51 answers

Need Help...6 Year Old Needs to Gain Weight....

Hi all! I'm new on here and am looking for friendly Mom advise. I recently took my 6 year old son to his well child check up. He lost a pound since his 5 year visit. He is now only in the 5th percentile for weight. (He did get a little taller, though.) He only weighs 41 pounds, is very skinny, and a VERY picky eater. I brought a list of the only foods that he will eat and Dr. told me most of what he eats has no nutritional value. His diet consisted of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, cereal, pb&j, buttered noodles, pizza, hot dogs, no veggies, the occasional fruit, just really only the "kid" foods. Trying to get him to eat something new causes serious anxiety with him. Sometimes new food makes him gag or even throw up at the table. He usually only eats a little before he complains of being full or his tummy hurting during a meal. He burps alot, also. So, Dr. thinks he may have acid reflux. She put him on medicine for that and put the fear of God in him to eat new, better food, to eat what I tell him to. Well, ever since that appt, about 4 days ago, he has actually eaten vegetables! And roasted chicken, not nuggets! Ever since that appointment, I have only given him what the rest of the family is eating, I won't make him something special, and he hasn't really complained. Dr told him he'd have to get a bunch of testing and needle pricks if he didn't gain weight in 2 months, so he understands he can't be picky anymore. Now, to my question..... what exactly should I be feeding him to put weight on him, but not aggravate the acid reflux? I want him to eat fruits and veggies and lean meats, but their not calorie dense. I feel like a bad Mom for letting him get his way with his pickiness for so long. Or do you think he has been picky because certain foods aggravated the reflux? I'm pretty worried about him and would appreciate any advise and would love to hear from someone with the same problem. Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for a your support and advise!!! Things are going well. He is trying everything that we eat. He's eating a more balanced diet, thats for sure. I just hope that the weight will start to come up soon. Again, thanks for all the help, ladies....you all are wonderful!!!

Featured Answers

Rice & Beans or Rice with butter, bread with butter, cheese, celery with peanut butter, If he likes catsup or ranch dressing or some other dipping item then you can tell him to dip his greenbeans in them (that's how I get my oldest to eat a lot of things). If he likes gravy or you think it might help the taste of rice or anything - buy jars of gravy to keep in the pantry. My boys like to mix things to hide the taste. They will eat what we eat, but they may put something on top (like I just mentioned) to make it taste better. In addition - you can add carnation instant breakfast to his milk in the morning and evening to increase the calories. My kids love the chocolate one.

Good luck!
Sam

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.- I have gone through the same thing with my son. I started giving him B-complex (syrup) you can usually get this on-line or at a pharmacy that sells homeopathic medicines. In addition to giving him this every morning, I give him his multivitamins every afternoon as well. It has done wonders for him...he actually wants to eat and tries more foods. The b-complex is for his nervous system and opens up his appetite. I also bought the carnation instant breakfast and put it in his milk (whole milk since he is so thin) in the mornings and before he goes to bed at night. He has gained 13 pounds since March and is actually growing out of his clothes (which I am happy about). Try it out and good luck.
Jay

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had this problem...sounds just like here!!She hated everything! I still let her choose...the doc said not to force her..but to give her carnation instant breakfast or even like a boost shake...that'll help pick up the weight a bit! :)

More Answers

WOW! You sure did get a lot of advice! I didn't have a chance to read all the responses but thought of one idea I saw on Supernanny. Since your son is 6, it actually may work. Let him go to the store with you and look through the produce section. Let him pick out some new foods he would be willing to try. See if you can find pictures of these foods - maybe old magazines. Let him cut out the pictures and glue them on a plastic placemat. As he tries one, he can tear off the picture or put an x over it until he has tried all of them. Then start over. I've also heard if you can find one of the many cookbooks geared towards children and allow him to help pick out some recipes to try as well as help to prepare them with you, he may be more willing to try new things. Not all foods will add weight, but it might be a step in a new direction of getting him to try new foods.
Also, at our house we just have a rule - when there is a new food, my son must take one bite. He doesn't have to finish it but he does have to try it. Then I will try the foods again because I have heard many places that it can take as many as 10 -12 tries of a new food to really develop a taste for it. Good Luck - sounds like he is off to a good try. Don't beat yourself up over this - you're asking for advice and willing to make a change. Those are great steps!

1 mom found this helpful

Rice & Beans or Rice with butter, bread with butter, cheese, celery with peanut butter, If he likes catsup or ranch dressing or some other dipping item then you can tell him to dip his greenbeans in them (that's how I get my oldest to eat a lot of things). If he likes gravy or you think it might help the taste of rice or anything - buy jars of gravy to keep in the pantry. My boys like to mix things to hide the taste. They will eat what we eat, but they may put something on top (like I just mentioned) to make it taste better. In addition - you can add carnation instant breakfast to his milk in the morning and evening to increase the calories. My kids love the chocolate one.

Good luck!
Sam

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.- I have gone through the same thing with my son. I started giving him B-complex (syrup) you can usually get this on-line or at a pharmacy that sells homeopathic medicines. In addition to giving him this every morning, I give him his multivitamins every afternoon as well. It has done wonders for him...he actually wants to eat and tries more foods. The b-complex is for his nervous system and opens up his appetite. I also bought the carnation instant breakfast and put it in his milk (whole milk since he is so thin) in the mornings and before he goes to bed at night. He has gained 13 pounds since March and is actually growing out of his clothes (which I am happy about). Try it out and good luck.
Jay

1 mom found this helpful

One idea is high quality yogurt and yogurt recipes (they're all over the net). Full fat yogurt is a healthy fat (as is all dairy), while being kid friendly, and it should also be very gentle for his reflux. An added bonus, if you get one with added probiotics (my daughter likes the vanilla Activia) you can boost his immune system and his bowels will be healthier. You can explore flavors until he finds his favorite (mine like blueberry), or you can come up with a combo at home. My 9 yr old likes Greek style yogurt with blended fresh blueberries mixed in and topped with almond slivers. It is sweet, blue, and crunchy when he hits an almond. And what he doesn't know - it's totally healthy! FYI: Avoid Trix and Go-gurts - I'd stick with "real" yogurt without the additives and fake colors. My daughter is also small and a picky eater. She was treated for reflux for a while and still has gagging issues. It is not uncommon for us to have 90 minute meals with her at the table trying to finish dinner. So I understand the frustration. My top advice would be to always go for wholesome ingredients. For example, if he doesn't like almonds, as I mentioned above, but wants a crunchy snack, give him granola. Also, if you need him to eat something and he won't - puree it and get creative. My kids eat much better than they think they do. :) My husband too... ;)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.

Have you heard of the receipe book "Deceptively Delicious" it's written by Jessica Seinfeld. (yes Jerry Seinfeld's wife) she has some great receipes where you hide the fruit and vegtables in the food. They will never know it's even in there. The food is really good, my kids like some of the receipes I made.

Good Luck
C. :)

Starches will help with the wait gain - if you are trying to stay healthy try unrefined rices (brown, yellow), Potatoes (try to include the skin - it contains alot of the nutrients), whole grain pastas and use a healthy red tomato sauce to get in the veggies (warning red sauce is acidic so if the meds haven't kicked in yet that should wait - if you can't do red, olive oil is a healthier choice than butter or white sauces), corn is starchy vegetable - we often mix corn in with our mashed potatoes and the kids love it. Cereals are a great option b/c they are reinforced with the vitamins and minerals and are a big carb! Raisin Bran and Cheerios are good choices. Hope this helped some.

Dear C.,

I am a mother of two picky eaters also!!! You've got a lot of great responses already, so I just wanted to add really quickly:

-Definitely try Boost, Ensure, Or Carnation;

-Fats, fats, fats! Full-fat milk, cream, chicken with crispy skin on it (YUM!), Hamburger or steak, mashed potatoes with butter & cream, Ceasar salad, or any salad with full-fat dressing on it. Olive oil/Balsamic combination is healthy and delicious!!!

-Try to involve your son in grocery shopping and cooking with you. I don't know what it is, but when my kids cook the dinner, they eat great!!!

Good luck and don't worry!
You are doing a great job!!!

M. :-)

Animal fats and butter fats. Don't skimp on fat at this age. Whole fat dairy products. Nut butters. Try to book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Great kid recipes with a trick...you puree veggies and add them to everything. So homemade mac n cheese would have pureed carrot, cauliflower, butternut squash or sweet potato in it. Sounds like a normal kid to me. Most are picky eaters.

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