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Help With Gaining Weight

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Hi all,

First time here for me. I have a 4 yr old daughter who weighs 30 lbs, and is 40 inches tall. She's gained 2 lbs in 2 years and grown an inch. She was diagnosed with celiac at 16 months old, gained weight, then slowed down. My problem is we live in Japan (military) and it's very hard to get food here - the internet takes 3 months if I'm lucky, and sometimes it just gets lost in the mail. My first question is, is anybody out there in Japan? and where do you get your food? My other question is, she's been addicted to Pediasure and drinks about 3 a day. She seems to be about 5 lbs less than all other kids out there her age, and when she gets a fever or any illness she gets so thin it's scary, but I can't get her to eat much! Which leads to my second question, does anyone know of any fattening recipes I can make that a kid will like? I've tried letting her eat as much junk food like ice cream that she wants, but then she just won't eat her food that we do have at home. I hate cooking and this is a very hard thing for me emotionally, when I cook stuff from scratch and she just turns her nose up at it. What can I do? She seems to be on the Atkins diet because all she can eat is meat and fruits and veggies. That may be great later, but for a 4 year old, that's not enough! And who knows of a gluten free vitamin? I'm not too worried because I think Pediasure might be covering that for now, but later I'm going to need to know a brand. There is little choice here, only Centrum, Flintstones, and Bugs bunny. Are those okay? She won't eat the animal ones I got from the states because they're not like her brothers Flintstones ones...Does anyone ever get frustrated about this? I don't know if it's because she's four, or what...

Any help out there?


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Actually, I think a diet of meat, fruits and vegetables is about ideal for the human race. We don't need to be eating grains at all. So many of us have trouble digesting them, I wonder if maybe we took a wrong turn a few thousand years ago by domesticating them.

However, if you want to get some weight on her, how about upping her fats? I'd suggest adding nuts and nut butters to her diet. Maybe fill a piece of celery with some peanut butter (if she can tolerate it). If you've got almond butter in Japan, that's always an option. Nothing makes me gain weight like a jar of nuts.

There's always good old fashioned butter too. Be sure to include butter on her food.

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I think a lot of us here are in your shoes. I'm not familiar with Japan, so I'm no help there. I have a son who mostly eats meats and fruit with a little bread in pizza and an occasional grilled cheese sandwich. My daughter has a feeding tube and we puree avocado to mix with breast milk for her. I know you're not nursing anymore, but does she like avocado and can you get them there? They have 29 g fat in one, so they're an awesome vegetable source of extra calories. I make PB cookies that are EASY:

1 c. PB

1 c. sugar

1 egg

mix well, roll into small balls and press out on the cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 mins. YUM!

My son also loves bacon and eats a lot of it, as well as cheese. I wish I knew what you have access to so that I could help more. Hot dogs, bologna, pizza are all good kid friendly fat sources too.

My pediatrician often reminds me that while my kids are small, they are healthy now that they are on the gluten-free diet. He says that most kids these days are overweight, so not to compare all the time. The charts are set to the sizes kids are, not what they should be. If your daughter is healthy, try not to worry too much. I'm a worrier too, so I can understand.

Welcome to the board and good luck!

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My other question is, she's been addicted to Pediasure and drinks about 3 a day. She seems to be about 5 lbs less than all other kids out there her age, and when she gets a fever or any illness she gets so thin it's scary, but I can't get her to eat much!

First of all, I'm sorry that you are going through this and having so many difficulties in finding foods. But I will agree with a pp and say that keeping it simple (meats, fruits, veggies) is the best way to go.

Also, I would look at the possibility that another food allergy was present. You may want to discuss this with your child's pedi. My suspicion would be dairy or soy. At the rate your dd is drinking PediaSure, it is very possible that she is developing an allergy and the very thing she is loading up on is the problem. Has your pedi recommended this high a dosage or have you implemented this yourself? PediaSure can be the source of problems with prolonged use and certain conditions (note diabetes, diarrhea, intestinal problems and pancreas problems....all of which can be part of the Celiac equation).

Other medical problems-The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of enteral feedings. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Breathing problems or

Dehydration or

Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) or

Diarrhea or

Heart problems or

Hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar in the blood) or

Hyperlipidemia or

Lactose intolerance or

Liver problems or

Pancreas problems-Enteral feedings may make these conditions worse; your doctor may recommend a special formula for your condition

Intestine problems or

Stomach problems-These problems may prevent enteral formulas from being absorbed properly

Kidney problems-Higher blood levels of certain ingredients of the enteral feeding may result, and a smaller amount of enteral feeding may be needed.

Malnutrition, severe-Heart and nerve problems have been reported when feeding a patient who is severely malnourished; enteral formula may need to be used in smaller amounts

In any case, I would definitely request to see an allergist to rule out the possibility of other allergies and then talk with a few doctors about the PediaSure. Good luck! This is tough to deal with in any situation but tougher still when you're in another country where there may not be as much support or product availability.

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Welcome to the board!

I have a 4 year old daughter who is also quite thin, though not as thin as yours. My daughter weighs 36 lbs and is 42 inches tall. Just in the past 6 months she has gained 6 lbs. Like your daughter, she is a VERY PICKY eater. I have torn my hair out trying to get her to eat more. Here are some of the things that have worked for us:

I let her dip her vegetables in honey; she likes this very much, even on brocolli (yuck!) and it gets her to eat her vegetables.

We make "peanut butterscotch" by mixing peanut butter and honey and eating with a spoon. Tons of calories.

We make homemade hummus with lots of olive oil added. Can you get canned garbanzo beans and tahini paste in Japan? Again this has lots of calories and is relatively healthy. We put it on gluten free crackers, tortilla chips, spread it on corn tortillas with cheese for quesadillas. Sometimes she eats it with a spoon.

She likes brown rice if she can sprinkle sugar on it. You probably eat a lot of rice in Japan.

We play games during meals where the food "talks" to her. We make up little stories about how the food wants to go down to her tummy to swim in a pool, etc. When she eats one bite of food, the rest of the food wants to go too, so it can be with it's friends . . . you get the idea. This really works well, silly as it sounds. You have to decide if you want to expend this much time and energy to get her to eat.

Remember that it can take up to 20 tries to get a child to eat a new food. We have finally gotten to the point where my daughter is starting to be willing to try new things; but it has taken a long time to get there! Finally at age 4 I am able to reason with her and remind her about previous experiences she's had where she tried a new food and liked it. I also praise her a lot when she does try something new, even if she doesn't like it.

I also have found that my daughter will fill up on milk and eat none of her food if I serve milk with meals. Could your daughter be doing the same thing with the Pediasure? We serve water with meals and have milk only with breakfast, bedtime snack and after a meal if she eats well.

Hope some of these ideas help. As a previous responder said, if your daughter is healthy, even though she's underweight don't worry so much. Most children now days are a little overweight; My daughter looks much thinner than all the other kids in her preschool; but I really don't feel she is out of the normal range for her weight.

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And who knows of a gluten free vitamin?

Centrum Multivitamins are gluten-free.

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I'm a Navy wife. We were stationed in Sasebo, Japan for three years. You are in the midst of gluten free cooking! Japanese are hopelessly addicted to their rice patties. That is their major harvest. Do you have a ginza or an open market nearby where you can buy rice flour? I went all the way to Chinatown in Seattle yesterday to buy the different types of flours needed for these gluten free recipes. The Asian aren't big on wheat, so I would advise that you go out in town. There is also a lady on ebay, who sells ecookbooks. She sends the file of her cookbooks and you download it. I got a cookbook for 1.99 that contain 38 recipes! The recipes were wonderful. Go on ebay and look under gluten free cookbooks. The beauty of it for you is that you will immediately get the cookbook and print it off right where you're at! Then, go out into town and look for cooking supplies.

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Dear Bakerprincess,

The username of the lady that sells e-cookbooks for glutenfree cooking that you can download to your computer is specialtycookbooks. Her two recipe books are $1.99 each. Her recipes are awardwinning and I can attest to it! Her recipe for white bread can be made in the breadmaker. I put all of my flours together in ziplocks ahead of time for one loaf per bag, that way most of my work is done!

The low weight seems to go hand-in-hand with Celiac. I was just small for my age.

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