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  1. #1
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    Default She's barely eating - at my wit's end

    I'm stuck between two camps here and am getting really stressed - I need to hear from other moms that may be experiencing this too.

    My 22-month old is becoming increasingly picky and is eating less, it seems, as time goes on. Some days are better than others.

    I wouldn't normally worry about it. She's active, very bright, sleeps relatively well, etc. And I know a toddler's growth slows after a year and they don't always eat so well. Overall, she seems fine.

    HOWEVER, my pediatrician is concerned that she's falling off the weight chart and has me trying to "fatten" her up a bit to increase her growth. She's about 23 lbs right now (was 19lbs at a year - so only +4 in almost a year). I don't think he's concerned about her actual weight, just the fact that she's not really gaining. I'm trying to get as much "healthy" fattening foods as I can into her - cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, meats, etc. And she gained enough for her last appt that he was satisfied. But he's going to check her again in two months.

    IF she doesn't keep gaining steadily, he wants to do blood work on her! I really don't want to put her through that. My gut tells me she's fine, but some days I wonder if he's right. Maybe there is something going on. She barely eats two spoonfuls of dinner most nights. Tonight she barely ate a thing.

    Anyone else have a possibly underweight child? Am I freaking out for nothing?

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    All my kids are small and I've been told to get them tested too (and actually did with the first one). They barely eat any dinner unless it's something that they really like (which is VERY rare). Generally our best meal of the day is breakfast (they're starving because they didn't eat their dinner!!), and we usually have basically the same thing for lunch everyday because I know what they will eat. They do most of their eating at snack time so I make sure they get the healthy fattening stuff then, like yogurt, etc. I wouldn't worry about it too much right now, just keep doing what you're doing. I don't know how many times I've been told, and it is so true - no child will starve itself. She'll eat when she's hungry. Your job is to make sure that when she is hungry, she gets the right stuff!
    Good luck.

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    My dd rarely eats more than a mouthful at dinner but she eats a great breakfast and an ok lunch and loves to snack. So I get what I can into her before noon and then I don't bother fighting because it's an uphill battle that I will never win!
    One thing my dr asked me when I was concerned about lack of eating was - Is she drinking too much and therefore not eating because her stomach is full? Something to ponder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by million$momma
    My dd rarely eats more than a mouthful at dinner but she eats a great breakfast and an ok lunch and loves to snack. So I get what I can into her before noon and then I don't bother fighting because it's an uphill battle that I will never win!
    One thing my dr asked me when I was concerned about lack of eating was - Is she drinking too much and therefore not eating because her stomach is full? Something to ponder.
    ITA. I will not let my kids have any milk or any kind of "filling" drink after 3pm so that they won't be filled up with that at dinnertime (doesn't seem to help them eat dinner though). Of course they can have water though.

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    I think that your doctor might be jumping the gun a bit. Give her some time, and don't push it.

    Continue to put out healthy high cal foods. Often. Summer is tough because with the heat some kids just don't want to eat much. Keep offering good foods, and eliminate 'empty' foods like goldfish crackers, etc.

    My oldest went through a stage that was similar and we tried to fatten her up a bit. I added olive oil to vegetables (well, I roasted veggies in olive oil I guess), I gave her tons of bagel with peanut butter, I would put a pat of butter on her rice, I would make spaghetti sauce with lots of beef in it, etc. It wasn't any 'weird' food that she didn't like, I just tried to make everything that she ate wholesome. It was fine after a while.

    How much milk and juice is she drinking?
    The poster formerly known as Geomamma

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    I am going through this aswell with my son. He is almost 26 mths and 22lbs. I am only 4'9 and 90lbs so DS is just taking after Mommy and not Daddy. I did give him doubled churned Bryers icecream twice a day to fatten him for his last weigh in and it worked 2lbs in 3 weeks. So no I give him an icecream everyday for a snack. I know not the best choice but it works. He is also still on homo milk.

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    Supper time is always the worst meal of the day for us. Tired and cranky! But Malcolm always eats a big lunch and usually a good sized breakfast. He loves his snacks too so I try to make sure his afternoon snack has a protein in it to last him longer. It worried me too that he wasn't eating as much as he used to and he is a tall kid for his age. But I was told by my dr that as long as he drinks a lot, is eating something it will be fine. He has a ton of energy and the dr said that is a good indication that every thing is okay. Its when they are lethargic that you need to start worrying. Good Luck!!!
    Lori, Momma to Malcolm and Ben

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    wow.... I am so glad our doctor doesn't go on and on about my daughters weight. She is 39 months old and weighs in at a whooping 22lbs.... I really need to measure how tall she is.... she is small she is going to be small some kids are just going to be small that is it. As long as what your child is eating is healthy that is what matters... our daughter is also a big breakfast eater and then tends to snack all day pretty much.. just bits of stuff here and there.

    As long as they are meeting their other milestones I wouldn't worry about it.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone. I needed to hear that.

    I know she's fine, so I guess I'll just have to push back with the doctor. We have cut back on juice, and it's helped a bit. I'm going to revamp my menus again to try and add more meat and other good proteins and fats to her diet.

    It's frustrating to cook food and have it go to waste, but my mom said you can't worry about that now. So I'm getting my head around that too.

    Thanks again!!!

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    Hi,
    Just wanted to share my experience as it is a bit different than what you have heard so far. My dd's are both small -as was I. My 2nd dd's weight started to fall off the chart in her 2nd year of life. My Dr. was concerned about her Iron levels as slow growth is a symptom of low iron stores or anemia. I resisted - knowing that children's weight gain decreases in the 2nd year. In my opinion my dd ate well - which she does.

    Then I started to notice she was tired a lot and was looking pale. My own red flag was raised and the Dr's words came back to me. I decided to get her blood taken to find out. Getting the blood done was a cinch for her - we took her to Children's Hospital and they did a fantastic job.

    Her iron stores and hemoglobin came back low - not low enough to be anemia yet but she was well on her way. I upped her iron rich foods but being a picky 2 year old this wasn't really getting us very far. I decided to add an iron supplement. One year later, her levels are up - not where they should be but higher and rising. She seems to have more energy and is doing great.

    Iron deficiency can have long term implications. I generally avoid tests, medication and pretty much most medical things in general. In my dd's case this was one of those situations where having some extra information from the tests did help us improve her diet and her health.

    My experience was just that - your's maybe different. Just wanted to share another perspective. Good luck.
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  11. #11
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    See, now I needed to hear that too. She's always been a pale kid. She's blond and very fair. And she can also be very "calm", which could also be described as a little lethargic, when you look at it.

    I'll just carry on our current course and maybe she'll need to be tested next month, maybe not.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    My advice would be to get a new ped. Seriously...my first ped was like that. My ds was 8 lbs 14 oz. when born, but developed gastrointestinal problems and he dropped to 5th percentile (based on charts which I have since learned are geared to ff babies) My ped ordered all sorts of tests (all neg), then basically blamed me for not feeding him enough. My new ped says he's happy and healthy...leave him be!

    I'm worried about the babies who are being stuffed with high-fat food to promote weight gain...aren't they being set up for poor eating habits when they are older?

    I offer my ds a variety of healthy food and "let him be".
    Please always show kindness in your posts as the person receiving it may need it more than you will ever know.

    SAHM to two boys, 13 and 7.

  13. #13
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    I have two little girls who are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. One eats anything and everything (and she eats a lot!) and the other eats almost nothing and is extremely picky. You know what? They are both small. It is largely genetic. You also have to remeber that the growth charts are based on the average child and the average does not mean healthy, especially these days with childhood obesity skyrocketing.

    My oldest daughter is the one who is picky and she does not like to try new foods. We are vegetarian, but she is offered lots of fattening foods such as nut butters, flax oil, etc... They have cheese sometimes as well. We were concerned when she was about a year old and had stopped gaining weight, but as soon as I changed her diet and added more fat, she was fine. Unfortunately, that was not before I put her through the blood tests, etc... I wish I hadn't. They found nothing wrong. She is still low on the weight charts, but she is healthy and happy and energetic.

    I might still be concerned about her if I didn't see how much my youngest daughter eats. She is also tiny and she seems to have a hollow leg so don't let size fool you. My oldest will be 5 in November and she is 30 pounds and my youngest just turned 3 and she is 25 pounds. They gain slowly, but that's OK. It's what they are. Go with your gut. A mother knows more than doctors give us credit for.

    Karen
    Mom of two fabulous girls, '02 & '04.

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    I would also like to add that if you are really concerned about her diet, I would suggest seeing a nutritionist as doctors are not always wel informed about nutrition. We saw a nutritionist and she respected our vegetarian lifestyle and helped us understand what our daughter should be getting calorie wise and nutritionally. Getting as much raw food into your daughter as possible is important too. Try some of the raw nutbutters, which you can get at the London Co-op or the health food stores.

    Karen
    Mom of two fabulous girls, '02 & '04.

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    Thanks. I would actually like to speak with a nutritionist, just to ask a bunch of questions. My dr did mention the idea - maybe I'll ask for the referral.

    Anyway, good news is she's eating better these days including proteins like peanut butter, more chicken and turkey, and .....hot dogs. Not exactly nutritious, but will definitely help put weight on!

    She has her two year check up next week. I'm confident she'll be fine.

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