I just want to thank you guys for this post. My son is 9 and is very underweight.
He loves to eat, I don’t know where all the food goes, though. He does however not like whole milk and also he doesn’t like most veggies. What am I to do?
You could consider making the foods he likes and will eat readily, and then add in pureed veggies. For example, if he likes fruit smoothies, add a small handful of spinach (not too much as you don’t want it to negatively impact the taste…goes great with mango and apple juice!) Try adding pureed carrot into a spaghetti sauce, or butternut squash pureed and mixed into mac and cheese. These are just a few ideas to get him eating more vegetables. Keep in mind, it can take up to 20 exposures to any given food before a child (may) develop a taste for it. Parents usually give up long before this. So keep exposing him to the veggies and he may begin to find them more palatable in time.
Regarding being underweight, give him at least 1-2 more snacks each day every day (best to think of them as “mini meals”). Calorie-dense, nutritious ideas: trail mix with nuts, seeds, toasted oats, chocolate chips; smoothie with yogurt and fruit; yogurt topped with granola; pretzels dipped into peanut butter; Crackers with peanut butter and sliced banana; frozen fruit pops; tortilla rolled with deli meat and cheese; frozen bean and cheese burritos; leftovers from dinner; sandwich with side of fruit; chicken nuggets; frozen waffle with syrup and sliced banana or strawberries….hope this gets your creative mind going to come up with some ideas you know your son likes and will look forward to eating!
Lisa Lanzano, MS, RD