Healthy weight gain (or: how I get my kid to eat flaxseed and chia)

My eldest is underweight and it’s a constant battle between standing back to allow her to develop healthy eating habits on her own, and stepping in to force-feed her butter. Quick fix solutions like Pediasure don’t really settle well with my husband and I as we don’t want her to expect chocolate milk as a reasonable substitute for lunch. We also don’t want to get so fixated on the number on the scale that we overlook the bigger picture on health and nutrients. As much as some of us want to, we can’t live on cheese alone.

Not sure closeups work with these. Look at that shiny, shiny, oil.

So. What to do? In my furious Google-trawling, I came across this article at the Washington Post that really meshed with our views. We made a few tweaks to our habits as suggested, such as skipping the usual whole milk with each meal and instead only offering a sip of water until after the meal is over. Also, I’ve started pouring flaxseed oil on almost anything that seems reasonable and a few unreasonable things just to see if it’d work…warm chamomile tea with honey and a teaspoon of oil? It worked.

For maximum uniformity, use a cookie scoop.

But the biggest win for us has been their recipe for Energy Balls, which we adapted slightly by adding some fiber, and calling them “cookie balls”. Cookie balls for breakfast? OK! Cookie balls for afternoon snack? Sure! Cookie balls for dessert? Go ahead! And they taste fantastic. It’s hard not to snack on them ourselves – until we did the math on the macros. I’m pretty sure each one of these is almost calorie-equivalent to a Twix bar. Not bad for two bites, eh?
 

Again with the shiny oil.

 
Cookie Balls 
adapted from The Washington Post
makes about 35 balls
1 cup natural, no-sugar peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 cup raw honey
3 cups dry oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chia bran
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Dump all into a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for about an hour or so. Use a cookie scoop to portion and roll into balls, wearing gloves work best for this step. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Nutrition per ball (as per MyFitnessPal.com):
180 calories | 8g fat | 7g dietary fiber | 12g sugars | 5g protein


Yasmin Jeiroudi

Editor & Admin at Moms Talk
aka, Miss Jay
Is a mom to two and wife to one. She knows a little about a lot and is a founding member of the Institute for Overanalysis Paralysis. She enjoys building IKEA furniture, following cookbooks, and taking things apart.
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