In yet another insightful response to our article “Skinny Kids: Boost meals for healthy weight gain,” this reader mom brought up an important issue: How do you help a skinny kid gain weight, if the child’s diet is very limited by food allergies?
“My son, nearly 5 years of age, is allergic to soya, milk, peanuts and all meat and fish products,” writes Nimmi. “He used to be allergic to eggs and wheat, but has overcome it.” The concerned mom is looking for advice on improving her son’s diet so he can gain weight healthfully. Once again, we called upon help from ZisBoomBah nutritionist Lisa Lanzano, MS, RD.
Here, a list of additional foods our nutrition expert recommends for skinny kids, specifically those with food allergies:
- coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut butter
- tree nuts and their butters — almond butter, cashew butter, etc. (peanuts are a legume, so if your child is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts may be okay)
- olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, etc.
- nutritional oils such as flax oil, hemp oil (not to be used for cooking — add these to a smoothie or salad dressing)
- chicken, turkey, duck (if poultry is not an allergen for your child)
- Buffalo and wild game, such as elk or venison (if your child’s allergy to meat products is limited to cow’s meat)
- legumes, such as black beans, kidney beans (sometimes, but not always, these can be problematic for children with a soy allergy)
- seeds, such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and seed butters, such as sun butter, tahini, etc.
- All grains, but focus on small dense grains, such as rice, quinoa, couscous, etc., as smaller grains will provide a bit more calories per cooked cup than larger grains.
~ Every bite counts!
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