High Calorie Vegetables 

 It can be difficult to think of ways to make high calorie vegetables. Many experts will tell you not to worry so much about vegetables when feeding your child with failure to thrive, because they are so low in calories it is not worth it. The general guide is that .5 cups of cooked vegetables have about 25 calories. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, or peas are higher in calories and contain about 80 calories in .5 cup, and as such are considered high calorie vegetables. To make vegetables even higher in calorie content, butter, oil, cheese and other things can be added to vegetables.

While it’s true that plain steamed or boiled vegetables are low in calories, they can be calorie boosted to make it a high calorie food option for your child. These options obviously will not work for everyone, but as usual for those of you with children who only eat pureed food all of these recipes can be pureed. With a little work and creativity, vegetables can be made into a high calorie food by adding sauces, cheeses or other calorie boosters.

broccoli and cheese http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenandbrademerson/3498405296/

High Calorie Vegetable Recipes

  • Broccoli with cheese and butter
  • Sauté broccoli in garlic and oil and drizzle generously with oil when complete.
  • Puree cauliflower and add butter or half and half and top with cheese to make a mashed potato type dish.
  • Creamed spinach (add butter and olive oil to spinach)
  • Spinach mixed into cream cheese and sour cream to make a dip
  • Spinach with egg, breadcrumbs, oil and parmesan cheese
  • Creamed corn (add butter and olive oil to corn)
  • String beans with potatoes, sauce and mozzarella cheese
  • Mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream
  • Sautéed squash with oil and garlic
  • Sweet potatoes with butter and marshmallows
  • Carrots with honey and butter
  • Raw carrots, broccoli, celery and peppers with sour cream dip

While these are not specific recipes and it depends on how much fat you add to the vegetable, these recipes can boost calorie content by 75-120 calories per serving.

These are great ideas but my whole family doesn't need to gain weight. How can we give the rest of our children low calorie vegetables?

Many families have a difficult time figuring out what to do when only one child in the house is underweight, and everyone else needs to eat healthy foods lower in fat and calories. In this case vegetables can be prepared as usual and fat can be added after everyone else has been served and there is only 1 serving left, meant for your child. This works especially well with creamed spinach or broccoli with cheese sauce, as well as anything you can add oil to at the last minute.

Can I use frozen vegetables? They are so much easier to prepare than fresh!

Frozen vegetables are great for busy families and are great substitutes for fresh, although the fresh varieties are encouraged. However, the frozen vegetables with sauces contain a lot of artificial ingredients and are not high enough in calories to be considered calorically dense food. Therefore, stick with the plain frozen veggies and make your own sauces and toppings for your high calorie vegetables.