Does anyone know what I can do to help my 6 1/2 yr. old daughter to gain weight??

Andrea - posted on 01/27/2010 ( 85 moms have responded )

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My 6 1/2 yr. old daughter, Hailey weighs 38 lbs. and is 42 inches tall. She is very tiny and is a very picky eater. I am wandering if there are any extra fatty foods that aren't filled with bad things. Special milkshakes, or something. I am open to anything!

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Tamara - posted on 02/06/2010

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Does she like peanut butter? You can make healthy trail mix bars, grilled cheese sandwhiches, make your own pizza etc. Those are all heathy choices and I'd let her eat what she wants if she's a picky eater. When you can give her a peanut and jelly sandwhich for supper as opposed to veggies she doesn't like at least she's going to eat her food and still get nutrition. Home made french fries with ketchup and hot dogs are good, hamburgers etc.

Kristin - posted on 02/06/2010

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I'm in a similar situation - my daughter is 5 1/2 and weighs about 36 lbs and is about 42 inches, plus my son is 2 1/2 and weighs 25 lbs and so very small. I guess my first question is, are you and/or your significant other relatively small? If so, I wouldn't let it bother you too much, but we do try to give the kids Boost "shakes" for kids since they have a lot of vitamins and minerals, plus I still have them both on whole milk despite what the general population thinks. PB is great if she likes it, but I guess my overall suggestion is that as long as the food she is eating is decent, I wouldn't worry about her size. My kids snack on yogurt, cheese, fruits, popcorn, and of course, some of the kiddie staples, but you just have to keep trying and offering it in new ways. They say it takes at least three introductions to a food before a child will actually eat it. Hang in there though - I am sure she's fine!

Karen - posted on 02/06/2010

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When my son was that age he would only eat cereal, was a very picky eater. The Doctor told me he would not starve. He would eat when he was ready. Just make sure she has liquids so she doesn't get dehydrated. And I noticed when he went through growth spurts he ate more things. Hope this helps.

Marjorie - posted on 02/06/2010

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OK here's Grandma's input. Lots of those suggestions were wonderful. However, I would add a couple little thoughts. How is her general health. Does she have normal sleep? Does she play normally? How's her skin? dry, good, scaley? What about her hair? Is her hair limp and not shiney? If she seems like a normal kid in other ways and your doctor isn't concerned then do some of the food introduction tricks suggested to introduce good things for her to like. Take note of what she likes from the different food groups. Make sure you have some of those foods always on hand and offer them to her often. Then introduce one new food at a time and then if she doesn't like it don't make a big deal out of it. Try introducing it again a little later- forget the wierd foods. For vegies one of my grandkids likes to eat everything with ranch dressing. So what!! She eats the vegies - Hurray!! If she has normal health in other ways then relax and don't show her your anxiety. Don't nag her either. Just quietly watch, be an example and do what you need to do. She'll most likely establish her own eating patterns, likes and dislikes. Another thing I noticed someone do that I thought was bad was that when the child was offered food from someone else and the mom was around that mom reminded the child that he/she didn't like that food. Duh!! If all of a sudden they decide to try something later that they didn't like then quietly think Hurray!! progress!! Don't reinforce their dislikes - just tolerate them for a while. My small one is still on the smaller thiner side and is healthy, has 3 kids that are healthy and strong. Enjoy being a MOM!!

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2010

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My son has had feeding issues since he was born. It's kind of expensive, but pediasure is great for adding calories and it's loaded with vitamins. Also, carnation instant breakfast shakes will help (and they're not as pricey).

Stephanie - posted on 02/06/2010

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"The complete, balanced nutrition® of PediaSure is clinically proven to help kids grow. That’s why pediatricians recommend PediaSure more than any other liquid nutritional supplement.Drink provides protein, vitamins, and minerals needed for healthy growth and development." Have a look online - it really helped my son get back onto the chart. Cheers

Cathy - posted on 02/05/2010

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Some children are just naturally thinner. Both mine are very slender. I was excited this year that my son finally can wear a straight size pant without the endless search for slims. When my daughter was 3 or 4, the Dr wanted us to do weekly weigh-ins she was so thin. I schedualed the first one, then cancelled. I knew She ate. She just is little. She has since grown just fine, and her weight is now great! We did go through a month or 2 where she only ate cereal for all 3 meals. Then we had a Hot dog time period. Now she'll eat whatever I make. Its just getting through the stages.

Nakia - posted on 02/05/2010

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My mother and I went through a similar stage- it may well be genetic, to grow in certain patterns. That said, foods like nuts and avocados have excellent fats, and full-fat dairy is a good thing. Talk to her doc, see if you can get a referral to a nutritionist, but many kids will eat cheese and peanut butter. You could probably extend that to full-fat yogurt with fruit, other nut butters, and roasted nuts and seeds in pastas, salads, etc.

April - posted on 02/05/2010

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My 3 year old is the only picky eater in my house of 6, this realy bothered me. Every one said she would eat what her body needed and she would be ok. She had a drs. app. a few months ago and they did some routine blood work, only to find that she was severely anemic. Her iron levels were so low the doc. did further testing. They put her on iron supp. and folic acid. When she started taking it her appetite increased. Because she was so picky I had to think of little things like giving her like beef jerky just so she would be getting iron and protien from meat. Just get creative and you can trick her into eating things that she otherwise wouldn't. Oh and remember taking vitamins will increase her appetite.

Trisha - posted on 02/05/2010

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I suggest taking the time and finding out all the different foods that your daughter likes. Make sure they are always available to her. Check with you doctor. If he/she is not concerned I wouldn't worry to much. Children will eat when they are hungy. As long as she is taking a daily vitamin and some how getting some healthy dairy intake she sould be ok. Oh and keep her hydrated with plenty of water. She will eat and gain weight when she is ready.

Maggie - posted on 02/04/2010

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Some kids are just really small. I was a tiny girl and now I'm a tiny adult. As long as her doctor isn't concerned (and they are usually ok until she's in the 10% or lower) then she's fine. Look at the growth chart - she should have steady growth even if it isn't very much.
Anything with carbs but stick to whole grains. You can do smoothies but don't give your kids raw egg because of the risk of salmonella! Introduce new foods a few times before you decide she doesn't like it. Sometimes it takes a few times to get used to a new flavor or texture.

Marika - posted on 02/04/2010

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She probably needs to see a specialist it's the pituitary gland that is the master gland that releases hormones in our body for growth & other very important things we need.

I would feed her what she likes & sneak in some protein & fats like chicken tenders & make them homemade with seasoned bread crumbs & egg to dip chicken in before coating,And Bake in oven turning them over (healthier then frying) and make a hone or bbq sauce or ranch to dip in.Eggs are high in protein make a quiche w/white cheeses they are healthier.Make her Fish the same way as the chicken tenders.I use free range organic chicken & wild fish like salmon .Use hone to sweeten things,and use Bragg Amino sauce (get at the healthfood store) Amino acid is needed & is high in protein & tastes like soy sauce! My son loves it! U can add hone to it for a Teriaki sauce.

I could go on & on.Check out recipes & make them together it will make it fun for her & she'll love it!

Theresa - posted on 02/04/2010

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My daughter was very much like that when she was little. The doctors kept telling me that she was fine and she just had a good metabolism..We had to see the doctors regularly because she had a lot of issues with ear infections and tonsilitis. I thought her diet was mostly antibiotics for a while. I requested that she get her tonsils taken out. Doctors said she really dodn't need that done. I finally convinced them to do it as an elective surgery. It turns out that the tonsils were erroding from the back side (where it could not be seen) and when he grabbed them with the forceps they disentegrated......now she is normal weight. She had been really sick this whole time. Maybe you should have that checked. If a child has a sore throat they will not eat as much. This may not be your issue but I hate to see kids suffer when they don't have too

Sheryl - posted on 02/04/2010

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I would consult a medical doctor for safe measures, make sure there isn't some underlying issue going on. Maybe she would love those supplement drinks for children. Eventually they grow out of being picky and the taste buds change. I would introduce different foods to my daughter and let her see me eat it,that would grab her attention to try it. It worked! Good luck with your daughter and don't worry, it'll be okay.

Eva - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi, Have you tried Pedia Sure? At one time my daughter was also very tiny and my doctor suggested that I add Pedia sure to her diet. I bought both the chocolate and the vanilla, I used the vanilla in place of milk in foods I made for her, Like mashed potatoes, in her cereal in her mac and cheese. It worked great, You might ask your doctor if this might work for your daughter too.
Good luck,
Eva

Dana - posted on 02/04/2010

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My son is also a very picky eater. I give him Carnation Instant Breakfast in his milk. I also kept him on Vitamin D whole milk instead of changing him over to 2%. The Carnation Instant Breakfast comes in different flavors if she doesn't like chocolate milk. It has vitamins, calcium and protein to add to her diet. Good luck to you!

Cynthia - posted on 02/04/2010

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Andrea, my twins are exactlly the same way. I used to be concerned about their weight, or lack there of, but they have continued to grow at "their own rate"....they are now 16, still very petite and tiny, they fluctuate between 87-90lbs. and they are only about 5ft. tall. I have heard that a diet high in protien would help. When they were little, I finally quit stressing about it and they did better w/o my concerns. And they always pigged out at potlucks....so maybe start attending every potluck you hear about and see what happens! :-)

Michelle - posted on 02/03/2010

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There are some great nutritional shakes you can get. They are kind of pricey, but helpful for nourishment and weight gain. Also, you can make smoothies, or shakes with healthy peanut butter, almond butter, those kinds of things that will give more calories, at home. My kids love

Add butter to the things she will eat. Butter is healthier than margarine with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. I also add extra virgin olive oil to my cooking. It's healthy, but can also add calories, and the kids don't even know it's in the food.

Basically just increasing her caloric intake will help her gain. So adding the peanut butter, extra pb and j on her sandwiches, would be a good way.

I just looked at the replies, lol, I see others thought of some of this, too. :)

Fofie - posted on 02/03/2010

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the smoothies are a good idea (u may wwant to stay away from teh raw eggs) add whole milk or whole milk yogurt and add her favorite fruits. try to stay away from the super processed food unless your doctor suggests it. Try involving her when you cook, allow her to participate and taste things as you go, it may reduce her pickiness and get her into nutrition and its value (shes not too young for that). Good fatty foods: avocado, nuts, fish, to name a few. Good luck. Stay the course and go ask her pediatrician casue at that weight MALnutrition is the worry.

Orletta - posted on 02/03/2010

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Sweetie, stop worrying about your daughter's weight. My mom did that to me and drove me crazy. Trust me she will not allow herself to starve. I didn't weigh 100 lbs until I graduated from high school, but I don't have food issues either.

Sharon - posted on 02/03/2010

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My son, who is 10 now, was exactly the same way. He weighed 25 pounds for almost 2 years. He would get taller, but never heavier. We were so worried about him. We had him drink Ovaltene (probably spelled wrong) for breakfast along with whatever he was willing to "pick at" and gave it to him for snacks to keep a little weight on him. We would also always make him at least "try" a bite of whatever I had cooked for dinner. Anyway...about the time he turned 7, he suddenly began to eat and now he is normal size. Don't worry about it. Get some ovaltene to suppliment until she decides she's not turned off by textures...which is usually the problem. Good luck!

Marie - posted on 02/03/2010

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My daughter is very petite for her age and a picky eater too. The doctor recommended a nutritionist to help her grow and gain weight. We have her on a high calorie diet now, and she also drinks Pediasure every morning. We add chocolate or strawberry syrup to her milk (whole), which adds some calories. She eats lots of cheese and crackers. We add cheese sauce to veggies too.

Any carbs you can give her are great. Corndogs, breaded fish or chicken, grilled cheese, crackers (we tried a lot before we found some that she liked and would eat regularly).

We also put whey protein in her yogurt.

You should talk to her doctor and see what they recommend, but these are a few ideas.

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Consult a nutritionist! This is what we specialise in. Find out about a zinc supplement suitable for children. Zinc is needed for taste sensation as well as other aspects of digestion. I have professional success prescribing zinc for picky eaters. Make sure it is professionally prescribed however, because you have to get the dose and type of zinc right. What and how you feed your daughter is also important. A child psychologist can help discover if there are any underlying issues causing her picky eating. Good luck!! Your daughter's lucky to have a Mum who wants to sort this out now, rather than wait for other complications to arise. Children do not always simply "grow out" of these problems, so you're doing to right thing by seeking advice!! Keep looking until you find your answers xx

Janeen - posted on 02/03/2010

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Fruit smoothies are great, banana, milk, yoghurt, egg, brazil nuts, frozen berries, i even have a friend who throws in a tsp of cod liver oil! My kids enjoy this really healthy breakfast and they seem to have more positive energy afterwards. Soak in water over night 4 tbsp rolled oats. Drain and serve with finely grated brazil nuts, yoghurt, sliced banana & berries (can use any fruit). I originally made it for myself but my girls always end up wanting some so i make extra now. Add honey or brown sugar if you want it sweeter.

Tracey - posted on 02/02/2010

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i would say not to worry about it, but at he age of 12 i weighted like 65lbs and i am 26 yrs old with a good weight that i picked up from being pregnant with my daughter. i weighed 112 before i got pregnant. i gained a lot and kept a decent amount. i mean i still looked thin and good but i got people to stop worrying about my weight. my daughter is a picky eater and i am always concerned with her. i was giving her pedia sure milk shakes it helped manage her weight i mean she still hand a hard time putting on weight but i felt a lot better because she wasn't loosing weight. and if there is something that she likes that is good for her give it to her. like my daughter loves peanut butter so for breakfast i give her sometimes a peanut butter and banana sandwich or pb &j for lunch or for a snack graham crackers with peanut butter. at least once a day she gets some form of peanut butter. but i feel ya i got excited when she put on enough weight for just a booster seat because that will give us more room in the care for our second childs car seat when the baby is born in july.

Becki - posted on 02/02/2010

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i know im probably gonna get shot for this but this is what i have been told by my health visitor as she is a picky eater let her choose what she wants to eat for a while she will soon grow out of being picky... i take my daughter shopping and let her choose what we will make for dinner and let her help me make it she loves getting involved and she eats everything because she knows where it came from

Patricia - posted on 02/02/2010

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talk to you dr about this, as it is really concerning you. Yes there are some supplement drinks available under a dietition that are made for children in this area. I know as my eldest son is about to be put on them. See your dr sooner than later.

Natalie - posted on 02/02/2010

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Don't worry. She will eat enough. Kids have built in survival radar... :) All three of my girls are skinny twigs and they eat like birds...then for one week they will eat like elephants, grow another inch and revert back to their picking. But they are growing and happy and my grocery bill is smaller than eveyone elses...I'm just saving for the day when they start bringing friends home and I've got to feed the community!!

Dene - posted on 01/27/2010

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I know someone who had been told to drink Ovaltine and eat graham crackers and peanut butter.

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Fruit smoothies with milk and yoghurt are good. I like to pop a raw egg into the blender with it for protein. I use bananas, kiwi fruit, soft pears, melon....anything soft really.

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