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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 put weight on underweight dd 11

(39 Posts)
Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 11:51:45

Any advice? Dd is always pretty skinny with a small appetite and a bit of a fussy eater, but she's had flu, followed by a chest infection and is now run down and worryingly skinny. I don't normally trust much in BMI but I checked hers and the NHS calculator put her on the 0 percentile.

The NHS website isn't that helpful on how to get underweight kids to put on weight. Any good tips which don't involve attempting to stuff her with really unhealthy stuff? Is it best to have lots of snacks, on the basis that she can't seem to manage to eat much in one sitting?

I'm not normally stressy about the dc's eating habits, but I'm actually a bit worried about her.

LittleBoat Fri 27-Jan-17 11:55:09

If she is otherwise well, just let her eat what she wants when she wants for a bit. She needs calories more than anything.

melonribena Fri 27-Jan-17 11:57:50

I'm in the same boat with ds 4 who is worryingly skinny after a few weeks of illnesses.
I've been making him milkshakes with a teaspoon of strawberry nesquik and full fat milk.

PinkSwimGoggles Fri 27-Jan-17 11:59:31

agree that you should not 'feed her up' and introduce bad habits.
good normal food, lots of veg for nutrition.

LTBforGin Fri 27-Jan-17 12:00:30

After being ill I've found mine are ravenous a couple of days later so this. Any happen to your dd.

I'd get some goodies in like thick milkshakes, popcorn, dunkers, chocolate yogurts , bananas with Nutella.etc so she can help herself to the calories (without telling her that's what they're for)

Have dinners with cheese, pasta, rice, potatoes. Chicken , fruit and veg for nutrition too. Chunky soups with chunky bread etc

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 12:08:23

Thanks. One thing she loves is nuts, so I'm giving her plenty of those. She's normally got a sweet tooth but she doesn't even seem particularly interested in biscuits, chocolate etc (not that they would be ideal anyway). She's got a pot of brazil nuts by her bed.

MsStricty Fri 27-Jan-17 12:12:56

Don't let her eat too many brazil nuts, Eolian - they are not good at all in large quantities.

MsStricty Fri 27-Jan-17 12:14:43

www.nutritionmyths.com/too-many-brazil-nuts-can-cause-poisoning/

A skeptic-site that corroborates the statement through evidence-based studies.

LittleBoat Fri 27-Jan-17 12:15:37

You can 'feed her up' without introducing bad habits. Just provide high calorie / full fat versions of her normal food.

Her appetite might take a while to return, so I would also be letting her rest as much as she needs too.

GP visit if you're really concerned.

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 12:22:24

Eek - will limit the brazil nuts! She's doing nothing but rest really - still mostly in bed. I'm wondering if the lack of activity is partly what's stopping her appetite from returning. Anyway, thanks for your helpful comments everyone.

travelmad Fri 27-Jan-17 12:25:36

DH was very ill a few years ago and became very, very underweight. The consultant advised not to eat junk but to have full fat versions of everything. So if I made mashed potatoes I would put proper butter and full fat milk in them, and often top them with a bit of cheese. And I'd make him smoothies with strawberries, bananas and full fat milk/yoghurt for him to have as a drink. I also made sure he had lots of little meals instead of 3 big ones as his stomach couldn't handle large volumes of food for a while. Hope she feels better soon

SmokyRobinson Fri 27-Jan-17 12:29:15

My dd (9) had this a few months ago. I let her snack on nuts, gave her full fat dairy (Greek yoghurt being a firm favoroute). Cooked with cheese sauces (cauliflower cheese, macaroni cheese , instead of tomato based sauces etc). Made some extra puddings (apple crumble type things, with cream), put extra effort into making things she enjoys, as she happily skips meals if she's not too bothered about the dishes - all nutricious and rich foods, without too much sugar increase. She's back on her healthy lightweight self again now, after a good few weeks of 'fattening up' smile

GinIsIn Fri 27-Jan-17 12:30:09

Will she drink a milkshake? If so - vanilla ice cream, full fat milk, a banana, huge tablespoon of smooth peanut butter and chocolate syrup.

We used this to stabilise my dad's weight when he was terminally ill - it works a treat!

Hope she feels better soon.

picklemepopcorn Fri 27-Jan-17 12:34:41

Fat and protein, not sugar.

So cream, home made custard (to limit the sugar), cheese, freeze berries and purée them with cream for a sugar free ice cream treat.
Meat, butter, etc.
Lots of butter and cheese on potatoes and bread. Vegetable soup with seeds and added oil/butter blended in.
Avocado, oily fish...

She is young, so getting her appetite up is more important than bad habits. Not sugar though.

mintyneb Fri 27-Jan-17 12:34:59

I have the same problem with my almost 10yo DD. Except she is severely allergic to milk to the point of having an anaphylactic reaction if she eats anything containing milk sad. Limits the options a bit!

misblink Fri 27-Jan-17 12:38:21

full fat milk
peanut butter
ice cream
jersey milk in mashed potato
loads of cheese on everything if she'll eat cheese

Sambucol liquid
Ferroglobin liquid
and bio strath elixir - tastes disgusting but really picks them up

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 12:48:16

She loves peanut butter! I'm a bit worried about the brazil nuts now. She had 4 before I took them off her. I hope just this once it won't have done her any harm.

Mintyneb - that sounds tricky. Dd likes milky things but not so much at the moment. I never fancy milky stuff when I have a cold or cough - it seems to make the mucus worse.

mintyneb Fri 27-Jan-17 13:07:36

I wouldn't worry about the nuts. It's just one day and if what the article says is true the worst that could happen is an upset tummy. I suspect you would need to significant amounts of nuts over a prolonged period of time to do any damage

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 13:30:03

Phew. Last thing she needs is an upset tummy though... She's currently refusing to eat any lunch at all, and saying "Can I just go back to bed" in a miserable, listless voice. sad She really needs to eat, but the last thing I want to do is make food a source of anxiety for her. Even if her cough is better enough for her to go back to school on Monday, I can't see her having the energy to make it through the day. She's had almost 2 weeks off!

picklemepopcorn Fri 27-Jan-17 13:37:45

Cheese on toast? Scrambled egg made with cream, cheese, or butter?

Bless her. We used to freeze yogurt sticks, so they are like an icecream finger.

She does sound poorly. Maybe she needs salt, marmite on toast? With a soft boiled egg?

Do not give her what my mum used to give me... An egg cracked into a bowl of tinned soup. Shudder. What was she thinking?!

I hope she feels better soon.

misblink Fri 27-Jan-17 14:01:03

She sounds poorly still sad

user1484918655 Fri 27-Jan-17 14:08:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 14:12:24

She is definitely still poorly. The antibiotics are working - her cough sounds less chesty- but she's got the runny nose now. Basic cold symptoms which she'd normally deal with fine, but she's too run down to shake them off.
Thank you all for being so sympathetic. I wouldn't normally post about this kind of thing but she's worrying me. I think I'm feeling worse about it because my DM always looks at dd and says to me "She's so skinny and pale, she doesn't eat enough" etc and I always brush it off and say "She's fine - she is just a naturally pale and skinny child!", which she is. But she's got no reserves, so she couldn't really afford to lose any weight.

Gah - I'm sure she'll rally soon. Must pull myself together - I don't want her to see I'm worried, or she'll worry too.

LittleBoat Fri 27-Jan-17 14:14:22

Post viral fatigue?

DD had this after chicken pox and it took her about 3 weeks to get up and running. Even now she gets more 'run down' after illnesses than the rest of us and takes longer to recover. I put this down entirely to her fussy eating, though now she is a bit older (13) she makes more of an effort to eat the right things.

Your dd might need a bit more time off school.

Eolian Fri 27-Jan-17 14:27:26

Yes, maybe post viral fatigue. Will take her back to the doctor in a few days if she's not doing better.

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