Easy High Calorie Snacks for Weight Gain

“Easy High Calorie Snacks for Weight Gain” was edited/updated by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN.

Are you looking for some easy high calorie snacks for weight gain? When it comes to gaining weight and following a high calorie diet, snacks are key.

You can only fit so many calories into your meals throughout the day. High calorie snacks can add the extra calories you need to successfully gain weight. 

High Calorie Snack: The Basics

The key to a high calorie snack is… you guessed it, calories. But you also want to create a snack that is tasty so you actually want to eat it. When you’re following a high calorie diet, it’s easy to get tired of eating.

A snack should be something easy to grab-and-go. Unlike a full meal, it should take minimal prep time. Use the snack ideas below as inspiration to create your own high calorie snacks. 

Think of 2 ingredients you can combine, one which is super high in calories. Let’s dig in!

What Makes a Snack High Calorie?

When following a high calorie diet, it’s ideal to eat 3 meals per day plus 2-3 snacks. If you eat fewer times throughout the day, you may need to have higher calorie snacks.

In general, we recommend aiming for a snack that is at least 250 calories. If you eat 3 snacks per day this will provide at least 750 calories. This is in addition to the calories you are getting in your meals throughout the day.

We don’t want your snacks to be too high in calories. Then you’ll be too full to eat your meals come mealtime. It can be a delicate balance to find high calorie snacks to help you gain weight, but not become too full.

Examples of high calorie foods: 

  • Whole milk
  • Greek yogurt (choose whole milk/full fat to increase your calories)
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Nut butters
  • Cheese (choose full fat to increase your calories)
  • Cottage cheese (choose full fat to increase your calories)
  • Bananas
  • Eggs (yolk + egg white)
  • Muesli 
  • Protein powder
  • Butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Etc.

You can learn more about high calorie foods at our article, The Best Weight Gain Food List. Or purchase our High Calorie Foods SERIES which features a high calorie foods list, grocery list, and meal planner.

What is More Important: High Calorie or Healthy?

A nutritionally balanced snack is ideal, but if you are trying to gain weight, then high calorie is the most important part of your snack. Especially if you or a loved one is malnourished and rapidly losing muscle.

In these cases, it is more important to get in more calories than “healthy” foods. This is because the consequence of continued weight loss is hospitalization, illness, or even death.

Learn more at Stopping Unintended Weight Loss in the Elderly.

11 Best Easy High Calorie Snack Ideas

Here are some high calorie snacks with over 250 calories per serving! Be sure to read food labels for the exact calorie count in the foods you are eating.

Easy High Calorie Snack Ideas

  1. Peanut Butter Toast (260 calories)
  2. Blueberry Parfait (270 calories)
  3. Banana and Walnuts (295 calories)
  4. Peanut Butter and Apples (285 calories)
  5. Cottage Cheese and Fruit (270 calories)
  6. Avocado Toast (300 calories)
  7. High Calorie Shakes (500+ calories)
  8. Milk and Cookies (320 calories)
  9. Egg Salad and English Muffin (415 calories)
  10. Muesli and Whole Milk (295 calories) 
  11. Edamame and Pita Chips (250 calories)
High Calorie Snacks handout

You can grab a FREE download, High Calorie Snacks, which includes 8 of these recipes.

Calorie counts will vary based on ingredients used. Make sure you are selecting varieties of foods with the most calories.

Avoid foods with these words on the label: 

  • Non fat/no fat
  • Low fat
  • Lean
  • Light
  • Reduced

These foods are typically lower in calories and are marketed towards those trying to lose weight.

Please keep in mind that you may have individual diet restrictions and may need to modify these snacks as necessary. Be sure to talk to your healthcare team before making significant changes to your diet.

And definitely consider working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!

High Calorie Snacks #1: Peanut Butter Toast

Peanut Butter Toast is a quick and easy high calorie snack. Simply pick your favorite bread. Pop it in the toaster (if desired). Then spread on some delicious peanut butter.

High Calorie Snacks Peanut Butter Toast

Peanut Butter Toast

  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter

Calorie Count: 260 calories

Peanut butter contains heart healthy fats and is high in calories.

If you are allergic to peanuts, you can swap out the peanut butter for any other variety of nut or seed butter.

Peanut Butter Substitutions:

  • Almond butter
  • Walnut butter
  • Hazelnut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Macadamia butter
  • Pecan butter
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Pumpkin seed butter

High Calorie Snacks #2: Blueberry Parfait

A blueberry and yogurt parfait is a quick and easy high calorie snack. When selecting yogurt, be sure to choose a high calorie option. Read the nutrition facts label and compare calorie counts in different yogurts at the grocery store.

Look for whole fat or full fat yogurts. They are high in calories. And they are super creamy and delicious. We love Greek Gods Vanilla Honey Greek Yogurt. But pick the yogurt that you’ll enjoy the most.

High Calorie Snacks Blueberry Parfait

Blueberry Parfait

  • 1 cup vanilla honey Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Calorie Count: 270 calories

For even more calories, add a layer of your favorite granola and/or some chopped nuts.

To add variety to this recipe, you can switch out the blueberries for another fruit option.

Fruit alternatives:

  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Baked apples
  • Baked pears
  • Bananas

Additionally, you can check out this delicious Cherry Parfait recipe!

High Calorie Snacks #3: Banana and Walnuts

This snack is a great example of a “grab-and-go” snack. You can grab a banana and a handful of walnuts for a quick high calorie snack.  You can eat these food items separately or together. It’s a great, balanced snack.

Banana and Walnuts

Banana and Walnuts

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Calorie Count: 295 calories

Nuts are an excellent high calorie food. They are high in heart healthy fats and pack a large number of calories in a small amount of nuts.

If you have a walnut allergy, or just want more variety, you can choose any type of nuts.

Nut Variations:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia Nuts

High Calorie Snacks #4: Peanut Butter and Apples

Peanut Butter Apples are a classic snack that many people enjoy. The benefit is that it’s high in calories too. As with the peanut butter toast, you can swap out the peanut butter for any type of nut or seed butter.

And as with the blueberry parfait, you can swap out the apples for your favorite fruit. We love bananas with peanut butter!

Peanut Butter and Apples

Peanut Butter and Apples

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter

Calorie Count: 285 calories

You can spread the peanut butter on slices of apple, spread it on the whole apple as you eat it, or you can have the peanut butter on the side to dip the apples into.

High Calorie Snacks #5: Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Cottage cheese and fruit combine savory and sweet flavors for a delicious high calorie snack. This snack uses canned fruit, so it is easy to eat for those with chewing difficulty or bad teeth.

To get the most calories in this snack, be sure to select cottage cheese made with whole fat milk. Reduced fat and fat free cottage cheese will have fewer calories.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned fruit

Calorie Count: 270 calories

When purchasing canned fruit, avoid options with the word “light” to ensure you are getting the most calories. Additionally, you can swap out the fruit to add more variety.

Canned fruit variations:

  • Fruit cocktail
  • Tropical fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

High Calorie Snacks #6: Avocado Toast

Avocado toast has become a “trendy” snack in recent years. But it is a great high calorie snack because it contains one of our favorite high calorie ingredients: avocado.

Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats and is great for heart health. Additionally, they are very high in calories. Some people enjoy cutting an avocado in half and just eating it with a spoon. Adding on toast makes it easier to eat and a heartier snack.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 1 cup sliced avocado

Calorie Count: 300 calories

You can add the avocado sliced or mashed.

For more variety, you can add additional toppings to your avocado toast. Some ideas are listed below.

Toppings for Avocado Toast:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Everything but the Bagel seasoning
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cooked egg
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Chopped nuts
  • Bacon
  • Salsa
  • Etc.

High Calorie Snacks #7: High Calorie Shakes

High calorie shakes are one of our favorite high calorie snacks! They are delicious and easy to sip on. We’ve found that even when someone can’t take another bite of food, they can still sip on a delicious shake.

High Calorie Shakes

High Calorie Shake

  • 1 cup ice cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup chocolate flavored syrup

Calorie Count: 575 calories

Shakes are so easy to make. Just toss the ingredients in a blender, mix, and enjoy.

If you prefer a thicker shake add more ice cream or less liquid. We like a thinner shake because it is easier to drink through a straw. Additionally, you can drink it faster, making it easier to finish the shake.

To add variety to your shake you can switch out the chocolate syrup for other fun flavors. Some examples are below.

High Calorie Shake Syrup Variations:

  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Butterscotch Syrup
  • Etc.

Get more inspiration from our FREE High Calorie Shakes handout. And be sure to check out our High Calorie SHAKES e-Cookbook for more delicious high calorie shake recipes.

High Calorie Snacks #8: Milk and Cookies

Milk and cookies. Yum!

A high calorie snack doesn’t always have to be a “healthy” food. You can throw in a sweet treat as well. Some comfort food goes a long way, especially if you have a poor appetite. Milk and cookies can be an enjoyable treat that can help you to gain weight

Milk and Cookies

Milk and Cookies

  • 2 chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 cup whole milk

Calorie Count: 320 calories

Choosing whole milk will provide the most calories. Fat free milk will have the least calories. If you do not drink milk, you can select vanilla soy milk or oat milk as high calorie options.

Learn more about high calorie drinks.

High Calorie Snacks #9: Egg Salad and English Muffin

Egg salad on a whole wheat English muffin is a great high calorie snack. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats, while the English muffin is loaded with fiber and other nutrients. 

Egg Salad and English Muffin

Egg Salad and English Muffin

  • ½ cup egg salad
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin

Calorie Count: 415 calories

Choosing a whole wheat English muffin will provide you with additional vitamins and minerals which can really help to boost this high calorie snack. 

Egg salad is a great addition to this snack because it can be your favorite store-bought version, or you can make your own! 

A simple egg salad recipe is: mashed hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and pickle relish. Play around with the ingredient amounts to find your favorite homemade egg salad recipe. 

High Calorie Snacks #10: Muesli and Whole Milk

Muesli is a cold oatmeal/cereal that you can enjoy any time of the day. It’s best to use a 1:2 ratio with muesli:milk and let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes before eating. 

Muesli can have oats, grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (such as craisins or raisins). Each brand is different, so take your time in finding a mixture that you like the best. 

Muesli and Whole Milk

Muesli and Whole Milk

  • ½ cup muesli
  • 1 cup whole milk

Calorie Count: 295 calories 

Again, choosing whole milk over reduced fat or fat free milk will give you the most calories for this snack. If you’d like to increase the calories even more, then feel free to add your own additional toppings!

Topping ideas:

  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Honey

High Calorie Snacks #11: Edamame and Pita Chips

Edamame is a great quick and easy high calorie snack. Did you know that 1 cup of cooked edamame has 225 calories? That’s great news if you like edamame and are looking for an easy high calorie snack! 

Not only that, but edamame is a powerhouse of nutrients, fiber, and protein. You can find both shelled and unshelled edamame in the frozen foods section at your grocery store. 

Edamame and Pita Chips

Edamame and Pita Chips

  • ½ cup cooked edamame
  • 10 pita chips

Calorie Count: 250 calories

We like to steam our edamame and add a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt, or add just a splash of lemon juice for a delicious snack!  

Additional High Calorie Snacks and Weight Gain Tips

If trying a new recipe seems like too much for you, then try these quick tips to increase calories in meals and snacks that you’re already eating. 

  1. When shopping for dairy, choose whole fat and full fat versions. Think: milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
  2. Add calories by adding toppings to your snacks. Think: adding granola or nuts to your yogurt, adding butter or cream cheese to your bagel, adding cheese to your omelet, adding whole milk or heavy cream to your coffee, etc. 
  3. And of course, choose foods with the most calories to get the most out of your snacks

Conclusion

We hope this article gave you some ideas on how you can create some easy high calorie snacks for weight gain. Gaining weight doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be quite easy!

Don’t forget to download our FREE High Calorie Snacks handout which features the snacks in the article!

And if you need more help and support in gaining weight, be sure to check out our signature online course: Gaining Weight Made Easy. This course is designed to help you gain weight with simple strategies and easy-to-use tools.

The course includes: 

  • 12 video course
  • High Calorie RECIPES e-Cookbook
  • High Calorie SHAKES e-Cookbook
  • Weight Gaining SECRETS e-Book
  • High Calorie Foods List
  • High Calorie Grocery List
  • High Calorie Meal Plan Template
  • Sample Weight Gaining Meal Plan
  • Weight Tracking Log
Gaining Weight Made Easy Course

Best of luck on your weight gain journey! 

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