High calorie diets - not a debate

Becky - posted on 02/01/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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This isn't a debate, but I'm asking here because this is where I spend most of my time! And I saw on the taboo parenting thread that some of you mentioned that your kids were on high calorie diets.
My youngest is going to be 17 months in a few days and is still under 20 lbs. He's been on the low end of the charts since 8 months, but now he's completely fallen off them. He's gaining weight extremely slowly. I'm not super-concerned because he is still healthy, happy, and developing appropriately, but I'm thinking there has to come a point where that little weight gain becomes a concern. We're going in for his 18 month check-up - early - next week, but I thought I'd ask, for those of you who have your kids on high calorie diets, what do you feed them? Any tips on fattening him up a bit, without feeding him a steady diet of Oreos, which I know he'd love, would be great!
Thanks!

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Jenny - posted on 02/01/2011

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I have never owned a scale. So long as my kids are sleeping, playing and passing waste properly I knew they were getting everything they needed. My daughter was tiny but it never bothered me (or my doctor).

Becky - posted on 02/02/2011

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Concerned - if he's around the 20th percentile and meeting his milestones, I wouldn't worry, honestly. The 20th percentile is still pretty good. Neither of my kids have ever been over the 50th. You can't compare him to your daughter, because every child is different. He may just have a smaller build or a faster metabolism. Their weight gain does slow down after 6 months as well, as they get more active. The health nurses freaked me out when Zach was 8 months and dropped from around the 50th percentile to the 5th, but the dr. wasn't concerned. He said as long as he's healthy and meeting milestones, he's fine. But now that he's entirely off the charts, I'm beginning to worry. I will wait and see what the dr. says at our appointment next week before I drastically change his diet, or start him on Pediasure. If he suggests Pediasure, I'm going to see if he'll give me a prescription so I can get my Blue Cross to cover it.
I'll ask about the Boost too. I saw the high calorie stuff at the drug store tonight and wondered if I could give that to him, but wasn't sure if it's okay for kids. I lived on the stuff the last 3 months of my pregnancy with Cole because I had such severe reflux I could hardly eat or keep anything down.

Kylie - posted on 02/02/2011

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My son was below the 5th percentile at the last doctors visit. I put butter on all his cooked veggies, use full fat dairy products. I make bran and blueberry muffins and put lots of butter and jam on his. Lots of milk shakes with icecream and frozen bananas, honey, yohgurt and full fat milk. Celery with peanut butter and cheese and avocado sandwiches. You can add extra calories without having to feed them a lot of saturated fats and preservative chemicals.
My 2 year old is still skinny even though I feed him all day long hes 26 months and 11.2 kilos, some people are just small.

Rosie - posted on 02/02/2011

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absolutely do not put powder formula in anything until you have cleared it with a doctor. it can severely screw with their electrolytes. :)

and as long as your child isnt' below the 5th percentile you don't have anything to worry about at all. )

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Melissa - posted on 02/02/2011

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your fine if breast feeding yeah babies are more likely to have those kind of problems they are smaller in general and dont meet milestones as quickly. I wasnt able to breast feed withmy first obviously because she was losig weight my mum couldnt breast feed me either for the same reason I was breast fed for 2 weeks so was my first daughter. Formula would definately help

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His milestones r fine Mandy...may b I shud just start giving him 3-4 ounces of formula in addition to his food and breast milk? Just to add extra calories... I know I am being a little Paranoid... it is just that I have battled with his feeds for the last 4 months and his growth has Plateaued. I feel guilty for not doing enough...

Melissa - posted on 02/02/2011

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I got mine prescription so im not sure where or if its available you'd have to talk to a doc, but I wouldnt be too concerned. Is your baby meeting the milestones. My daughter hit 7kg at 12-13 months old and second is in perfetly normal weight range and is 7kg at 6.5 months

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He weighs 7.6 kg at 7 mths. Sort of on the 20th centile but was born 3.5 kg on 49th centile. What calorie powder can I get in aus?
Thanks

Melissa - posted on 02/02/2011

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well my daughter was FTT so a separate case in what a normal baby would be fed, but that is what was used with her. I wouldnt be using formula powder. Get the calorie powder if its available non prescription what size is your baby though there might not be anything to worry about? Some babies are just small

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Is it ok to add some formula powder to his oatmeal cereal? I then give him some plain water on top to make sure the proportion stays right... My daughter was a big baby and in my head I am always comparing which I know I shouldn't do cause each kid is different...btw Mandy I had asked some mms and they sort if said butter was a huge no no . If it is a milk product instinct says it shud b okay in moderation...

LaCi - posted on 02/02/2011

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Well, in keeping with my taboo parenting things, there's always nut butters. All proteins have allergy potential though, so all my suggestions are taboo.



I would say things like oreos could be things you might regret one day. It doesn't take much peanut butter to add a ton of calories.



You could try vanilla or chocolate soymilk/hempmilk/ricemilk, maybe hemp protein to stack on useful calories, as long as it's the balanced type of protein with a good percentage fat and fiber. Or just using toddler formulas and such to pack on calories and nutrients at the same time. I'm just a big fan useful calories. HEALTHY fats and proteins. I think the nutritional balance still needs to be there.



But, honestly, as long as he isn't dropping weight It's probably best to just wait til the appointment and discuss all your ideas with the doctor.

Melissa - posted on 02/02/2011

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to Concerned Mum itis ok to give butter for a 7 month old they gave it to my daughetr at 3 months

agree with comment below but sometimes being small does hinder development. My daughter had an MRI done at 7 months I was told there would almost definately be some sort of problem. She was fine. She did everything was behind

Rosie - posted on 02/02/2011

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what they did for my sons is increase the amount of powder you put in his formula. it's a very precise thing so you HAVE to ask the doctor and get that approved before you do it. to much causes problems.
if you are breastfeeding i don't know what to do in that case.
i wouldn't worry to much if your doctor hasn't suggested seeing a dietician though. some babies are just small.

and becky, pediasure comes in all sorts of flavors here in the united states. my kids did not like it very much, but i had to get therm to drink it, so i was persistant. my last one was on a product called boost, it's similar to pediasure, my doctor thought it was better though since they can make a high calorie version of it. i had to ask the pharmacy if they could order it for me though. i didn't need a prescription for it either, i just asked them if they could order it for me. he didn't eat any actual food, he would throw that up all the time and refuse to eat so he was only on that product.
i thought of a few little things. if your kid likes yogurt get the custard high calorie high fat kind, i think it has a yellow package in the yoplait brand. dont' get yoplait light, or whatever. also sour cream is your friend, full fat sour cream.

i'd also like to address the statement that kids are wonderful and normal even if they are small and you shouldn't intervene. while that may be true, when i child is severely underweight, especially in the first year of life, their cerebral growth and develpment can be affected, and they can become behind in areas of learning. i'd rather not take that risk, even if my kids were hitting all of their milestones, who knows what type of damage could be going on in their brain. i'd like to stress that if your doctor doesn't seem concerned though, there is probably no reason to be. some kids are just small. :)

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What abt a 7 mth old baby who has dropped off centiles? Is it ok to give butter ? Not too fond of avocado...Any suggestions for high calorie diet?

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2011

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In some cases high calorie diets are necessary Deanna but I do agree that is is hard to reduce them once the body is used to them, for my daughter going from pediasure and night feeds, milkshakes twice a day calorie powder with every meal to a semi normal diet with just cows milk and added butter to everything it took about a year for her to put on some weight. Now Im proud shes 11.4kg (25 lbs) at almost 3 years old. I was shocked when we weighed her 7 months after being discharged from the hospital system and she had gone from 10.4 to 11.4.

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My youngest was off the charts on the low end since birth and up to the 2nd year. We fed her whenever she was hungry like we did her sisters and we fed her (only her) until we couldn't get her to eat anymore. She was still below weight. However, IMO she was still healthy and she weighed more than her cousin did at that age. (her cousins weight scared me, really she was and is only skin and bones. that scares me) Anyway, I did hold off on the shots for each milestone and intentionally put her 1 set behind because she had and has a harder time processing the shots. The doctor and I got into it because all I fed her and her sisters were fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. (vegetarian diet 1st yr and mostly for 2nd yr) She wanted me to give her more carbs and put her on a higher calorie diet. I explained what I was doing and had done with all the girls and how they were all healthy weight. She still argued with me and even went so far at one point as to tell me to feed her junk food. I was horrified and just said fine. I never did though I didn't go back to her for a year for shots or check ups though. (Emergencies we went to children's mercy urgent care) Anyway, we went back a year later and she was barely on the chart for weight. She has always been medium to high for height though. I would never suggest a high calorie diet for anyone as it is hard to reduce the calories once your body gets used to them. However, I do understand your concern and know that you aren't the only mom out there that has a child under weight but still healthy. Good luck at your check up. :)

Kimberly - posted on 02/01/2011

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Boost Kid Essentials 1.5 cal
Duocal powder
Carnation Instant Breakfast
Avocados
Heavy Cream
Butter
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2011

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it comes in vanilla chocolate strawberry and banana but i think you can only get vanilla from the chemist my daughter hated it so had to mix with milkshakes or cowsmilk. We ended up throwing out a few cartons when she stopped drinking it but some kids love the stuff.

We had to buy flavoured milk with the food shop every week when she was struggling did this for about a year now she just drinks normal milk and get the flavoured as a treat

Becky - posted on 02/01/2011

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He doesn't like milk, which is one of our problems! I'm trying to find a milk substitute that he'll drink. He drank rice milk okay, but wasn't crazy about it. But I don't think it's as high in fat as whole cows milk is. Maybe we'll try goats milk next. He does like goat cheese.
Thanks for the tips! I may try the pediasure, I'm just reluctant to spend the money on it and then he won't drink it. But if it comes in flavors, he probably will.

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2011

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just lots of milk instead of water but there has to be a balance iwth enough water to. Both my kids still get constipation so i try to stick more to the water now for the older one

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2011

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lots of tips here. There is a calorie powder you can get (presciption though) you can add to food and drinks just dissolve it very well. Use pediasure unsure if its only in Aus but its almost twice the calories of cows milk. I got it prescription but to buy at the pharmacy its rather expensive. Add butter to any food you make including with veges or heaps on toast or bread, well I guess this doesnt apply to you anymore but people I know used cream in the bottles. Desserts after every meal. Cream cheese or peanut butter are high calories, I had to put them on rusks from 3 months old. When making pasta I used lots of butter and cheese, add cheese to as much as you can. Cant think of anything else atm but I know Im forgetting things

Rosie - posted on 02/01/2011

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think about stuff you cut out when you are on a diet. if you eat carrot sticks eat them with dip, or peanut butter. if you have broccali, use cheese sauce. if you make spaghetti, put butter and parmesan in it. in fact, put butter in pretty much ANYTHING you make.
milk, instead of water (they still need water, don't cut it out completely)
cheese spread on crackers.
pediasure or drinks similar to it. carnation instant breakfast,
when using milk, only use whole.

i do give my kids more junk than other people do, and the dieticians actually don't think it's that bad of a thing. of course there's moderation, but it's hard to get calories with apples and peanut butter. sometimes they need a twinkie, lol.

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