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How can I add calories to my 3 yr olds diet, without just adding sugar?

(22 Posts)
SunshineandShandy Tue 16-Apr-13 09:41:14

My (just turned) 3 year old DD is a terrible eater. She eats only a limited selection of food and whilst this is something we are working on, I could do with some ideas please as she is falling down the percentile charts.

She's not really interested in food, never has been. Even as a baby I had to wake her for feeds etc. Of course she will eat cookies and cake etc but I am trying to add calories to her diet without resorting to more of these.

She eats no meat apart from sausages. She will eat pasta and noodles, no potato. She eats any fruit. No veg except blended in tomato sauce so she doesn't know it's there. Happy with eggs, no cheese except Philly. She likes peanut butter. Jam/Philly sandwiches are OK and toast she will always est. Oh and tinned pasta and tomato soup. And that's about it....

She is looking thin. Whenever she has been sick she more or less stops eating for a week, so I really struggle to tempt her.

Do you think I should just always give deserts, like banana and custard or ice-cream? Any ideas much appreciated!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 16-Apr-13 09:49:45

Peanut and other nut butters are a great source of calories, and as are other fats/oils. If she likes Philadelphia make sure it is the full fat stuff.

imtheonlyone Tue 16-Apr-13 09:52:17

When I had to feed my son up they advised cream in everything and anything I possibly could!! It's so hard when they're fussy eaters as my son was (and still is!!!). Does she eat porridge? That made with cream with a dollop of golden syrup?!

imtheonlyone Tue 16-Apr-13 09:54:28

Full fat butter on the toast. Would she eat sausage pasta with cream? So Take skins off sausages, fry off and add double cream for sauce as just poured over or mixed with pasta? Wicked but bloody lovely wink

imtheonlyone Tue 16-Apr-13 09:54:59

Add cream to the veg sauce x

SavoyCabbage Tue 16-Apr-13 09:56:07

Nuts, avocado on toast, cheese, real custard, lamb chop, duck pancakes. I have the same problem. My dd has never got on the weight chart. And she just isn't interested in cakes and biscuits.

Jacksterbear Tue 16-Apr-13 09:58:32

Will she eat malt loaf? My v fussy ds practically lives on malt loaf with peanut butter(along with pasta + tomato sauce, and Philly sandwiches). ! Your Dd's taste in food sounds v similar to his! Also, stir cheese or cream cheese into a tomato sauce to have with pasta.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 16-Apr-13 10:02:23

I was going to suggest cheese until I saw it was a no no. Will she have it melted onto/in to food? Or as a cheese sauce?

Saxie Tue 16-Apr-13 10:07:17

I cook Full fat rice pudding with double cream, a couple of cardamon pods, nutmeg and half the sugar they recommend. Good for all emergencies!

It's naughty but I sauté (pan fry) potatoes for my boys when they are on a growth spurt and need more calories.

They have very high metabolism at the moment so need the fat/carbs but not really the sugar.

Avondale Tue 16-Apr-13 10:20:31

Splash a load of olive oil over pasta or noodles before serving. Peanut butter sandwiches. Would she have fruit smoothies with added full fat milk?
Have you tried getting her to help with preparation of food?
Mine never got above 5th percentile so in the end I just stopped weighing them. I could see they were healthy and happy. They just happened to be skinny. I feel for you tho but try not to worry.

SunshineandShandy Tue 16-Apr-13 10:35:09

Thanks for your ideas. I do already mix Philly in with the tomato sauce, bit I will try using more cream. I will also try cream in porridge and cooking sausages and cream for pasta - that sounds bloody lovely!

Am not in the UK so not sure if I could find malt loaf, she always eats that when we are home on holiday. I wonder if I could make it? She does help me cook, but to be fair, we usually bake cakes! I need to try more savoury baking with her.

I know you shouldn't worry, but she is just so small. She started ballet this week and again looked tiny compared to the others. Note to self- stop comparing sizes!

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 16-Apr-13 10:41:44

Full fat everything, which all children need really, butter,yoghurt, milk etc. You could cook with clarified butter (ghee) available from asian shops. My DS was not growing much for a while and I was told to up his calories. It was easier though cos he eats everything, but basically added fats whereever possible, bunging a bit of butter or full fat milk in everything.
Mine also loves dates, which are very nutricious, and taste like sweets!
Like other people have said, it may not be cause for worry, my DS always looked so healthy I couldn't see what the problem was but didn't hurt to up his calorie intake a bit anyway. Good luck.

houmousandcarrotsandwich Tue 16-Apr-13 10:54:33

What about savoury cakes? Cheese and ham muffins, carrot and courgette cake etc

I also grate veggies into sauces to hide them (more from my fussy DH!)

soozejukes Tue 16-Apr-13 10:56:33

Homemade banana milkshakes using full fat milk and ice cream - just mash a banana with a bit of sugar, stir in a scoop of ice cream and blend with milk. Yummy! Muller rice deserts, Tracker nut bars, chocolate and full fat dairy have all helped me put weight on.

PassTheTwiglets Tue 16-Apr-13 11:00:19

Avocados and mascarpone cheese stirred into everything is what I used. Mascarpone is slightly higher in calories and fat than Philadelphia but tastes pretty much the same.

zzzzz Tue 16-Apr-13 11:05:47

It's important to try and increase her repertoire, but to add weight I find it more helpful to add more of what a child is already eating.

One or two extra spoonfuls at each meal and perhaps an extra milky/yoghurty drink or snack a day will soon plump her up a bit.

CakeForBreakfast Tue 16-Apr-13 11:44:38

She will do well to eat more fat, its quite easy to incorporate that into kids diet - buttered toast and sandwiches can be quite generous with the butter. Another poster suggested mascarpone rather than philly in pasta sauce, that is a great one. Also, give her greek yoghurt rather than regular. If you are a keen home cook, homemade icecream is a winner, all that cream and milk and egg yolks - fat and protein together, just great for skinny minnies. Growing up I was stick thin, our GP advocated increasing the fat (rather than focusing on sugar and carbs), its not unhealthy for growing children.

Let us know how you get on and what your successes are!

dozily Tue 16-Apr-13 11:48:53

Is she actually underweight or just short? Have you tried using the Nhs bmi calculator for children? (Sorry if I'm asking a daft question it's just that my dd2 is tiny but in proportion so always smallest at ballet etc just as you describe)

SchroSawMargeryDaw Tue 16-Apr-13 11:49:38

Make everything with Gold Top milk, very calorific.


MERLYPUSS Tue 16-Apr-13 22:05:40

Would she suss broccoli if it was mushed up and mixed with philly and pasta? We call it alien pasta as it is green.
Mascapone is heavy in calories too. Delish in lasagne. As is creme fresh.
Greek yoghurt with fruit puree or jam.
Savoury pancakes.
Sausage and mash creamed with double cream.
Blocks of cheddar and cold sausage.
Creme caramel.
These are all the things I have tried with DT2 who is noticibly smaller than DT1 (and everyone feels they need to tell me in case I havent

Sorry if these have been mentioned or are on the 'wont eat' list. my speed reading is attrocious

MERLYPUSS Tue 16-Apr-13 22:10:13

And jersey milk too. I remember that one!
What about garlic sausage and mayo sandwich. DT2's favorite filler. That and egg mayo.

myhandslooksoold Tue 16-Apr-13 22:22:24

I tellmy ddn NOT to eat something i leave on the table, in a laughing type way i.e, 'dont you eat my yummy dip and veggies, i'm looking forward to eating them all myself, and then she eats it all, bloody contrary little madam she is. Seems a bit of a silly suggestion but I just wanted to add some advice on the psycology point of view as well as boosting calories.
Also my nephews had low appetites, eventually it was found they had low iron levels and they were given a supplement and their appetities improved. Good luck op, it is such a source of stress and anxiety for parents and the difficulty lies in not letting your child know you are trying to get them to eat or that you are worried avout them.

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