Kid Friendly Recipes for Underweight Cildren.

Updated on July 18, 2008
S.Z. asks from Molino, FL
12 answers

I have a 6 year old son that is underweight. He is also ADHD and taking medication that makes him lose his appatite. He is a very picky eater when he does eat. I had been maintaining his weight by using pediasure with every meal. This gets very expensive but worth it if it will keep him healthy. Recently, he came down with that nast flu bug that has been going around and lost weight. He keeps relapsing with the flu. My doctor and I both feel it is because he is not eating well. I have searched the web for recipes for underweight children with very little success. Does anyone have any recipes or helps in this situation?

S.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for responding. There were alot of interesting ideas that have never occured to me. Wow Rose C.! You almost described my son to a T! He is number 4 by the way. His older sisters are actually much older. They are 22, 19, & 17. The last 2 are the product of my second marriage (the youngest being 1 yr), that is why there is such an age difference lol. You would think with 5 kids I would know it all! Unfortunately this is the only child that I have had this type of experience with. I don't actually like having him on a stimulant drug and he never gets it on the weekends or during vacations. I am used to dealing with him being hyper and prefer to deal with it when he is home with me. This gives him some time where he eats a little better. He is on a strict routine at home (he likes routine and gets upset with change). He is on a very low dose, he only takes 5mg slow release tablets when he has school. I refuse to put him on a higher dose due to his weight although his teacher has requested it. His pediatrician is great only writes his scripts every 30 days with no refills. This makes it necessary for me to go in once a month to have his weight monitored. She has also recently requested he be tested of OCD. She says he is showing traits and it often goes hand in hand with ADHD. The good thing about this is, if it shows positive for OCD, it is possible that a nonstimulate drug can be used instead. Of course this is not deffinate, we would just have to try it and see if it has a similar effect. In the meantime, I will try some of your suggestions and see if we can fatten him up a bit. Thank you all again for all the advice, I will let you know how things turn out.

S.

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S.V.

answers from Tampa on

S. -

Have you ever read any of the advice from Dr. John Gray? He is the author of the "Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus" books but he also speaks a lot about ADHD and non medical ways to treat it. He believes a lot in Brain Chemistry and nutrition. If you google ADHD and Dr. John Gray you will find a lot of his information. I found his line of shakes to work really well. Try: http://powerup.isagenix.com/us/en/nutrition_marsprog.dhtml and get it wholesale.
-S.

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R.C.

answers from Panama City on

Dear S. Z,
Sounds like fun around your house. You didn't mention where your son is in birth order. This might be a clue to using a schedule to help with the eating habits. Attention is a big deal for kids with ADHD. Schedule more things for him than he can to do in 10 minute increments. Why, you have an extra in case he finishes or doesn't want that activity. Then you will not have to stop to get him back on track. You can just say {get the blue thing next). It will both calm him down and focus him to where you are managing his day for him. This creates routine. Then introduce snacks at a 60 minute break(later when he is eating better, stretch out snack time so he is eating 1/2 meal at meal time, etc.).
Now his energy does burn up all his nutrition before he resupplys which causes him to lose weight. Picky means he would rather have finger food. He is a boy so he would rather have the same thing he likes rather than try something new. Boys are big on texture. So, if we can make shapes out of tender chicken, lean beef and lean tender pork, it might help (meats are prepared in brown in bag to get own stock and max tenderness). I use my blender to add egg whites and sometimes whole egg to chicken and beef stock by the cup. I toast whole grain bread till crunchy. Add to a cup of stock to make a mixture. I make shapes with the cookie cutter for meat nuggets. I use olive oil to fry til a little crispy. A different shape every hour. I use baked sweet potato like thin cookie with ground up walnut(for the omega3 fat) on top and a crumbled ginger snap crust. Make mirangue with little color(sometimes from pinch of jello) and barely sweet with cool whip to top jello. That's a little more protein. Let him dip 6 soy beans into a cap(something small & interesting that does seem like he is eating) full of his favorite dipping sauce. Make your own trail mix out of your favorite junk foods, only use soy cheese, chopped nuts, like macadamen and soy that are lightly glazed with karo syrup/sea salt. Use more gator aide. Make pudding cups with your pedisure. Mac & (veggie) cheese. Make your own stock from meats and add beaten eggs while stirring to make spaghetti or noodle soup. I also add well beaten egg white to hot chocolate while stirring.Then let cool & serve. Leucine is the enzyme(in soy bean, eggs, beef, chicken, pork) that causes you to keep muscle when losing weight. A continous adding small amounts to your daily snacks and meals is better than trying to get it all in one or two meals. Helping to make a favorite food helps him be more willing to eat what he made as well as what his siblings made. 10 min.activities; gym stuff, plastic bottle bowling, paint, puzzles, matching. Go from high energy, medium energy, low energy, snacking. Always calm activity just before eating. Then medium, high, interactive, medium, low, eat something. Make a routine. Stick with routine on same day of week. If something new is going to happen, tell him about it ahead of time. Keep his routine so he can expect what is going to happen. Prepare him for the smallest change and especially for the largest changes. Other kids might want to change but he is not willing to change as often. He really does want to work independently so the more things he can accomplish by himself the more relaxed he will be. When he works with his siblings he will probably like to do the same thing they are doing but independently. He will probably not like much competition. Nor will he care a lot for taking turns. He prefers everybody have their own stuff to work with and play with even if they are doing it at the same time. Calmness will help the appetite. Eating games may be fun if they are like; 1,2,3, eat, then say ahum! again, 1,2,3,eat. Then say 'ahum' for sound affects. Everybody gets to help put away their stuff. Then play or nap. This is a version of taking turns but independently. Keep the same order of putting stuff in sink or in trash, etc. All activities need to be routine and expected, to include family tv, bedtime, getting dressed in morning. Reward charts are big(it simply says you complete something or you did good). It is visual progress and praise. It is his version of being on a team. He will be calm because he can expect where he fits in to the family and there is order. Losing weight for him is the stress side affect. Others overeat and gain weight. Use story reading, and music on the same night of the week to put him to bed. When you have to be away or work or ill, his world will not go sideways because you are doing something different than he expects and he is dependent on you for getting to bed. Let each child read even if the youngest can't repeat words.( this is imagination at work) but everybody is valued and has a place and a turn. Let each child pick the bedtime music the same(again imagination/turn). Then you get the break and your son gets the rountine. God bless. You all will do fine and have great fun.

2 moms found this helpful
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N.O.

answers from Tampa on

My mother used to give my sister Periactin, a Rx to increase the appetite in chemotherapy patient. I know that sounds bad but it worked. You may want to ask your Dr. about it.

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D.A.

answers from Tampa on

yes i have a 7 yr old adhd girl named autumn who is also very skinny but she fine other than that . she dosnyt eat a whole complete dinner or what she wants also. but she eats only in spurts. i havent tried thepedasure so i dont know how she like it. but dont feel alone . i cant help you with fattening foods but i just wanted to let you know about that keep in touch D. mom of 3 girls in tampa fl

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D.

answers from Tampa on

Dear S.,

Please do a thorough search on the medicatin. A common side effect is wieght loss. But, has your doctor told you that these are class II narcotics that are highly addictive. England has made these class of drugs illegal for anyone under the age of 18.

Suggestions; 1. find a doctor who will ween your son off of the drugs. 2. Get a nutritional check done on your son. 3. Get him on daily vitamins because it is proven that drugs burn vitamins therefore the need for supplements are increased greatly. 4. Get on ahigh protein diet with veggies and fruits. Even if he snacks healthy this will help. 5. Research, research, research. 6. There are great protein powder shakes that taste really good. One company is Jay Robb and he has them made from milk or eggs. 7. Read the FDA warnings about these drugs. They are on the FDA website and are known as "black box warnings".

Good luck.

D.

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K.B.

answers from Sarasota on

bOOSTING HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM WILL HELP...HE WILL STAY HEALTHIER AND THEREFOR NOT LOST THE EXTRA WEIGHT DUE TO ILLNESS. Flaxseed or fish oil liquid will work.

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N.S.

answers from Sarasota on

I agree with PP. I also have ADHD and when I was taking medication for it, I lost alot of weight. It suppressed my appetite so much that I never wanted to eat.

Another suggestion... Discovery Toys has a great cookbook called "KINDER KRUNCHIES TOO! Kid-Pleasing Cookbook" (go to www.discoverytoyslink.com/N. and run a search for "2036")It is a step-by-step book that gets your kids involved in making very simple meals that are fun to make and healthy to eat. My niece is a very picky eater as well but when she makes something herself, she just gobbles it down and she absolutely loves the recipes in this book.

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C.C.

answers from Tampa on

Hi S.,
My daughter was quite a picky eater as a toddler and always VERY thin...as an infant I had to take her in on a regular basis for weight checks. Once she was a year or so I started giving her meal shakes (like pediasure) because I was so worried that she wasn't getting enough. After a couple years of her not eating much my husband pointed out that not only is her nutritional needs being met, but so is her appetitite. I realized she was never going to try real foods when she was filling up on meal shakes. You may want to try and cutting back on the pediasure (if it's OK'd by his Dr.) My daughter's appetite increased as I decreased the meal shakes. I also try to include her in cooking which gives her incentive to try new things. I also like to sneak in healthy ingredients into the food she likes a lot. I add wheat germ to her PB&J and oatmeal. In my spaghetti sauce I chop up veggies like zuchinni and squash super fine so she (and my husband) don't know it's in there and they love it! Hope this helps.
C.

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L.G.

answers from Tallahassee on

I understand your situation. It is hard to get anyone to eat if their appetite is low. I know a way to get the nutriton in him with fruits and veggies that have been juiced and reduced to a powder form in either chewables or capsules. The capsules can even be pulled apart and put in a little juice or anything to get the nutrition in him. We do have a special program if you qualify for free product for children 6-15 years of age. This is the best I have seen to get good nytrition in a natural form. I am a nurse and have had all my kids and grandkids on this for 8 years. The best scientific research I have ever seen.
L. G.
[email protected]____.com

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M.D.

answers from Tampa on

Please,please,please...get him off the meds now. I am not a docter, but a Mom who has other other mom friends that did the same thing to their child for ADHD. My son was on meds, and they did the same thing to him. Hon, trust me, they grow out of it, without the meds.
In fact they are better without it, pharma's are making the docters shove them down little kids throats, in return, the school and the teachers can't handle them, so they automatically want to put the child on meds.

I do not believe in any child having meds. I was never on them, and I know I had ADHD...it's really horrible to see your child not eat and go through sypmtoms you have never seen before. Yes, you might think there helping, but in reality, the childs mind is still growing, and these so called meds are messing with the brain waves instead of them. NO NO NO...

I stopped giving them to him, and he is back to himself.
Believe me, all of these drugs are to profit for the govt. and because teachers can't and won't handle these specially gifted children. I say, let them grow without medication!

You will see how his eating habits change. My boy was dehydrated on the meds. and wasn't eating. No sooner did I stop them, he starting eating like he should. Now he of normal weight, and you just have to have patience with children of special needs, that's all there is to it.

If this has helped fine, you don't have to take my advice, look it up yourself, and you will find that I am right about this subject. I know, I lived it...and it was horrible what the docs and teachers did to my son. I now homeschool him!

Please forgive me if my response is different than others, but I know what I'm saying. My son also has Asperger's and OCD, & ODD. He does'nt need the meds, my boy is highly functionly, highly intelligent. When he was on the meds, they messed with his brain waves. Dang, he is smarter than me.

Good luck with your child...Many blessings in making the right choice for you & your son.

This is only my opinion sweetie.
Have a nice weekend,
M. D.

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T.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hey S.,
I don't really have an recipies, but I have a 35lb five year old and find that adding cheese to almost everything really helps.I also keep pudding on hand and serve apple sause with every meal as he is also a picky eater, most times he'll eat whats on his plate and wash each fork full down with the sause.
Good luck.

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C.P.

answers from Gainesville on

My favorite website for recipes is www.allrecipies.com. You can search their 40,000+ recipes by ingredient. So if your boy likes ham and potatoes, you can narrow things down by using the search engine. Hope this helps :)

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