Toddler Needs to Gain Weight After Sickness

Updated on February 09, 2009
K.D. asks from Ashland, MA
12 answers

Hi Everyone
My son has been sick for 2 weeks and wee just got out of the hospital. Whille in the hospital he lost 3lbs and now looks REAL thin. My question is do you guys have any suggestions on how to help him gain weight. He cant do pedisure cause he has a milk and soy allery. Dose any have experiance of weightloss after a long sickness??

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your wonderful sugestions. It was slow at first but once he started eating the weight just came right back! I cooked things with coconut oil and olive oil and let him eat as much as he wanted. Hes now back to his old self!!!!!!!

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answers from Boston on

You just need lots of high fat foods that are nutritious - so avocado (can make into smoothies if he won't eat straight), eggs, nitrate-free hot dogs and bacon (try Trader Joes for these), put real butter on all his food, fry things in coconut oil (YUM).

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answers from Portland on

Hi K....this is a bit tricky. You do not want to get him eating a highly caloric diet lest it stay with him.
Usually after a severe illness ( or surgery ) when one starts the healing process the body will demand food and one has an enormous appetite to compensate for lost weight.
An adult needs to be careful when this appetite arrives but I should think a child would be able to handle it fine.
And your son is young so he should recover the weight easily and quickly.
Has he expressed any desire for food yet? He should, and I would give him whatever he is hungry for.
If this does not happen within a week or two I would consult his pediatrician.
Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

once his appetite comes back he should put the weight back on in no time just like if you or I were sick and lost some weight once eating again it just comes back on. In the mean time make everything with high calorie high protein. My little guy is allergic to dairy and soy too but you could make him some soy and dairy free shakes I always put flaxseed oil in when I make youngest a shake. He also has celiac and is tiny so we do everything we can to keep he's weight where it is right now.



answers from Boston on

Since he is just getting out of the hospital, his little tummy may not be up for a lot of heavy foods quite yet- but maybe just doing some smoothies with rice milk or coconut milk along with fruits with just a dash of coconut oil might be enough to supplement what he is already eating. I know that homemade soups and meat/veggie broths (without the salt) and steamed veggies tend to be an easy transition back to regular foods for adults. He has probably lost a lot of fluids, so offering him plenty to drink will also help him.



answers from Boston on

my daughter has a heart condition so i have to beef up her diet just to keep her average. We give her plenty of peanut butter. Also she had a milk allergy as well. Carnation instant breakfast makes a milk and soy free mix go to the nestle website a little pricey but worth it. Avocado has lots of good fat. Starches potatoes pasta all good. Also call the docs and have them give u a nutritionist. They should have done that for you before you left...argh docs.... And they can give you a list of foods to help him bulk up that do not have milk or soy. Sry had to write shorthand im on my hope this helps!



answers from Boston on

Hi K.,

First, I wish your little one a quick recovery, and kudos to you mom for hanging in there as a single parent! I would give him caloric laden foods: avocado, pasta, potatoes, wheat bread. As everyone said, the weight will return back, but I am like you, my daughter had the stomach flu for several days and I feel she lost weight, so I am trying to put some "weight" on her too :)

Take care,




answers from Boston on


Glad to hear your son is out of the hospital. My daughter lost weight when she was sick too and her ped said to add butter and olive oil to things she eats. If your son can't do the butter, hopefully he will be ok with the olive oil.
The other things I have been told contain milk product - ie. yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese added to things, sweetned condensed milk added to things, ice cream, things like this.
However, avocado, sweet potato with butter, toast with butter or hummus or cream cheese. I don't know if your son can have goats milk or a milk substitue but also pudding can help. Mashed potatos and gravy. I guess I would think of heavy starchy foods that we tend to eat in the winter months.

Good luck,
L. M


answers from Boston on

Wow - you've been through a lot. There is a fantastic, safe (US Gov't. patent) nutritional supplement that gives all the proper nutrition iin the right balance, and it's delicious. It's a powder that you mix in water and it is highly absorbable.

It strengthens the immune system too, so kids are much better able to fight off illnesses, whether it's colds/flu or ear infections, and so on. In fact, you will probably find, over time, that it will get rid of the things inside that are causing the allergies. Your child is not naturally allergic to milk and soy. The milk problem can be due to an imbalance, or maybe the stuff that's added to the milk. Food scientists will tell you there is no such thing as a true soy allergy - soy has been used for 5000 years all over the world! So probably he is allergic to something in the processing (contaminants, alcohol washes, etc.). My son is no longer lactose intolerant - he eats cheese and ice cream and pizza and all that stuff. All my friends whose kids are on this supplement say their children have never missed a day of school, never had more than a brief, mild sniffle, never been on antibiotics. If you want more info, I would love to share.



answers from Boston on

To be honest with you, I wouldn't worry that much about it. He lost the weight because he wasn't feeling well. Now that he's feeling better, as he returns to his old self, he'll put the weight back on and start LOOKING like his old self again too!

Gosh, I'm so sorry he was so sick though! How scary and lame!!! Glad he's doing better! Hang in there!



answers from Hartford on

K., If he takes formula you can ask your doctor for a mixture that has more calories than the regular mix. My daughter is on the 30 calorie mix which is the same amount of calories in pediasure. We mix just about 5 oz of water with 4 scoops of formula. I would ask the doctor first. Good Luck. B.



answers from Boston on

My suggestion is to try and make everything your son eat be higher in calories. When giving him vegetables, add butter or olive oil to it. Avocado is a good source of good fat and calories. Usually the suggestions are to add cream and gull milk yogurt, but since he has a the allergy, this is more difficult.
Best of luck, and now that he is feeling better, hopefully he'll regain an appetite and eat well!



answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
we went through a period of my son being sick and didn't eat for 2 weeks or so andlost 2 pounds. i wouldn't worry about him. hewill get his appetite back and start putting itback on before you know it. i worried about my son not eating and losing the weight too.unless your doctor is concerned i wouldn'tworry so much.hope this helps

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