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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

Step up your gain

I'm not sure where this post belongs- recipes, tips or just the plain old mama rant section.... so maybe it will end up in all three. Here's the deal: we all know that Avie eats well. She's been my "good little eater" her whole life, with only a few short-lived interruptions.

Lately, though, her weight has been at a bit of a standstill. She has been growing and gaining, but not at the rate at which the clinic would prefer, and it's almost indistinguishable on our home scale.

This could be that her body is working hard to fight pseudomonas, or all the other bugs that are flying around this time of year. Maybe she has been more active as she explores her independence in and out of the house. Whatever it is, it's a bit worrying. I thought I was doing everything, but lately I've had to take a good, hard look at her meals and snacks.

One thing that I realized is that I'm sort of 'settling' on the food item or meal as it is. What I mean is that I could really step up my game when it comes to packing more calories into every bite. I always aim for healthy, natural fat and I've realized that, as a result, her snacks and meals might be a little lacking.

So, I've come up with a little game for myself when it comes to Avie's food. I will ask myself, "what's one more thing I can add?" This doesn't necessarily mean another course or side dish, because we all know that there is a limit to how much food you can put into your belly (*exception to that rule discussed below). I'm talking about that one bite or spoonful. What more can I add to that dish so that each spoonful has more calories.

For example: yogurt. Obviously, I purchase whole milk yogurt. Rather than putting that yogurt into her bowl all by itself, I add a drizzle of honey. Yum! Okay, but what's one more thing? Try some roasted, salted pepitas. See if they will let you add some granola on top of that.

Have some avocados? Don't just slice it up with salt- mash it and mix in some ranch dressing. Yeah... that will keep them dipping! See if your kiddo will use carrot sticks. What's one more thing? Cut up some sticks of hard cheese and have them dip that in there. You want to try this, don't you?

You remember my turkey rolls? What's one more thing to add to those suckers? Try spreading the avocado-ranch dip on a tortilla, then topping with cheese, turkey, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Okay, so let's say you've maxed out your spoonfuls. Time to stop? NOPE. Just ask yourself again, what's one more thing. Maybe your kid says they are full, or they look like they might be slowing down... now is the time to offer another choice. I know, it sounds cruel. We've all been there. You get filled up on the table top chips and salsa and then your smothered burrito gets set down in front of you. But, what do you do?

Move over, tortilla chips, I'm going in!

Avie is a sucker for this trick. Oh, you finished your turkey roll- how about some cottage cheese? "OKAY!" My favorite thing to do this with is fruit. It's not super filling and it's sweet, so she will typically eat some after her meal. If your kiddo is as fruit-obsessed as mine, this trick should work. At that point you're going more for the calories than for fat... unless, you put one more thing on top: cream cheese fruit dip.

Exhausted all options? Kid won't eat anymore?? Try cookies.

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