As your baby gets bigger, they will need a steady influx of nutrients to keep up with their rapid growth rate. During their first six months of life, your baby will grow at a rate between 1/2 to 1 inch every single month, they will double their body weight once they reach the 5-month mark. To stay healthy, every baby needs lots of high-calorie foods, but there are some situations in which your baby might need even more nutrition-packed foods than is normal. Since you wont be able to rely on your Holle baby formula any longer, we'll need to make sure your baby is still getting all the nutrients needed to stay happy and healthy.
The Importance of High-Calorie Foods for Babies
Some babies have a hard time maintaining adequate weight gain. Babies who don't have access to breastmilk or organic, nutrient-rich formula are more at risk of inadequate weight gain than infants who can get their nutrients from these sources, and some babies also have issues metabolizing their food for genetic or environmental reasons.
If you're concerned that your baby isn't gaining enough weight, it can help to start feeding your baby high-calorie foods once they are at least four months old. Some people stick to milk or formula and wait to start feeding their babies food until they're almost a year old, but you might not have this option if your baby isn't gaining weight as they should.
Examples of High-Calorie Foods for Babies
As a general rule of thumb, you should opt for foods that are high in protein or unsaturated fats if you're trying to up your baby's calorie intake as much as possible. Complex carbs are also good for babies, but you should avoid simple carbs like sugar as much as possible.
You'll also need to select foods that are right for your baby's developmental stage. Some parents choose to avoid solid finger foods until their babies are about a year old, and there are plenty of mashed foods and purees that are high in calories that you can choose if you want to give your baby as much time as possible to get ready for solids. Here are some of the best foods that you can offer your baby if you're concerned about their rate of weight gain:
Mashed or Ground Foods for Babies
While some parents like to jump right into serving finger foods to their babies, others like to take the slow road and begin with foods that are easier to chew and swallow. All of the following foods are simple, mushy, and filled with calories:
- Whole milk yogurt
- Mashed potatoes
- Ground chicken, beef, or pork
- Goat cheese
- Cooked and mashed lentils
- Cooked quinoa, buckwheat, or einkorn wheat
- Full fat cottage cheese
Finger Foods for Babies
As your baby gets older, they will definitely progress on to finger foods and eventually full-size meals. However, some parents decide to start their babies out with finger foods and skip the mushy stuff altogether. Whenever you decide to feed your baby food that they can grasp in their hands or pinch with their fingers, you'll want to be apprised of these high-calorie options that will keep your little one full and healthy:
- Mozzarella balls
- Sliced cheese
- Diced sausage
- Hard boiled eggs
- Diced grilled cheese sandwich
- Almond butter or peanut butter balls
What Ingredients Should I Add To Make My Baby's Food More Caloric?
If you add certain ingredients to your baby's meals, you can turn any meal into a calorie-rich growth booster. Most of these ingredients impart calories in the form of protein, but others are packed with healthy fats that your baby needs to maintain their weight. Still others contain complex carbs that give your baby energy and help them digest other foods.
- Dry milk or formula powder
- Organic dark maple syrup
- Sour cream
- Ground chia seeds
Simple High-Calorie Baby Food Recipe
Now that you have a grasp of which types of baby foods contain the most calories, you're probably wondering about the best ways to prepare a tasty snack for a little one. Here's one recipe that's proven to be a favorite for finger eaters of all shapes and sizes:
Soft Cheese Puffs
- 1 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix the flour, baking powder, cheese, and butter
- Add the cream slowly to firm the dough
- Form the dough into balls
- Bake the balls for 15 minutes