Top of the page
When children are not growing well, eating more calories and protein may help. Use the tips below if you need to add more calories and protein to your child’s diet.
The information below can be used on different food textures and preparations. Match the texture of foods to your child’s age and feeding skills. And watch for choking hazards like sticky foods and round, firm foods. Some foods need to be chopped, grated, or avoided, especially for children younger than 4 years old.
Offer higher calorie and protein foods at each meal and snack. To find a list of higher calorie and protein foods, download: Adding calories and protein to your child’s diet (PDF).
Create a mealtime routine and offer 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks each day.
Serve your child the same food as everyone else, but with extra calories and protein added. Add extra fat, sauces, and dips to your child’s food before you bring it to the table.
These tips can also be used if your child eats other food textures.
Vegetables and fruits
If your child has food allergies or sensitivities, use higher calorie and protein options that are safe for your child.
If you have questions about the best choice for your child, ask your dietitian or healthcare team.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=custom.ab_diet_protein_calories_tips_child.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: August 18, 2023
Author: Diabetes, Obesity, and Nutrition SCN, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.