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Just read thread on light 1 year old...would someone mind commenting on my similar 3 year old please?

(19 Posts)
DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:14:44

Its kind of reassuring to read in the other thread that being slight isn't always an issue, but sadly Im beginning to think my DS does have a problem. Im hoping someone will say 'Sounds fine. You're being too anxious to see clearly.' DS is nearly 3, 75th centile height and used to be between 25th and 50th weight. He has become increasingly fussy about what he will/won't eat in the last year or so and doesnt eat that much generally, but is energetic so I havent worried that much so far. He lost his appetite almost completely 2 weeks ago tho - was eating half an apple, some raisins, sometimes a piece of bread a day and nothing else. Hes lost weight and is now under 25th centile, but more to the point is grumpy, tired, listless, pale and has little energy. He has just started to eat a bit more the last couple of days but is still lethargic and pale. Doc says its a phase, and that its manipulative behaviour...HV seems to agree. Has anyone any thoughts on whether I should indeed just leave him to get on with it, and if so for how long, or if not, what do I do to get him eating again...?

DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:30:23

Pleeeeeze talk to me, no one commented last time I asked about this either. Will develop a paranoia complex to compliment my DS related food aniety!!

bamboostalks Mon 22-Sep-08 14:33:05

I think that is worrying, if childreb are well in themselves you don't worry but if they are lacking energy etc then surely there is a problem. Go back to your gp.

DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:36:00

Thankyou sooo much for replying, was starting to feel invisible! Have spoken to GP twice now and been dismissed both times. Perhaps need to try a different GP then...obvious really!

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Sep-08 14:38:58

I think you ought to get your GP to refer you to someone who knows about this kind of thing - I wouldn't have thought any 3 year old would undereat to the point where they are pale and lethargic simply to be "manipulative" - my own skinny child could be pretty fussy, but not to the extent of making himself ill.

TheArmadillo Mon 22-Sep-08 14:39:19

have you tried vitamin supplements - specifically ones with iron in?

Anaemia can be caused by not eating properly, but it itself can cause poor appetite - so you go round in a circle.

Is he having milk? and if so how much?

Is he pooing ok?

HAve had similar probs with ds (now nearly 4).

It is incrediably stressful and worrying.

Have more getting them to eat strategies if you need them.

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Sep-08 14:39:47

Yes, different GP might be an idea - they ought to take your concerns seriously, specially if it's been going on for a while.

DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:46:53

AMum - my thoughts too! TheArmadillo - doc said he wasn't anaemic by looking at his fingers. He has a bit of milk but is mostly off that too, so not more than maybe 200mls a day, or sometimes none. Poo has eased off for obvious reasons but has been a bit (TMI alert!) pale and squishy when its happens.

Have to say that yes, I am finding it hideously stressful because hes so flipping thin in the first place. Yes, I would be really interested in any getting them to eat strategies, thanks loads for the offer.

DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:48:35

DS has woken from nap, will be back later...!

Habbibu Mon 22-Sep-08 14:57:19

Not experienced, but I think you should see another GP. Toddlers often seem to live on air, but they're also generally little bundles of energy, and your ds doesn't sound like that. Get another opinion, and see if you can find someone who isn't dismissive - even if it turns out you have nothing to worry about, it's important to find someone who understands that you are worried, and explains things properly to you, without simply dismissing your concerns.

TheArmadillo Mon 22-Sep-08 15:13:28

I would prob try multivits anyway as prob can't do any harm.

With ds he developed a real food phobia so we just tried to leave it around adn get him to eat almost without noticing.

So I let him eat in front of telly (not good for some as distracts them too much).

Let him choose food from the shop (to eat there and then if necessary) -not major stuff. Ds likes ciabatta rolls (ponce) but if he's not eating much that day, he will have lost interest in it by the time we get back (5 mins walk) so I let him eat it as soon as we have paid.

He gets a packet of chocolate buttons or jelly tots a day if his eating drops again. They're not great but give him at least some short term energy.

Only give little bits at a time - not a whole meal. Ds eats his food in stages. So he'll have a yoghurt, then a piece of toast and then a piece of fruit.

Leave snacks around if you can - grazing can be good.

You can tell if ds is going to have a bad day as he won't eat breakfast - I just ask him if he wants anything and then leave it if he doesn't and ask again around 10.30.

Don't stick to mealtimes, offer food every hour or so. And leave it there.

Get what he likes within reason - ds likes crisps so we get salt and shake and take the salt out. He also likes McDs breakfast so I take him there if he's having a bad run of days.

Does he have any particular issues with types of food? Or just a general lack fo interest?

Cooking may help, doesn;t with ds as he is interested in cooking - but that doesn't follow thru to actual eating.

We do picnics in the front room - all laid out and he helps me buy the food beforehand.

Never beg them to eat or make issue as hard as it is. never comment on how they are eating it.

eat the food he definately likes in front of him and offer a bit.

Basically I try to take it as laid back as I can. He can eat when and where he wants. but he will rarely if ever ask for food so has to be prompted at all times.

If he is worse in certain situations at eating exclude them for a while - ds used to be terrible if you made him sit still at a table or if he was out anywhere, or if we had people round. SO I avoided all that for a while.

At least my ds is cheap to feed hmm

Bubbaluv Mon 22-Sep-08 15:25:48

Sorry to not be able to conreibute, but would be interested to see the thread on the light 1yo. Could you tell me where it is?
Good luck!

Bubbaluv Mon 22-Sep-08 15:48:13

Contribute even.

LittleOneMum Mon 22-Sep-08 15:59:49

That was my thread, it's the one called 'Help - skinny baby!' or something. Don't GetIt, I just spoke to my Mum to say that I was a total nightmare to feed but at least I put on weight (slowly) and didn't lose it. I'd see a different GP if I were you. If my child were pale and listless I'd be seeing every GP in the place until someone listened. Best of luck. xxx

Bubbaluv Mon 22-Sep-08 16:10:50

Thanks Littleonemum!

DontGetIt Mon 22-Sep-08 18:52:27

Thanks everyone for comments, especially you, TheArmadillo for all that detail. Your DS sounds a lot like mine is actually so your advice is really useful. Certainly I need to practise the laid back thing...I try so hard not to react but the tension in me must be a bit of a give away since I could explode with frustration and anxiety when he isn't eating. I have tried bits of what you say eg. cooking with him (loves doing it, wont eat it...arggggh!)but theres definitely some other things you suggest that I havent tried that I will have a go at. I think little and often may well be the way to go. Hope you dont mind my asking, is your DS on the thin side too then, or do you manage to get enough calories down him one way or another?

And thanks again for all the advice...

goldmum Mon 22-Sep-08 19:15:29

I had some good advice from an HV (shock horror!) to leave a tray of high calorie snacks on a table that my DD could reach. This was when she was younger, but don't see why it wouldn't work now. She suggested bits of avocado, banana, cheese, cooked meats, crackers, little sandwiches, raisins etc. She advised me to max out calories at every opportunity - when making sandwiches, always use butter, maybe add a bit of cream cheese too plus lots of filling, if LO wants fruit, offer a banana rather than an apple - that kind of thing. DD is now 3.5 and is still on the light side, but eats well now. She also said not too stress too much as at least I won't have to worry about child obesity - saying that, she was never lethargic so I would keep pushing your GP too.

TheArmadillo Tue 23-Sep-08 19:49:17

Ds is never going to be chubby but he's not painfully thin - can be hard to tell as he has problems with constipation which means he can often have a swollen belly. I did get worried but he was never skeletal.

People look at you hmm when you are worried about your child's weight and he has a big belly.

He is a lot better than he used to be but if he gets overtired or stressed or just feels like it he will return to the 1-2 pieces of toast a day, or 1 piece of fruit.

Mostly though he eats 2 meals a day and may have a snack as well. We're happy with this tbh. He isn't great eating at teatime, but his weight is fine now and he has plenty of energy. Diet still limited but much better and though he won't eat a proper cooked meal (only the veg) or sauces or anything mixed up it is actually quite healthy (has a passion for fruit, veg, toast and ricecakes).

We struggle to get protein into him, but he has milk and yoghurt and the occasional bit of cheese but not too bad.

At his worst it would be a biscuit every 2-3 days. He had no energy and was a nightmare. Now it's so much better.

Gosh this sounds so tough for you both. My nephew who was 3 in April was the same. My dsis used to get stressed about meal times and this rubbed off on him and he refused food, she tried to shovel it down him and often. She took a step back and tried many of the techniques suggested by The Armadillo and let him decide for himself when and what (within reason) he could eat. He is now a lot better at eating and to keep the success going she tries to give him what she knows he likes and will eat.

I think using term manipulative around eating issues with a 3 year old is very harsh.

Also fwiw, my 3 have all eaten very very well, have all become quite fussy around 3 years and eaten less well and still eat a lot less at teatime than at lunchtime.

Good luck.

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