Weight Gaining Advice

Updated on January 19, 2009
B.N. asks from Keller, TX
41 answers

My DD is 8 yrs old and is very thin (she is 4 ft. 2 in. (50 inches) tall and weighs 49 lbs). She has always been thin and not a really big eater but she was healthy looking. Well, in May she was diagnosed with ADHD and has been put on meds to help control her behavior. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of the meds is appetite suppression so she has actually gotten taller but lost weight. She looks very unhealthy now (she looks anorexic) and I am afraid one day someone might call CPS on us saying that we are not feeding my child. We have tried switching meds but they all seem to have the same effect on her. She is just not hungry. We try to force her to eat but still we can't get her to eat very much. At school she will just not eat lunch ( and I am not there to force her to eat). She does eat breakfast fairly well but dinner is also a battle because she is just not hungry. We do have her take her Flinstones vitamins and we have her drink Pediasure and V8 to make sure she is getting the nutrients she needs but she really needs to put on some pounds. Do you have any tips on what I could do to help her gain some weight? Someone suggested protein shakes....are those okay for children? (Please do not respond telling me to take my daughter off of her meds and change her diet instead, etc. Nothing against those who do that but we have chosen to medicate for her ADHD and it is working very well for her behavior and we are not going to change. I am not looking for ADHD meds advice...just weight gain advice) TIA!

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Does you daughter have other symptoms that such as bruising easily, fatigue, gas, thinning hair, dry skin, Candida? Separately they seem "insignificant," but together they indicate malabsorption issues.

I do agree completely with Mary B in that there are underlying digestive issues and that Celiac/gluten intolerance be explored.

Until you piece ALL the puzzle together, you might try digestive enzymes to help her get every bit of vitamins and minerals from the food she does eat.

Personally, I take Optimal Digestive System (NOW brand) with every meal. My Dr recommended Digest Gold (Enzymedica brand) for me and Kids Digest (Enzymedica brand) for my daughter with food allergies.

Hope you have a healthy and prosperous 2009!

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

There was one thing I made that my kids ate no matter what and as adults sometimes ask for it when they come over. For some reason everyone in the family has always loved it. It is soft boiled eggs mixed with toast, my kids named it "eggs and toast mixed together". Put two eggs in a pan with water, when water starts boiling cook for 1 min. 15 sec. Break into bowl, chop up whites with spoon add salt and pepper then tear up two pieces of buttered toast and mix together. It has been loved for over 50 years and eaten when nothing else would work. Good Luck

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

There is a better way to control ADHD than with meds. It's call the Feingold Diet and you get rid of the food that is causing problems. Red dye and other additives are usually the cause. The website is http://www.feingold.org/

I have personally known many children who really are normal kids that are told to go onto meds but the parents say no and choose the Feingold program and they see wonderful results.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would recommend you get her tested for celiac/gluten intolerance.

With celiac, kids intestines are damaged and they are not absorbing nutrients. My older son sounds just like your daughter in not wanting to eat, etc. He was always extremely thin. He went on the GF diet and gained 10 lbs and grew 2 inches in 6 mos. While he is still slender, he is no longer stick thin like he was.

My younger son was not thin, but he was ADHD and the diet had a tremendous positive impact on his behavior. He is still high energy, but able to sit still far longer. Until he went on the diet, he could not sit at the dinner table and finish a meal.

As someone mentioned, the gut does connect to the brain and there is alot of recent research correlating the impact of gluten on the brain causing a myriad of problems from seizures to ADD/ADHD, depression, etc.

They really only started doing any research at all in this area (celiac/brain connection) until the early 2000's.
Here's a good article from 2004:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/11...
And, here's one from 2006:
http://jad.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/2/200

It really is unfortunate that so many doctors are totally unaware of how common this is, since the research is so new (it can take decades for doctors to learn about some of this stuff). You can get tested on your own through this lab:
www.enterolab.com
We've been GF/CF in our house for 5+ years now and I am still so thankful that I found this lab.

There are 2+ million people that have yet to be diagnosed - it is the most common UNDIAGNOSED genetic disorder. There is fortunately an awareness campaign by the NIH for celiac, which has lots of good info:
http://celiac.nih.gov/ (You can click on the little document on the right and go to a good overview document)

You can also google "celiac" and "overview" and find oodles of information.

So, even if you want to stick with the ADHD meds, your daughter could still benefit from this testing to see if she is having GI issues - the difference in my older son after going GF was phenomenal - a kid that never wanted to eat became a kid that was always looking for something good to eat (and this was before he hit the teen years).

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A.L.

answers from Dallas on

My cousin is going through this with her son who is the same age. She gives him protein shakes to help him make sure he gets the nutrition he needs. He is 13 tall and verrrryyyyy skinny. Let me know and I can find out what shekes he takes.

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R.M.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, I can only imagine how thin she must be. I am 5'2" & due to medication lost down to 83lbs. You are probably going to really think I'm crazy but I am finally up to 105 & owe it to Slim Fast. I was drinking nutritional drinks, like Ensure & since I was home by myself, I would still have to set a timer to remind me to eat. I felt absolutely no hunger pains. I would get my stomach stretched by drinking lots of water, which would still make me nauseated, drink my Boost or whatever, eat & gain a few pounds and turn around and lose it and no more hunger pains and start all over again, this went on for a good 2yrs. My Doctor was flipping out on me, sure that I had become Anorexic. Finally one day he yelled at me "You could at least drink 3 Slim Fast a day" & I said "Isn't that supposed to do the opposite"? He said, "That's what they would like you to think". He said if you drink 3 a day I promise you will gain 4 or 5lbs by next month's visit. I did. I didn't think he was crazy one bit as I had watched a show on 20/20 or a show comparable and they were talking about several supposedly diet products that had an additive in them that increased your appetite. The can is bigger than the small cans of Ensure, but sure enough, in 1 hr or less, I began feeling hunger pains and would act on them immediately and eat something. In the morning it's still hard but if nothing else, I will force 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich down. The nurse suggested that I make up some peanut butter crackers with a few drops of honey on them and have them ready and available to snack on until I made it up to the 1/2 sandwich. If your daughter likes Cheddar Cheese, that's been another life saver. I buy the wedge and keep a few slices ready for me to nibble on. It will be hard to get your daughter to react to the hunger pains instead of ignoring them, especially with her being at school. But when she is home you have to really pound it in her head that she has to eat when she feels hunger. One of the things that also helped was "I'm a big talker" & at dinner time, I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone till I had finished eating. (My grown sons & Husband came up with this rule and would reinforce it, I really felt like a kid) but they would also try and not talk until I had eaten a good portion.) Portions are another thing that is important. I had read when my children were small to put their food on a larger plate and a portion is what will fit in the palm of your hand. It appears to be very little food, especially from the palm of an 8 yr old and on a big plate but it doesn't make you feel overwhelmed and it works. Even now if someone or a restaraunt brings me a big plate of food, I just stare at it and think there is no way and have pushed it away. My husband has been great by getting a snack, like the cheese and sit there and slowly snack on it until I would ask for just one piece, then can I have another piece. If he asked me If I wanted some cheese & crackers or a piece of fruit I would always say no, still do, then snack on his. I didn't know that all along he had figured that out and was doing it on purpose. I don't know how the sugar would affect her ADD but it does have 17 grams of sugar in a 11 oz can. I just pulled one out to read. I found that sugar wasn't the culprit for my son's ADD as were dyes in cereal, etc. The can does not list any dyes at all,so I don't know. But the most important thing is getting her to feel hunger pains even if it is stretching her stomach with water. You have my deepest sympathy because I know you are worried sick. Before the slim fast the Doctor ordered me to drink a malt & a thick cheeseburger everyday. Wanted me to go to Steak & Shake everyday. Well that was all but impossible due to me having no transportation during the day and it can get expensive.
Best of Luck & one last thing, I don't know if she complains about the pain of sleeping at night. There is no fat to cushion the bones. My husband would have to get me to turn over every few hours if I didn't do it on my own. I still have to sleep with a small sofa pillow between my knees so the bones don't hurt, so make sure her bed is as soft as you can get it.
Again Best Wishes, my prayers are with you both.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Your digestive system is considered the second brain. Up to half of your neurotransmitters are made there---the chemicals which transport signals in your brain. Knowing this relationship, it is no surprise that she has weight gain issues and also ADHD/ODD. They are related and stem from many of the same root causes. This is VERY common.

Just adding in high calorie foods will not be very effective for her to gain weight because her digestive system is not properly absorbing and processing the nutrients she is getting. Now her brain is getting a medication which also commonly interferes with this process. She is not in a very good position to improve---however well-meaning the prescribers.

Taking a hard look at her nutrition and making some real changes will be a solution---not a crutch---for her. I would be happy to give you some first steps to take if you are interested.

You can email me at [email protected]____.com

www.parentswithpurpose.com

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi B.,

I know exactly what you are going through. My step-son is now 13 but when he was 8 we also had him diagnosed with ADHD and medicated him. At the time he was already small for his age and with the medication his appetite was suppressed and he did not gain weight. We also were worried about how skinny he was and no matter what we did he just wouldn't eat very much. It also didn't help that he is also a very picky eater (will not eat anything with melted cheese on it, no burgers or ground meat, no pastas etc). I do not recommend protein shakes for your daughter becuase these are geared for adults not children. I know that as parents we have a lot of pressure to ensure that our children eat right/healthy but I would suggest that when she will eat try feeding her some foods that are a little more fatty or higher in calories. Now at 13 my stepson is still medicated (it's the only thing that helps us with his behavior) and he has filled out quite nicely. It's also good because he'll be going through puberty soon and with the changes if he does loose a little weight (the meds still suppress his appetite) it will be fine. Good luck to you.

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H.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I have always had a problem with my kids being under weight. It was so bad for my son at one point that the drs gave us 6 months to get some lbs on him or they were putting him on growth hormones. We were not into that so we looked at natural growth hormone stimulator. We found one called IGF-1 which is basically deer antler velvet. You know how fast deer antlers grow! Evidently some smart natives discovered that the velvet made older people look younger and children who were under weight and had no appetite regained an appetite and "met their genetic potential." If your husband and yourself are small, she will be small too but she'll be a healthy small. I talked to a professional about it and she said it was a great option, so I tried it and my son gained 2 lbs in 1 month (he was 3 so this was a large % of weight)! I was so excited! He ate everything, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day instead of a good breakfast and nothing else. About that time I had my daughter and she had to go to the ER for failure to thrive when she was 2 months old. I put her on formula because I wasn't producing what she needed and I also started giving her the IGF-1 and she grew in leaps and bounds! It is a lemon-flavored spritz that goes under the tongue, or just in the mouth for kids who can't lift the tongue yet. I think that would be an awesome option because it will give her an appetite, energy and she will gain weight at a healthy rate. I get mine at www.allnatural4life.com.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

Wow B., You've gotten quite a response. I actually have a little experience with being under weight and taking Ritalin. I weighed 75 pounds in 9th grade and was about 5 feet tall. I was always tiny and still am.

I started taking Ritalin because of what they thought was ADD but turned out to be narcolepsy...anyway. I don't remember losing weight dramatically and I think it was because I was on the track team so I got quite a bit of exercise which I'm sure kept my appetite going. Have you tried that route? I don't mean anything drastic but maybe soccer, ballet or gymnastics. Something really active to boost her appetite?

Also, I don't know what kind of schedule she has to be on for her meds...I do remember soon after taking it not being very hungry. Maybe possible to schedule meal times around the "up" and "down" times. Maybe a large breakfast in the morning before taking the meds.

It's so hard with our kids...my 6 year old seems to be going the same route that I did. She and my 4 year old weigh the same! Some of us are just that way but still healthy.

I hope you find something that works for her. Good luck.

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, B.. Dr. Forrest Shaklee formulated the first soy protein meal shake back in 1961 and the company is now the number one natural nutrition company in the United States. Our meal replacement shakes are GUARANTEED or you get all your money back.
Please let me help your sweet child be all she can be.
Take Care,
S.
###-###-####

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

B., I work with nutritional food supplements Company for all ages. I have seen kids with ADD/ADHD and other issues improve. Your daughter's wt loss is due to the meds. You will see a night and day improvement with the supplement for her age and I can have you speak with other moms who had seen improvement. Let me know if you are interested and I will give you more details.

I am a mom of 2, maried for 18 years and work from home.

A.
###-###-####

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A.

answers from Dallas on

I would just advise that you make the most of every bite! It is hard to imagine doing, but if you are grilling chicken...throw some full fat cheese and bacon on there. If she is eating any kind of raw veggies, be sure she is lapping them up with Ranch dressing. I would go for the highest fat content milk she is willing to drink, and for sure in any kind of protein shake, use full fat yogurt and milk. I would not suggest giving her oreos all day, just converting some of the things you would naturally eat. Will she eat granola?? On top of some yogurt with a few chocolate chips is a major favorite for my 8 year old. I have also heard about adding carnation instant breakfast before, so that might help. Again, any cheese on pizza etc. needs to be the highest fat content. Really, even lean protiens eaten in the small amounts she consumes, just wont cut it. And, of course, butter goes a long way too, so butter up those veggies, and potatos etc (Just take yours out first haha:) I have seen first hand a friend deal with the same struggle, so I can empathize with you on the difficulty of this situation!! I hope these suggestions help some, if I think of anything else, I will let you know! Good luck, I can only imagine what a struggle it has been for you to discover what is best for your daughter and I commend you for doing things your way!! ~A.~

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

What if she drinks her extra calories rather than eats them? Fruit drinks, whole or 2% milk, gatorade, etc. all have high calorie values and will definitely help her put on extra weight. Can you get her to drink more of these? I normally wouldn't suggest high-sugar drinks, like Kool-aid, but in this situation, it sounds like she needs all the help she can get to put on more weight.

You might also take her to see a nutritionist/psychologist who specializes in eating disorders. I'm not saying that I think she has one, but she is developing an unhealthy relationship with food that could be a problem when she gets older.

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E.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi B.,

My son was born prematurely and needed extra calories in his first 2 years. Here are a few things that worked for him.

We had to make every bite count for my son, so we added "healthy fats" (mono-unsaturated fats) such as avocados (could be served as guacamole) and olive oil and tried to get as much protein in him as possible in order to build strong muscles. His nutritionist also recommended peanut butter, peanuts (or any nut, really), whole milk, hard cheeses such as cheddar with whole wheat crackers, edamame (soybeans high in protein, and they're fun to eat out of the shell -- my kids LOVE them) and Carnation Instant Breakfast. My son wasn't thrilled with the taste or consistency of protein additives (which was tough to drink through a sippy lid!), but he loved breaded chicken breast (not nuggets) that I skillet fried in olive oil. That's still a big hit at my house, and olive oil is very good for you. She also recommended a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Though i didn't want my two year old to get hooked on sweets, I was able to find an organic ice cream (Julie's brand, which I've found at Whole Foods and Target) that has very yummy strawberry and vanilla flavors that made me feel better about giving him ice cream. Please try to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. Neither of them is good for us, and especially not for growing children, and they're empty calories.

You mentioned that you try to force your daughter to eat, and though your intentions are good, I'm concerned that this may create an unhealthy relationship with food, which could lead to eating disorders. My wish for her is that she eats food because she enjoys the taste. Maybe if all attention isn't focused on making her eat at family meals, but rather on spending time together as a family, perhaps it would take the pressure and focus off of her. It may be hard to do -- I know it was for us with our son -- but I also knew that he wouldn't waste away from starvation or mal-nutrition because he ate nutritious foods when he was ready.

I completely understand that you want her to gain weight, and speaking as a naturally skinny kid who looked anorexic (though I wasn't), it worked better for me to eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day rather than to eat 3 large meals. I also started eating more when I was in dance classes and other activities that burned calories. It may sound counter-intuitive that your daughter burn calories, but it may just make her hungry enough to eat a little more, and if those bites really count for all their worth, you may just end up with a winning solution.

You're a concerned mom, and I wish you and your daughter all the best of luck. I also encourage you to keep your chin up, be proud of yourself for reaching out to other moms, take a deep breath every once in a while and give your daughter lots of hugs and gentle encouragement so she knows that you're doing this with her best interest in mind and that you love her.

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

My 8 year old is taking Vyvanse for ADD and it has the same affect. While my DD has never been thin she has started to loose weight which the Dr. says is "just the way it is". No appetite is our normal state now. We do make certain she has a good breakfast and have been surprised to see that after nearly 6 weeks on this medication her appetite at dinner is returning - a littel bit. One of the advantages of Vyvanse is that it doesn't do aything for anyone without ADHD/ADD, it has a "pump" inside which delivers measured doses through out the day. Check it out and see if it is a possibility. We are amazed.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

My son is also on meds,but for Obsessive compulsive disorder. He lost a lot of weight as well. He is 12 1/2 and weighs 59 pounds. My daughter lost 17 pounds in 3 months. They both look like I do not feed them, but do very well with their meds. My Dr. told me to make sure they eat whenever hungry. Pretty much whatever and whenever they want. I found that if I can get them to snack on things, they do better. We give their meds early, eat dinner late, so by then, they are ready to eat. We push milk, usually chocolate, also Boost with added protein and Carnation instant breakfast. If the meds are helping, just be assured that they get what they need. It is a hard battle, but they are definetly worth it.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Go to GNC - get some Weight Gain shake powder. At 1K calories a pop, and all the flavor of a milk shake, it should help her keep from losing more.

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S.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi B....a few months ago I wrote in to the Moms and asked a question about ADD meds and was bombarded with lots of ideas on how I should be raising my son,
'drugging' him, and offers to sell me all kinds of stuff! Good for you for standing your ground...sometimes it's hard!

The exact same thing happened to my son, he's 10 and weighs 55 pounds, and I have him eat his meals FIRST, when he's hungry, then give him his meds. I do make him shakes and smoothies, sometimes I give him an extra cookie or snack...but the 'meals before meds' plan did work for
us...so, give it a try.

My son's Dr. is great at monitoring him. Dr. Kazemi at Medical City Dallas..we see a REAL DOCTOR, and get an exam, not just a consult with a med tech or Counselor where they just weigh & chat and give more meds...don't do that!

Good luck...I know it's hard!

S.

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S.V.

answers from Dallas on

Hi B.,
I would be glad to help your daughter gain weight and get off ADHD medication. I am offering a unique nutritional shake for kids that help them recover from ADD and ADHD. I can connect you with some parents whose kids changed their behavior due to these nutritional shakes.If interested,call me at ###-###-####
S.

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J.V.

answers from Dallas on

I understand...I have taken similiar medication and you really are not hungry. I would focus on foods that are somewhat good for you and try and eat many times a day. Rather then focusing on three meals, have her eat breakfast, send a snack to school (talk with the teacher,) eat lunch, snack after school and then something for dinner. Maybe if she is only eating small poritions it will be easier for her. Plus, this is the way we should all eat and therefore you will be forming good eating habits for her adult life as well. I don't know about protein shakes but, smoothies with fruit (maybe ice cream :)) might help.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I know this may sound strang but my brother was diagnosed as autistic and ADD and had the same weight issues as your daughter. The doctor told my parents to try regular milk shakes to help with weight gain. What kid doesn't like milk shakes? As long as she is getting nutrients from vitamins and Pediasure, the milk shakes will help with some weight gain. Hope this helps.

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

B.,

I had that problem with my son, but I was fortunate in that the meds had worn off by evening time. I actually had to wait later than regular supper time to get him to eat. I just read one of the responses, (not all of them) & saw that someone said to put fattening things on her food. You don't want to have problems with obesity later in life. Our society has gotten increasingly larger in the past several decades, so people view ideal weight as larger than it used to be. I only weighed 45 pounds in 2nd grade & was always a skinny kid, but not anorexic. When I was a kid, people tried to make me eat & I was a picky kid, but ate well. It gave me negative thoughts towards food and the people that tried to make me eat it. I think protein shakes are fine for children. They're healthy.

My son is now 18, is off all medications, and doing very well. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. He was very hyper and impulsive. I didn't think he would ever grow out of it, but I was fortunate. However, he loves, loves his sweets. You are setting her eating habits for the rest of her life. Best of luck. You are a very concerned mom & doing very well:)

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H.F.

answers from Dallas on

Our children tend to be on the lighter side, also. I have put them on whole milk, and whole milk yogurt to make up the fat they need. This can be a bad idea if you eat a good deal of fried and high fat food, but if you generally eat lighter, this might be an option. Our children are very active so we do not do light in healthy foods. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, and very little junk. HTH

Blessings

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C.M.

answers from Amarillo on

I think you have gotten lots of great ideas from the other posts...maybe you could try making smoothies with yogurt and fruit and honey to sweeten. Good luck!!
C.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

Just to start out, I won't advise against taking her off her meds. However, I would not rely on Pediasure or V8 as an adequate source of nutrition as it is packed with sugar, carbohydrates and with V8 sodium. I think your goal should be to make each meal that she does eat as nutritionally dense as possible to be sure she is getting all her requirements. I think that many people in this situation would automatically think sweets or treat foods to tempt the child to eat, but as you know the sweets provide calories, not nutrients and can actually cause her to gain fat, but lose muscle.

Consider making her healthy smoothies. She might view these more as drinks rather than food. At Whole Foods or maybe even Sprouts you can buy Amazing Grass Green Food drink powders. They don't taste great alone (mixed with milk or water), but blended in a smoothie, it packs it full of essential vitamins and nutrients. It comes in a chocolate version and berry version too. It's a bit expensive to buy, but you only use about a tablespoon or less at a time, so one jar will last you a while. Just be aware they don't have added sugar, so if you buy the chocolate, add a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten it.

If she'll eat them, try to provide monounsaturated fats like avocados, olives, nuts, etc. Also, starchy carbs are probably ok too like potatoes (not processed like Or-Ida or french fries), sweet potatoes, carrots and corn. I think a book called Super Baby Food has some whole food health choices for weight gain that you might want to check out. Don't let her see you with it ; ) I seem to remember a friend's baby needed to gain weight and she had a lot of success using that book as her guide.

Also, check with your healthcare provider to see if you can visit a dietician in network. That person can also help you with some more options.

If you want it, I have a breakfast shake/smoothie recipe that's really nutritionally dense. Of course, you can make it any time of the day. My kids drink these and 2 of the 3 are very picky. You can also use it as a base to experiment with other ingredients. I won't force it on you. Just send me a private message if you do.

K.
SAHM to 3, ages 7, 5 & 3

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C.

answers from Dallas on

My four-year-old daughter has Cystic Fibrosis, so we have issues with weight gain and appetite as well. She is rarely hungry, so we have to make every calorie count. A staple of her diet is a "shake" that is about 47 calories an ounce. I mix one packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, one bottle of Pediasure, and two ounces of organic heavy whipping cream. It is quite rich, but she enjoys it and gets to sit in our laps to drink it or watch TV. I also try to let her sit in a sunny window and/or spend time in filtered sun when it's warm outside to make sure she gets enough vitamin D. I've had to have a lot of paradigm shifts - thought I'd be giving my children avacados and tofu to eat. Nope, I'm frying bacon and opening cans of vienna sausages (35 calories a sausage - but that's more specific to CF due to the sodium). You just have to add fat calories to everything she eats, while avoiding refined sugar. It isn't easy, it's TOUGH, but be patient and gentle, since you don't want her to develop issues with food. Good luck and God bless!

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

B. - we have twins! lol One thing I have noticed that switching meds actually makes it worse and the longer you are on a medication the more it levels off. So over a year down the road on the same meds has REALLY helped my daughters appetite. Wish she is gaining more, but she has maintained well and at least gaining slowly now.

I like Amber's advise and that is something that our neuorologist suggested. We try to fatten things for her and I make things that she loves that are high calorie/high fat but not totally unhealthy. Like one of her favorite things in banana bread. As much fun as it is NOT to make, I make a bunch of batches at once and freeze them, then dethaw as I run out. I found a good buttery recipe on allrecipes.com. Full of calories and fat and she loves it. (so does everyone else, its addicting and I have to not let myself it eat! lol)

As with another poster, her meds have worn off by 7pm and that is when she is hungry. I find her in the kitchen most evenings "just passing through", but if I offer her food she will jump on the chance to stop and eat. So what she goes to bed late on a lot of evenings because she is up with a PB&J, bowl of cereal, ect. I let her eat as much as she wants in the evening and offer her food because I know this is the time to get those much needed calories in.

For the remarks of lifeling eating issues because of what you are doing now. We dont eat "junk" food like chips, candy, ice cream and I do not associate food with emotion, we eat because our body needs the nourishment. I think that this has a lot less impact on our kids than those parents who pack the fridge full of soda and lunchables and the closet full of chips and fruit snacks, then take their kids to McDonalds every other meal day because they dont feel like cooking. So dont let that get to you, do what you need to do to get her healthy now and teach her along the way that you are making those choices because this is what her body needs now. It will all work out as long as you are aware of it.

Good luck! From one skinny adhd child to another, I will be praying that she packs the weight on in the next year or so!

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T.B.

answers from Dallas on

We had our son drink a slim fast with his meal, it helped him gain weight and he liked it. Our son grew 8" and didn't gain any weight until we tried this. Good luck!

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

My niece had the exact same problem! Unfortunatly that is a side effect of the meds. We found that at night when the meds wear off, we feed her! Then she gets to sleep with the extra calories! So, fattening dinners, deserts, shakes at night. She is so full she just passes out! It does not always work, but it helps. Protein! Always make sure you have a really good servicing of protein! It just helps! do not ask me, it was just trial and error!

We asked the Dr. about what a child really needs. I was told truly just one really good meal a day. The rest can actually be 3-5 little things. He always recommended feeding skinny children at night, because that is when they were least active. It always stuck with me.

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R.

answers from Dallas on

My 8 year old was diagnosed almost a year and half ago and is on Adderroll. *spelling*. She has mood issues with it as well as loss of appetite.
The dr is concerned about her weight and suggested smoothies, shakes, cookies. As well as have her eat
breakfast before giving her the med which takes half an hour
about to go into affect.
Since she is not in school on the weekends, we don't give her the meds then. So weekends we get her to eat a bit more.
The most I can help say, let her have some ice cream, as long as she is not diary intolerant. Or frozen yogurt.
Smoothies are healthy since they are milk and fruit. Or
sherbert and fruit.

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P.J.

answers from Dallas on

I am going through the same thing with my daughter. She is 11 years old and weighs 50.5 lbs. She is 4'3" tall so she too looks so small compared to everyone else. She won't eat lunch at school either so I make sure she eats something filling for breakfast (like oatmeal). Our doctor told us to have her eat a bowl of ice cream or drink a milk shake before bed everynight for the extra calories. Also make sure you are giving her whole milk.

I know you don't want advice on the med part, but just something to consider is...we switched our daughter to the Daytrana patch last year. It has helped increase her appetite because it bypasses the stomach. You apply the patch to the hip in the morning and remove it 9 hours later. I love it. She no longer has to take pills during school and none of the other students even know that she is meds anymore. It has been great for her too because she doesn't have to answer the questions other kids sometimes had about her having to go take a pill everyday.

I hope this helps.

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

Maybe if you get her involved in the menu planning, shopping, and cooking she will have more invested in the meals so they might go down easier. If not at least she is picking up important life skills.

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K.A.

answers from Dallas on

I was on Ritalin from 1st grade and am still on it in College. Way to go for not taking your daughter off if she needs it. I know that I did and still do need it to stay on track. I had the same problem though the meds made me full all the time...except now that I need them to do it. Please dont allow people who have never had add/adhd to down you. Have they tried adjusting her meds alittle though?

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have a special needs granddaughter that has a weight gain problem and her nutritionist suggested smoothies made with bananas and peanut butter, olive oil mixed with her food ( she can only eat pureed food ) and avacados. They are very high in fat and vitamins.
Instead of mixing the oil into her food, you can cook some of her foods in the oil. If she likes mexican food, give her guacamole. Milk shakes work if she doesn't have a problem with dairy.
I used Pediasure as the base for her smoothies. There is also a food supplement called Benacalorie that you add to her food each meal and by the end of the day, you've added 300 calories to her daily intake. You can get it from Walgreens online or call some of the medical supply pharmacies. Hope this helps. I'll keep your daughter in my prayers.
M.,( [email protected]____.com

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi I understand what you are going through bc I have a DS who is 8 and is very small for his age though healthy. He is also ADD but we do not medicate. He is just a very picky eater. What I did was see a nutritionist and we did a full scale nutrional testing to see what the deficiencies are...there is hair and urine testing. It came back that he is lacking in certain areas so we give him lots of supplements and high doses of DHA fish oil. Also I have a protein shake that he takes on top of the pediasure. I am trying to get more concentrated calories in him. We have been doing this for a month and so far I have not seen much weight gain but I have seen improved attention and energy. I also have upped his protein intake in general...easy to do for breakfast and dinner but lunch I have no control. The nutritionist I go to tells me there are supplements (natural) to increase appetite...we may go there but we are giving the other stuff a try first.
If you are interested in this nutritionist go to his website... www.nutriwellness.com His name is Dr Ron Overberg

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G.H.

answers from Dallas on

try boost kid essentials 1.5.. its like pediasure just more caloric. intead of 1 calorie per ML its 1.5. im not sure where you are, but my son was "prescribed" this and his stomach doesnt like it much. if you want to try it i can give you some - its pretty expensive if you buy it outright..

let me know

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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

I have gone through this with my kids too. Trying to pack a little weight on them by the doctors orders. My son weighed 60 when he started ADHD meds, and 50 when we finally got him settled in to one that didn't affect his appetite so much. This was 15 years ago. No matter what you do, don't expect it to make a huge difference - only 3-5 pounds probably.

If she will drink those ensure drinks, try those (my kids wouldn't). There is this protein powder that can go in/on anything and supposedly doesn't change the taste. My daughter's oncologist gave us that. She never complained about that.

I almost hesitate to suggest ice cream shakes, etc because sweets steal what appetite she may have for healthy foods she needs. But maybe she will eat a breakfast shake with ice cream along with something else? Or a health packed shake for a bedtime snack? That protein powder goes great in shakes!

Of course put cheese on all her veges. Give her fried foods. All the stuff they tell you NOT to do if you are dieting.

I can feel your worry!

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

My son was a preemie and very low birthweight, so we look for ways to add calories wherever we can! His pediatric nutritionist gave me a handout with a list of calorie boosters to help maximize calorie intake in regular foods. Feel free to email me a [email protected]____.com and I'll be glad to email you a copy. Also, on her recommenation we mix good old Carnation Instant Breakfast to his milk. It bumps up the calories and has the vitamins & minerals you want - and it is cheaper than buying Pediasure!

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D.T.

answers from Dallas on

B., I understand the need for the meds. My son was ADHD, and on them. I did not read every response, so forgive me if I'm duplicating. Our Dr. suggested shakes before bedtime. Have you considered skipping the meds on weekends? That was helpful with my son. GOD'S blessings to you.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have twins that have a hormone disorder that makes weight gain hard too, so I definitely know what your going through! Like other posters said...carnation breakfast, slim fast, eating before bed, try to feed her lots of snacks in between meals and also you can try the protein drinks (which none of my kids like) but maybe make it into a milkshake or ice cream shake. Thats the only way I can sneak it in for my guys! Just make sure she's taking some vitamins. Adding extra pounds is good, but you need to make sure she's getting the nutrients she needs for bones, teeth, etc. My kids all love the gummy vitamins. They also make supplements that come in drops so you can sneak it in somewhere! : )
Good luck!

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