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Old 07-15-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
tink20
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Healthy tips to gain weight for kids

I took DS (11) to the pediatrician for his check up and vaccines. What a fun visit....not. First, the doctor said my DS is underweight. DS is 59-1/2" tall and weighs 71lbs. DS has always been thin. (I was a thin child, DH was too, I am still thin, DD is thin) so I thought no big deal. The doctor said based on DS's records, he needs to gain about 2lbs. at a minimum, but 5lbs would be great. He suggest the Carnation Breakfast mix, so I did go get some of that. Any other suggestions?


On top of all that, DS also has a heart murmur and pectus excavatum. So, we have to go to a cardiologists and an orthopedist. I am a little worried, hopefully everything will be okay.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
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I already know this will be unpopular, but I would recommend full-fat dairy before processed and artificial breakfast drink. At the same time though, I'm thankful my pediatrician is not weight-obsessed.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conservative Hippie View Post
I already know this will be unpopular, but I would recommend full-fat dairy before processed and artificial breakfast drink. At the same time though, I'm thankful my pediatrician is not weight-obsessed.
I really don't think that is an unpopular view at all. These are the top 3 ingredients of Carnation Instant. NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, COCOA

Yes, he'll add calories but he can do that with a Snickers Bar and a bowl of ice cream too and it would be about as significant as far as nutrition goes from what I can tell.

I'd look up information on healthy fats and high calorie foods-- avocado, almonds, and that kind of thing and then find out what from those lists he likes to eat. There is no point in just shoving food he hates at him when there are so many things he can eat that are dense in calories. That Natural Peanut Butters are pretty healthy and loaded with calories. Put those on some whole grain crackers and let him snack. If he eats those types of foods in just moderate amounts he can easily add 500 calories a day to his diet.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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OP, is your son picky? Is he a good eater?

I don't want to automatically tell you to ignore your pediatrician but if you feel your child is a good, healthy eater and he just has thin genes on his side, then I'd be really hesitant to forcefeed extra calories. Metabolism is metabolism. I was always a very thin child but I had a very good appetite and ate very well. I was not a picky eater and I enjoyed food. Trust me, I eventually put on weight in my 20s.

If your DS son does 'undereat' and is picky, then there's a different problem.

As conservative hippie states, I'd be more inclined to make him full-fat dairy smoothies (or if he doesn't like cow's milk dairy then use almond milk or something) and have him drink something delicious but not overly processed. There's nothing wrong with adding your own "sweets" to it like cocoa powder, or honey, or whatever. I'd be doing that over Carnation Breakfast.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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I really don't think that is an unpopular view at all. These are the top 3 ingredients of Carnation Instant. NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, COCOA

Yes, he'll add calories but he can do that with a Snickers Bar and a bowl of ice cream too and it would be about as significant as far as nutrition goes from what I can tell.

I'd look up information on healthy fats and high calorie foods-- avocado, almonds, and that kind of thing and then find out what from those lists he likes to eat. There is no point in just shoving food he hates at him when there are so many things he can eat that are dense in calories. That Natural Peanut Butters are pretty healthy and loaded with calories. Put those on some whole grain crackers and let him snack. If he eats those types of foods in just moderate amounts he can easily add 500 calories a day to his diet.
I was jumped all over for suggesting another parent feed her child full-fat dairy for weight gain. Was told everyone should be concerned about their saturated fat intake. I have never given a thought to my saturated fat intake or that of my kids. We eat real food, which includes full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
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I'd go with foods that have a lot of calories. Full Fat, peanut butter, etc. DH has always been very thin, during times when he is really busy at work, I stock the office frig with things like ensure, and diet drinks. Not to drink instead of a meal, but to drink with a meal. Adds a fair number of calories without being complete junk food.

Good luck, I hope everything with the cardiologist, etc is ok.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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I would not make any major changes until you see the specialist. There may be a relationship in the conditions and the weight issues. I agree that full fat dairy could not hurt and adding nuts or other natural good fats may be a reasonable choice. Good luck as your search for answers.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
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To each their own, but I would seriously question any doctor who feels like an 11 y/o needs to gain a whole 2 - 5 pounds. That is beyond strange to me. We aren't talking about a kid who is grossly underweight or malnourished. He is honestly concerned about two pounds?
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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I was told at my foster's last appointment to do the same thing. I started giving him whole milk and carnation for breakfast. It works for us because he HATES to eat breakfast. He maintained his weight at the next appointment! Woohoo!
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
To each their own, but I would seriously question any doctor who feels like an 11 y/o needs to gain a whole 2 - 5 pounds. That is beyond strange to me. We aren't talking about a kid who is grossly underweight or malnourished. He is honestly concerned about two pounds?
My doctor told me the same exact thing.

3 pounds on my 64 pound/4'9" daughter who is almost 11 years old would get her out of the "underweight" category so makes sense to me. And, seeing her after she lost a few pounds due to a stomach bug this past spring, yeah, 2-5 pounds make a difference.



OP
My doctor also suggested carnation and whole milk. I give her one with breakfast (not in place of) and then one right before bed so she doesn't bounce around the house and burn it off. She won't eat naturally fatty foods other than peanut butter so I try to squeeze in that when I can.

I go back and forth on it just being her genes and metabolism and concern for development. She is tracking fine on height - consistently growing there so I guess overall all is well.

She has very little interest in food. She'll eat it if you put it in front of her but doesn't go out of her way to eat. We did go a bit overboard with things like milkshakes for a while just to make sure she "could" gain weight. I don't want her to have an unhealthy diet so we scaled back on some of the unhealthy fat once I could see she was gaining.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherlj View Post
My doctor told me the same exact thing.

3 pounds on my 64 pound/4'9" daughter who is almost 11 years old would get her out of the "underweight" category so makes sense to me. And, seeing her after she lost a few pounds due to a stomach bug this past spring, yeah, 2-5 pounds make a difference.



OP
My doctor also suggested carnation and whole milk. I give her one with breakfast (not in place of) and then one right before bed so she doesn't bounce around the house and burn it off. She won't eat naturally fatty foods other than peanut butter so I try to squeeze in that when I can.

I go back and forth on it just being her genes and metabolism and concern for development. She is tracking fine on height - consistently growing there so I guess overall all is well.

She has very little interest in food. She'll eat it if you put it in front of her but doesn't go out of her way to eat. We did go a bit overboard with things like milkshakes for a while just to make sure she "could" gain weight. I don't want her to have an unhealthy diet so we scaled back on some of the unhealthy fat once I could see she was gaining.
That's how my son is, never really a big eater. I think he has a high metabolism like me. He gets full fast like me too. He does need to add some more fruits and vegetables to his diet. I think he just had a growth spurt in height and he hasn't caught up in weight yet.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:31 PM   #12
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Really, 2 pounds? I have a thin child and personally would just smile at the doctor, say you'll do you best and continue feeding your child as you are. With the epidemic of obesity in our country I'd leave well enough alone. Being a bit underweight really isn't a danger assuming a healthy diet. Doctors really aren't that knowledgeable about nutrition and I'd take what they say a out a kid being underweight with a grain of salt.

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Old 07-15-2013, 07:48 PM   #13
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I would ask the cardiologist's opinion with the weight situation since your DS has other medical issues.

And what do you mean he "gets a full fast" like you? That does not sound good. Perhaps you can elaborate.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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We had to see a nutritionist with my son at the request of his GI. One of the things the nutritionist suggested at first was the carnation instant breakfast and whole milk to get some weight on him. Once we got him closer to where we wanted him, she had me back off on the carnation instant breakfast (but not the whole milk). She said the Carnation Instant Breakfast is like lead in their bellies so while it can help them gain weight, it also keeps them from feeling hungry and eating when they should.

We started making lots of smoothies with yogurt and cottage cheese, all sorts of nut butters and things like that. He LOVES smoothies and I know I can get the nutrients in them he needs and he'll drink it. He loves hummus with carrots, celery with cream cheese or nut butters. I cook a lot with coconut oil.

Hope everything goes okay with the other appts.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I would ask the cardiologist's opinion with the weight situation since your DS has other medical issues.

And what do you mean he "gets a full fast" like you? That does not sound good. Perhaps you can elaborate.
Not really fast, but he (and I) have small stomachs, we can't eat large portions of food. But, then like in about 2/3 hours, we will be hungry and want a snack.
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