Granddaughter Not Gaining Weight

Updated on May 13, 2010
L.C. asks from Whiteland, IN
12 answers

My 14 month granddaughter is over the curve in her height but just can't gain any weight. She eats healthy all the time, drinks two bottles of whole milk and 8 oz. of pediasure a day. does anyone have any suggestions on how to put weight on a child.

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answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter has ALWAYS been in the 95% and up for height and below 50% in weight... when they do whatever when they average for BMI or whatever my daughter is super low. We did do a test when she was 8 months but I hated see her go through it and decided as long as she is eating healthy and hitting the milestones that I was not going to worry about. I keep an eye in it but if she is actaully gain a few pounds here and there over the year then I know she is getting what is needed.

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answers from Cleveland on

My son was an early walker and very active. He was always above the curve in height and under in weight. The pediatrician said she doesn't worry until they fall below the 5th percentile.

If the doctor isn't worried and your granddaughter is eating healthily, I would say leave well enough alone. I was trying to get my son to eat more and then I thought, ok, he's a little skinny now but healthy and he loves fruit and vegetables. I would rather have him develop healthy eating habits and listen to his body and eat when HE is hungry than try to stuff him all the time and end up overweight when he gets older and stops running around all the time!

Check with the doctor about how much milk she should be getting. You need to make sure she's getting enough, but children at that age tend to have the problem of filling up too much on milk and not eating enough variety of other foods. It sounds to me like she's getting the right amount though with the Pediasure included.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You can buy this stuff called "Ensure" can find it by the "boost" or "slim fast" but its supose tohelp you gain weight and my phamacist said its ok to give to babies



answers from Sherman on

She's probably not gaining weight because she is more mobile. As long as she's hitting her milestones and eating normally then I wouldn't worry too much about it



answers from Cincinnati on

My pediatrician is worried about my daughter too. she is 17 months now. At her 15 month check up she was ahead on the height but she only gain a half pound since her 12 months. That put her in the 21% for weight (scary thought for a mom) The doctor was telling me that it is probably due to her being more mobile and walking, but he did say that we need to keep that in check and try to get more weight on her. He suggested high fatty foods(cottage cheese, yogurts...and the doc EVEN suggested Ice Cream...too bad she hates all the above) What I have done is I make sure she eats good at meals(dont give her anything to eat or drink about an hour before meals) an in between meals I give her a snack cup with goldfish, crackers etc...that way she is pretty much eating all day.
Good luck. I am waiting for my next doc appt to see if we need to put her on supplimental mix for extra calories.



answers from San Antonio on

My suggestion is don't! My kids are off the charts tall and off the charts underweight. They are perfectly healthy, thriving and strong. They do not need to be on the charts, their bodies are smart and they will grow in accord with their personal genetic code.

Fattening a child up now will lead to terrible eating habits as an adult, higher body fat and a slew of health problems. My mom, btw, is a clinical dietitian and she's the one who has explained this to me. I've also studied nutrition in college, but not as much as her (She has two master's degrees in the subject). I am certain that unless a child has developmental issues due to malnutrition, it is unwise to fatten them up.

We only develop new fat cells as children. They tend to expand and store more fat as adults. There are hormonal issues at play here, too complex for this post, that drive people to eat more if they have more fat cells. That's not even mentioning the fact that when you fatten a child up you destroy the natural mechanism that tells a kid to stop eating when their bodies have had enough nourishment.

Your granddaughter's body is a lot smarter than any conscious thought about what she "should" look like. Trust it.

If, however, she is not thriving developmentally then talk to a pediactric nutritionist.

All the best



answers from Indianapolis on

Chocolate? I take it that she is very active? If she is, then more food intake......maybe some snacks like teething cookies or something. I wouldn't give her anything super unhealthy, but try to get her to snack more on things....and maybe eat soon to going to bed........they say if you eat right before you go to bed, you gain weight........

I doubt this will be her problem always, so just be glad you don't have to cut her food down!
Take care.



answers from Dallas on

I have gone through this with both of my children. With my son we went through all sorts of testing. The day they threatened to catheter him because he wasn't peeing fast enough for the tech, I refused any more tests. He fell off the chart and was officially labeled "failure to thrive". He was at the 95th percentile for weight at birth and by 10 months he was at the 4th percentile. It was really hard to hear as a mom. My husband thought it was hog wash all along and attributed a lot of it our childern being early walkers and how active they are. My daughter is also not gaining. With my daughter the pedi has said that now it's a proven pattern and that although it needs to be watched, we aren't overly concerned. Like Mamma H said I was concerned about starting bad habits with my kids. So we were careful. Some things that we do is a morning snack an afternoon snack and a before bedtime snack. My kids would rather eat fruits and veggies, so we try to push the protein. We cube up deli meats, turkey is their fave. Avocados have good healthy fats, so we eat a lot of those. It was suggested to put real butter on all their veggies (I was assured kids process fats differently) so we do that occasionally. I worry about them getting used to buttery veggies, so we don't do it every time and we mix up which veggies get butter. Pasta with little olive oil, tomatoes and cheese. Dried fruits. My son is older and he snacks on a lot of nuts. Sweet potatoes are higher in calories than many kids will eat them mashed, roasted or fried. Eggs are high in fat and protein. Cheese is a popular snack for us too. We also add cream cheese to a lot of things (sometimes smearing it on lunch meat and rolling it up, they love it). We don't do dessert every night, but when we do we usually add whipped cream where we can. They both still drink whole milk....even my 4yo. We have fruit washed and on hand all the time. If they are still hungry after a meal or snack they can have fruit. Gl! HTH!



answers from Tampa on

My grandmother always wanted me to gain weight and worried about it constantly. Both my mother and her sister are over weight and always were. It was so hard for my granny to see me so skinny but it wasn't because I was deprived.

I was naturally skinny but that was natural for me. I was teased about it in grade school but it's a lot better than being overweight.

It was especially nice to be naturally skinny because once my metabolism slowed down in my early 30s, I was still a whole lot smaller than my peers :)



answers from Indianapolis on

Is she still nursing? That is a HUGE help for most toddlers. Breastfed toddlers rare have weight gain issues. Maybe she's filling up on milk and Pediasure. Both have nutrients that are good, but 24 ounces of liquid is a lot, especially if they are given at mealtime and taking space from important foods. And really, if she eats a balanced diet, she doesn't need Pediasure at all. Is she on the growth chart? Unless she's below the curve, there isn't much to worry about. My son usually shot up in height then filled out in weight - back and forth.
High-calorie foods with "good" fats are important for toddlers.
Sweet potatoes (baked in the skin then peeled and mashed)
Dark-colored berries like blackberries, blue berries, and strawberries
Whole-milk yogurt and cheese

Cut out the crappy stuff like white bread and pasta, there's little nutritive value and they take up space. Everything should be whole grains. She's probably safe to have peanut butter in small amounts. Almond butter is better for her.

Ask the pediatrician, I'm sure we were told no more than 16oz of milk a day.



answers from Sarasota on

I second the PP. My children are both tall and thin for their ages. They eat as much as they want of healthy, organic food--a good balance of fat, protein and carbs.

It is SO good for them to learn to eat to appetite (listen to their bodies) rather than to force down food or stuff themselves. And my pediatrician even said he'd rather see them below the curve BECAUSE of what the PP said--they form their fat cells now. Whatever they "build" now, they have to cope with as adults.

Also, and this is VERY important, if your granddaughter was breastfed for a significant amount of time, she will put on weight differently. The World Healthy Organization (WHO) released new growth charts for breastfed babies a couple of years ago--a lot of doctors don't even know this. Google it and see if your granddaughter is more "normal" on that chart, if it applies.

Otherwise, if she's happy, playful and hitting her milestones, I'd just let her listen to her body!



answers from Fort Wayne on

I had a really similar problem with my oldest and it's developing in my youngest. Our pediatrician told us to give my oldest only milk to drink and maybe water once a day, but mainly milk. She should be drinking AT LEAST 24 ozs of milk a day. The Pediasure is good too. Also get the original animal crackers. They are made by Nabisco and are high in calories but don't have ton of sugar like cookies do. Stick with foods that are high in good fats. Things like fast food, cookies, mac & cheese are loaded with fat, but they're really just empty calories. She won't get much nutritional value from them. Avocados were another thing they recommended for us. And we were told to put butter in EVERYTHING. That got to be a little much, but we did do a piece of bread and butter or toast and butter and every meal. My oldest is 3 and it took her until she was 2 to catch up to her age group. Now she's still below the average for weight, but it's not a big deal.
The main thing is, is your granddaughter healthy? Is she active? Meeting all of her milestones? if so, then there's probably no need to worry. Is her mother small? Father? It's very possible that she's just going to be tall and skinny. For some reason so many doctors are focused on the chart. They never even look at how mom and dad are built. I'm short and I used to be skinny. My husband is tall and skinny. Chances are we're not going to have fat kids. It's genetic!

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