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12yo tired all the time

(2 Posts)
FieldTrip Sun 05-Jul-15 19:05:09

DS2 often complains he's too tired to do things. Not just school, things he enjoys too.

His diet isn't very good. He refuses all dairy and eggs and doesn't really like meat, although he eats a little. He does like fish and nuts, but I've always tried to do the that's what there is take it or leave it method of getting to be less pick (it hasn't worked!).

So when the rest of us are having eggs or meat, he'll eat the veg and cards but his meal will be almost completely protein free and I worry he's lacking in nutrients.

He doesn't enjoy breakfast at all, so often leaves home on only a homemade smoothy and a mouthful of cereal. Again no protein.

He gets lunch at school, usually a sausage in a bun, so a but of meat I suppose.

If I take him to the docs over the tiredness, will he just tell us he needs to eat better or will they test him and prescribe vitamins/iron/whatever he might be deficient in?

What else could be causing the tiredness?

He's in bed by 8pm and lights out by 9pm. No gadgets allowed in bedrooms, so getting plenty of sleep.

bettysviolin Sun 05-Jul-15 21:27:43

Could be loads of reasons. Glandular fever is a possibility, so is post viral fatigue if he had flu in the last few months. And growth spurts/hormones can shatter them. Also I know loads of 12 year old boys who sort of hibernate socially for a year. DC have just turned 13 and it's weird how overnight they are off doing things with friends all weekend, arranging meet-ups and planning stuff, having barely left the house for a year.

But the lack of protein is worrying. I'd try and get some into him by stealth at first. If he eats cake, make it with ground almonds instead of flour, and loads of eggs. If he eats pancakes, beat an extra egg into the batter and make it with half flour, half soy flour. Or flapjacks with oats, nuts and treacle are more nutritious than normal cake. Instead of white bread toast and jam, try wholemeal with peanut butter and jam (I read somewhere that peanut butter plus wholemeal bread creates an almost perfect protein - good as steak.)

Could you make the smoothie with almond or soy milk, as these have protein. (Or try a banana milkshake - see if he'd tolerate dairy that way.
DS2 didn't eat for ages due to a stomach problem, so I learned all these tricks of sneaking protein into other foods.

Give him fish at least two or three times a week if you can - those breaded portions or a slice of salmon can go in the oven with no effort if your family want something else. At least fish is a healthy option. Better than him living on oven chips.

At 12, he's old enough for you to sit down with him and explain what his body needs to enable it to grow. Maybe he could decide what out of each food group he's prepared to have at each meal. With DS2 I learned it didn't matter that his diet was limited as long as he ate something from each major food group at each meal and had enough calories. His diet was shockingly monotonous for years but now at 13 he'll try all sorts of things

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