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OAKDALE41 Posts: 973
7/23/12 12:00 P

This has been my reality for years. My DS(15) is in training and eats a protein rich high calorie diet, my DS (11) was like your son. He dropped off the charts and stopped growing. He has a team of specialists that he works with. I need to lose weight and my DH needs a "normal diet".

Cooking is always a challenge. I spend half a day on the weekend figuring out dinners and then half a day shopping and prepping for the week.We very rarely will eat the same things. That is just a fact of our lives. It definitely isn't easy.

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
7/22/12 10:35 P

If this was my situation, I would probably give the kid a few extra snacks the rest of us don't eat. Maybe an extra banana or trail mix. Still server your casserole and DON"T bother making two dinners. Just give your kid a bigger severing then you give yourself. If your kid has a poor appetite, try some smoothies. Even with healthy recipes, the calories add up surprisingly quick. They are also incredibly tasty and easy to make. I usually do mine in the morning, but these are great any time of day.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
7/19/12 12:08 P

Just as a thought, Rharper, if you're over 200 lbs and in the 1200-1550 range, then you may have set too aggressive a goal for yourself. What's your weight loss goal per week?

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
Fitness Minutes: (2,581)
Posts: 729
7/19/12 11:23 A

I'd add that nuts are a great way to add healthy fats to a diet. 1/2 cup of peanuts, pine nuts, or cashews is fairly small but adds a big shot of healthy fats for anyone trying to gain weight, as well as some protein! For you, eat lower amounts of nuts for your snack, for example just 1/4 cup of peanuts or cashews, or 1 tbsp pine nuts.

EXNOLA Posts: 319
7/19/12 8:45 A

My 4.5 year old is also low on the charts (he's 33 pounds). He has always been a difficult eater but is finally opening up a bit to try more things. When we were in the big push to help him gain weight (getting him from the 3rd percentile to the 10th back when he was 1-2 yo) we were giving him one food per meal that I knew he would eat one I thought he might and then 3 others that were sort of a crap shoot (since at the time there were about 3 foods he would surely eat, cheerios, breakfast sausage, and fruit) I had whole milk, full fat yogurt, always breakfast sausage, cheeses, etc. He did like smoothies sometimes, so full fat yogurt, full fat milk, avocado, banana, honey maybe some spinach or carrots in for good measure and food coloring (since green is not a color he wants his smoothie to be, but blue, yellow or red is fun apparently). We offered him food 6-8 times a day but he didn't always eat.
Things to remember- you cannot force him to eat. You can offer him several acceptable options. The rule I have heard is offer 4-5 good foods on the plate in every meal and the child chooses which and how much to eat. It is stressful and it takes time to gain weight for low gaining active children. Your GP may want to do allergy or metabolic tests if his weight or percentile continues to drop. However, if he has grown so much, maybe he is just doing it in reverse order- growing first then gaining?
High fat/calorie options- full fat yogurt and dairy, fatty fruits like avocado or banana coated in sunflower oil (little taste) and wheat germ which at 4 can be tossed in a salad or just eaten with a fork, add olive oil or other healthier oil to his sauces like marinara and "finish" his soups with it, nut butters on toast, things like that.
Good luck. Feel free to message me if he is having other eating/gaining issues. There are several tricks I have learned if you have a non-eater or an overly picky one.
I just don't eat the snacks he gets. I have my non-fat yogurt and almond milk for me, full fat dairy for him. I don't eat peanut butter but he likes it now, so he gets half a PB and banana sandwich for snack a few times a week. I serve healthy food options and we can all choose what and how much to eat so mine can be lower fat and calorie, his can be higher, husbands can be low carb and kids don't notice the additions and restrictions as much as if I were making different meals for each dietary need. For example- breakfast today, kids ate whole grain waffles with blueberries and maple syrup, second breakfast (for them, first for me) will be some combination of whole wheat toast, poached egg, cheese/butter, tomato, and sausage. Mine will be on the lower fat and calorie range, thiers higher. Kids will likely have a snack later of yogurt and blueberries. I stay away from casseroles and food preparations that cannot be mixed and matched.

Edited by: EXNOLA at: 7/19/2012 (08:57)
RHARPER1496 Posts: 20
7/19/12 7:57 A

He's only gained 0.5lbs in the last 18 months, in the same time period he's grown 4" inches so he's now considered to be underweight. Our office uses the weight for height charts instead of weight for age and he was always right around the 50th % on that, as of the last visit he had dropped down to the 5th.

Thanks to everyone who replied, lots of great ideas to try.

MAGGIEMURPHY4 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (10,813)
Posts: 936
7/17/12 6:07 P

My son has always been below on the growth charts...Esp with his weight. He too ate like a horse and very healthy. His doctor became concerned...but that is because that is what they are supposed to do. By then end of 6th grade they sent him to a pediatric make sure he had all the growth hormones and made sure everything was ok. It was! He did not grow more than an inch or two a year. He weighed 95lbs until the summer of his Jr. year in HS...he shot up 4 inches and gained all kinds of muscle mass. He is a wrestler. He is still short, but so am I. He is still petite...again so am I. For years all he and I ever heard is he is so small. Now people say look at the muscles on him. And yes he is still only 5'4" and growing. The best thing you can do, is continue to feed him healthy foods...don't ad fattening things because you think he needs weight. He will gain it when he gains it. As long as he is eating healthy and growing at whatever rate he grows at, you shouldn't worry. Those growth charts are what is considered normal...Kids can be way over or way under they are just a guide. Falling off the growth chart does not make him just makes him small. And great things come in small packages!

You know I used to get so mad when people said I needed to feed him more or fatten him up...I did feed him and I fed him healthy and as a result he has built incredible lean muscle mass and is very healthy and athletic. As a side note...he will take those healthy eating habits into his adult life.

Edited by: MAGGIEMURPHY4 at: 7/17/2012 (18:15)
KMHILLI Posts: 165
7/17/12 5:22 P

Nut butters on everything. Handfuls of almonds a couple times a day.

That'll be better for him, I imagine, than increasing more fatty casserole ingredients.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
7/17/12 4:23 P

It's kind of the same with me and my fiance. He's trying to gain weight/muscle, and I am trying to lose weight. I still make healthy food, but he just eats a larger portion. For instance last night I made baked chicken parm, whole wheat pasta, and mixed veggies. I used two chicken breasts...I ate half of one with a bit of low fat cheese, and he ate one and a half with extra cheese. He ate double my portion of pasta and veggies. He also snacks more than I do between meals. High protein snack are good like hard boiled eggs or peanut butter.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
7/17/12 4:19 P

It's kind of the same with me and my fiance. He's trying to gain weight/muscle, and I am trying to lose weight. I still make healthy food, but he just eats a larger portion. For instance last night I made baked chicken parm, whole wheat pasta, and mixed veggies. I used two chicken breasts...I ate half of one with a bit of low fat cheese, and he ate one and a half with extra cheese. He ate double my portion of pasta and veggies. He also snacks more than I do between meals. High protein snack are good like hard boiled eggs or peanut butter.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,276
7/17/12 4:12 P

if you're making a reasonable casserole for your lower needs, you can top half [or 1/4 or 1/3 or whatever] with cheese for the last bit to add more calories. alternately if you're worried about drainage, you can make the whole casserole for the lowest needs, then divide out the yield into 2 casserole dishes before you bake it. one you can add in extra butter, cheese or whatever else you want to add to boost the calories, the other you can do plain. and the only additional work you'll have is washing an extra dish.
and you can do it with things like mashed potatoes too. cook them as you would the lower way, perhaps using greek yogurt in place of milk and cheese. then scoop out your lower cal portion and add in some extra milk, cheese, butter, bacon or whatever else it is.
avocados are great sliced on casserole dishes as well.

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
Fitness Minutes: (97,762)
Posts: 246
7/17/12 2:39 P

What Becky said! Maybe it would help to think in terms of what you can add to his food rather than what you need to take away from your own food. Definitely add butter to his casserole or soup. If he eats a peanut butter sandwich, spread the bread with regular butter first, then the peanut butter. A great breakfast for him would be oatmeal made with heavy cream, or scrambled eggs beaten with cream. Smoothies with whole milk and, again, some cream stirred in at the end might work too.

Does he like cheese? Make a batch of cheese sauce with butter, real cheese, and cream and keep it in the fridge; before dinner, warm some up and pour it over his veggies, baked potato, or casserole serving.

Does he like bacon? Cook up some real bacon; again, keep it in the fridge so you can crumble a piece onto his dinner (because hello! everything tastes better with bacon, right?) or warm it up and slide it onto his breakfast plate alongside those scrambled eggs.

Does he like yogurt? One of my kids is very, VERY fond of Brown Cow cream top yogurt. That's a great snack or breakfast.

Good luck. It's scary to have a child who's not growing, but you and he have a lot of things going for you.

7/17/12 1:00 P

For a beverage, keep 2 milks in your home; whole from him and skim for you.

For cooking:
If you are making a soup or casserole and using lower fat milk/cheese that is fine. Then add a little smear of soft margarning to his serving and let it melt in...this will bring the same result of a higher fat milk or cheese in his portion.

1 cup skim milk (90 calories) + 1 teaspoon margarine/butter or oil (45 calories) = 1 cup whole milk (145 calories)

This can also work for adding fat to his portion of cooked veggies, corn, lima beans, mashed potatoes.
He can use full fat salad dressing.
He can use his milk on cereal.
He can use a spread on his roll, bread, toast

SP dietitian Becky

RHARPER1496 Posts: 20
7/17/12 12:37 P

Right now it's between 1250-1550.

I was eating the same things they were when I was able to make changes to the dishes to lower the calories. Now that those dishes have to be made higher calorie (whole milk, full fat cheese, eggs instead of egg whites, etc;) I can't have a regular sized portion of most of them without going over. We're aiming to get about 2200 healthy calories into him per day for now so in order to get that and still have him getting enough fruits and veg the rest of it has to be pretty calorie dense.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
7/17/12 12:29 P

Why in the world would you do that? What's your calorie range?

Sparkpeople isn't about deprivation. There's no reason you can't eat the same foods, just in smaller portions! I eat the same things my family does... I just eat less of them. If you make a casserole, measure out a cup of it... that's the usual serving size for that sort of dishes.

LISBETH636 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (7,710)
Posts: 143
7/17/12 12:28 P

It might be easier if you designated a couple of food prep days and pre-organized, planned and packed your meals for the week. That way you would only have to make the family meal weeknights.

RHARPER1496 Posts: 20
7/17/12 12:25 P

Our 4 year old son has always been small but he's recently started falling on the growth charts to the point where our usually laid back GP is concerned. His diet is very healthy, almost too healthy, he eats like a horse but most of his preferred foods are low calorie. We got some great suggestions on how to increase his calories in a healthy way but since I've started implementing those changes in our meals I'm finding myself having to either make a second meal for me or I'm stuck having 2-3 bites of what everyone else is eating and loading up on salad. My kids do best with casserole type dishes so that's what I've been making them, plates with a bunch of different things on them just get picked at.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm at a loss for what to do, obviously he needs the extra calories and I'm not going to compromise his weight gain for my loss but I'm getting burned out having to cook separate dinners or eat a plate that is 98% salad, 2% main course.

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