Someone tell me what to do to get my kid to grow! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is a very slow grower. He was in the 3rd percentile the first year, but his growth was steady and he tripled his birth weight. He was 6lbs, 5oz at birth and ~18lbs on his first birthday. After I weaned him from formula was when he dropped off the charts. And he's been dropping farther and farther off as he gets older. He's 4 years, 6 months old now and weighs ~23lbs and is 33in tall. I'm not 100% positive on the weight and I'm not sure if he's gained any recently but I know for a fact that he was the same height over 6 months ago. So now he's not growing at ALL?

I really don't know what to do anymore. As weird as it sounds, I almost want to put him back on formula but I hate how processed it is. My sister gives him her milk sometimes but its not like I can ask her to pump every single day for DS when she has a high needs 2yo. Pediasure is out because we tried that a couple years ago and it made him throw up (its the only thing he's ever had an issue keeping down, I'm guessing its all the extra sugar). His ped isn't overly concerned and just keeps telling me to feed him more fatty foods and shakes and stuff. But dude, he's REALLY freaking small! He's in a size 18m and even most pants that size are too big in the waist now that he's out of diapers. People think that he and my 2yo nephew are twins (and DNephew is way bigger).

I've attempted to relactate in the past but I wound up getting pregnant and had to stop (later lost that baby) and then never tried it again. My body didn't respond to EP'ing anyway though and there's no way he could learn how to nurse again (not that we ever got the hang of it the beginning). He's tried a few times because he sees my nephew nursing but he bit the crap out of me (he's also delayed in some areas so he can't really follow directions on how to latch or to not bite).

I figured there are other parents out there dealing with similar issues though so if anyone has any ideas or would like to share what worked for their child, please feel free to share.

TIA.

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#2 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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He is a little guy! Has your ped done any tests to rule out a medical cause? Blood work, stool tests, a sweat test? Have you seen any specialists like gastro, cardiology, developmental peds?

Give us an idea of the kind of foods he eats on a typical day, a lot of us are accustomed to sneaking in missing foods for our kids, so maybe we can help there. Also, maybe we can help you find a few more foods to try with him.

The good news is that his weight is good for his height, he's the same size as my middle son, and his height/weight percentage is actually good (meaning he's not too light for his height).

Does the ped think his dev delays might be connected to his small size? What kind of delays does he have? My son, for example, has dev delays, but he also has a genetic syndrome, and that syndrome is known to cause small size as well, so it doesn't surprise us. In his case it's not a matter of getting too few nutrients to advance developmentally, he would have the delays regardless. But in your son's case, I would be slightly concerned that some of his delays could be being caused by too much energy being exerted to just growing, you know?

Definitely in your shoes I'd request a whole lot of labs, and several referrals. Gastro, Dev Ped, and Cardiology is where I think I'd start. And if everything checks out, then you can feel better that you just have a small guy (they do exist!).

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#3 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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My kid is small too. I'm not sure of his height/weight that age but he's never been more than 5% on the charts and spends a lot of time not on them. He's almost six and his waist is still 18 to 24 months. Like your son he's proportional and I suspect that's why the ped. isn't concerned. When kids are proportional and especially when they've been small from young ages they tend not to worry as much. As a parent it's upsetting I know.

Finding the underlying issue is key. There are lots of options and tests that could be done as the other poster mentioned.
I'd do a cystic fibrosis sweat test just to make sure. And metametrix stool and urine were helpful to me in ruling out (and in for us) causes of poor growth. You could probably call Metametrix to find out if a doctor in your area uses them. Or if you have a doctor willing to learn they could order it. Those would be my initial recommendations. I'd probably also do a pediatric GI appt. if there are any signs of GI issues (reflux, constipation, loose stools, etc.).

And after you do metametrix I'd consider putting him back on the formula. If I had something that my son was growing with I would do it.

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#4 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh sorry, I should have been more specific about the delays. He has a brain malformation and (consequently) a joint deformity so that's why he's delayed. I know that some of his low weight is caused by low tone. He doesn't seem to have too much muscle in his legs at all. He's still working on walking and can only take a few (unsteady) steps at a time. I know of a few kids with the same brain malformation though and they are normal size so it doesn't look like the two are related.

I do have trouble getting him to eat meat and veggies. He does. not. eat meat at all other than seafood. I'm the same so he gets it from me. I always offer it to him but he won't touch it. Veggies are hit and miss. He'll eat sweet potatoes or baked potatoes any time you give them to him but anything else he'll either eat a ton of it or not touch it (its usually the latter). I've noticed I can get more into him when we share a plate, so that's mostly what I've been doing. As far as I know, he eats plenty of dairy (he loves milk and cheese) and he loves fruit, even raw cherry tomatoes. He also loves oatmeal, rice and pasta. He does have some oral issues too though due to the brain malformation so I wonder it has anything to do with how much/what he will eat. He still keeps his hands in his mouth a lot.

Like I said, his ped doesn't seem too concerned though, so she hasn't had any tests done and we haven't seen any specialists (not for the growth issue anyway). His next appointment isn't for 6 months but I'm thinking of making one just to talk about getting him in to see an endo. I also found this after some poking around and I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with it? It looks like it would be a lot healthier than Pediasure.

I'm pretty sure his heart was already checked out at birth. They were trying to find the cause of the joint deformity so they pretty much checked out everything. I guess it wouldn't hurt to check it out again. He hasn't had any GI issues either but I've heard its not always obvious.

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#5 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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not much experience here.. but I would definitily look into a suppliment. Elecare is what my daughter is on. It's an elemental formula *milk and soy free*, 30cal/oz. She's 3. you can order it on ebay.. alot cheaper.. or get a script from a pediatric GI doc or allergist. hugs

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#6 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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i would try to get a lot more protein in him. my suggestion is to try strained baby food meats. plain meats, particularly- baby food labeled "pasta and chicken" or "apples and chicken" or whatever has very little meat, btw. you said he will always eat potatoes, so you can "HIDE" a jar of baby food chicken or beef in potatoes easily. i would also try mixing the strained meats with his pasta or rice or anything casserole-ish or anything i could mix it with. My baby particularly loves chicken with applesauce and also sweet potatoes. i know you said you dont like meat, but you are already grown. It sounds like it would be really good for him for you to find a way to get him eating it. You could even stir a jar of baby chicken into most any sauce. And what about eggs? if he will eat them any way i would encourage that and also let him have full fat yogurt every day.
My 8 year old has always been small and had periods of slow growth as well, so i know what it is like to worry about that. with him i have noticed his growth is very much in spurts; i.e., he will not grow much at all for a long time and then all of sudden get much heavier or taller seemingly overnight.
Good luck!

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#7 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I'd ask for (or INSIST for) a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist. His pituitary gland might be affected which could necessitate growth hormone.

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#8 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kailey's mom View Post
not much experience here.. but I would definitily look into a suppliment. Elecare is what my daughter is on. It's an elemental formula *milk and soy free*, 30cal/oz. She's 3. you can order it on ebay.. alot cheaper.. or get a script from a pediatric GI doc or allergist. hugs
Thanks, I just ordered some of the PediaSmart but if he doesn't like it or it makes him sick, I might try the Elecare next. I think he'll be fine with the PediaSmart though. Milk and soy have never bothered him and the PediaSure was the only thing he ever had issues with so I really think it was just because of all the sugar and junk in it.

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i would try to get a lot more protein in him. my suggestion is to try strained baby food meats. plain meats, particularly- baby food labeled "pasta and chicken" or "apples and chicken" or whatever has very little meat, btw. you said he will always eat potatoes, so you can "HIDE" a jar of baby food chicken or beef in potatoes easily. i would also try mixing the strained meats with his pasta or rice or anything casserole-ish or anything i could mix it with. My baby particularly loves chicken with applesauce and also sweet potatoes. i know you said you dont like meat, but you are already grown. It sounds like it would be really good for him for you to find a way to get him eating it. You could even stir a jar of baby chicken into most any sauce. And what about eggs? if he will eat them any way i would encourage that and also let him have full fat yogurt every day.
My 8 year old has always been small and had periods of slow growth as well, so i know what it is like to worry about that. with him i have noticed his growth is very much in spurts; i.e., he will not grow much at all for a long time and then all of sudden get much heavier or taller seemingly overnight.
Good luck!
Hmm, I never thought of going back to babyfood. I mean, I do feed him applesauce and yogurt a lot simply because its so easy/quick to get into him before he insists on getting up to go play again. So he's still used to being spoon fed sometimes anyway. Oh, and I do buy the Yobaby yogurt because it is the only full fat I can find, let alone full fat and organic. He does eat eggs, but he doesn't seem to like them as much as he used to. Maybe I need to start preparing them different ways. Maybe he's just bored with scrambled eggs and cheese.

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I'd ask for (or INSIST for) a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist. His pituitary gland might be affected which could necessitate growth hormone.
Yeah, that's one thing I was worried about. His ped did mention growth hormone at his 3 year appointment I think but she didn't seem concerned about his growth at his 4 year. I think I'll call them tomorrow though and see if we can come in just to talk about getting some referrals and possibly getting a prescription for this PediaSmart if it works for him...

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#9 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I couldn't get anyone to seriously consider growth hormone issues with a proportional kid. If he's eating lots of dairy he's likely more than ok on protein.

Still, I'd keep track of everything he eats. You (or a dietitian) can determine calorie and protein intake. It's good to know if he's taking in enough and still not growing. I think most specialists will want that information before testing for growth issues anyway.

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#10 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 07:56 PM
 
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I suggest adding the following things to everything he eats...

grape seed oil
flax seed oil
nutritional yeast
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#11 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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We give Neocate Jr in the chocolate flavor as a snack. It's cheaper to buy it from Ebay. We've gone up about 2-3 pounds since we started doing Neocate. She's starting to outgrow some shirts and pants. So exciting.
I've also made it a point to make sure she ate something at night just before she slept. I do the "take one bite and you can watch Sesame Street" approach. It's bribing but it works. If you do give Neocate make sure you watch his vitamin intake from supplements since Neocate is a fortified food.

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#12 of 24 Old 11-16-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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Growth hormone was what worked for us and took us from below the third percentile to 35th (and she was always proportional). I doubt (even without knowing you) that you are underfeeding your child. I think the tendency with these kinds of situations is to put the onus on the parent to up the caloric intake, when that is rarely the problem (unless he's an exceptionally picky eater - he just sounds mildly picky to me). It was a long journey to get DD to a better weight, and most specialists think you are just not feeding your child enough, so I found I really had to push to discover the underlying issue (n our case, an endocrine disorder).

Someone mentioned a sweat test for CF. Was your DS screened for that at birth? Many states mandate such a screening. Our endocrinologist had just moved here from a state that did not mandate screening and scheduled a sweat test for my DD. Turns out she had been screened at birth and didn't need the sweat test. It's unpleasant, and it sounds like your DS is probably subjected to many medical tests, so you might want to make sure most metabolic disorders were ruled out at birth if you had the screening.
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#13 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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Subbing, because we're screening my daughter for metabolic/genetic/endocrine/whatever else issues, and she's really tiny too. At a year she's barely 16lbs, but she's proportional. It doesn't stop me from sneaking fat and calories into everything she eats though!

Good luck finding an answer! It's so hard, all this waiting...

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#14 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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My son had spd that effected his ability to eat solid food. He also grew at a very slow rate for this reason although he was always average weight for length (proportional). But, when a doctor tells you that, they have no idea how much energy it takes (adding oil to everything, encouraging bites, adding protein powder to drinks etc.) to keep a child who is uninterested in eating at a healthy size.

I consulted a homeopath. If you are open to this type of alternative medicine she prescribed a remedy for my son that was specifically for slow growth in children. It worked beautifully and he still uses it today at age 7. What I see when he takes it...he is very hungry and is motivated to eat in larger amounts!
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#15 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well we just got the Pedia Smart today! I mixed up 8oz for him and he drank it right up. It doesn't stink like Pedia Sure either so at least it seems more like food.

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Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
I couldn't get anyone to seriously consider growth hormone issues with a proportional kid. If he's eating lots of dairy he's likely more than ok on protein.

Still, I'd keep track of everything he eats. You (or a dietitian) can determine calorie and protein intake. It's good to know if he's taking in enough and still not growing. I think most specialists will want that information before testing for growth issues anyway.
This is a good idea. It *seems* to me that he's eating enough but maybe I'm wrong? My 2yo nephew normally eats more (and nurses on top of that) but he's 7 pounds heavier and a few inches taller and a LOT more active so that's to be expected I guess. That kid doesn't go 30 minutes without saying he's hungry though.

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I suggest adding the following things to everything he eats...

grape seed oil
flax seed oil
nutritional yeast
Thanks! I will add those to my grocery list. I used to have some flax seed oil but never bought anymore... What do I put the yeast in though? Can I just put that in the PediaSmart?

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We give Neocate Jr in the chocolate flavor as a snack. It's cheaper to buy it from Ebay. We've gone up about 2-3 pounds since we started doing Neocate. She's starting to outgrow some shirts and pants. So exciting.
I've also made it a point to make sure she ate something at night just before she slept. I do the "take one bite and you can watch Sesame Street" approach. It's bribing but it works. If you do give Neocate make sure you watch his vitamin intake from supplements since Neocate is a fortified food.
Oh to outgrow some clothes! That would be awesome. He still fits into shirts he's had since he was barely 2yo. And the clothes he got for his 3rd birthday are still to big.

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Originally Posted by 3girlmom View Post
Someone mentioned a sweat test for CF. Was your DS screened for that at birth? Many states mandate such a screening. Our endocrinologist had just moved here from a state that did not mandate screening and scheduled a sweat test for my DD. Turns out she had been screened at birth and didn't need the sweat test. It's unpleasant, and it sounds like your DS is probably subjected to many medical tests, so you might want to make sure most metabolic disorders were ruled out at birth if you had the screening.
I honestly don't know what he was screened for at birth. I really never looked into that kind of stuff back then, I just didn't know any better at the time. I'm guessing his ped would have that kind of info though so I'll ask her.

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My son had spd that effected his ability to eat solid food. He also grew at a very slow rate for this reason although he was always average weight for length (proportional). But, when a doctor tells you that, they have no idea how much energy it takes (adding oil to everything, encouraging bites, adding protein powder to drinks etc.) to keep a child who is uninterested in eating at a healthy size.

I consulted a homeopath. If you are open to this type of alternative medicine she prescribed a remedy for my son that was specifically for slow growth in children. It worked beautifully and he still uses it today at age 7. What I see when he takes it...he is very hungry and is motivated to eat in larger amounts!
I would totally be interested in that! We don't have a homeopath near here, but we do have a naturopath in the next town over. Do you mind sharing what the remedy was exactly?

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#16 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Oh sorry, I should have been more specific about the delays. He has a brain malformation and (consequently) a joint deformity so that's why he's delayed. I know that some of his low weight is caused by low tone. He doesn't seem to have too much muscle in his legs at all. He's still working on walking and can only take a few (unsteady) steps at a time. I know of a few kids with the same brain malformation though and they are normal size so it doesn't look like the two are related.
Is the brain malformation central along his brain, like mid-line? Does he wear glasses?I know these seem like strange questions. my son has something called Septo-Optic Dysplasia. he was 28lbs and 28 inches at 5. He was not diagnosed until around 9 when we took him to a pediatric endocrinologist. It was a shock to us, but really he is doing well. He has some issues but has done very well and now is getting great grades and he is very social. However he is at 11.5 about the size of a normal 6-7 year old. It's worth reading about. here is a link
http://www.magicfoundation.org/www/d...ypoplasia.html

he eats well and is very physical. Thankfully his size and eye sight seem to be the only issues. He does have low tone but he compensates very well.

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#17 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is the brain malformation central along his brain, like mid-line? Does he wear glasses?I know these seem like strange questions. my son has something called Septo-Optic Dysplasia. he was 28lbs and 28 inches at 5. He was not diagnosed until around 9 when we took him to a pediatric endocrinologist. It was a shock to us, but really he is doing well. He has some issues but has done very well and now is getting great grades and he is very social. However he is at 11.5 about the size of a normal 6-7 year old. It's worth reading about. here is a link
http://www.magicfoundation.org/www/d...ypoplasia.html

he eats well and is very physical. Thankfully his size and eye sight seem to be the only issues. He does have low tone but he compensates very well.
No, he his is actually bilateral (Bilateral Perisylvian Polymicrogyria), so it mostly affects his speech. We were told he would basically be a vegetable because the malformation is "extensive" but he's a bright, happy kid. Just can't talk well at all. He hasn't had his eyes checked since the newborn period but he "reads" letters that are pretty small on the page so I don't think he has any vision issues. We know of a couple other kids online with BPP and they don't have growth issues, but they don't also have the joint deformity that DS has. (Like 12% of kids with BPP also have a joint deformity. They aren't sure why some have it and some don't.) Its worth looking into though. If only "some" kids have a joint deformity then maybe only "some" have growth issues too, kwim? Its so damn rare though, its hard to find anything other than just basic info on the condition and it seems to manifest very differently from person to person.

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#18 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, this is what he had yesterday. It seems like plenty to me, but I'd like some other opinions.

fruit
small satsuma
medium apple

veggies
1/2 cup green peas
spaghetti sauce

meat/beans

boiled egg
tablespoon peanut butter

dairy
1/2 slice pepper jack cheese
spoonful of mozzarella (in his pasta)

grains
3/4 cup pasta
1/2 cup oatmeal (dry)

other
1/4 cup popcorn

+ 16oz PediaSmart

According to a site I found online, he really just needed a bit more veggies for the day, which I kinda figured. I know the dairy is short too, but I'm guessing the PediaSmart makes up for it since it is a milk product? Because basically he's drinking that instead of milk. Oh, and I also put olive oil in the pasta and butter and olive oil in the popcorn and peas.

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#19 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Have you also posted in the nutrition forum? My favorite nutrition website is healingnaturallybybee.com. There have been some great success stories with her diet.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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#20 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Thanks! I will add those to my grocery list. I used to have some flax seed oil but never bought anymore... What do I put the yeast in though? Can I just put that in the PediaSmart?
The best descriptor of nutritional yeast's flavor that I have is that it is mildly cheesy and good with savory flavors. We put it on potatoes, popcorn, and in some veggie dishes. I don't think that I'd mix it with sweet, though. That might taste a bit off.
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#21 of 24 Old 11-19-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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I wanted to answer your question about the remedy that helped my son. It's called Calcarea Phosphoricum or calc phos for short.

Homeopaths should prescribe however and remedies are tailored to both a physical, emotional and developmental picture not just to physical symptoms. My son also fit the emotional picture as a restless child who enjoys being outside and who can also never be satisfied completely. I know of many homeopaths who will interview and prescribe by phone so that may be a good way to go...

Elise
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#22 of 24 Old 11-20-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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I totally forgot to mention my favorite book about food for SN kids. It's Special Needs Kids Eat Right. It's written by a registered dietician. Here's a link to it on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Special-Needs-...8765059&sr=1-1
You might find it at the local library or they might be able to get it to you through an interlibrary loan.

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Originally Posted by urchin_grey View Post
Okay, this is what he had yesterday. It seems like plenty to me, but I'd like some other opinions.

fruit
small satsuma
medium apple

veggies
1/2 cup green peas
spaghetti sauce

meat/beans

boiled egg
tablespoon peanut butter

dairy
1/2 slice pepper jack cheese
spoonful of mozzarella (in his pasta)

grains
3/4 cup pasta
1/2 cup oatmeal (dry)

other
1/4 cup popcorn

+ 16oz PediaSmart

According to a site I found online, he really just needed a bit more veggies for the day, which I kinda figured. I know the dairy is short too, but I'm guessing the PediaSmart makes up for it since it is a milk product? Because basically he's drinking that instead of milk. Oh, and I also put olive oil in the pasta and butter and olive oil in the popcorn and peas.
You could also use virgin coconut oil to make his food. It provides a lot of good fat and calories.
I think my preschooler eats more than that. Yesterday for breakfast she had 1 egg and 1 piece of tapioca bread toast with peanut butter. She also had about 4 ounces of chocolate rice milk and this might sound gross but I sometimes mix in a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil in the cup. She doesn't mind the addition.

For lunch we had 3 slices of organic bacon stir fried with 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables (frozen), some potato chips, and half an apple.

For midafternoon snack she had rice and green beans. Yeah, that's a snack for her.

She had an early evening snack of strawberries and about 4 more ounces of rice milk.

For dinner she had an organic pork sausage, rice, and 4 small carrots roasted and some more rice milk.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#23 of 24 Old 11-20-2009, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookGoddess View Post
I totally forgot to mention my favorite book about food for SN kids. It's Special Needs Kids Eat Right. It's written by a registered dietician. Here's a link to it on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Special-Needs-...8765059&sr=1-1
You might find it at the local library or they might be able to get it to you through an interlibrary loan.



You could also use virgin coconut oil to make his food. It provides a lot of good fat and calories.
I think my preschooler eats more than that. Yesterday for breakfast she had 1 egg and 1 piece of tapioca bread toast with peanut butter. She also had about 4 ounces of chocolate rice milk and this might sound gross but I sometimes mix in a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil in the cup. She doesn't mind the addition.

For lunch we had 3 slices of organic bacon stir fried with 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables (frozen), some potato chips, and half an apple.

For midafternoon snack she had rice and green beans. Yeah, that's a snack for her.

She had an early evening snack of strawberries and about 4 more ounces of rice milk.

For dinner she had an organic pork sausage, rice, and 4 small carrots roasted and some more rice milk.
Thanks for the book rec!

How big is your DD and how active is she? DS can't really walk (he mostly crawls and can take maybe 5-6 steps at a time, tops) so I wonder if that's why he's not as hungry as most kids. After monitoring his food for the past few days though, I really don't think my nephew eats more after all, not counting nursing... And he's at least 30lbs and 35in and WAY more active than DS. He's like a human ping pong ball.

Anyway, just thinking out loud. I've been using this calculator as a guideline. I don't know how reliable the source is, but it sounds good.

Carly [29] + DH [27] + DS [9]

TTC my second and his first!

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#24 of 24 Old 11-21-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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My daughter is the same age as your son.
She is active. She has a lot of energy and she is very strong. If she needs a blood test it will take 2 adults to keep her still.
She's 33 pounds and 38 inches tall. I just weighed and measured her.
For the longest time she was about 30 pounds. She would only increase in height. However, getting her to eat an extra meal at night and adding Neocate Jr. as a snack really helped.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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