My daughter has cystic fibrosis and therefore she must eat 20% more calories a day than an average child her age. This high calorie diet must be high in fat and salt as well, but I don't want to load her up with sugary snacks all day. For parents of children who are suffering from failure to thrive, whether they have CF or not, it can be difficult to find easy snacks that are both healthy and fattening. I asked some fellow CF parents and patients what their favorite high calorie snacks are.
Avocado slices with salt
Guacamole with tortilla chips
Guacamole is great as a party dish or just a midday snack. This recipe from AvocadoCentral.com has 170 calories and 15 grams of fat, not including the chips. Since it is made from avocado, it is also a great source of vitamins C and K, folate, and fiber.
Apple slices with almond or peanut butter
Peanut butter on apple wedges has always been one of my favorite snacks, but my daughter prefers it with almond butter since it is smoother and easier to use as a dip. Peanut butter and almond butter both provide protein and healthy fats, while the apple offers vitamin C and fiber.
Carrots and cucumber sticks with dip
Letting your child dip her veggies is a great way to add calories to her diet. You can use an organic dip or salad dressing like Marzetti's Organic Ranch Veggie Dip, which provides 130 additional calories and 13 grams of fat.
Nuts and raisins are great snacks to add to your child's diet. Nuts provide good fats and raisins provide some sweet, natural calories. Put them together with some chocolate chips and shredded coconut for a trail mix that is a great on-the-go snack.
If your child struggles to gain weight and needs to pack some calories into her diet like my daughter does, these snacks will do the trick. The best way to get more calories into your child is not by adding more food, but by adding calories to what she is already eating. Add peanut butter, butter, olive oil, and nuts to whatever you can. Shake some of the trail mix onto a bowl of ice cream. We can't force our children to eat, but we can sneak those extra calories in.
This post was included in the edition of The Homesteading Carnival.