Any ideas for high calorie but reasonably healthy snacks for underweight ds?(40 Posts)
My ds has to have several extra snacks during the school day as he can't maintain his weight and struggles to control his emotions when he is hungry.
I am running short of ideas of things to make for him. He has to have roughly 4 extra snacks a day.
They all need to go in a tub or similar to be taken to school.
He can't eat a lot in one go so they can't be too big but need to contain as many calories as possible but also to be relatively healthy.
Currently I give him a selection of the following:
oatmeal and banana muffins
(both of them low sugar recipes)
cheese and crackers
breadsticks and various dips
carrot sticks and various dips
half a sandwich
shop bought dairylea dippers
It has also been suggested that I give:
crumpets and peanut butter
carrotsticks and nut butter eg almond butter
cheese scones<sometimes with herbs in>
oatcakes and mashed avocado
avocado, and tomato sarny
homemade sugar free muffins
smoothies with ground almonds/full fat dairy/ground seeds added
pitta or english muffin mini pizzas
cheese straws<spread with ketchup or marmite before twist and bake>
I should also point out that he is a vegetarian and won't eat meat or fish.
I would very much appreciate any other ideas inventive mumsnetters have.
avocados and bananas are the highest calorie foods, iirc. I used to mash up half an avocado with a banana, a couple of spoonfuls of natural yoghurt, and maybe some ground almonds too (couple of teaspoons). sometimes I'd add eg mango puree for a different taste.
dd1 used to love it, and it was great for her to put on some weight as highly calorific.
I can't think of much else for now - you have some fairly comprehensive lists there!
I think you've got a very good list there already. My DS is in a similar position re weight (though only aged 3) and needs building up but is gluten and dairy free (hence the weight problems). I might steal some of the ideas and hope someone comes along to give you some extras soon. It can be stressful can't it?
It is quite a list I know but it quickly becomes repetitive when you are using four ideas a day. I am also concerned by how sweet many of the ideas are and would like more savoury choices for him.
I have also just realised he is not allowed nut products at school which complicates it a bit. I can use nut related snacks once a day as the fourth snack is straight after school.
I did wonder about the nut angle! that is a bother, as nuts and nut butters are so high in calories.
when dd2 was struggling to put on weight (and was dairy/gluten free too), I used to use a lot of coconut oil and coconut milk. I am not sure where coconuts fall in the spectrum of nuts and whether they would be allowed.
also, iirc, sweet potatoes are high in calories too, if you can work out something to do with them!
Flapjack - yes very sugary, but counterbalanced by the slower-release oats. Make it at home and you can add raisins, seeds etc.
Sorry - just spotted that's on your existing list.
No worries Edith the idea of seeds is great. I have recently been given a low sugar flapjack recipe with dried dates and apricots in it and he ate one today so fingers crossed.
I will have a look at sweet potato recipes and see if there is something that can be eaten cold.
Why sugar free muffins and low sugar flapjacks? If someone is chronically underweight, sugary foods are fine as part of the whole.... chocolate, for example, is a very good food choice despite having a popular reputation as being 'unhealthy' and 'empty calories'. If you focus entirely on wholefoods in an effort to make the diet healthy, the calorie count may never get to the right level and the amount of fibre in the diet could mean that a lot of the nutrition passes through the body unabsorbed. If you include plenty of sugary and processed foods as well as the wholefoods, you might hit the numbers better. High-calorie drinks are another way of bumping up the calories. Ready-made smoothie-type products or brands such as Complan and Esure are options.
Thank you Cogito. I really struggle with this. It feels wrong to fill him full of sugar but that is what the doctors are telling me to do so I should listen it seems. He does have a LOT more sugar in his diet than anyone else in the family already.
Does sugar affect behaviour? He has mental health problems and also possibly ADHD.
Is he having enough protein at other times - are supplementary shakes not allowed for dc?
I am very interested in vegetarian high calorie proteins. He eats cheese enthusiastically and eats eggs in some forms too. He eats baked beans, chick peas and kidney beans. He likes quorn but I have reduced that as it is so low fat/calorie. He likes raw nuts in many forms.
Sugar doesn't necessarily affect behaviour detrimentally although it's a popular myth. What does affect mood and behaviour are the combination of very big highs and lows in blood-sugars together with a lack of basic nutrition. To avoid the blood-sugar highs/lows he should eat/snack very regularly (which he's doing) and eat any sugary foods together with other things rather than completely on their own.... e.g a bar of chocolate with the cheese and crackers, apple-pie and custard after an evening meal, big glass of orange juice with breakfast. If the rest of his diet contains plenty of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins and a good range of minerals and vitamins he won't be malnourished.
As well as filling up on the energy-dense foods you have to avoid giving him too many bulky, low-cal foods. High-fibre foods like vegetables and wholegrains are great, of course, but for a weight-gainer the fibre can not only make them feel full too quickly but also limit the absorption of the vitamins from their diet.
Is there a particular reason why he's vegetarian?
He is a vegetarian because he has chosen to be one. I don't think that is something that is going to change. He is like me and can't physically eat meat without wretching (I have been like this since I was a child too). I should point out that I have never done this in front of him or told him I do it so he hasn't learnt it from me and his ddad does eat meat.
So if I give him an oat and banana muffin then the oats should balance out the sugar high that he will get at first? Is that right? He likes a lot of cheeses and crackers and has that at least once a day so I could balance that with a higher sugar snack and he should be ok?
That is very helpful information if I have understood it correctly. Thank you.
<waves to carrots>
adding protein and complex carbs helps stabilize blood sugars<milk/cheese/eggs/nuts and their butters+pulses,rice,pasta,bread,crackers,breadsticks etc>
can sesame breadsticks be taken into school?can you use silken tofu to make a dip<guessing on that one.ive never used that>
also thought of a website.lucy burney.you can email her with questions<shes a nutritionist and has written books on child nutrition>
Falafels are transportable and make a nice savoury change! Plus they're pretty energy dense as far as I know. Dried fruits are popular with sweet-tooths and still high nutrient and low bulk. Just as long as they rinse mouth with water to keep teeth healthy! Also you can do baked tofu slices with herbs and seasonings, hummus on ricecakes, choc spread on rice cakes (you can make a homemade dairy and nut free choc spread by combining dark choc with dates and dried banana coins.
Is he allowed to take nuts? What about making your own trail mix. Macadamia nuts, dries fruit, chocolate covered raisins or chocolate drops.
The old Delia book has a good banana loaf recipe that also freezes. As written it contains walnuts but i sometimes swap them for dark chocolate.
Hugh fw has some nice ideas too.
What about smoothies?
My DD doesn't have the serious problems your DS has but I do have to work at getting the calories in - she loves cheese. I worry about variety, but she doesn't. She would eat cheese daily. Cold hard boiled eggs are also a hit. Are there any veggie sausages that are good cold? (she eats cold cocktail sausages). Otherwise your list looks pretty good to me.
had another thought...greek yogurt(with nuts and maybe honey at home/fruit at school/using to make tzatziki?)
Lots of great ideas here.
I actually have falafel in the fridge (Cauldron one) so I could put some in his snack box and see what happens there.
Nuts aren't allowed in school but could make up part of his after school snack.
Anything yogurt based will go down well so I will try some variations there too.
I have a good banana loaf recipe and for some reason it hadn't occurred to me. It would provide variety from the banana muffins.
I have been told I can get some sort of smoothie mix for free from the chemist too, to help him get enough calories.
The school are now also offering him food in the afternoon as they have food not used at lunch time which will otherwise go to waste - they gave him grapes today which he loved
I will try him with an egg as well.
Lots of new ideas. Thank you everyone. I really appreciate it.
How about home made smoothies - can add all sorts to those and easy to make up and take in a bottle to have on the move.
Also cold vege sausage rolls, sausages and scotch eggs are great for snacking on.
Yogurt coated things like raisins and banana chips are very high in calories.
Does he eat fish?
Pasta Salad made with full fat mayonnaise, tuna and sweetcorn.
Use unsalted butter on sandwiches and crackers to increase fat contact.
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