April 14, 2009,
J.C. asks from Evergreen, CO on April 12, 2009
Help 9 Month Old Gain Weight
My 9-month old son is a little underweight for his length (25% for length and 8% for weight), and the doctor suggested adding some high-fat foods to his diet such as butter, oil, ranch dressing, and ice cream. He will eat the butter without any problem, but when he tried the ranch dressing he was up with gas in the night. These foods sound a little hard to digest, and heavy on the dairy, which I've heard can be constipating and allergenic. He already eats whole-fat yogurt with no digestive problems. I also give him plenty of avocado. But he didn't like tahini in his yogurt and wasn't crazy about egg yolks either.
Please give me some high-fat/high-calorie ideas for him that won't likely cause gas pain, and let me know if I start him on Ben & Jerry's if he'll start turning his nose up at his other foods, which are primarily purees of fruits, veggies, and whole grain porridge.
He doesn't like chunky foods, and I am just starting with finger foods, which have not gone over too well, but I'm sure will be fine soon. I breastfeed him and he doesn't take a bottle.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I just got back from the Dr.'s office with good news. My 11 month old son weighed 2 pounds heavier than he did at his Dr. appointment (1.5 months ago)! I was very proud of him. He is doing great. I think what has helped the most was adding olive oil to his veggies. We still do it. I didn't give him ice cream like the doctor suggested, and am glad that he is gaining weight well while still developing healthy eating habits and taste preferences. I loved the food suggestions from you fabulous moms, and appreciated the support when I was feeling like I wasn't getting him what he needed. Weight issues are definitely a huge concern for us parents. Thanks again!
K.C. answers from Denver on April 13, 2009
Hey J., does he have a dairy allergy? Instead of Ben and Jerry's :) try something like a high calorie/fat protein shake , add some fruit, blend it and then freeze it. It will be just as yummy but WAY better for him. :) Good luck.
G.P. answers from Boise on April 13, 2009
I see a lot of ideas on adding oils etc., but my question is, are you feeding him breastmilk or solids first? I would make sure that you are giving him breastmilk first to fill him up. Also, make sure that he finishes on one side before switching. The fatty milk is at the end, and if he isn't getting that, he isn't getting most of the calories. At 9 months, a baby's nutrition should be met with milk, and the solids are more to explore and learn about. They should not be where the calories are coming from. I have heard of people adding formula to breastmilk to add calories.
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E.B. answers from Fort Collins on April 13, 2009
My suggestion would be to let it be. Both my nieces are in the lowest percentile on weight and they are both very happy and healthy. The doctors at Kaiser told my little sister to feed her daughter fatty foods too. The doctors at Salude (who see lots of hispanics and races that are smaller in stature) said my other niece looked great. As for feeding fats my family all agreeds that is just setting them up for bad eating habits in the future. I have never seen two little girls so active and they are eating normal healthy foods, so obviously the extra fat is not neccessary.
Doctors tend to focus on what is normal for the population as a whole and not what is normal for that child.
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T.W. answers from Salt Lake City on April 13, 2009
cheese, avocado, i'd reconsider ranch dressing. . . it has a lot of junk in it i definitely wouldn't want to put into a baby (or an adult body actually). this sounds like a new recommendation going around, another friend recently had her dr "prescribe" this same regiment. . . if baby is breastfed, i wouldn't worry about those charts. unless he's showing signs of "not thriving" i'd consider scrapping dr's advice, since genetics aren't considered on those charts, and neither is breastfeeding. . . .but you can give your little one healthier stuff like the two mentioned above.
A.B. answers from Provo on April 13, 2009
Try adding cocunut oil to his purees. I had to do that with my oldest and the oil was great and it tastes yummy. It is solid at room temperature but it becomes oil when warmed up. It is full of fatty acids like avacados but it gives them a new flavor and it blends with most baby food.
be careful with the ice cream...I wouldn't want to eat anything else if i had that for a choice.
K.L. answers from Great Falls on April 13, 2009
My son has always been on the leaner side also. He never seemed to get those baby "rolls" that I always saw on other little ones, also he's always been tall. He's 3 now and in great health. My doctor never seemed overly concerned about it, just said that if he was following his OWN curve than he was fine. I do have a friend with a little boy the same age that has a severe alergy to all dairy products and one thing that she found was to sprinkle olive oil and cinnamon over whole wheat pasta. Just a thought.
M.T. answers from Denver on April 13, 2009
i'd say high fat cheese as a great finger food.
M.R. answers from Boise on April 13, 2009
I would see a nutritionist first before adding all that junk into his diet. Three of my kids are very tall and thin. My 4 year old just had her well child check and she's at 24% for weight but at 50% for height. Our doctor knows us well and just thinks she will be like her dad and brothers. At 18 months our doctor was just about to recommend developmental therapy for my youngest son who just wouldn't eat well, nothing chunky or crispy but decided to wait it out another month. 30 days later he had gained enough weight and started eating new foods so it was unnecessary. All kids are different so getting a second opinion would be where I would start.
F.N. answers from Denver on April 13, 2009
I also have a 9 month old that is below the 3% tiles- she was at one point in the 25% -was gaining fine then lost a some, then gained a little, lost a little.
I have been told much of the same info as other posters who responded. I have been working with a Lactation Consultant and also a Registered Dietitian along with my pediatrician.
I am shocked to see that you were told ranch dressing and ice cream- I personally would not (too young to digest it and why would she eat anything other then ice cream).
I started whole milk yogurt, whole milk cottage cheese, whole milk ricotta cheese, egg yolks, Cheeses: Cheddar, Munster, Havarti, cream cheese etc…. Also the pediatrician recommends I go ahead and give her table foods- I normally have not given my other kids jarred foods but have done so with her so I know how many calories she has gotten.
Cream cheese softened is great to dip finger foods into.
Currently with my LO I have been doing the high calories foods for 3 months have just added cheeses and yogurts and now adding butter and oils to her foods. Now we are adding high carb foods like corn, whole wheat pastas etc…. I am also adding formula to my BM to make it 24 calories per ounce and adding that to any cereals that I feed her.
I have a list of toddler high calories food ideas if you would like them let me know.
Never mind just got back to finishing this post and someone has already posted the same list.