J.G. asks from Akron, OH on March 01, 2007
Help !!!! 3 Yr Old Isn't Gaining Weight...
I have a little girl that has been diagnosed with Asthma, an allergy to tree pollen (although the doctor said she most likely has more allergies – she is a bit young for good test results) and JRA (Juvenile Rhumitory Arthritis)… we are also having issues with weight gain – lack of that is. She is 3, well will be next week and I’m kinda lost on what to do for her lack of weight gain. We receive W.I.C., so the Summit County Health Department is weighing her every 3 month and just don’t understand why she isn’t gaining any weight. Every time I leave after her weigh-ins I feel as if I’m the worst mom in the world… I’m doing all that I can to try to keep her healthy and out of the hospital.
Right now she is on Cingular and Flovent daily and Albuterol when needed for her asthma, Zyrtec daily for her allergies and an anti-inflammatory for the swelling caused by her JRA. I have looked up the side affects on the drugs she is taking and most of them say they cause weight gain except the anti-inflammatory… so I don’t think they are affecting her lack of weight gain. We are going on 4 months without any weight gain… has anyone has issues dealing with this?
I have talked to my sister a little about it… she has a little girl that has other health issues, but has a hard time gaining weight also. She has told me to try switching from white bread to wheat, margarine to butter, 2% milk to whole (but she won’t drink it), white sugar to brown, and “sugar” cereals instead of the “W.I.C.” cereals. She also said to try ovaltine in her milk and feeding her more ice-cream, cookies, cakes, and sweets. Does anyone have any other ideas, or should I just keep trying the ones above?
I know my little girl’s issues aren’t as severe as some other little ones, but I’m asking for help and any knowledge or experience that might help us through this. Through everything she keeps smiling and laughing… I just want to make sure she is able to keep doing that.
Thank you for your time and help!!!
M. answers from Columbus on March 01, 2007
My daughter is 4y old now but has had a hard time gaining weight. She was a preemie and was weighed frequently once we got home. At 2y she still weighed about 21-22lbs. At 3, she was only at 25lbs. Our pediatrician was not too concerned because she was gaining on her growth curve. She did say that yes weight gain does slow down at this point and calmed my fears by saying that someone has to be in the 3rd percentile or it wouldn't be there. I felt a bit better. She also recommended 1-2 pediasures/day if she wasn't eating well. She said don't let it take the place of a meal. Pediasure is 30 calories and ounce and whole milk is about 20 cal/oz and can be very filling. What I would do, is watch what she ate during the day and if it wasn't much, I would give her a pediasure after dinner. She wasa weird kid and actually liked it. We served them very cold, right out of the fridge.
Personally, I wouldn't start adding in a bunch of sugary stuff--they may add on some weight, but it will also start some bad eating habits, that will be hard to break later. I would try switching to the whole wheat, whole milk, and using butter (this is stuff I heard from a feeding specialist before).
I know it's hard not to worry, but look at her development as a whole--is she meeting her milestones? Is she active and otherwise doing well? If so, she may just have a really good metabolism. My daughter finally put on some weight from age 3 to 4--about 5 lbs. I think she hit the 10th percentile for her age--a first for us. Also ask the pediatrician for a referral to a dietician or a nutrionist for other healthy ideas.
Hope this helps.
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K.B. answers from Cincinnati on March 01, 2007
My son is almost completely healthy except for controled asthma...he has only gained 2 lbs. since he was two years old. The boy eats around the clock sometimes but doesn't gain a lb. At this age they slow down in the amount of weight they gain. Instead of gaining a lot monthly, they start to average 2 lbs a year and 2 inches in height a year, (or so the research I have done thus far). My son is a health freak...even if I TRIED to get him to eat all the foods your sister suggested he wouldn't. He likes fruits and veggies, no red meats, yougurt and only 100% fruit snacks and so forth. We have candy sitting out at our house all the time and he doesn't ever touch it. He chooses sherbert over ice cream. I would say you would much rather have her on a healthy diet than adding a bunch of the sugars and peservatives that are in the other foods. Adding all of that could only add to health problems instead of making them better...Best wishes.
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R.S. answers from Cleveland on March 01, 2007
First of all, I think "fattening" her up with fats and sugar is NOT the way to go. I have a 6 year old who only recently hit the 40 lb. mark. She is healthy, she just eats ALOT of fruits and veggies. She is also very active. As long as your daughter is hitting all the other milestones and isn't sick from her size, don't worry. She could just have really high matabolism. Teaching her horrible eating habits just to gain weight can have terrible effects in the future. Good Luck.
E.P. answers from Mansfield on March 02, 2007
I wouldn't worry too much unless her doctor has said something about it. WIC goes by the norms and not the individual child while her doctor knows more about her situation. I wouldn't start with the sugar diet, the whole milk and ovaltine and wheat bread wouldn't be bad though. My daughter has asthma, too and has been on Singular for almost three years and lately it hasn't been as effective as it used to be so now they have her on steriods daily which really effects her weight so it is a real possiblity your daughter may have to go to that in the future and she will not have any problem gaining weight if that happens.
S.R. answers from Toledo on March 01, 2007
Hi J.. I honestly have not had this problem, as my babies are born small and gain weight like no tomorrow. I wonder if your little really needs to gain weight? My sister's youngest two are so small and are always in like the 10th percentile weight wise, but they are healthy and happy and developmentally okay. I think you shouldn't worry about it all children grow and gain in diff ways. Best of luck, it sounds like you are doing a great job.
M.B. answers from Cleveland on March 02, 2007
I've never posted before but wanted to respond to this. My Daughter also has JRA, Uveitis, watching for Asthma several clotting disorders i could go on, but you understand.
Which meds is she on for the JRA? My daughter has always gained weight, until she got put on some of the JRA meds and then her weight slowed for a LONG time.
I agree with everyone about adding healthy fats to her diet. Make cheese sauces to go over her veggies, make dips for her fruit. Things like that.
I would love to talk to you more about our Daughters and JRA, if you would like.
K.T. answers from Columbus on March 02, 2007
I have a daughter who will be 3 on March 21st. Although she has no health issues and is growing, she has actually lost one pound since July (she weighed 32 pounds then and 31 pounds in December and again 2 weeks ago). You didn't mention how much your daughter weighs, but I wanted to let you know that I think that at this age their weight gain slows considerably. I agree with the others that adding lots of sugary sweets is NOT the answer....
S.H. answers from Cleveland on March 02, 2007
I am almost exactly in your boat! My daughter is 2 and has a hard time gaining weight as well. At WIC they started weighing her every 3 months as well and I too felt like a horrible mother for her lack of weight gain, she was in the 12%. Anyway, to the point, it is expensive but works great- Pediasure! They have 4-5 flavors and my girl gets 1 every day, she is now in the 25%! I also looked at the size I and my husband were when we were young, and also our immediate family. I found that all of us were exceptionially small for our ages when were little. just keep that in mind. Pediasure can cost about 10.00 for six, but if you talk to your ped, they can send a "perscription" to the WIC office and then WIC will reissue a month of your coupons with pediasure on it.