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High-Calorie Snacks for Kids

By Lisa Weber

For many parents, getting their child to eat is a struggle. Often, children take a few bites of a meal and proclaim themselves finished. If this is the case, parents need to focus on giving their child high-calorie foods to ensure they are getting enough calories to grow and develop—while at the same time avoiding unnecessary sugars and unhealthy fats.

Starches

Baked goods can be high in calories, but they don't necessarily have to be high in unhealthy preservatives or chemicals. Offer your child homemade banana or zucchini bread or sweet potato muffins. Waffles and pancakes can be made with healthy, whole-grain ingredients. Also offer your child crackers, potatoes and bread sticks for high-calorie treats.

Dairy

Yogurt and pudding can be high-calorie treats that taste good as well. Offer whole milk, rather than low-fat, varieties. Mix some half-and-half in with your child's yogurt, and top with his favorite fruit. Or use a combination of milk and yogurt to make a fruit smoothie. Adding sweetened, condensed milk to your child's smoothie or pudding can add up to 60 calories per tablespoon. Other high-calorie dairy choices include ice cream, milkshakes and eggnog.

Fruits and Vegetables

By themselves, fruits and vegetables are not high-calorie foods. However, you can increase their calories, and their appeal to your child, by pan-frying, coating with olive oil and breadcrumbs and baking or by adding cheese. Cucumbers and carrots can also be served with a side of salad dressing for dipping. Instead of fresh fruit, offered dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries or apricots, all of which have more calories than their fresh varieties.

Cooking with Calories

The way food is prepared can increase its caloric value. Add mayonnaise to chicken, tuna or chopped eggs. Dip bread in eggs and milk to make French toast and increase the bread's calorie count. Prepare soups with cream instead of a clear broth, and cook meats, eggs, oatmeal and vegetables with vegetable oil, olive oil or butter. This can add up to 45 calories per teaspoon.

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