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Tony'sMom

Need Suggestions Please

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My 6yr old son is having a hard time gaining any weight. In the last two years he's only gained 1 pound. We kept a food diary and submitted it to the nutritionist, she wants us to increase his daily caloric intake by 600 calories.

Does anyone else have very thin children or kids that have a hard time keeping the weight on? What types of things do you feed them? We were told to make double strength milk and use lots of butters and cream. Other than that, I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions?


Amy

Tony age 6

diagnosed with diabetes at age 1

diagnosed with celiac at age 3

positive blood work

inconclusive biopsy

positive genetic markers

*Special Needs Mom*

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My 6yr old son is having a hard time gaining any weight. In the last two years he's only gained 1 pound. We kept a food diary and submitted it to the nutritionist, she wants us to increase his daily caloric intake by 600 calories.

Does anyone else have very thin children or kids that have a hard time keeping the weight on? What types of things do you feed them? We were told to make double strength milk and use lots of butters and cream. Other than that, I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions?

I was first wondering if your son has been tested for food allergies? The reason being, you can add all the butter and the cream in the world and if your son is allergic or intolerant...he won't gain weight but will lose it. A lot of dieticians and doctors get caught up in the number of calories as opposed to dealing with the underlying issues behind the slow weight gain.

My daughter had a very difficult time putting on weight as an infant and we were told to do the same thing. Turns out, my daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, soy and intolerant of gluten. As soon as those foods were removed from her diet (against the advice of our doctors), she began gaining at an incredibly rapid rate (a pound per month until she made it on the charts again).

Instead of butters and creams, have you tried cooking with coconut oil and adding in some nut milks or coconut milks?

Sorry if any of this is redundant. After dealing with doctors and dieticians who were pretty clueless, it is hard to not get jumpy at the advice given by yet another one ;) But it really would be helpful to know if food allergies have been ruled out prior to implementing a dietary plan.


Vicky

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Like Shaysmom, my dd has many food allergies as well, dairy, egg, soy etc.

Nuts and nut butters (such as almond) can be very helpful for caloric intake but aren't great for those of us with food allergies. I used to give my dd almond butter but we found out she's allergic to almonds and other tree nuts.

I give my dd fruit smoothies alot!! I buy Native, organic coconut milk, original by the case. I make her smoothies using 3 or 4 Tbsp. of coconut milk and store the rest of the can in the refrigertor in a mason jar. I blend the coconut milk with a little mineral/sparkling water or filtered water. I then add frozen fruit, rice protein powder and stevia. You could even add juice and yogurt to the smoothie to boost intake.

I'm so glad you're doing a food diary. We did this with our dd and it helped so much when we met with her specialists.

I try to bake gluten-free muffins and pancakes for her that are pretty high carb. You can also use flax.

I'll try to post more...mind is blank right now. :blink::)

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when I was trying to get my 2 year old to gain weight, we did a lot of startches (potatoes mostly) and also, Pediasure.

I agree though that you need to make sure he doesn't have allergies that you don't know about.


Gluten free since 5/06

mommy to Annika(3) gluten free since 5/04 and Kathryn (5) gluten free since 10/05

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My son is soooo picky, but he loves bacon. I now limit his intake some, but for a while we just let him eat anything he wanted to get him to eat. PB is also a favorite. I just give him a spoonful for a snack, sometimes mixed with Jelly. Cheese is also great. Milkshakes are good too, but he doesn't really like them. You can mix instant breakfast and high cal icecream and whole milk for a calorie boost.


If you're looking for info on how to get started on the gluten-free diet, check out this List for Newly Diagnosed.

Self - Pain free since going gluten-free 9/05 (suffered from unexplained joint pain entire life), asthma improving, allergies improving, mysterious rash disappeared (probably DH)

Husband - Type 1 diabetic, Negative bloodwork

Son - Elevated IgA, Very high IgG, 2 negative biopsies - HLA DQ2 and DQ8 positive, Amazing dietary response since 1/06

Daughter - Congenital Heart Defect (2 surgeries), Reflux, choking issues, eczema, egg allergy - HLA DQ2 positive, Good dietary response (via me because of nursing) since 9/05

"All things happen for good for those who love God..." Romans 8:28

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You don't say how much he weighs. How long has he been gluten-free? My six year old son weighs about 38 lbs. Since he started the gluten-free diet, he's gained 3 or 4. Last August at diagnosis, he was 33/34 lbs. The dietician wanted to up his caloric intake too, and we're having a hard time with it. He just doesn't eat a lot. He's never been a big eater before or after diagnosis. He has no other intolerances/allergies that we are aware of. He likes gobs of sour cream on potatoes, won't eat veg if he thinks there's butter on them, and doesn't like peanut butter. For a while, we had him on a "milk challenge". Every morning we'd put 16 oz of milk in a measuring cup (and sneak in some skim milk powder for extra calories) and the challenge was to drink it all by bedtime. No problem for him.

I've decided he's just a skinny kid, and I'm not going to worry about it. It'll all work out. He comes from two tall, thin parents, and when he's done he'll be tall and thin. Right now, he's short and skinny.

Not much help, I know, but ask the dietician. She should have handouts on how to increase calories with out doubling the amount of food. Our dietician gave us a sheet. Mostly it was slather on butter or sour cream on everything, make sure he's drinking full fat milk, not partly skimmed, and add skim milk powder to his milk.

Good luck.


Linda, Mom to Ty (11 years old)

Ty was diagnosed by blood test June 7/05

biopsy Aug 11/05, diagnosis confirmed Aug 18/05

Mom, Dad and big brother Celiac-free.

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This is probably going to gross some people out, but do you know any moms who are breastfeeding? If they could pump a little extra milk for you, he ought to be able to absorb the nutrients in breastmillk better than any other source.

My son was very skinny until his open-heart surgery. I gave my him lots of fatty fish like salmon, high-carb vegies like red peppers and carrots, and I made lots of soups like black bean with hamburger (or ground turkey) and lots of vegies in it. He also liked hummous as a dip, and that's very nutritious. We also did lots of tofu, but I've seen some posts about the dangers of soy, so I don't know if that's a good one or not for your son.

If your son has a problem with casein, then double-strength milk and cream would be making things worse.

Could there be be some other issue going on? Food allergy, as soemone suggested, or metabolic, or the villi? Does the food nutritionist think that you are giving him 600 calories/day less than what a normal diet would be for a child of his weight? How is his digestion? Does he have diarrhea? I would want a lot more information here.

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Silly me, I forgot an obvious one--kinnkinnick bread (or toast) might be a good low-allergy way to start--somebody just posted that they gained ltos of weight after eating it. If there are no dairy allergies, you could spread it with lots of butter and jam!

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Thank you all for the suggestions you've made. I really appreciate the help.

My son does have many other allergies but not to dairy or nuts. The smoothie/milkshake idea is a great one, I bet he'd really like those. I will also look for the coconut oil, right now we use olive. I'm making him double strength milk for now and have increased his butter intake.

He weighs 42 pounds right now which sounds great but he hasn't gained much lately. He's gone from the 75th percentile to 43rd on the growth charts which is what sparked the concern.


Amy

Tony age 6

diagnosed with diabetes at age 1

diagnosed with celiac at age 3

positive blood work

inconclusive biopsy

positive genetic markers

*Special Needs Mom*

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This is probably going to gross some people out, but do you know any moms who are breastfeeding? If they could pump a little extra milk for you, he ought to be able to absorb the nutrients in breastmillk better than any other source.

My son was very skinny until his open-heart surgery. I gave my him lots of fatty fish like salmon, high-carb vegies like red peppers and carrots, and I made lots of soups like black bean with hamburger (or ground turkey) and lots of vegies in it. He also liked hummous as a dip, and that's very nutritious. We also did lots of tofu, but I've seen some posts about the dangers of soy, so I don't know if that's a good one or not for your son.

If your son has a problem with casein, then double-strength milk and cream would be making things worse.

Could there be be some other issue going on? Food allergy, as soemone suggested, or metabolic, or the villi? Does the food nutritionist think that you are giving him 600 calories/day less than what a normal diet would be for a child of his weight? How is his digestion? Does he have diarrhea? I would want a lot more information here.

Hi Fiddle, thanks for the suggestions. I don't know any breastfeeding mama's right now but that was a clever idea. My son's digestion seems pretty good right now, no diarrhea or anything. The dietitian says that he should be eating 2000 cals a day and right now he's averaging about 1400. Thanks for the help.


Amy

Tony age 6

diagnosed with diabetes at age 1

diagnosed with celiac at age 3

positive blood work

inconclusive biopsy

positive genetic markers

*Special Needs Mom*

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Hi Fiddle, thanks for the suggestions. I don't know any breastfeeding mama's right now but that was a clever idea. My son's digestion seems pretty good right now, no diarrhea or anything. The dietitian says that he should be eating 2000 cals a day and right now he's averaging about 1400. Thanks for the help.

i actually have a TON og breast milk in the freezer that I just can't bring myself to throw out. I was eating gluten when it was pumped and my daughter is so super sensitive she can't handle it. She had open heart surgery too and couldn't eat for a while, so there's a LOT. I would love to give it to someone who could use it. I tried putting it in a sippy cup for my 3 year old and he refused it, but he hates milk. I'm paranoid about cleanliness, so you can be assured that it's safe.

Also, 42 percentile is really good. I wouldn't worry too much. My son dropped from 75 th to completely off the charts.

My daughter has some major issues. She'll be 1 year on the 20th and is 13.5 pounds. She's been put on something called MCT oil and polycose before. Both are Rx only, but very high calories and you mix them in with the other food. She couldn't tolerate them, but everybody is supposed to be able to. If it gets really bad, ask your doctor. We're also going to a feeding clinic where they are trying some new formulations for her next month.

Good luck!


If you're looking for info on how to get started on the gluten-free diet, check out this List for Newly Diagnosed.

Self - Pain free since going gluten-free 9/05 (suffered from unexplained joint pain entire life), asthma improving, allergies improving, mysterious rash disappeared (probably DH)

Husband - Type 1 diabetic, Negative bloodwork

Son - Elevated IgA, Very high IgG, 2 negative biopsies - HLA DQ2 and DQ8 positive, Amazing dietary response since 1/06

Daughter - Congenital Heart Defect (2 surgeries), Reflux, choking issues, eczema, egg allergy - HLA DQ2 positive, Good dietary response (via me because of nursing) since 9/05

"All things happen for good for those who love God..." Romans 8:28

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Another thought: after trying every formula you can imagine with my daughter, I finally tried avocado and she hasn't had any adverse reactions. It' so soft and creamy that I just put it in the food processor to get it really smooth and then mix it with the breast milk. I can then feed it through her feeding tube. 1 avocado had 29 grams of fat, so it's packed with calories. Her docs think I'm nuts, but what's new. It works. If your son likes sour cream, he might like avocado too. I LOVE it. Too bad my weight problem is over instead of under!!!!


If you're looking for info on how to get started on the gluten-free diet, check out this List for Newly Diagnosed.

Self - Pain free since going gluten-free 9/05 (suffered from unexplained joint pain entire life), asthma improving, allergies improving, mysterious rash disappeared (probably DH)

Husband - Type 1 diabetic, Negative bloodwork

Son - Elevated IgA, Very high IgG, 2 negative biopsies - HLA DQ2 and DQ8 positive, Amazing dietary response since 1/06

Daughter - Congenital Heart Defect (2 surgeries), Reflux, choking issues, eczema, egg allergy - HLA DQ2 positive, Good dietary response (via me because of nursing) since 9/05

"All things happen for good for those who love God..." Romans 8:28

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Your son is in a very decent percentile for weight. After 8 months gluten-free, my son has gained about 8 pounds but I think it's because I just live to feed him. His gastro tells me I'm going to ruin him this way. He says I should just leave him alone, let him eat however much gluten-free foods he wants, and just let him be. I wish I were more like 2boys4me who understands that some kids are "just skinny" celiac or not.

Anyway, I fattened up my son some by giving him Boost Plus (it's like Ensure or Pediasure but has a lot more calories and fat). It doesn't taste great, BTW, but somehow we've convinced him he's gotta drink it. Also, if he likes ice cream, go with Haagendaaz (much more fat and calories than any other). I also feed him Hershey bars, and he loves Kinnickinnik English Muffins slathered with real butter, sugar and cinnamon. Also, you can't get any more fattening that condensed milk, so sneek it in whenever possible. Other real fattening foods are peanutbutter, macadamia nuts and potato chips.

Good luck and don't worry too much.

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Thank you all for the suggestions you've made. I really appreciate the help.

My son does have many other allergies but not to dairy or nuts. The smoothie/milkshake idea is a great one, I bet he'd really like those. I will also look for the coconut oil, right now we use olive. I'm making him double strength milk for now and have increased his butter intake.

He weighs 42 pounds right now which sounds great but he hasn't gained much lately. He's gone from the 75th percentile to 43rd on the growth charts which is what sparked the concern.

He doesn't sound too small to me since he is still in the 43rd percentile. If you want to fatten him up a little, I have some ideas since I have used a lot of them with my son (he was below 5th percentile at his last appointment).

I sometimes put a little olive oil or flax seed oil in his applesauce. I don't know if your son would like flax seed, but he would probably like olive oil since it doesn't have as stong of a flavor.

Like someone else suggested Avocados are full of good fat. Do you think he would like guacamole? Just mix mashed avocados with store bought salsa (you can buy the mild one if he doesn't like spicy foods). My DD loves guacamole.

I sometimes put a little half and half in his eggs...it makes them creamier and adds some fat. I also cook the eggs in a lot of olive oil.

That is all I can think of right now. Good luck!

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Thank you all for the suggestions you've made. I really appreciate the help.

My son does have many other allergies but not to dairy or nuts. The smoothie/milkshake idea is a great one, I bet he'd really like those. I will also look for the coconut oil, right now we use olive. I'm making him double strength milk for now and have increased his butter intake.

He weighs 42 pounds right now which sounds great but he hasn't gained much lately. He's gone from the 75th percentile to 43rd on the growth charts which is what sparked the concern.

I must say that I am VERY suprised that your ds has not tested positive for dairy allergies (in the least for an allergy to casein). With the history of diabetes AND celiac, I strongly suspected a gluten/casein problem. Especially since some researchers have linked dairy as being one of the leading environmental causes leading to diabetes. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/...10322074643.htm Of course, the same can be said for gluten. Also, the drop on the weight charts is a bit strange. If his eating patterns have changed that drastically then it would be understandable that he lost weight and needs to focus on increasing calories. However, if his appetite and intake is about the same as before and he's still losing....I'd say a new food intolerance/allergy is showing up.

If your ds does not have a nut allergy, then I would highly recommend adding coconut and almond milks to his smoothies. We add both to rice milk, some ice and the fruit of the day. We also juice a lot to get a good balance of vitamins and minerals. Carrot/apple juice would provide your son with nearly all of his vitamins and minerals for the day while allowing you a bit more room to throw in foods with extra calories. We juice about one pound of carrots per day with 2 apples, some spinach, parsley and sometimes some celery too. Whatever is laying around the house goes into our juicer. lol!! Of course, that provides enough juice for dd, my husband and I.

I LOVE a pp's suggestions of avocado and/or hummus! The avocado may be a little tougher to feed a 7 year-old, but still....they don't usually stay picky forever. And if you can find a good recipe for guacamole, you'd be in business! I hope that all these suggestions work for you and that your son's weight stabilizes soon.


Vicky

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I wish I were more like 2boys4me who understands that some kids are "just skinny" celiac or not.

Thanks for the kind words. Sometimes I feel like a terrible mom for saying that. On the other hand, at Ty's follow-up about 3 weeks ago, I asked the doctor to do a blood test, so I could see how the diet was working and he said he wouldn't do it. He said, I can look at him and see that the diet is working. He's gaining weight, slowly, but he's gaining, his belly looks better, his hair looks better, he's not the same kid who was in here 6 months ago. He's moved from scrawny to skinny. The diet's working. Don't worry.

Tony's Mom, sounds like there's a consensus on the dairy sensitivity. I guess you'll be checking that out soon? I didn't realize there was a connection with dairy to diabetes, but I guess if there's a diabetes-celiac link and a celiac-dairy link it makes sense.


Linda, Mom to Ty (11 years old)

Ty was diagnosed by blood test June 7/05

biopsy Aug 11/05, diagnosis confirmed Aug 18/05

Mom, Dad and big brother Celiac-free.

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When we were working for weight gain, we added Ensure to his milk (alone, it upset his stomach), had lots of bacon, and granola bars (gluten-free and homemade, of course) and Klondike bars. I also have a low glycemic index book with a recipe for these brown rice-syrup/pb/dried fruit and optional nuts thingies -- we call them Those Gooey Things. Taste a lot like caramels and I cannot make them fast enough and they have a bazillion calories.

More helpful might be HOW he eats. I find if I leave a plate or bowl of food out, my son will munch throuhgout the day. Not a habit most of us want to cultivate, but it can be good for those who just aren't big eaters. My son was depressed by a full plate!

good luck

joanna


Mom/wife to celiacs dx 12/03 and 12/04

Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts -George Tilton

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