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Gentle by nature

High Calorie Foods For Toddlers

Stack of pancakes with blueberries and cream

Looking for a high calorie, yummy and nutritious recipe for your toddler? We’ve got one for you! Registered Dietitian, Amanda Hernandez shares her tips to help little ones with weight gain, including her delicious pancake recipe that she especially designed for her son Oliver.

Written By Amanda Hernandez

As a mom, I want the best for my kids, always. I found out that my son was having trouble gaining weight at 6 months old, and my life became all about helping him gain weight. Almost at the age of 1, Oliver is gaining weight really well. Nevertheless, he is still in the 5th to 10th percentile for weight. As a dietitian, I know about high-calorie foods for toddlers and aim to give my son those foods throughout the day to help encourage him to gain weight.

Some of the foods that are great for babies and toddlers that are nutrient-dense are baby oatmeal mixed with breast milk or formula, cashew butter and peanut butter, avocado, egg yolks, whole milk yogurt. I did a concoction of at least one of these foods each meal along with a veggie most meals (squash, peas, kale, etc.) Oliver took to that very well and enjoyed the extra food. Around 7 1/2 months old, we began giving Oliver most foods that we eat including soups, soft vegetables, shredded or very finely diced meats, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread with butter for extra fat, all fruits, beans, and sweet potatoes.

These Are My Favorite High-Calorie Foods For Toddlers:

  • A quesadilla chopped up that has salsa, cheese and mashed low-sodium black beans on a whole-wheat quesadilla with chunks of avocado on the side
  • Whole-grain pancakes with peanut butter
  • Bean-based pasta or whole-grain pasta with pesto or a homemade creamy sauce
  • A hearty soup or chili
  • Finely ground or shredded meats
  • Whole milk yogurt mixed with chia seeds or ground flax, sometimes with baby cereal and nut butter

Today, I decided to make nutrient-dense mini-whole grain pancakes which I made using Kabrita Goat Milk Formula to give nutrients to my almost toddler. I kid you not, Oliver ate 5 of these for breakfast stuffed with nut butter. I just sliced them in half, filled with peanut butter, and stuffed them back together. He loves finger foods and ate them whole. We also ate some blueberries and strawberries with them. Delicious breakfast or snack for kids!

Kabrita is a great option for kids with cow’s milk sensitivities. It is easier to digest for little bellies. For those not consuming breast milk or cow’s milk, an alternative is needed and this goat milk formula may be a great option for your toddler (12-24 months old). Kabrita Goat Milk Formula has 5 grams of protein per cup and is fortified with 22 vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and DHA.

I added some of this formula powder to the pancake mix for extra calories and my son loved them! I’m not sure if he will continue to gain well or if we will have to pay extra special attention to what he eats to ensure that he gets what he needs to gain but I like having some nutrient-dense recipes in my arsenal for my son.

How To Make Mini Whole-Grain Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2-3


  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Kabrita Goat Milk Formula
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Toppings: peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries

How To Make Mini Whole-Grain Pancakes:

  • Blend all ingredients for pancakes together until smooth.
  • Heat a skillet or griddle until hot and spray with cooking spray.
  • Using a tablespoon or small scoop and scoop a tablespoon of batter onto hot griddle. Cook until the edges have cooked and bubbles are forming on the tops of the pancakes, about 2 minutes.
  • Flip and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Continue until the batter is gone. Spray the skillet each time that you make a new batch.
  • Top with nut butter and fruit.

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula may be an option for little ones during feeding transitions, such as weaning and supplementing, or those with minor issues associated with cow milk sensitivity*.

*Not suitable for children with confirmed cow milk protein allergy