15 Pounds of Victory
This will not become a food blog, I promise, for many reasons.
However, it’s a community, and in this community I know I’m not alone in trying to get my kid to gain weight.
Aidan was declared to be a baby who Failed to Thrive because he couldn’t gain weight. For years. Forget about the growth chart, he wasn’t even on his own curve. This was a big emotional deal for me but that’s not what this post is about.
Aidan is the size of a nine year old, but in the past year he has put on 15 pounds. I claim that as a personal victory.
I’ve been given all kinds of ideas to add calories to his diet but they have to go through certain filters first. I’m not feeding him crap just to help him gain weight. I have to consider the texture of his food and how long it will take to eat. This is why he doesn’t drink his calories; it simply takes too long.
Also, we’ve taken most of the processed sugar out of his diet to give his brain as much of an advantage as possible. I use coconut sugar for baking if it’s really needed for texture or I replace sugar with maple syrup or honey.
Lots of calories, good fat, and easy to eat. How did we do it?
Like most successes, it began with a checklist.
Honestly, I need the discipline and accountability of writing things down. I aim for 500 extra calories a day but refuse to stress when I miss the mark. This is mostly done with coconut oil, butter, flax seed, and cream cheese. We consider the composition of what we’re feeding him and then add to it.
Breakfast has to be easy for me to prepare. I have a batch of oatmeal (ground up in the food processor so it’s basically instant oatmeal) mixed with milled flax seed ready to scoop. Each serving gets a dollop of applesauce and a bit of maple syrup.
For snack I now make THESE easy cheesy crackers that I love. I throw in a bit of cajun seasoning to give it a little kick. Black pepper would be good too. I’ve tried several recipes and this has the fewest ingredients and is ridiculously simple to make. I use block cheese instead of shredded because it’s more moist which makes the dough easier to work with.
Peanut butter is another great nutritious fat source. Which brings me to THESE easy peanut butter balls which you can substitute a bunch of ingredients and THESE amazing chocolate cookies. It’s helpful when I don’t like what I make for Aidan so I can avoid the temptation to dig in, but that’s not always the case.
Pumpkin is another great source of calories. Aidan loved THESE marbled pumpkin bars, though I thought they were a little dry. And here is a YUMMY pumpkin pudding recipe. I haven’t yet tried THESE pumpkin truffles but I will.
And here is our very favorite recipe – CHEESECAKE SHOOTERS. I throw in some melted chocolate but I really need to put fruit in so I won’t eat them:
3 packages softened cream cheese
¾ C sugar (I use ½ C maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
Cook for approximately 15 minutes at 350 or whenever you think they’re done because that’s how I roll.
If you’ve haven’t noticed a theme let me point it out to you – recipes have to be easy and have to make a big batch of goodies.
My sweet little chicken leg boy has thighs now. He’s harder to lift and that’s ok because I know he’s growing from healthy eating.
It’s a moment I can say in a very concrete way – I’ve done well.