Many children lose weight before being diagnosed with celiac disease. These are some gluten-free suggestions that will help them gain weight.
1. Use a “Food Pyramid” as guide to eating a balanced diet.
2. If you or your child needs to gain more weight, choose foods high in calories, fat and protein. Eat or feed your child 5-6 times per day. Add extra butter, cheese, peanut butter, cream cheese, and powdered milk while cooking. (Make sure you look for Gluten Free brands for the items listed below.)
Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas to Help Gain Weight
- Eggs 2-3x per week - it's good for dinner too! Add cheese for calories (see recipes)
- GF Sausage or bacon or ham – like Hormel
- HOT CEREAL: McCann's Irish Oatmeal made with Whole milk 1-2x week,
- HOT CEREAL: Quaker Cream of Rice (already enriched with IRON) make with whole milk 1-2x week.
- GF bagels or Cybros Rice rolls w/ butter, cream cheese, PB, ham.
- Rice bars by “ENVIROKids” (berry, peanut butter, chocolate) several times per week. Or also may choose, Soy bars by “Revive”.
- Yogurt 3-6x per week – not just for breakfast – USE in Fruit Smoothies too. See recipe on reverse side. The acidophillus and lactobacillus are very good for replenishing the healthy intestinal bacteria. Lactobacillus drops can be added to food –these are“Probiotics”.
- A variety of Nuts. These are good calories: high in protein and non-cholesterol fats. Add peanut butter to anything!
- A variety of fruit. Good source of fiber/vitamins. Do Fruit-kabobs!
- GF Banana Bread or GF bread or toast
- Homemade GF Muffins or frozen “ENERGY” brand GF Donut Holes rolled in cinnamon and sugar or in powdered sugar.
- GF Van’s Frozen Waffles - butter & maple syrup 1x week
- GF pancakes – make up batch on a weekend and freeze left-overs for use during the week (Pamela’s GF Mix has a recipe on package and Kinickinick has a good mix.)
- Instant mashed potatoes served with meat or breakfast sausage.
- Mozzarella cheese, aged cheese or cottage cheese.
- Buy dried GF cereal with a variety of shapes and grains and flavors (balls/squares/flakes/pebbles - rice/corn/amarynth - plain/chocolate/ peanut butter/fruit). *Check out different stores which sell GF products; each store carries different brands and flavors.
If trying to gain weight Limit juice to 4-6oz daily (per American Academy of Pediatrics) and limit soda b/c the carbonated beverages are empty calories and actually competes with calcium for bone growth. 4-6 oz of Juice provides enough Vitamin C for the day and Vitamin C is essential in the body absorbing IRON from the diet.
Find a good GF multivitamin with all the B vitamins, calcium, and iron – those without Celiac Disease get enriched grains daily.
Serve Milk 4x daily: WHOLE milk at all meals for added calories and calcium. 32oz per day is often recommended for those with “failure to thrive”. But, milk isn’t always tolerated until after gluten is removed from the diet for several months; milk can aggravate intestinal symptoms until the intestines heal. Thus you may need to limit milk at first. Further, too much milk long-term without consumption of a variety of other foods can be associated with anemia. Thus, don’t allow your child to fill up on milk before eating dinner. (If your child dislikes whole milk use 2%milk).
If Lactose intolerant, buy “lactose free milk” or add acidophilus/bifidus/lactobacillus drops to add to the ordinary cow’s milk? You can also buy Land O’Lakes milk with acidophilus/ lactobacillus/bifidobacteria culture already added to enable you to digest the lactose. Ask your grocery store to stock it for you if they don’t already. Not sure which way is cheaper? If you buy Soy milk, make sure they are good sources of calcium – not all are.