J.B. asks from Indianapolis, IN on June 17, 2009
Healthy Way for Underweight Son to Gain Weight
I know this sounds crazy but my son needs to gain weight! In a world where most people, including myself needs to lose weight my son really needs to pack on some pounds. My son turned 10 in May. He is 56 lbs. All you see are bones. His doctor is more worried about getting his meds right for his ADHD and not so worried about his weight. The doctor said he is off the charts on weight but in height he is in the 25th percentile. He said he is literally a bag of bones. My son does love playing video games but he is pretty active. His dream is to be a pro bowler or fitness intructor! He loves to play baseketball too. I give him whole milk in the morning mixed with carnation instant breakfast for extra vitamins. I want him to gain weight in a healthy way. I had to take the scale away from him because he was always weighing himself to see if he has gained some weight. I told him he doesn't need to worry about it at his age. But I am worrying for him. When he falls and gets injured there is no cushion at all he hits bone. Crossing my fingers and knocking on wood he has not broken any bones but it is a fear of mine everday. Any advice is very appreciated. Thanks moms! P.S. today is my BDAY!!!!! Woo hoo!
C.L. answers from Columbus on June 18, 2009
If he's on meds for ADHD, is he eating consistantly? I can always tell if my nephew has had his medicine by whether he's eating or not. He is 9 years old and very small for his age. I know the meds are a huge appetite supressant and it's hard to force them to eat when they're in their system. I personally am taking Adderall, not for ADD or ADHD, rather I take it to keep me awake. I have a sleep disorder and this med has a different affect on me. I've lost between 25-30lbs since I started it, because I just don't feel like eating (which isn't a bad thing in my case). When I do have a desire to actually eat, I'll skip it until after lunch or just not take it at all that day....then I end up eating like a horse. My nephews doctor takes him off the meds in the summer so his growth can catch up, because it also stunts his growth. Hopefully some day they will come up with a better alternative. Have you tried a gluten free diet? I've heard good results with that as well for ADHD. Good luck, and happy birthday!!
J.L. answers from Cleveland on June 18, 2009
My husband is the same way (and my son is pretty skinny as well). When i say skinny, my husband is 5'10" and 120 lbs. He would love to gain weight and really hates when people remark on how skinny it is. Be careful, boys can get eating disorders too. An eating disorder is an obsession with how much you weigh and doing unhealthy things to change that.
When he was younger he would eat a lot of whole milk and ice cream. Carbs, as we all know, pack on calories, so maybe a lot of pastas and rices. Also ask the ped for a nutritionist and possibly get him on a high carb diet. Find a gym and put him on a lifting work out schedule. Building mass, not doing cardio, but lifting will definitely help gain healthy muscle.
K.M. answers from Cleveland on June 18, 2009
Happy Birthday, J.! You're right to want your son to gain weight in a healthy way. I had the same trouble with my daughter when she was younger, and learned all sorts of strategies for adding fat and calories to her diet. You can add extra butter or cream or olive oil to his foods, depending on what it is and what you can sneak in. Adding all this fat made me a little worried about excess cholesterol, etc. I didn't want to end up with a skinny kid with heart disease! Another option, along the lines of what you're already doing, is to use a meal replacement in his whole milk in the morning. If he likes it, give it to him as an afterschool snack, too. I represent Shaklee products, and we have several options that could work. My kids love the Cinch drinks. Cinch is a weight management plan, but can also be used as a meal replacement for anyone who wants a super healthy breakfast, lunch or snack, or as a meal supplement for those trying to gain weight. For pregnant women, it's the perfect solution to the extra 250 calories needed, because it's super nutritious. Cinch shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and cafe latte. They have approx 250 calories, vitamins, minerals, 24 grams of protein, healthy fats and fiber. And as I said before, my kids love them. Sometimes, for my littler daughter, I will mix some ice cream into her cafe latte cinch and make her a mocha milkshake. That's her favorite.You can get more info from my website: www.cinchplan.com/kzmurphy. Or send me a message through mamasource if you want to know more. Good luck and have a great day!
S.F. answers from Fort Wayne on June 18, 2009
Gaining weight is related to multiple things. If he has a high metabolism, he may not be able to put on weight. He may have a natural tendency to have lean muscles and little body fat. That is not a bad thing.
If your family doctor is telling you he-she is not concerned, ask them for a referral to a specialist. This could be a hormone imbalence. Perhaps certain hormones are not being released that will allow him to grow. You probably need an endocrinologist to run tests to see what his blood levels are for multiple types of hormones. A specialist will know what to look for. A setback for those with ADHD and other disabilities is that some of those meds will stunt growth. Family doctors will not tell you this. That is something my friend had to find out on his own. Now, his kid is significantly short for his age although is ODD and ADHD are more under control.
L.H. answers from Cleveland on June 18, 2009
Have they checked his Thyroid?? It could be a Hyperactive one which could be causing his weight to be on the lighter side. It wouldn't hurt. If there is a problem with it they can treat it with meds. My son went through the same thing and it was his thyroid. He is now putting on and keeping on the weight. I would also suggest a high carb diet. Best of Luck!!
L.H. answers from Dayton on June 18, 2009
Although I am older and have had 4 kids, I still have a problem gaining and maintaining weight. I drink Boost or Ensure to help keep the weight on along with a sensible diet. I was told that high fiber foods actually can help you gain some weight. I don't have any magical solution for you, but you aren't alone with this.
L. - mother to 4 awesome boys.
J.G. answers from Indianapolis on June 23, 2009
My husband, a healthy 32 year old, was only 75lbs. when he entered high school & graduated high school at 5' 5" & 110lbs. His doctor wanted to put him on growth hormones & his mother refused. My husband is now around 175-180. I guess I just wanted to let you know that everyone does grow at a different rate & I'm sure he will turn out to be a healthy, well-adjusted young man.
M.W. answers from Indianapolis on June 17, 2009
J. - my husband, Eric, can help you out. He's a ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer with his own training business. He trains out of his gym or can come to you too. Eric's been working with a 15 yr old for the past year and a half to pick up muscle for football. When Eric first started training him he was 97 lbs, 5'7". In a year's time Eric has helped him gain 20lbs of muscle! The best part is when he went to weight lifting for football last week. He was lifting more than all the players except a couple of the seniors (he's a freshman). He and Eric were both super excited about showing off all their hard work at football camp this fall.
Check out his website at www.waldospersonaltraining.com or send him an email at ____@____.com
P.A. answers from Youngstown on June 18, 2009
Has he always been off the charts for weight, or is this a sudden change? My son is the same age and slightly lower weight wise. We went through massive amounts of testing before his second birthday because there was a significant drop in the weight gain. That drastic change in pattern is what concerns them. Is his doctor concerned at all about the weight? You should ask him if he thinks any tests are necessary. At the least they should be checking insulin and thyroid. I'd keep higher calorie yet healthy snacks available at all times, but don't just push the foods. You don't want to set up a lifetime of eating problems over this. As my son's developmental pediatrician said, better to be off the charts on the low end for weight...they rarely see kids like that anymore. And Happy Birthday!
C.W. answers from Cincinnati on June 18, 2009
The meds maybe why he's so small. We had issues with our youngest grandson loosing weight when he started his to the point the dr was getting nasty with Mom thinking they weren't allowing him to eat enough and threatened to take him away if he lost another pound. Seemed silly to me. He eats like a horse and could stand to loose a few pounds he was also a bit short at the time for his age. He is doing better now on a different med. Good luck to you and your family. Be careful trying to get him to eat things it could develop into bad eatiing habits. It did with me. I was rail thin when I was in primary grades and they made me eat til I felt bloated now and have been since my teen years very over weight. I know I have bad eating habits as well as no self control when it comes to certain foods.