I know many of the people that read my blog have children with dairy allergies/intolerances. I was asked on facebook one day to write about “Helping Children gain weight without dairy, eggs, peanuts, wheat or soy.”
I have never had this problem before (aka needing to gain weight) so I had to do a lot of research on this topic.
I also don’t have kids, so I’m not an expert by any means… but I have worked with kids for 12+ years, so I know they are picky – but I thought I’d put every suggestion I could think of.
Here is what I found out.
#1 – Avocado - a great way to get in healthy fats – I know kids may not love avocado – so a few ways to incorporate it into your diet – blend up in smoothies, make pasta sauce, guacamole dip for veggies. Or what about avocado pudding? It’s great in chocolate or lemon flavour, they won’t even notice the avocado! I’m not personally a fan of cooking avocado – but you could always give it a try?
#2 - Oils! Olive Oil, Grape seed, Flax Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Walnut Oil – find different ways to incorporate them into your diet. Most oils can be blended into smoothies, drizzled on popcorn instead of butter (I love flax seed oil on butter) or on veggies? I know kids love dipping – so you could add some herbs or spices to some oil – and get some great bread!!
#3 Coconut – coconut sometimes gets a bad wrap – but according to this 160 ways to use coconut oil – it shows that it has many benefits! Kids love the process of buying a fresh coconut – shaking it to listen to all the water inside and then helping to open it, peeling out the inside and eating it!! Fresh coconut is awesome with some lime squeezed on it! Costco also sells dried sweetened coconut chunks – which are an awesome snack. If you are lucky enough to find coconut cream – it’s delicious too! Coconut milk can be added to recipes which you would like creamy – recently I used it to make FUDGE (I subbed coconut milk for unsweetened condensed milk)!
#4 Nuts/Seeds – Cashews, Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Ground Sesame Seeds (tahini) etc. These can be blended into soups – to make them creamy. Homemade nut milks. Make your own nut butters. Or make sauces like mmmm sauce. With the left over nut pulp from the above almond milk – you can make almond cheese!! It’s tasty, and somewhat like cream cheese! As for tahini you can make caramel sauce which is an awesome dip for fresh fruit. Nuts are a great base for making creamy salad dressings too!
#5 Dried Fruits – I’m not saying not to get your kids to eat fresh fruit – but sometime swap out dried fruit for fresh. Think about it, it’s way easier to eat 10 dried apricots than it is to eat 10 fresh ones. Especially for kids. Raisins, apricots, dried mango etc.… awesome snack to have with you!
#6 – Fish! You all know I LOVE fish! I know kids may not be huge fans of fish though but try to make it fun by making healthy fish sticks, or making a salmon or tuna dip (think tuna/salmon salad but without that kid disapproved word salad)
Another option… Limit liquids before and after meals – I know when I was nannying, the boys would easily fill up on liquids before a meal, which meant they weren’t hungry for the meal.
“Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts). Heinemann suggests the following ratio: 60%-70% carbohydrates, 10%-15% protein, and a small amount of fat.”
As for babies and formula – I know a few people have said that there is a soy free, dairy free formula out there, but it’s quite expensive. If you know any more on this – please leave a comment.
Please add any suggestions to the comment section or facebook.