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WendyNYC
05-11-2008, 12:20 AM
My 8 year old daughter is underweight --she's in the <10th %ile for weight and 60% for height. Her pediatrician would like for me to try an put a little more meat on her bones, in a healthy and inobtrusive way. Good fats, and all that. She's a big eater and not picky in the least. She will eat all of her meal and ask for more. She exercises a ton. We eat healthy, but I'm not a stickler about anything really. She doesn't have allergies.

Ok, so more nuts...that's easy. Hummus for dip. Maybe put some sesame seeds in the vegetables I make?

Any other ideas?

katiemac
05-11-2008, 12:59 AM
Guacamole? I personally love avocadoes; I put slices on sandwiches, burgers, and chop 'em up in salads.

kikazaru
05-11-2008, 02:25 AM
I would never try to second guess a pediatrician but, kids are all different. If she is a good eater and is otherwise healthy it could be that is just her body type and metabolism and it is natural for her to be thin.

However if you want to get more calories into her add an extra meal somewhere during the day (or divide it into several small snacks between meals) or take a look at what she eats now and "fatten" it up. Dairy products are good for this. If she likes yoghurt find the full fat kind (there is a brand here that I adore but will only buy it as a very special treat for myself because it has 3xs the calories of the normal yoghurt). If she likes milk give her whole milk. Cheese like triple cream Brie would be good for snacks with crackers. If she likes pudding make it with half whole milk and half cream. If she likes jello you can make it with half hot water to dissolve it, and then add full fat yoghurt or whipping cream to the other half. Fold in bananas before it sets.

WendyNYC
05-11-2008, 02:39 AM
I would never try to second guess a pediatrician but, kids are all different. If she is a good eater and is otherwise healthy it could be that is just her body type and metabolism and it is natural for her to be thin.

However if you want to get more calories into her add an extra meal somewhere during the day (or divide it into several small snacks between meals) or take a look at what she eats now and "fatten" it up. Dairy products are good for this. If she likes yoghurt find the full fat kind (there is a brand here that I adore but will only buy it as a very special treat for myself because it has 3xs the calories of the normal yoghurt). If she likes milk give her whole milk. Cheese like triple cream Brie would be good for snacks with crackers. If she likes pudding make it with half whole milk and half cream. If she likes jello you can make it with half hot water to dissolve it, and then add full fat yoghurt or whipping cream to the other half. Fold in bananas before it sets.

Thanks for the ideas. Her pediatrician knows that she is normally thin and is fine with it, she was concerned because she's trending thinner on the growth graph. She grew 2 1/2 inches last year and gained only one pound. (I'm not really concerned health-wise--she joined a swim team this year so she exercises a lot, but I clearly need to get more calories in her to make up for that.)

Stacia Kane
05-11-2008, 05:03 PM
Black olives with feta cheese on pita bread is a great snack with a lot of healthy oils and fats. You can grill the pita with a little olive oil too. (Black olives are a great healthy calorie-laden snack anyway, one large olive has 8 calories and I don't know about you but I can eat practically a whole can in one sitting.

Fettucine alfredo? :-)

Mr Flibble
05-11-2008, 06:23 PM
I would never try to second guess a pediatrician but, kids are all different. If she is a good eater and is otherwise healthy it could be that is just her body type and metabolism and it is natural for her to be thin.

Absolutely. My mum took me to the doc's when I was a nipper because I was so skinny. He just told her that breast fed children rarely get fat, it was probably my natural body shape, and as long as I was eating healthily it wasn't a problem. Considering I was wolfing down everything in sight, they left it at that. My kids are exactly the same too. My son never stops eating, and I can count his ribs by sight.

Your daughter is going to love having a quick metabolism when she's older :) ( put it like this, my BMI went over 20 once -- when I was eight months pregnant. I just don't put on weight, ever, much to the annoyance of my larger friends. No diets for me!)

Just make sure she has plenty of healthy snacks, including lots of dairy. I'm sure she'll be fine.

GeorgeK
05-11-2008, 09:50 PM
When was your pediatrician's graph printed? More than half of the US is obese. Similar to how a few zeros can really bring down a grade point average, a few morbidly obese people can alter a graph of averages. If she's fit, healthy, active and eats well and the pediatrician didn't find any medical problems, it doesn't sound like anything dangerous. How many ribs can you count? If she's on a swim team and can hold her own, I wouldn't worry too much. The graph is a piece of paper, your daughter is a person. There's an old saying in medicine, "Treat the patient and not the laboratory."

chevbrock
05-13-2008, 08:59 AM
I'm with George. She's a fit, healthy girl and I wouldn't be worrying too much about that.

I would suggest adding more carbs if she's exercising so much. Wholegrain bread, pasta, that kind of thing. Maybe throw in some lentils, chickpeas (like the hummus you mentioned earlier) red kidney beans - that sort of thing.

Sarita
05-13-2008, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the ideas. Her pediatrician knows that she is normally thin and is fine with it, she was concerned because she's trending thinner on the growth graph. She grew 2 1/2 inches last year and gained only one pound. (I'm not really concerned health-wise--she joined a swim team this year so she exercises a lot, but I clearly need to get more calories in her to make up for that.)
Yeah, when I was 14-15, I grew 6 inches in 6 months and didn't gain any weight to go with it. Talk about concerned pediatricians!

Like Chev said, if she's exercising a lot, make sure she's getting enough complex carbs, whole wheat breads, enriched pasta, brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal. You can get wheat or bran germ ground up and throw it into almost anything. It does wonders to the nutritional value, just be sure to add it to the dish at the end, so that it doesn't get all glutinous.

Monkey
05-21-2008, 11:32 PM
I can't gain weight either. I even had a doctor accuse me of being anorexic once! He was basing this on the fact that I was really skinny and when he asked me what I'd had for breakfast I said, "Nothing, yet."

Truth was, I was running late that morning and hadn't had time to eat yet, but I usually ate four meals a day and still packed in more than my heavier, three-meal-a-day eating friends.

Now my son is tiny and we've had to change pediatricians because his first one was convinced that there was something wrong with him. My baby was in the 99% for height and like 60% for weight. Well, geesh...his dad was - at the time - 6'8 and under 200 pounds. I was 5'1 and about 94 pounds, despite recently having a baby. I wonder where my son could have gotten those "tall and skinny" genes? (the "tall" didn't come from me, obviously...)

ANYWAY...I've included all this because I've been through a similar situation. I put my son on 100% whole wheat, no refined flours at all. I put him on 100% whole milk, including full-fat yogurt. I started putting butter and cheese on *everything*. I started deep-fat frying more often (I use olive oil). And guess what? He's still skinny as can be. Some people are just that way. If you find something that works, I'd love to hear it.
:)

icerose
05-22-2008, 04:49 AM
I went to school with a family that was super skinny. They ate really healthy, were active, and didn't have anything abnormal. Their parents were super skinny, their grandparents were super skinny, they ate like normal people. It was just their build.

As long as she's healthy, has high energy, and is eating enough, I wouldn't worry about it. My nieces are the same way. Tall and skinny, they'll eat you out of house and home and still not gain a pound. Their mother was the same way. It all comes down to genetics sometimes.

stormie
05-22-2008, 04:57 AM
Don't worry, Wendy. I was so thin as a child, the kids always.... Well, anyway, the doctor was concerned. Advised vitamins which made me sick, something else I can't remember that was horrible tasting, wanted my mother to pile on the meat which I couldn't eat. Finally, I think to appease the doctor, my mother had me drink Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning (now if your daughter's lactose intolerant, make sure she takes a Lactaid pill or drinks Lactaid milk). I did this for years. Never gained much weight, but I was sure healthy. Still am. And my bones are strong from all that milk!

As long as your daughter is healthy and exercising, don't worry.

Snowstorm
05-22-2008, 05:12 AM
Any thoughts on seeing a nutritionist? Perhaps an expert in diet and nutrition might be able to assure you she's eating right for her activities, or give you ideas for any changes.

misslissy
05-22-2008, 06:00 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. Eventually it will even out. I know it is what the doctor said, but some people are just like that. I know I am. I'm almost 18 and I've been skinny all my life. I don't quite weigh enough to give blood, but I'm perfectly healthy.

Otherwise a good snack I would suggest is microwave string cheese for a little bit until it's melty and stringy and then dip pretzels in it. Pretty healthy and tasty.

MsK
05-22-2008, 06:37 AM
Lucky girl. If she likes oatmeal, you can add all kinds of great things to a big bowl of oatmeal. Raisins, almonds, bananas... Yum

jennontheisland
05-22-2008, 07:51 AM
Having been a skinny minny, I can tell you there are some kids who won't gain weight no matter what you feed them. I can still eat just about anything without gaining substantial weight and I'm in my 30s now.

Definitely full fat dairy, always good to get calcium into girls. Peanut butter and any other nut as snacks. Pediasure is a meal replacement drink that is supposed to taste like a milkshake. Might make a good afterschool snack...

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2008, 06:19 PM
Sounds like my 7-11/12 year old. Very thin, getting taller, extremely active.

Heck, I was the same way.

I wouldn't worry about it. If she's getting all her nutrition and eating good meals, that's just how her metabolism is.

I think the worst thing you can try to do is fatten her up. Might send her down a path of overeating or eating unhealthy that you don't want in the future.

HeronW
05-22-2008, 08:01 PM
As long as she's not anorexic or binging/purging to stay thin. Young girls are prime targets for the 'I need to be thin to be pretty' dreck pervading media at all levels.

Kitrianna
05-22-2008, 08:51 PM
Personally I would have been happier if my pediatrician had been more concerned about me not gaining weight at that age. It would have saved me from suffering from undiagnosed diabetes for over 3 years, but anywho sneaking in an extra snack/meal should help and possibly getting her to eat a bit more protein could help her put on a couple extra pounds too.

WendyNYC
05-22-2008, 09:06 PM
As long as she's not anorexic or binging/purging to stay thin. Young girls are prime targets for the 'I need to be thin to be pretty' dreck pervading media at all levels.


Gah! She's only 8! I hope that's not an issue for anyone yet! How awful.

She's a total tomboy, so I don't think she's too worried about her body image right now.

misslissy
05-22-2008, 11:53 PM
Gah! She's only 8! I hope that's not an issue for anyone yet! How awful.

She's a total tomboy, so I don't think she's too worried about her body image right now.

I wish that wasn't true. When I was in the 4th grade the older girls in our school used to tell me how I was anorexic. This lead to years of body image problems. I'm still skinny no matter how much I tried to eat and how much I tried to just weigh more so I wouldn't feel like everyone was calling me anorexic behind my back. I've come to accept that I'm just skinny. I'm perfectly healthy and I feel good about myself.

Sorry if that was too much. I just felt like sharing.

Yeshanu
05-23-2008, 05:50 AM
Okay, I'll just solve all your problems right here. I'll package up my extra, and ship it direct. :D

Seriously, I'm with those who say not to be so concerned that she's supposedly underweight. Though the suggestion to switch to whole milk, etc. is a good one, IMO. It adds something without there being too obvious a change in diet. And it tastes better.

Ken
05-23-2008, 05:56 AM
the next time she goes in for a checkup just stick some weights in her pockets before she hops on the scale.

kidding :-)

ps Pasta is a great pound-packer.
Also a great energy fuel, for exercising.

sassandgroove
05-23-2008, 09:28 PM
Gah! She's only 8! I hope that's not an issue for anyone yet! How awful.

She's a total tomboy, so I don't think she's too worried about her body image right now.
I wish that were true. I had issues when I was 8.

When I was teaching pre-school I had two students with eating disorders. One used eating (not eating) to control his parents and was super small and thin for his age. He was lagargic one day after lunch was over and asked me if he could eat. I didn't care lunch was over I let him. I had another girl, only three, that looked like a cabbage patch kid, could barely move and ate everything in site. She had no 'enough' trigger. The state came and evaluated her and sent her to a different school.

WendyNYC
05-23-2008, 09:35 PM
Wow, that's terrible.

My daughters go to an all-girls' school and believe me, you get that many young females in one place together and conditions are ripe for eating disorders. Fortunately, the school is all over it and will intervene if they suspect a problem. They have all sorts of seminars, etc for parents as well. I haven't heard of anything this young--but then again, it's not like it would be public knowledge.

sassandgroove
05-23-2008, 09:41 PM
It sounds to me like your daughter is probably fine. It is good she's active. I wasn't and gained 100 pounds from 5th grade to 7th grade.

Shadow_Ferret
05-23-2008, 10:27 PM
Wow, that's terrible.

My daughters go to an all-girls' school and believe me, you get that many young females in one place together and conditions are ripe for eating disorders. Fortunately, the school is all over it and will intervene if they suspect a problem. They have all sorts of seminars, etc for parents as well. I haven't heard of anything this young--but then again, it's not like it would be public knowledge.When I was subbing in an elementary school, I was in the office and one of the kindergartener girls came in for some reason. Then out of the blue she says, "My parents are sending me to a fat farm over the summer."

I looked at her and saw a normal 6-year-old with a normal body build and immediately felt sorry for her that she had to live with such assholes.