One Year Old Not Gaining Weight

Updated on June 17, 2010
E.C. asks from Leesburg, FL
40 answers

Hi Moms – My daughter was just at the Dr for her 1 year visit and she only gained 6 oz since her 9 month visit. She has always been in the 25th% for weight and the 75th for height. This visit she dropped to the 5th % for weight but still grew 2 inches moving her to the 80th % for height. She is very active and has been walking since she was 9 months. The Dr wants me to give her Carnation instant breakfast in her milk; this will add 260 calories a day. In addition he wants me to put butter and cheese on her food. I was also given a handout that suggested giving her desert and french fries. My concern is that I have always fed her very healthy, almost all organic and lots of fruits and veggies for snacks instead of junk. I’m afraid that she will acquire a sweet tooth and start wanting buttery veggies as she gets older. We generally eat very healthy in my house and I feel like I’m setting her up for weight problems when she gets older. I was very happy that she enjoyed the taste of food and we didn’t need to add fats or other seasonings to get her to eat. My daughters Dr said that once we get her to gain weight then we can work on the healthy eating…that seems counterproductive to me. Does anyone have healthy weight gaining suggestions for me?

Just want to add a few facts that may help…
She just started whole milk the day I had her to the Dr for her 1 year visit.
We are not vegetarians, but my daughter does not seem to like meat very much. I feed her lots of beans and chunks of cheese for protein and I also give her whole wheat breads and pasta.

Average daily diet:

Breakfast: fruit and pancake or waffle and 6 oz milk
Morning snack: fruit and toast with a little cream cheese and 4 oz milk
Lunch: 4 oz milk
Cheese, meat or beans
Vegetable or avocado
Pasta or potato
Afternoon snack: 4 oz yogurt and 4 oz apple juice
Dinner: 4 oz milk
Cheese, meat or beans
Vegetable or avocado
Pasta or potato

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So What Happened?

Hi Moms - I had so many responses to my request that i decided to let everyone know what happened. I just had my daughters 15 month visit yesterday and she gained 1 lb 10 oz and grew another 1 3/4 inches. According to her Dr a child her age should gain 6-8 pounds a year. So she was on target. I followed my gut and still fed her very healthy. Instead of giving her Carnation Instant Breakfast I added 3 scoops of Enfamil Next Step to 16oz of milk every day. So that's giving her about an extra 700 calories a week. Thanks for all the help ladies. I needed to hear that my instincts were correct.

Featured Answers

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T.B.

answers from Boca Raton on

My daughter is the same way. She is tall and thin and very active. She was also walking at 9 months. The doctor wanted me to change her diet too, but I knew I was feeding her plenty and she was eating very healthy. So I decided not to change anything. She is now a thriving almost 6 year old and weighs 40 pounds, but is 46.5 inches tall and super active. She eats a lot, but she never stops moving. She just happens to be a thin person with a high metabolism. Shouldn't we all be so lucky.

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K.Z.

answers from Gainesville on

If it were my daughter, I would not start her on fried foods and Ovaltine. My philosophy on eating for myself and my family is everything in moderation. We eat very healthy food almost all the time. So if I want something that is not so good for me, like ice cream, I eat it guilt-free because I only have it once a month or so. My criteria is that my food has to have nutritional value, but I never count calories or limit my fat intake. I choose foods that are full of whole grains and vitamins, and I always include some fat so I feel full and satisfied by my meals.

Keep in mind that children's fat needs are different from adults. Fat is an essential part of their diet for proper brain development, which is why you are supposed to give them whole milk. She should have the whole-fat version of all dairy products, and she should have nuts if she's not allergic and avocado (which I see she already eats). I would increase her intake of these foods rather than add processed or fried foods. They are both calorie and nutrition-dense foods.

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A.S.

answers from Miami on

My son is not an eater. Every other day or so I make him a smoothy which is pretty calorie packed and he'll drink the whole thing. You could try that as a middle ground.

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S.M.

answers from Miami on

Hi, E.. I deeply understand your concern about not destroying the good work you've done in starting your daughter out with healthy tastes in food. Some of what the Dr. said doesn't make much sense, like suddenly dumping a lot of fatty and sugary stuff on her, but she probably needs a little more fat in her diet.

Fats are necessary for nerve growth and function. What you can do is add more cheese and avocado (avocadoes have lots of vegetable oil), also more nuts such as walnuts and almonds. A little butter on her potatoes and veggies isn't going to hurt her, either. You can melt grated cheese on top instead if you're not comfortable with more butter.

Pasta goes great with grated, melted cheese on top, and it's not junky food. A little sour cream won't hurt her, either; sour cream and bananas used to be a favorite treat of mine when I was little. It goes well on potatoes, too.

Cream cheese is another source of fat that you can use sparingly to add calories and fat to her diet. The whole milk that you've recently added is also a good source of extra calories and fat; you'd be suprised how many calories are in each glass.

A sweet treat once per day should be OK. Carnation Instant Breakfast a couple times each week should be OK, but I would also object to giving it to her every day for breakfast. It's got a lot of sugar, but it's also got vitamins. Once in a while, it won't hurt her, but not a huge amount of it.

As far as meats are concerned, see if you can get her to like meatloaf. You can make it with onions and veggies mixed in, and she might like it as a mixture even though she's not crazy about meat as a chunk. Spices and extra flavors such as tomato sauce or ketchup might be the key to liking meat. Try experimenting with stuff.

Anyway, it sounds like you have a good handle on the nutrition knowledge, so be creative.

I absolutely agree that you need to keep her away from fried food.

I hope that everything works out OK, and that your daughter is perfectly healthy in spite of what seems to be a setback. She could just be in between growth spurts, since she gained inches but not pounds. My son did that a few times, too, after a one-year battle with on and off ear infections. Check to make sure that she isn't fighting off some kind of infection.

Peace,
Syl

1 mom found this helpful
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G.A.

answers from Melbourne on

I probably wouldn't go overboard with sweets and french fries. But I don't see the harm in adding ovaltine or carnation to her milk. Also just probably feed her some of the higher calorie higher protein foods (not ones usually associated with childhood cravings/comfort food so she will be able to easily give it back up). But I would ensure to address the Doctor's concern about her weight. There could be an underlying cause of her lack of weight gain and he is probably wanting to rule out a medical reason for her lack of gain.

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R.A.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi E., you didn't mention if you're still breastfeeding too. My daughter has been vegan since conception. She was 6 pounds 7 ounces at birth. When I took her to the pediatrician at nearly 2 weeks I was told she's gained too much weight b/c I was nursing on demand. I thought that was ridiculous. Anyway, that was the last time she was at the pediatrician. She's now nearly 7, healthy as can be and never gets sick. She's got a very strong immune system and I know her better than anyone. If she seems run down I keep her away from breads and other processed foods (that we mostly steer away from anyway) and load her up with brown rice or another whole grain and a bunch of veg.
Drs have about 4 hours of nutritional training in medical school and it's usually an elective. I believe pediatricians have a minute amount more but it's minimal.

Do you know why the growth charts of today are so much different and children are meant to be larger? The cattle industry is pumping the animals with growth hormones. If you are consuming flesh or milk or eggs you are consuming growth hormones and all sorts of antibiotics, etc which run rampant through your body. This is also why girls are getting their periods earlier and the same with developing breasts.

Cow's milk, goats milk, etc are designed by nature to feed their offspring. They are not compatible with the human body as they are not human, we are not cows nor are we goats. Where do the cows get the protein??? Grass. Check out www.notmilk.com

Omega 3 and 6 can be found in flax or hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds are awesome. Fish has mercury and chemicals and ruins the oceans and causes great and un necessary suffering. As does animal flesh. It takes much more water to take care of a cow and make a steak or hamburger per pound than it does to grow grain or veggie so this is destroying the earth, we have to watch our carbon footprints. Not to mention health.

I think it's wonderful that you're introducing your daughter to fresh veg. Have you considered fresh oats for breakfast with some agave nectar (very sweet and better on the glycemic index) and some freshly ground flax seeds? Maybe slice up part of a banana on top too. Also consider some wonderful grains: quinoa is awesome and chock full of protein and a million other nutritious things. I take the left overs and put some rice milk in and some raisins and chopped almonds (maybe she's too young for that but you can) and heat it up. You can then top that with agave nectar too. I sometimes make the same porridge with leftover brown rice. Whole grains are much more nutritious than processed pastas.
Beans are great, you can make a stew and chuck in a whole bunch of different veggies.

You are obviously a very concerned and loving mama, this list should help guide you to make your child thrive. Watch your child, does she grow, does she seem healthy and happy? Only you know what really is best for her. If she is ill and I don't mean the sniffles that's when you seek help. The rest goes away, it always does. Emergency care is necessary but the rest, parents such as you really are on top of. Give yourself some credit you are a good mama.

In peace

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D.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hello there,

ask your doctor about pediasure, i had my daughter on it cause she wouldnt gain any weight, there are 3 different flavors. I know its expensive but see if you can get it in perscription form... her pediatrician gave me perscriptions and walgreens would pre order the milks for me, i would have a month supply. I had medicaid at the time and it covered it all.

If there are no other alternatives, seek a different doctor.

There should be doctors that go on here, post something with the subject "Pediatrician's Help Please" you might get more answers to your concern.

Hope this helps,

D. C

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C.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

Have you thought about pediasure in addition to her food and milk ?

C. s.

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D.M.

answers from Miami on

Hi E.,

Your daughter's diet sounds excellent and I might respectfully suggest that you find a pediatrician who better suits your health and dietary values. French fries and desert???? You may want to speak with Dr. Eric Rydland and see if you are more comfortable with him as I believe you will find him to be much more holistic and supportive of a natural and organic lifestyle. You can contact him at www.kidswellness.com and you may also be interested in his article entitled "Children's Diet For Health and Restoration" at this link: http://www.atlantisnatural.com/content/Childrens_Diet.htm

Trust your instincts, it sounds like they are right on target.

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J.S.

answers from Miami on

I would encourage you to keep up with avocado and whole grain pastas, maybe make some home-made nut butters also. For milk you might want to try whole organic goat's milk rather than regular cow's milk since it's much more compatible with human milk and better absorbed. Our bodies as babies are designed to thrive on mother's milk for the 1st couple of years, so a baby's diet should try to replicate the nutritional profile of mother's milk which includes healthy essential fatty acids, not unhealthy fried fats. Good fatty acid sources include fish oil, hemp seed, flax seed, chia seed, spirulina blue-green algae, and of course whole milk. Your doctor's suggestions sound ignorant and irresponsible so you may want to ask another physician's opinion.

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L.H.

answers from Miami on

my son fell off the weight chart at 9 months old and still at 2.5 is thin- but I totally agree that there's no need to give sweets and fries...
now, you could make banana bread (with WAY LESS sugar than the recipe calls for! look for a low-sugar recipe!) or bake oatmeal as a snack...
as for fries, you can make sweet potato fries in the oven- use olive oil- it's a good fat.
I would look into lots of olive oil in everything, yogurt w/ added flax seed oil, you can even buy avocado oil and cook with it!
cheese as a snack is great w/ some whole grain crackers...
hang in there and stick to being HEALTHY!

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J.L.

answers from Orlando on

My daughter was and still the same way and she is now 2 weighs less and grows taller. The doctor wanted me to give her an extra meal a day or also the Carnation at 1. That was not going to happen, she knew when she wanted to eat and didn't.
She also really still does not like meat so much along with a lot of other things.
My daughter is very very active, she runs not walks, so I know she is burning alot of calories and stuff.
Our doctor said if she is eating and drinking not to be to concerned that she her motbalizm should start slowing down.
It looks like the menu have, she is getting what she needs.

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M.H.

answers from Gainesville on

I would address the biggest health concern first. At this point, that seems to be her weight. While being skinny, in and of itself, is usually nothing to worry about, a big drop in percentile can be a cause for concern. A lot of times, the doctor is just looking to see if she "can" gain weight. Once she is on the high calorie diet, if she still does not gain weight, than that is a signal for him to look for a further cause of her being underweight. Because she is so young, I do not think you have to worry about setting her up for a lifetime of unhealthy eating. I would focus more on fats and stay away from sugary treats (she needs the fat at this age anyway, underweight or not). I think butter and cheese are fine....make sure she is drinking WHOLE milk, feed her avocado, coconut meat or milk, full-fat yogurt, peanut butter, or even a flax oil supplement (a "good" fat). IMO, I would stay away from Instant Breakfast and Pediasure. That stuff has a LOT of sugar. Fats are better for her (necessary even) than sugar, and will not lead to a sweet tooth.

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R.O.

answers from Daytona Beach on

I think the Carnation Instant Breakfast isn't a bad idea. It's got a ton of vitamins and minerals in it and it's easy to fix.

I agree with you that it seems crazy to feed her junk just to make her gain weight. I try to feed my boys lots of good foods myself.

Maybe try some pasta and bread in addition to the fruits and veggies. Use a multigrain pasta and bread. Butter and cheese aren't bad in moderation, especially if you use unsalted butter. Butter added to carrots, in fact, helps the body absorb the vitamins better. Always have her drink whole milk.

I hope you find the right balance for her. Trust your instincts. You're her mom. You know her best.

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E.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

I would go ahead and take the spirit of the doctor's advice and try to figure out how to get as many additional calories into her diet as possible. Here are some ideas:
- feed her the Greek yogurt made from whole milk & cream (most of the other yogurts are made from skim or lowfat milk)
- add protein powder to her milk, rather than Carnation instant breakfast
- go ahead and put butter or olive oil on her pasta/potato starch at lunch or dinner
- If you have any history of nut allergies in your family, skip this... Try adding any kind of nut butter to her diet (peanut butter, almond butter). Maybe smear it on toast, or make a peanut butter sauce for her pasta. Peanut butter sauce can be as simple as 1 TBSP peanut butter + a little oil + dried basil, put it in the microwave on low power until it is liquid enough to pour and drizzle it over pasta or even popcorn.

FWIW I agree with the doctor that if your household eats healthy, and without butter, then it shouldn't be a problem to transition her from the high calorie, early childhood growth, butter & cheese diet into a more healthy and sustainable long-term diet.

Good luck.

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A.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi E.! Wow...I feel like I just read my own experience! My daughter was just like yours. In fact, she still is! She was once in the 25th percentile ( through about 6 months)..and then she dropped down to no percentile! It wasn't an immediate drop...but that is just the way that she is growing. My pediatrician would have me bring her in monthly, to get her weight..and we saw that she was following a growth curve..just not as large as other children. The great thing is that your daughter is still growing taller...so as long as she is growing in one direction, you are in good shape. My daughter spent her entire first year fluctuating from 3rd percentile, to off the chart. At 2 1/2 she is only 25 lbs! She is a pipsqueak, for sure, but a super healthy kid. Our diet is similar to yours...very healthy..we are vegetarians..but I make sure that we all get ample protein. My daughter's first bite of sugar was on her first birthday cake..and she totally wasn't into it! Look at our country. We are surrounded by obese kids, and look at our markets...little debbie snack cakes, cheese puffs..sugar, food coloring..so many unhealthy things that are considered "the norm" for lots of families. I think that a family that eats healthy is GOING to have a smaller child...it just makes sense. My dr. also told me to spread butter on everything, and give her some ice cream, etc. I did add butter..and felt terrible about it. The ice cream..that is just not something I want in her lifestyle..so I vetoed that suggestion. I did cave in when the dr put her on pediasure. It is the highest caloric drink you can give a child. I was so sad to start it..b/c it definitely has sugar..but it is one thing I continue to give her every day. 2 bottles of it have 14 grams of protein, and lots of added vitamins. You know, other than that, I am not changing a thing. I was so caught up in the whole " oh, my baby is small..ahhh" deal...but she is healthy, her body is in proportion, and she has smaller parents. My advice is for you to relax. If you know her diet is balanced, then I agree with you...there is no need to get them used to unhealthy eating habits. 30-60% of all cancers are caused by diet...I'd rather have a petite child who eats really healthy, than a bigger child who is dependent on sugar and artificial food products. I hope this helps!!!
A. :)

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A.G.

answers from Charleston on

I went through the same thing with my daughter when she was that age. She wasn't quite so small though. I was told to give her pediasure. It had a lot of sugar and she went from being a very energetic child to being insane. I knew that she ate well and had a nutritious diet. If I were you I would continue to feed her the same foods and add extra carbs and healthy fats like in dairy foods to help her to gain weight. Feeding her butter and french fries just to make her gain weight seems kind of silly. You could add another snack before bed if there is time between dinner and bed. Maybe cheese and crackers.

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F.W.

answers from Miami on

I am in the same boat as you. My son is 6 and is only 37 poounds. Boost has a new drink for kids. It gives them extra calories. The doctor has me giving it to my son after his meals. If you google kids boost, you can find a listing of what stores are carrying it. I found that you can get it in most Publix (not all) and it is cheaper than Wal-greens or Target. (so far those are the only companies carrying it). The Publix stores that carry it also have a $2.00 coupon for it. It is actually called Boost Kid Essentials. It has a Probiotic straw for immunity protection as well.

Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Gainesville on

You can try giving her Pediasure. There are about 250 calories per serving, and there are lots of different flavors to try. I started giving my daughter 1-2 of these per day and it has helped her to gain weight.

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M.R.

answers from Daytona Beach on

I feel so bad for you, I too have had the same horrible experince at my Drs appts with my daughter she is 4mos old. I think the best thing to do is not Totally listen to Drs they seem to have a problem with you if your baby is not a chunker. Try making homemade fries and ice cream that way you make sure she isn't getting the bad fats just the good one. I make homemade fries(in the oven)and I cut into strips soak in water for 10 mins dry thouroughly on a towel and take a garlic bulb segment,with the skins on (Yes do not peel) and saute for 2 mins in 2 tablespoons of olive oil then I coat the fries with oil and garlic and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes and sometimes I turn the broiler on if they are not crisp enough for like 1 min. There are healthy ways you can cook unhealthy foods its more time consuming than going thru the drive thru but its very tasty and I love them this way, it curbs my craving for fast food fries. Try introducing salmon it has a high fat content(good one though), if she doesn't like it and says it too fishy try the canned version and make salmon patty like you were making a hamburger with bread crumbs. Good luck to you and don't worry it sounds like your daughter is a healthy little girl. Let me know how things go because I am worried I might be following in your footsteps my daughter has been below 25% in her appts and was even 19% and her last check-up but she is in the 85% for height. Good luck!
M.

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B.K.

answers from Tallahassee on

Congrats on feeding your child so well.
Brazil nuts are a much better way to bulk up. French fries? Your doctor is ignorant, as most are, about nutrition. Does she eat eggs? Eggs are good sources of fat and protein. Also, my daughter didn't gain weight at your child's age. I think that is normal and your doctor is wrong. But I'm not a doctor... Maybe you could find something at your local health food store which would be a better alternative to Carnation. Please don't do the desserts and fries, because in my observation, when the kids get that as a chocice they stop liking the healthy stuff, and soon tehy'll become the anemic little kid that only eats white bread, fries, and chicken nuggets.

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J.M.

answers from San Juan on

Hi E.! Along with my pediatricians, I also lived by the book published by the Academy of Pediatrics, birth to age 5. They have just about every topic you need to know. I think you can even google them and get the info. on-line. I lived by that book for my firstborn who is now 6 and also used it for my daughter. Unfortunately, I left it at my Dad's house in NH and I'm lost! They have sample menus, advice on sweets, info on just about everything babies go through.

You're daily diet sounds wonderful. You're ambivilance to your dr.s suggestion of dessert and FF sounds dead on to me too. Some babies are just little peanuts and will grow to be a size 0-2 as adults, the kind of girls a lot of size 12-14 women like me are jealous about;)

I hope this helps!

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T.F.

answers from Miami on

Hi E.. I can relate to your frustration over your daughter's weight. My 3 1/2 yr old was born premature so she always was a bit underweight. Plus, I am Asian so we have small stature to begin with. Her slow weight gain concerned me more than the doctors. Your little ones diet is quite similar to both of my daughters' diet. First, take a deep breath and relax. =) As long as your daughter is functioning properly (physically, mentally, emotionally), try not to worry too much. Continue to feed her healthy food. However, a treat now and then is the right of our little ones and you'll love seeing the bright eyed expression of thanks. What else is childhood for? Ha! No, really, having a piece of toast with butter and jelly, a little butter and garlic on her broccoli, caramel to dip her apples in every now and then is fine. Caramel or peanut butter and apples are a better treat than some others out there. Also, I'm a big fan of ovaltine. The days my little ones don't eat well I give then a cup with their afternoon snack; that way it's a supplement to their snack and not a replacement. My oldest will be 4 in June and still only weighs 28 pounds. I'm not worried. She's very healthy. I hope this helps.

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A.N.

answers from Rocky Mount on

well i was told the samething about the milk and butter and it bumd me out but you got to do what you got to do.

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

Wow! I'm really surprised that the doctor wants you to give your daughter all of those unhealthy things when she has grown 2 inches since her last check-up and has recently become mobile. If I were you, I would definitely follow my gut and keep feeding her what you've been giving her. I have 3 children--3, 2, and almost 1--and they've all gone through periods where they didn't gain weight (sometimes as little as 1 pound in 6 months) and then they'll gain rapidly within a month or two.

Don't sacrifice your philosophy of healthy living for a doctor's opinion. There are other doctors out there!! When my middle child gained NO weight at all between 12 and 15 months (she started walking at 13), my child's doctor was not concerned at all because she had grown 2 inches just as your daughter did. I would seriously consider changing doctors if I were you.

Best of luck and stay healthy!!!!

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C.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi E.,
I actually have the opposite problem with my daughter who is 90% percentile for weight. I also feed her very healthy, lots of organic, little to no sugar or juice, etc. etc. I would suggest getting another opinion about other choices that can add weight to her. I agree that those choices don't seem very healthy. It seems there would be better alternatives out there to have the same effect. I realize we are not doctors, but sometimes I feel there is more information out there than what they have been exposed to. While I would respect your doctor, or any doctor for that matter, he might have alternatives if you express your concerns with him. Good luck!!

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C.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hello

What great news…your baby is growing, is very active, and eats healthy thanks to a smart mom. Your pediatrician on the other hand may not be as smart. Carnation Instant Drink is a PROCESSED food and processed foods are the culprit in the Standard American Diet or SAD diet. Our children are suffering from obesity, heart disease and diabetes. To suggest French fries and sugary desserts shows that this Dr. has no understanding of health and nutrition. Seek out an integrative Dr for your family and remember that moms are the true link to prevention

I am a Certified Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. Coach and Wellness Educator. Go to www.drsearslean.com for more info. I am also currently pursuing my certification in holistic nutrition. As a LEAN coach I teach parents how to raise healthy children through proper nutrition. Dr Sears is a renowned pediatrician and author, and has one of the most visited webs www.askdrsears.com for pediatric advice.

I don’t know your child’s full health history, but it appears that she is strong, healthy, alert and growing. Weight should not be an issue if your child is eating a nutrient rich diet that consists of as many whole and organic foods as possible. You are doing great, keep it up.

Here are some suggestions for nutrient rich meals/snacks.

I make fruit and veggie smoothies every morning using my vita mix machine. I’ll put greens (kale, spin, collards), and then a combo of what ever is fresh that week. (Zucchini, celery, parsley, apple, cantaloupe, banana, frozen berries) The vita mix blends the whole thing to a smooth drink while keeping the fiber and nutrients. You can add flax meal or avocado and some full fat plain organic yogurt. Dr Sears also suggests a multivitamin/mineral powder that is from non GMO soy. If you want to try this protein powder you can contact me.

Try goat’s milk and kefir but make sure all animal products are organic and grass-fed if possible. I buy Helios Nutrition Kefir found at Whole Foods and plain organic yogurt. Stick to full fat at this age but make sure it is plain. I buy raw, organic cheddar. I buy only organic grass fed meat and we eat small amounts.

Fat is extremely important at this age for proper brain development, but your child needs the right fat. Make sure you offer avocados, organic olive oil on salads and veggies, flax seed oil/meal. Use fish oil (Carlson’s brand) or eat wild Alaskan salmon a few times a week. Children do not get enough EFA’s (essential fatty acids)

Make sure you stay away from simple carbs. Instead serve Whole grain pastas, sprouted grain breads, seed grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat make great meals, and Steel cut oats make a good breakfast topped with yogurt and blueberries. Use buckwheat pancake mix or whole grain and you can add veggies to your pancakes. Stay away from the whites…flour, sugar, rice and anything processed.

If there are no nut allergies then raw, organic nut butters are super good. My daughter has a nut allergy so we use Sunbutter (from sunflower seeds) we love it!

Sweet potatoes are better than white, and lentils/ beans are packed with nutrition.

Hope this helps. I don’t know where you live, but I will be teaching the LEAN Start Course at Coral Springs Hospital and we are currently working on getting it started at Bethesda Memorial Hospital. I should also have a class starting soon at the YMCA in Boynton Beach. Contact me if you are interested.

Healthy blessings,
C. Soave M.S.Ed
Certified LEAN Coach
Wellness Educator
[email protected]____.com
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M.F.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi -

I think your instincts are right. make the calories count in nutritionally good foods as much as possible.

you did not mention if she is a good eater or not...you may want to feed her her liquids after her meal (offer a sip as needed during the meal) to ensure she is filling her belly with good stuff first.

some suggestions for food items: scrambled egg with full fat cheese, nut butters (if ok with nuts), smoothies with whey protien powder and greek yoghurt, pastini tossed with butter and peas, and fruit with home made whipcream for dessert.

good luck!

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D.W.

answers from Gainesville on

I'm with you. I would have a hard time handing my 1 year old french fries and sweets. Look for other healthy alternatives like someone suggested avacado. Also, instead of putting butter and cheese on her food offer cheese as a snack. Adding healthy and nutrition packed snacks will help.

Also, my son wasn't even on the growth charts till he was 2. Even though he was a preemie his docs weren't overly concerned as he was healthy and meeting all his milestones. I don't put a lot of stock in the charts. The charts are usually based on formula fed babies who often grow at a different rate/pace from breastfed babies. She also sits differently on the chart because she grew in height. My son is thin but muscular and I actually had a dietician try to tell me to put him on skim milk because of his weight! You can see this kids ribs! And he doesn't get a ton of fat in our diet so he needs the fat found in the low-fat milk.

You don't say if she has started whole milk yet. That may make a difference too. I would be ok with adding the carnation but I'd go with my gut and steer clear of the butter and fries.
There are tons of websites out there that will give you ideas for nutritionally dense foods and snacks for her.

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F.R.

answers from Miami on

Hi E.,

though you already got a ton of GREAT advise, I would really like to give my 2 cents. I think though, that it will be a bit in defense of the doctor.
Though his advise about fats, sugars and fried things was not necessarily great, I have to say that it is important for children under 5 to have on a little extra weight on. Now, don't get me wrong, not more then necessary, but enough so that God forbids, your baby gets ill, she has reserves to fall back on. I think you should definitely seek out a different opinion as to how to help her gain weight, but she definitely needs to put on a few pounds. Better safe then sorry. I've seen my cousin's child get really sick with bronchitis, and in a couple of days, he had lost 5 pounds...

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K.T.

answers from Orlando on

Christina has it right! Any doctor that suggests giving any age child fried foods and refined sugars has no clue about nutrition. My son is also a good eater, but lean. He always has been. Don't worry about the percentiles and where she falls... you can tell if your daughter is too thin or healthy. Childhood obesity is rampant... don't worry just keep doing what your doing.

Another food that I feed my son is Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) and mashed banana sandwiches on whole wheat bread... just another source of calories if you want ideas.

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J.A.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi E.,

I share in your frustration friend. My daughter just turned 5, still only weighs 35lbs and is 44" inches tall. From her one year check up on she has been underweight. I do have to share with you that while we eat healthy most of the time, I let her eat whatever she wants, and she chooses to eat healthy for the most part. (If the child would eat a box of twinkies I would throw a party, but she won't even eat one LOL).

I only allow my daughter two glasses of milk a day, one in the morning before school, and one right before bed, long after dinner. Both glasses have Ovaltine in them (plenty of nutrition and extra calories). Limiting the milk intake and keeping it away from meals helped increase her appetite through the day. Keep in mind your child burns lots of calories through the day, and she needs some sugars, fats, etc... to grow and develop. You aren't setting her up for a lifetime of weight problems, you are setting her up to eat a balanced diet. The child who rarely has cake or candy will over indulge later on. The child who has it on a fairly regular basis accenting a healthy diet is less likely to over indulge later. A happy meal with fries once a week will not develop bad habits later in life, but will help her developing body right now.

My daughter also tends to "forget" to eat at times. If she misses one meal she is likely to skip a few. When she gets into this cycle, I feed her chocolate. The sudden sugar surge then drop kick starts her appetite again.

I noticed you listed waffles as a breakfast food, in our house we put peanut butter on pancakes and waffles, the kids love it.
Good luck to you.

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M.H.

answers from Melbourne on

I agree with you. I think your Dr. is off base and his advice will cause problems down the road. Giving her yogurt is very good and I would add chewable tablets of probiotics (the friendly bacteria in yogurt). GNC has an excellent one.
God Bless and Good Luck, M.

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G.G.

answers from Orlando on

It sounds like your child went through a growth spurt. As long as she is hitting developmental milestones, you really should not be concerned. Personally, I think the Carnation Instant Breakfast is a very bad idea. Read the label. It's full of food dye, sugar, preservatives and basically stuff that is purely calories and nothing healthy to help your child grow. I just hate it when doctors who have no education in nutrition give this kind of poor advice.

A better way to get more calories is to feed your child one whole avocado a day along with high calorie fruits like bananas, pineapple and mango. Maybe also try giving some ground flax on everything instead of the butter which is just putting unhealthy saturated fat in her body. Studies show that kids are already experiencing the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries by age three because of all the saturated fat we are putting in their diets.

I very highly recommend that you and others who responded here with similar advice of your doctor to read "Disease Proof Your Child" by Joel Fuhrman. This book is really helpful if you want to understand whole food nutrition and help your child to gain weight in a healthy manner.

Best wishes,

G. G.

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M.S.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Hmmm..I would tend to agree with you. Mainly because there are 20g of sugar in ea. serving of Carnation. Why don't you hit a health food store and see if there is a heathier substitute? Google healthy weight gain shakes or something like that...
A side note, I hesitate to say this because I don't know your child, BUT is she healthy? If she is healthy, not weak and feeble, getting sick all the time etc. then WHY be concerned about her weight? I have one son (out of 4) who is super thin (also short though) . He is as healthy as any child though and has always been in the 25% and BELOW that. For years 2 of mine were not even on the chart :>) Use your mother's instinct, some doc's (from experience)will freak out about things when it's just the way your child is made. If she's healthy, happy, and thriving don't worry about her weight! AGAIN, IF SHE"S NOT THRIVING LISTEN TO HIM.:>)
Blessings to you as you work this out, but if you can I would stear clear of as much sugar as possible! :>)

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P.S.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Dear E.,
Cangratulations on feeding your daughter nutritiously. I would suggest adding homeade mayonnaise to her food. You make it in the blender with all expeller pressed oil and eggs and a few other things(just look it up online). This will add calories without adding the sweet. Spoon it over her veggies and use it in/on everything. Also, organic peanut, almond, and cashew butters add good calories. Let her dip fruit, veggies, rice cakes, bread, etc. in it. This helped us, and I hope it helps you...........P.

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S.F.

answers from Melbourne on

I would go with the Carnation instant breakfast and the cheese, but I would not starting adding the butter. Cheese has nutritional value, however; butter really does not. I would think that the whole milk would help as well. You can also use whole milk yogurt. (It is difficult to find, but there is an organic brand that I can sometimes find at Publix).

What types of meat have you tried? Have you had any luck with fish or turkey? My daughter is also tall and skinny and doesn't care for meat. She does LOVE eggs, fish, and nuts. She will sometimes eat other meat (especially turkey and chicken), but I definitely do not sacrifice healthy choices in order to add calories.

I think teaching our kids to eat healthy -- both in food choices and amounts of food is one of our most important tasks. I feed my daughter until she is full. She has been known to eat less than a cup of food in one meal or as much as 3 adult size bowls of cheerios. I just try to provide her a variety of healthy choices while limiting accessible junk food. Good luck, and don't be afraid to get a second medical opinion as well.

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M.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi E., My grandaughter is a vegetatian from birth. She will eat most anything, except meat. Your daughter eats the same thing. Trina is now 3 yrs. old and stands over 3 ft. 3 in. tall. She is tall and thin, and as healthy as a horse. The Dr. told her that Trina is fine, as long as she gets protine in other foods. Unless she does not gain any weight at all, I wouldn't worry to much. M. H.

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T.B.

answers from Miami on

E., did you explain to your doctor that you and your family eat organic/healthy foods and that his advice goes against what you have been doing all along? If you did emphasize this information, then I do hope you get some helpful advice from other mom's who also are organic. My third child had weight issues from the beginning and due to a weak suck, he was not gaining weight with breastfeeding. It absolutely crushed me when it became necessary to supplement with formula. I breastfed my first two children without any problems at all but my third one had issues and I was told by the pediatrician that the formula would put the necessary weight on my baby. Even on formula, he struggled to gain weight. He is now 2 years and 8 months old and is just under 27 lbs. We weigh him almost daily and despite the foods he eats, he continues to gain and lose ounces. I, too, am organic and I strive to prepare meals that are healthy and tasty but without too much unnecessary things added like butter, oils, un-healthy fats. If anything, I would keep your baby on whole milk products (milk, cheese, yogurts) and continue to feed him healthy stuff. Perhaps you can keep a plate or bowl out with fruits, crackers, slices of bread with jelly (or apple butter) on it. What I try to do is keep food out in the open so that my son can eat when he wants to and not necessarily on some "time table" that so many other parents seem to do with their children. Also, at 12 months, your baby can eat whatever you eat so do you have a food mill? IF not, then I'd encourage you to find one and begin grinding her dinner (whatever you have made for dinner for you to eat) and feed it to her. I never bought jar baby food. My children ate what I prepared, only ground up in the food mill and I added liquid (broth or water) to thin the texture if it was too thick. Don't limit what you can prepare...tacos, spaghetti, chicken...it can all be put into a food mill. It opens the door for many different tastes for your child to discover and I do believe it prevents picky eating in the future.

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Y.C.

answers from Orlando on

I'm a mother of three very healthy children, they are now 23, 21 & 19 years old. I never heard anything like that, I'm desagreed with the pediatritian and agreed with you, children by nature like sweet and unhealthy food, they do not need additional help. My reconmendation seek for another pediatritian that believe on healthy food. My middle child was always 75% on height and 45% on weight, today he is 6'1" tall and weight 170 pound and he looks a very handsome young man

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