Non-dairy, high fat foods for underweight toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Xposting to bfing

A woman in another community I frequent is being bullied into weaning because her dd only gained 2 oz. in 3 months. Baby is 1yo. She is rightly concerned and looking for foods she can supplement. All I can think of is avocado.


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#2 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 10:47 AM
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Coconut milk
add extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil or butter to veggies and other foods
I'm sure there is more that others will add. It is early and my brain is not awake.

make sure all foods given are very nutrient dense. Toddlers are notorious for surviving on very little food, so everything they get needs to have nutritive value. If the toddler is snacking on Cherrios and crackers, then he/she may not have room for much else. Mama definately needs to keep breastfeeding, as this is the best source of nutrtion. It has the proper blend of fats/proteins/carbs/and other nutrients. I never get why soctors will try to force a mom to quit breastfeeding. 9 times out of 10 the weight gain gets even slower after that. Tell your friend to stick to her guns.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 11:00 AM
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Oooooh yeah, coconut milk. Either straight or in smoothies, maybe with a protein powder of some sort. Is her dd okay with nuts? That's another good source.

Breastmilk is a great source. There is zero reason for her to quit nursing (and zillions of reasons for her not to quit). Personally, I would still breastfeed first before offering food.

About the lack of weight gain - it's normal for breastfeed babies to plateau. My own son got to 17 lbs. and stayed there for at least 6 months. It felt like forever and I started to stress, but he wasn't a big eater, was busy doing things (like walking). Nursing was what kept him going - if I'd cut that, who knows what would have happened? Fortunately, he had a great doctor by then who assured me that this was completely normal and that his development was fine.

She should be focusing on development, not weight.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 12:29 PM
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She can also grind seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin) in a coffee grinder or blender and mix into cereal, grains, etc.

But jeepers - why would weaning help - that doesn't make sense . . . .

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#5 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 12:33 PM
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Are they vegetarian? What about meat?
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#6 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 01:48 PM
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*coconut milk
*almond or cashew butter
*sunflower seed butter
*hemp seeds
*oils: flax, hemp, olive, coconut, sesame
*egg yolk
*whole milk yogurt

Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa would be good foods for her to eat as well. Especially if mixed with some of the healthy fats and protiens from above.

Some babies are lower-weight thin babies and are just as healthy as pudgy babies.
My older ds has always been very thin. He nursed until he was 26 months, ate a very healthy diet, yet gained weight very slowly and stayed very thin. It wasn't until he was about 3 that his growth really started to pick up.

I don't think early weaning is a good idea for an underweight baby. If they are only nursing, and not eating much solids, I would think the addition of some dense healthy foods would be good though.
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#7 of 7 Old 02-24-2005, 03:05 PM
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A lot of you have posted dairy products -- butter, whole milk yogurt and the OP said non-dairy right? Having a child who could not have diary products (including casin, whey, yogurt, butter anything derived from milk), it is extremely hard to get the "fat" this mother is wanting or doctor is suggesting there is a need for.

I would suggest to the mother to continue to breastfeed an ensure that the dc is getting plenty of the rich hind milk. One great way to do this is to always starting nursing on the side last nursed or at least 2 nursing per breast before switching. Increase nursing rather than increasing foods. Foods for infants (even at 1yr old) are more for learning than sustainance. The bodies ability to digest and utilize the nutritional value from food is not fully developed.

As for making up for it in foods -- if the family is not vegan or allergic egg yolks are good. Coconut milk full fat is also a great suggestion. My son loves bacon : high in wonderfully not health animal fat and nitrates. Alvocados was a good suggestion as well. It is extremely difficult to equal the fat of cows whole milk in non-dairy foods. Goats milk would probably be a good source of nutrition and fat when the non-dairy is refering to cows milk due to allergies and not diet preferences.

Baby's need fat for brain development till at least age 2. That is why peds say whole milk to age 2, then low fat.

Honestly, I worried over the fat issue, but he is so limited in what he can it and what he would eat that I was happy just to have him eating something that didn't make him sick. I nursed him until he quit on his own just days after implantation of my surprise dd. I ate a restricted diet myself while nursing for a year and a half to keep him from having intestional upset from a variety of foods.

I did talk with our family doctor about his not drinking milk due to allergies and he was not really concerned. My ds2 is short and a light weight he's almost 3 and weighs between 23 and 25 pounds. He stated he didn't see supplemenation possible at his age. I honestly think my doctor didn't realize the wide variety of supplements available. I supplement my ds2 w/ calcium supplements from a local health food store specifically for children. Nothing is prefect mind you, the Dino Eggs are jellybeans, but I'll take the little added sugar over no calcium intake for the day. I also found liquid calcium flavored that I add to his juice at least once a day.

I do not understand why a doctor would be suggesting weaning, does he understand that the child will not get dairy milk if weaned? I think a lot of times doctors fail to look at the entire family dynamic and dietary restrictions.

If this mother has to go back in say a few weeks to have the dc checked, she should ask the doctor what he/she suggest she feed dc if she were to wean. And then when the ignorant doctors says milk, she can't state either an allergy or dietary restiction to dairy and then say now what?

Also encourage the mother to look at her dc's physical shape and size and the over all health of the child. Some children are pettite and are not going to be with in normal ranges on those "charts" ever. And they are completely healthy for who they are.

I think in general pediatricans are still very ignorant to breastfeed babies and children. And they expect that a child of 1 would be drinking cows milk at least 3 times a day and those growth charts may or may not have been updated to account for children who are bf past 6 mo old. I also think the growth charts in general are not accurate depictions of a child's health.

For example: A 2 yr old who eats pizza and drinks soda and rarely eats a veggie may be considered of normal weight and height where as a child who eats mostly veggies and fruits and still nurses might come in as below normal. And we all know that the child eating the veggies and fruit is in a much healthier state of being than the fastfood soda drinking 2 yr old!!!

I hope you share these post with her and she can be encouraged not to worry too much, but to continue nursing and possibly trying to give more full fat foods for snacks or meals verses the mainstream cheerios and gerber toddler snacks. And to look at the over all health issue and if her dc is just pettite or if there is a real problem. Although generally speaking a bf child is not likely to be having a serious problem at age 1 that would have been over looked until now.
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