How to Fatten a Toddler

We took Ava to her 1 year check up yesterday, and despite the fact that we thought she has grown so much, the doctor told us yet again that she needs to gain weight. We’ll see him again in 6 weeks for a weight check, and if she hasn’t gained, she will be tested for different things.

It’s a little concerning, she eats quite a bit for every meal, and drinks her whole milk like a pro. We don’t have to push her at all. 

The doctor’s concern comes from the lack of consistency in her weight curve. When she was 2-4 months, she was in the 90th percentile, and she’s slowly trimmed down, and now she’s in the 12th percentile at 12 months. At first, I must admit I got very defensive. She’s a very active baby, and I assume that’s probably the reason why she’s so lean. However, I looked up “how to fatten up a toddler” on Google, and came across this board on The Bump. Turns out, a lot of babies have this issue. Someone explained that the doctor is concerned that the baby’s body isn’t able absorb the nutrients to make them grow. Our doc didn’t explain it like that. I promise I wouldn’t have gotten so defensive if he had. 

So it makes sense. Mission Fatten Up Ava commences! In the board, mommies from all over share what has worked for them, and I feel a whole lot more confident that we can give Ava the chance to gain weight by eating healthy fats. I also referred to this site for picky eaters (even though she’s not picky, it gives great tips on how to slip in more calories!) The Poop Whisperer is a blog I just came across as well, and her post here was extremely helpful and confirmed what the other two sites said, only with more specifics. So great. Here’s what I’ve compiled…

Good fatty foods include: 

  • Dairy products made of whole fat milk- I have been giving Ava yogurt made for babies, but I’m gonna skip that and go with regular whole fat yogurt. 
  • The Poop Whisperer mentioned mixing whole milk with half and half. It’s worth trying!
  • Put those whole dairy products on everything: veggies, breads, pastas, etc.
  • Avocados – guacamole works too.
  • Hummus
  • Almond or Sun Butter – These have more healthy fats that even peanut butter!
  • Olive Oil – cook veggies in it, drizzle over pasta, etc.

Other foods to help weight gain:

  • Butter. On everything.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast in milk at least once a day.
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rich pasta sauces, like Alfredo
  • Baked goods such as banana/zucchini bread, muffins, etc.
  • Ice cream =)

So, after work today, I’ll head out to the store. I have hope that she can gain weight. Most importantly, she’s still the happiest baby I’ve ever met, regardless of her size. 

I’ll update as the weeks go on. We’re going to try to weigh her periodically. Ever dealt with this? If you have tips I didn’t include, please share!

 

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