High fat diet for baby?

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son will be 10 months old in about a week and weighed 18.6lbs at his last appointment earlier this month, he's only in the 25th percentile for height and his doctor tells me to put him on a high fat diet (?!?) Anyone else think thats a bit extreme?

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Jennifer - posted on 09/03/2011

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Hi! My daughter is now 3 yrs old and only weighs 22.5 lbs and is only 34 in tall. She's been in the lower 5th percentile since she was born at 5 lbs 6 oz. She's always below the chart and makes her own curve. The pediatrician always told us that as long as she remained on her own curve and it continued to go up and didn't plateau or go down and she was developmentally okay, then she was fine. They did put her on Pediasure when she turned one because she was still below 20 lbs and they just wanted to make sure she was getting enough calories. I've always had her on a healthy fat diet, she loves cream cheese on her waffles instead of butter or syrup, and I make sure they are healthy whole grain carbs instead of bleached flour. She gets ice cream before she goes to bed every night as her snack and eats greek yogurt every afternoon. She also stopped taking the pediasure at 18 months and she did stop growing which definitely had us and her healthcare providers worried. She was still developing, she's always been ahead developmentally (she was fully potty trained by 18 months and she speaks in complete sentences) but they were worried that since her head stopped growing, that meant her brain wasn't growing and then could cause developmental delays. So they referred us to a nutritionist who said that everything I was already doing with her diet was perfect, the problem was that since she is just so petite, she can't possibly eat as many calories as her growing body requires so she introduced us to a new supplement called Resource Breeze and it worked wonders for her growth. She just drinks at least two to three of them a day and each 8 oz juice box contains 280 calories and 9 grams of protein. I'm sorry this is so long, but I guess I'm just letting you know that as long as your child is developing properly and stays on their own curve, then there's really nothing to worry about. You can message me if you want any other suggestions, I'd be happy to share my experiences with you :)

Kathryn - posted on 09/01/2011

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I know my son is younger but the is 8.5 months and weighs 15 lbs 8 oz. He hasn't gained more than a pound in 4 months. He is now in the less than 5%. So I know all about small kids.

There are a few things to consider before starting a "high fat" diet...

Have the doc examine your sons weight curve chart. How does the curve look?
Remember back to when your child started crawling/walking. The loose a lot of that baby fat once they are more mobile.
How does he eat? Is he on solids? Watch what he eats for a few days then see if he is eating enough calories.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5707601_calculat...
Is your son active and happy? Having to change his diaper a few times a day? Is he otherwise devloping correctly? If yes, I wouldn't worry.

Unfortunatly doc now rely so much on percentiles and not really on the children themselves. 20 years back it was more than normal for babies to be less than 20 lbs at 1 year.

If you would like to consider a healthy high fat diet let me know. I have a few suggestions for that too.

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Jennifer - posted on 09/25/2011

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Thank you Jennifer I appreciate that. He appears to be gaining since his appointment so Im not so worried anymore. He's kind of a picky eater so it's hard to find things he'll actually eat, but we're both figuring it out, I think we'll be just fine :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/02/2011

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Also when I was pregnant she told me my son was going to be 8 pounds or more....obviously she was waaay off.

Jennifer - posted on 09/02/2011

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Thanx Jodi, thats exactly what I was thinking. His daddy has a high metabolism, so Im sure my son does as well. I don't totally trust this doctor, she's very rushed and overbooks. When I went into labour she finally showed up literally 2 minutes before my son was born, up until then the nurses had done everything. As soon as she was done with stitches, she was gone again. I wish I could find a new doctor, I tired when I was first recommended to her but unfortunately the city I live in has a 'if you already have a doctor, then you don't need to look for a new one' kind of policy.

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As long as he is continuing to grow, thrive, and meet milestones... the actual weight number should NOT matter.

I was 13 pounds at 13 months. My son was 13 pounds at 2 months. He's 3.5 now and has been in the 25% for weight and height for the past year and half. His 4.5 year old cousin is MAYBE an inch taller than him and the same weight... or a pound or two less. :)

Caitlin - posted on 09/02/2011

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I think that there are simple steps that can be used to put in good fats into a baby's diet without going "high fat". My first daughter needed a "higher fat" diet because she had dietary restrictions and couldn't eat eggs, dairy, beef, nuts, peanuts or sesame (all allergies) so we were forced to take some steps for a few months to bring her weight up, but hoenstly, she was low energy, cranky and she LOOKED sick.. She was under 3% for weight and 90% for height, her balance was very off since she was previoulsy weighing in the 30th percentile. SHe came back onto her curve pretty quick.

I think all kids are different, and this taught me that really. I don't worry so much about the little things, her younger sister is the opposite really, she's in the 35th percentile for height and 80th for weight.. They are opposites, it's just the way they are (my oldest takes after me, tall and thinner, by womans standards, while my younger one takes after my hubby, who is short by mens standards).

We now keep the diest balanced, they both eat the same foods and they are both growing differently, it's the way their bodies are at the moment. I wouldn't go messing with your kids diet unless there were serious developmental concerns like lethargy, lack of concentration, unwillingness to engage in activities that they previously enjoyed (which is why we had to intervene with our older daughter - who is now right back to where she would be).

If you aren't sure, try consulting another doctor or nurtritionist perhaps.

Brandi - posted on 09/02/2011

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my youngest is three and a half and 28 lbs she is small for her age I think all kids are different and let them eat what they want healthly as long as there are no medical probs why push fatty diet and possible cause obesity later in life from poor diet habits? I have always been told kids will eat when they are hungry and my daughter stays between 10-25th percentile while my other two stay in the 75th all kids are different

Sonia - posted on 09/02/2011

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My son was 6lb 11 oz born 9 days early. He averaged 50grams weight gain/day after that and was 22lb 9 1/2oz at 9 and a half months. He's now 2 and a half, weighs approximately 15-16kgs, but is completely healthy. He was always on the 75%ile for weight but never looked overweight. I think some kids are just suppose to be that way. Babies in my mothers group were bigger but weighed less. I wouldn't worry about it. There is no such thing as an overweight baby, toddler/ young child maybe. Once your child is up and running, he'll probably stable out with weight but I wouldn't worry about it. And if the parents are not overweight, the chances are you are all eating well. Good luck.

Jodi - posted on 09/01/2011

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Jennfer, my daughter was 5lb 2oz when she was born and has ALWAYS wavered at less than the 25th percentile. Her pediatrician NEVER indicated she needed a high fat diet. She remained on the same curve, and still is on the lower end, and she is now 6. I've never considered a high fat diet for her. As her ped says, she was just always meant to be small.

@ Naomi, I don't think anyone is suggesting that fats are unhealthy for a child. However, a high fat diet, no matter the source, is not a particularly good idea unless there is a reason for it. That is not to say a child should have no fats. Fats are a necessary part of their BALANCED diet. Putting a child on a HIGH fat diet means you are tipping that balance. I can't see why it is needed for a child at 25th percentile, who was obviously born WELL below that, and is still gaining weight on what seems to be the same curve.

Naomi - posted on 09/01/2011

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High Fat doesn't need to mean unhealthy or high sugar/salt. It's not mc'ds! My son has always been bottom of the charts, last summer he was pretty much living on watermelon and berries! He just likes his fruit and veggies.. annnd not so much his meat or anything else. The problem with that is there is such a thing as too much fibre.. like it all just comes right back out the other end and does him no good. My sis in law is a dietitian. When she recommended 'high fat' she just meant things like greek yogourt (13-14 % ) instead of no fat yogourt, and of course once he's ready for it, the 3% milk, cheese, putting skim milk powder into apple sauce etc. This is pretty much all protien so will help him bulk up. Fortunately my son loved avocado which are great, and once he's past a year try introducing nut butters which are also high fat/protien. Oh, eggs are an easy source of protien and fat. Fat is NOT bad for babies!! They need it (the good kind, I can't remember it's name) for their brain development. Oh, my sis also said not to worry or limit to much things like HOME baked goodies made with butter and eggs, you can limit the sugar if you want or add dried fruits, but the other ingredients will give him some protien/fat boosts.
Now all that being said, the 25th percentile is not bad at all. My son was teetering on the line of losing wieght at one point. But he's fine now and will eat meat.. some days. :) The important thing I'm trying to say is that you can't think of your babies diet the same way you do your own. He does need some foods that you don't, like the full fat dairy. Soon he will be moving around so much and burning off that energy way faster than you could!

Katie - posted on 09/01/2011

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I guess the question is, how much do you trust your pediatrition? My daughter is just over 2 yrs old, she still only weighs about 29 1/2 pounds. She is in the 60th percetile for hieght and her weight is finally averaging out. Until 2yr she was in the 75th percentile from birth. Her weight started in the 20th until it finally gradually started going up at about 1 1/2 years. Her pediatrition wasn't concerned, saying as long as she was eating healthy she was fine. She is now 2 and so full of energy, yet still on the petite side but completely healthy.

Nora - posted on 09/01/2011

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We were advised to put DD on pedisure at her year appointment, but the concern wasn't that she is small, but that she wasn't maintaining her weight. She was 25% at 6 months, slipped to 9% at 9 months and then down to 4% at a year. Our doc was just concerned about her maintaining the same growth cycle and worried since she kept slipping. If he had told me to put her on anything just because she is small, I would not have. Some babies are just smaller than others and DD is almost 2 now, up to 22 or 23 pounds and extremely happy and healthy. Last check she was still in the 4%, but the doctor was happy since she didn't go any lower on the growth chart.

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2011

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Thanx everyone. He was only 5lbs 4 oz when he was born, and was only 4 days early. He eats like a horse so I know he's getting enough food, eats what we eat for the most part, except I try to avoid high salt and high sugar foods. He's happy and in no way looks like he's too skinny. He was in the 10th percentile for weight and height at his previous appt. so he is growing. Im not sure why she thought it necessary but I've decided not too. (I gave him an avocado once, it didn't go over very well lol)

Melissa - posted on 09/01/2011

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He may be a little thin but doctors shouldn't be recommending high fat diets for baby, my aunts a doctor, she said she never worries too much about a baby's weight unless there is an extreme change. If your baby isn't growing, at a steady rate, then you might want to worry about feeding more regularly or increase how much you give. Try putting every weight from birth to now on a growth chart, and see if there is a steady increase. If there is you don't need to worry, if there is a suddent drop then you might want to icrease feeding your child HEALTHY food, not fattening food. stick with the food groups!

Amber - posted on 09/01/2011

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My daughter weighed 18 lbs at 12 months (5th percentile) and her doctor also suggested putting her a 'high fat' diet, she had previously been consistently around 50-60 percentile. She was eating fine and everything seemed normal, so I complied and put her on the diet. Her Pedi just encouraged us to feed her healthy fats like avocado's. We had a follow up the next month and she was then at 10th percentile, so we were good. I think she just went through a growth spurt. So if you do go see another doctor to get a second opinion and they suggest the same just remember that there are healthy alternatives for high fats. DD is now 4 1/2 and she's still on the skinny side :)

Traci - posted on 09/01/2011

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My son has always been below the 10th percentile for weight. As a baby he was generally in the 3rd percentile. The WIC nurse kept telling me that my son was malnutritioned and that he needed to eat more. Our peds doc monitored him every month for the first 6 months because he was so skinny for his age. He was growing just fine. My son is now almost 4 and is totally fine. He is still skinny but is 100% healthy!

Josslyn - posted on 09/01/2011

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My little girl is a petite little thing aswell, she is short but "fat" doubt you have anything to worry about, as long as he eats and drinks a healthy diet, he should be fine, get a second opinion before you do damage.

Kim - posted on 08/31/2011

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I would go see another doctor if possible. My daughter weiged 16.2lbs at 6 months and 19lbs at 1 year(25% as well). My doctor said she was probably just going to be small yet when we went to the health nurse for her shots they were kinda concerned. I'm not worried because she is healthy, eats very well and is meeting all her milestones. She doesn't follow her curve totally either. She goes between 25-50 percentile.

Jodi - posted on 08/31/2011

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25th percentile is not generally something to be concerned about. Has he been on the same height curve since birth?

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