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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

How to help my dd gain weight

(16 Posts)
justalittlelemondrizzle Sat 06-Aug-16 16:09:50

Dd1 is 8 (9 in December) she is a little below average height and weighs just over three stone. She has always been skinny despite how much she eats. I haven't wanted to make an issue of it and give her a complex about it and have been hoping it would improve but she's only gained 3lbs in the last six months.
Six months ago I switched her to full fat milk with her cereal and then a large glass if milkshake after her evening meal, lots of yoghurts and fruit. She eats the same meals as us. Lots of rice, potato's, pasta and bread. Ive also been adding cheese and butter to baked beans.
She's very active. The dc's barely watch any tv. They're always playing out with their friends, riding bikes or on he trampoline. My dh is a hard gainer, he's 6'2" and only 11 stone. He sometimes drops to 10.5 stone. So i'm guessing she's just like him but recently it's become quite noticeable when shes around other children her age. I've just bought her school skirts and have had to buy 6-7 and adjust the waist to fit her.

Any suggestions/ideas/recipes to help her catch up? I need to make a plan and I think the best time to start this is in the holidays when I can monitor her food intake.

Eva50 Sat 06-Aug-16 16:20:38

Have you checked on the NHS children's BMI checker to see how underweight she is. Comparing with other children isn't any good as you have no idea if they are at an ideal weight. If she's active, not lacking energy and eating a healthy diet for a child of that age then she is probably fine. I would speak to your GP before deciding on any action.

ArgyMargy Sat 06-Aug-16 16:32:35

Why on earth would you want to make her gain weight if she's eating healthily and has normal energy levels? This is bizarre.

justalittlelemondrizzle Sat 06-Aug-16 16:58:23

Eva50- she is in the bottom 4th percentile for weight according to charts. She's on the 25th percentile for height.
I was hoping to try something a home before taking her to the doctors and making her worry about her weight.

ArgyMargy- I've never had a problem with it before but the fact she has only gained such a small amount of weight in 6 months despite me actively trying to help her gain.
I've started to receive comments (Eg. painfully thin, does she eat? etc) so no I don't think it is bizarre to want her to look healthy.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Sat 06-Aug-16 17:10:02

If she has normal energy levels and seems healthy and happy then I wouldn't worry too much. Some children (and adults, for that matter) are just naturally slight. Has she recently grown a lot? Maybe it is just taking a while for her weight to catch up with her height.

This page of the NHS choices website has some good advice about diet, but it sounds pretty much like what you are already doing.

Bogburglar75 Sat 06-Aug-16 17:20:54

I also have a teeny and very slight DD who is happy, healthy and could stand in for the Duracell bunny as far as her energy levels are concerned!

I think firstly it's a good idea to check your DDs BMI centile rather than weight or height individually. The best link is here:

The doctors don't usually start to worry about anything unless the child is below the 2nd centile for BMI and kids who are there look very small and skinny indeed. I think they are also only likely to worry if the child is short on energy or appears unwell.

I think if you are really worried it might be better to visit the GP. You could always go without her for a first visit, taking her measurements? It sounds to me as if you are feeding her plenty and the two explanations for her being so slight are a) there's something going on that needs medical help. Not very likely but sometimes they test very skinny kids for coeliac disease. Or b) much more likely, she takes after her dad and is small, skinny, healthy and energetic! Which are all good things to be so the GP can reassure you and you can tell those passing comment where to go grin

justalittlelemondrizzle Sat 06-Aug-16 17:37:32

Bogburglar75- thanks. Her bmi came up as being in the 1% group on this confused
I put in another weight 3lbs more than she is and that is classed as healthy weight. So by this it seems she is 3lbs underweight.
Good idea, I may see the doctor without her and see what they say. She is happy and healthy but does have quite a severe nut allergy. I presume she was tested for coeliac when they did the allergy testing.

Kanga59 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:43:34

You could try adding in some good fats like nuts, seeds, avocado.

granola. homemade cake bars with almond flour replacing some of the white flour. whizz a banana with milk for a bedtime drink

Kanga59 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:45:48

Sorry I didn't read properly and see that she has a severe nut allergy. If you can get away with almond flour or coconut flour, try soya flour.

Passthecake30 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:49:01

I have a seriously skinny ds, I can see all his ribs, his spine and his knees look SO knobbly. Same age as your dd, 3st 5 and average height (135cm?). He eats well, but just doesn't stay still. I was v skinny and I am now a size 10/12 and 6ft so I guess he's following me....sounds like your dd is following her dads shape so unless she has any other concerning issues I would try and relax? Just wanted to say that you're in good company smile

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 07-Aug-16 20:52:03

I wouldn't worry about it at all if she's well, she may well gain as she goes through puberty.

Oly5 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:57:31

I wouldn't worry too
Much but a visit without her to the GP won't hurt. Personally, I wouldn't take her along at any stage as you really don't want her to be conscious of this. I had the other problem as a child overweight. My parents took me to the docs and then a dietician for a long time. It left me with such low self esteem that it caused an eating disorder.
I would do what you are doing - make sure she eats healthily but sneak in good fats, avocado, olive oil, cheese and butter on her bread. Full fat milk. Apart from
Anything, if she's that active she definitely needs the extra calories

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 07-Aug-16 21:06:07

Definitely try to get her tested for coeliac or remove gluten from her diet for a few days and see how she is doing

Clankboing Sun 07-Aug-16 21:07:49

Fruit smoothies can be quite calorific and tend to be accepted well. You could add oats to them if its a smoothie maker that really blitzes like a nutriblender. You sound like you've thought of everything though. When my son was younger he ate such a little amount and a dietician gave us duocal which is a powder that can be added to foods to increase calories. It was 10 years ago though - not sure if it is still the done thing. Could you get a phone consultation with a doctor so that the initial discussion is not in front of your dd? I guess a referral to a dietician would be good anyway as she has the added nut allergy as a complicating factor. ( It's a shame really as nuts would be so good for her!).

Lweji Sun 07-Aug-16 21:09:47

Please don't worry so much about her weight or weight gain.
If she eats well and has lots of energy she's probably fine. Just takes over your DH.
Certainly better than being overweight in terms of health.
If you want to talk to a gp, do a general check up and don't make a big deal out of it.

sillibillie Wed 10-Aug-16 07:50:01

The test for coeliac is a blood test not patch testing or skin prick so you would definitely know if she had been tested for that. Coeliac does also cause lethargy and distended abdomen though so if she's very skinny and very active that probably isn't it

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