burning fat for energy only when the carbohydrate stores are exhausted. Also, the body burns the healthier fats (unsaturated fats) for fuel more easily than it burns saturated fats, which are more likely to make their way onto your waistline.
3. Fowl fats. Even most confirmed chicken fryers know that chicken fat is bad for you. Most fowl fat lies just under the skin. Once you remove that flavorful fatty stuff, the underlying meat, especially if white, is fairly lean, containing around seven percent fat. As an added fat perk, fowl fat is rich in omega fatty acids. So, choose chicken breast over chicken thighs, bake instead of fry the bird, and remove the skin. Also, pick your poultry. Turkey is leaner than chicken and white meat is leaner than dark. Dark meat contains almost twice as much fat as white meat.

The Chicken and the Egg

What a chicken eats shows up in her eggs. Eggs from free-range chickens contain more omega-3 fatty acids and a lower ratio of omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acids than cage-raised chickens, which are fed lower omega-3 fatty acids and a higher omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio. The yolk of Greek eggs (which come from hens fed fish meal) contains six times the amount of omega-3 fatty acid found in the usual U.S. supermarket eggs. Similarly, ocean-caught fish contain more DHA than farm-raised fish do. This is because the fish eat the algae, which are the primary producers of DHA on our planet.

4. Green fats. While we don't think of plants as rich sources of fat, some are. While it's true that plants don't contain a lot of fat, what little fat they contain is high in essential fatty acids. Plants use omega 3 fatty acids to store sunlight energy. The darker and greener the leaves, the more essential fatty acids these leaves usually contain. So, do your brain and your body a favor, choose spinach and kale for your salad makings and leave the iceberg in the bin.

An Omega Salad

Want to make a "right fats" salad? The following salad makings are high in omega 3 fatty acids: 1 tablespoon of flax oil; seeds and nuts, especially walnuts. Flax seed, pumpkin seed, canola, and soy are common oils that are high in omega 3's, and a good combination with omega 3-rich green, leafy vegetables such as spinach.

5. Slimming fats. Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) are the fats that are least likely to succeed in making their way to the thighs and waist. Essential fatty acids actually stimulate metabolism by speeding up the rate at which the body burns fats and glucose. So, I consumed most of my daily fat requirements from fish and flax, and my cravings for fattening fats were reduced. (See The L.E.A.N. Program).

6. Farm fats. Fish that swim and fowl that run have healthier fat profiles than those in a cage or pond, for two reasons. It's common sense that meat that exercises is leaner than meat that just sets or floats. Also, plants that grow in the field or food that grows in the sea are nutritionally better than factory-made feeds. In fact, farm-raised meat may contain as much as forty percent more fat than free-roaming or free-swimming varieties.

7. Fertile fats. The amount of estrogen in the blood seems to be dependent on the amount of fat in a woman's body. Once a female drops below fifteen percent of her normal body weight as fat, menstruation is likely to stop temporarily. Gymnasts in training, adolescents with anorexia, and overly lean teens are likely to have delayed menstruation.

8. Polluted fats. Chemical pesticides and pollutants tend to be stored in body fat. So, theoretically, the higher the fat content of the food, the more pesticides and pollutants it could contain. For this reason, be careful of high-fat foods, such as butter and beef. For high-fat foods, buying organic varieties makes nutritional sense.

9. Blood fats. Healthy fats, especially omega 3 fatty acids found in flax and fish oils, can be thought of as blood thinners. Saturated fats are blood thickeners, clogging the arteries and leading to cardiovascular disease.

10. Nut fats. If you're a peanut butter lover, as I am, be sure to look at the label to detect whether or not it contains the bad fat word - "hydrogenated." Hydrogenating the peanut oil solidifies it so it doesn't separate from the solids and float to the top. In old-fashioned, unhydrogenated peanut butter, the oil has to be stirred back into the peanut butter when you first open the jar. Sure, it's a little bit of work, but your arteries will thank you.

Easy Mixing

To help mix in the oil that rises to the top of the jar of unhydrogenated peanut butter, store the jar upside down. That way, the oil rises to the bottom of the jar. Remember to screw the top on tightly when you turn it upside down.

11. Cooking fats. Remember, oils higher in monounsaturates spoil more quickly. Fat-savvy eaters consume antioxidants (literally anti-rust or anti-spoiling nutrients), such as vitamin E along with vitamin C and beta carotene with their healthy fats and oils. Cooking foods, such as onions and garlic (rich in antioxidants), may lessen the damaging effect of heat on oils. All those Mediterranean cooks who start a dish by slicing onions, mincing garlic, and cooking it all in olive oil may be on to something.

12. A little bit of fat. Don't burn extra calories worrying about eating all of your fats as essential fatty acids. Only about two percent of your total caloric intake needs to be essential fatty acids, which amounts to one to two teaspoons per day, or three to seven grams. A couple teaspoons of flax oil or one serving of fish should do it. Plant and fish oils are much richer sources of essential fatty acids than meat, yet meat is a rich source of essential amino acids and protein.

13. Fats and fiber. Because fiber gives you a sense of fullness sooner, eating a fiber-filled meal is likely to prompt you to eat less fat. On the other hand, you are likely to consume more fat when the menu is low in fiber.

14. Less of a fat tooth. The western taste bud is programmed to enjoy the fatty taste and mouth feel of foods. Reprogram your taste buds. The more you lower the total fat in your diet, the less your taste buds will crave fat.

15. Sluggish fats. Don't feel you have to eat a high-fat meal in order to have plenty of energy. Because fat is slower to digest, high-fat meals make you feel full longer, yet also make you feel more sluggish. High-fat meals don't leave you feeling energetic. They make a person want to sit rather than run.

16. Baby fats. Babies need fat - lots of it. Adult fat restrictions should not be applied to infants. Human milk contains around 50 percent of its calories in fats. Not only do infants need more fats, they need more of the right kind of fats, especially for brain growth. Since the brain grows more in the first two years than any other time in a person's life, it's most important to provide the infant with the right amount of the right fats at this crucial time. Breastfeeding is your best bet for delivering exactly what the baby needs. As of 1999, infant formulas available in the United States do not contain DHA, which is the most abundant omega-3 long-chain fat in breast milk.

17. Brain fats. The principal fat in the brain is DHA, and the best sources of this fat are products from the sea (seafood and seaweed).

The Mother and the Infant

As with the proverbial chicken and egg, the amount of DHA in a mother's breast milk depends on the amount of DHA in her diet. A recent study from Australia showed that infants nursing from mothers who had higher levels of DHA in their diets also had better mental development at one year of age.

* Rating foods in order of priority has inherent problems, since the keyword to healthy nutrition is what Grandmother always said - balance. Best to eat a balanced diet containing many kinds of these fats, not just one or two of the top ten. Do not overdose even on those at the top of the list.

* An informative book on best fats for growing brains is: SMART FATS by Dr. Michael Schmidt.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

All 3 of my kids are "underweight". They have great appetites and we eat pretty healthy. In march my husband was out of work and I went on WIC, they had me meet with a specialist who told me to put BUTTER on everything they eat. I was not a happy camper. So I talked to my ped who told me not to worry look at realitives, and they might just be small. I am not a small person, my my MIL and her whole side of the family are very tall and very slim, I wouldnt stress too much. Most kids gain wieght then grow taller. If she just had a growth spurt then in a few months you will start to see her getting a little chunkier. My twins are 3 and weigh 25 lbs and my 18 month old weighs 21 lbs! Good luck but as long as she is eating normally I would take a deep breath and monitor her weight.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Like others have said, as long as you are feeding your kids a healthy diet...I wouldn't worry too much about weight gain with your kids. My son is tall and skinny and my daughter is short and chubby. Both are in the 25th percentile for weight for their ages.

We eat mostly organic is our home. We eat out about 3 times a week, and even then we try to make healthier choices. My kids love to eat fruit, yogurt, applesauce, nuts, cheese, guacamole, tofu, rice milk, whole milk, etc. And often will make myself a greens and protein shake. I mix in some powdered greens and whey protein with some frozen berries and some organic vanilla yogurt and some Udo's Choice 3-6-9 Fatty Essential Oil. I always have to make extra for my kids since they also love to drink it.

Our neighbor's daughter is 5 and isn't even on the charts for her weight or height. Her Mom is tiny and so is she. But she is an active, very bright, and very healthy little girl. So if your kids are active, healthy, and hitting all of their developmental milestones, I wouldn't worry at all about their weight. Some kids just have a hollow leg when it comes to food. My kids eat all day long and barely gain any weight...maybe a pound or two a year and that's it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Here are some calorie rich foods.....
Bananas, peanut butter, oats, yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, raisins, reeds, ruts, peas, corn, squash, potatoes - baked, mashed, boiled - not fried, milk, cheese, avacados, olives, meat, fish, poultry, kidney beans, hard cheeses, canned fruit in syrup.
Of course, the nuts will come into play when your little one is a little older, but keep them in mind, they are great for this purpose. Some little ones do not digest raisins well either so try a little and mix with other stuff for balance, like raisin oatmeal, or raisin oatmeal cookies.



answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure you already know about feeding healthy foods like avocado, full fat yogurt and cheese and nuts. All so good for you! I would shy away from proteins, fruits and veggies, though. You can make delicious smoothies and other treats packed with calories, but also flavor and



answers from Santa Barbara on

Beans! My daughter loves them, all kinds. Garbanzos right out of the can, kidneys on salads (or, more accurately, she eats them off my salad), refrieds, blacks, you name it. They are very high in protein. My daughter loves just simple, plain burritos with refried or black beans and cheese. And she will sometimes eat hummus, which is of course made from garbanzo beans.



answers from Los Angeles on

Nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower seed); whole milk yogurt; cheese; raisins; whole grain breads



answers from Los Angeles on

My advice is to cook everything in a cream sauce. Use whole milk or thick cream and you will put on the weight. My daughter fell in love with scalloped potatoes and mashed potatoes. I'd use tons of butter, sour cream, and whole milk or cream when making them



answers from Los Angeles on

Avocado, peanut butter, nuts(watch for allergies).



answers from San Diego on

My son was a very skinny toddler and still a very healthy but lean 9 yr old. Here are some of our favorites: Greek style yogurt at Trader Joes( it is whole milk, very creamy and packed full of good protein calories); add chocolate flavored Carnation Instant Breakfast to whole milk (this adds extra milk fats and calories, tastes yummy); cheeses of all kinds and 4% milk fat cottage cheese; ranch dressing as a dip for veggies; hard boiled egg or egg salad sandwich, cheesy egg burrito, cheese/ham omelette, meats of all kinds pack a punch of calories and fats(at that age I had to blend meat sauces for pasta...because of a meat texture aversion in my toddler); if she's not allergic, nuts/peanut butter; extra whole fat mayo on her sandwiches; I always use butter on pancakes/waffles, and there's always cream!
Our pedi told us to never skip the fat for him because he was/is so lean, and we have a genetic propensity to being very lean in our family. Good luck and Bon Appetite!



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter loves Avocado. It's rich in the "good" fats. I was giving it to her everyday, and noticed that her tummy was getting bigger, so I cut back! LOL Maybe she would like guacamole!



answers from Los Angeles on

you could try giving her a shake made with whole milk yogurt, banana and add a little protein powder. you could also add a little bit of flax seed oil (it's high in calories and you only need a small amount...less than a teaspoon) but you would want to check with the doc first to make sure it's ok to give that to a 2 yr old. you could always add berries or a little chocolate syrup to change up the flavor.

if she had one of these every other day, i bet she'd start to put on weight.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello, the first thing that came to mind is dairy products. Also avocado, sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter(not nuts YET). What is REALLY high in calories I just found out is coconut!! You'd have to check into the "healthiness" of it but I just looked at a bag of shredded coconut - nothing added, just coconut, from Henry's Market - it was something like 640 calories in 1/4 cup!!! So of course I put it right back on the shelf! But it might serve your purpose if your daughter likes it. But, I will say that I have 2 skinny kids that are as healthy as can be, I have never paid attention to the percentages! Healthy happy kids says it all.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,
I believe there is a pediatric Ensure that is calorie rich. You can probably purchase it at WalMart or your local pharmacy. You may want to double check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure this fits the criteria.
-L., from Long Beach, married mother of three beautiful growing daughters.



answers from Honolulu on

Whole milk yogurts and cheeses of any kind - cream cheese on everything...

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