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If you have a very skinny child do you encourage 5 a day or just encourage to eat??

(27 Posts)
VA1983 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:13:17

My dd is so skinny and so fussy at eating. She is 6 years old and belongs to a sports club, ballet lessons and swimming lessons so is quite active. She would happily live on carbs and nothing else. I have been trying to encourage her to eat her 5 a day but now she eats even less! She has also never eaten much of the family meals I make. My mum thinks I should just feed her what she will eat, eg chicken nuggets and chips, toast, biscuits etc. Just so that she is eating a reasonable amount. I am not so sure. What do other people do? Watch their Dc eat next to nothing of a nutritious family meal or give them food where they will eat the whole plate such as chicken nuggets and chips and baked beans? The same with snacks, if I offer fruit she will go without, if I offer her a biscuit she will eat her snack? I want her to be healthy but I worry as she hardly wants to eat any healthy food and I hate seeing her go without.

TeaBelle Tue 20-Sep-16 20:16:20

Surely it's about a healthy mixture. So offer more junky type stuff a couple of times a week but generally healthy stuff. Although if she is medically underweight and gp etc is concerned then I would follow their advice

TinyGirl1 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:19:35

My mum says the same. "Better he eats more, even if it's sugary than hardly anything at all" she says.
I'm still not sure I agree about the junk but I think yes do make more of what she likes such as the chips and nuggets etc.

VA1983 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:19:55

No she is not medically under weight she just looks painfully thin!

TinyGirl1 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:21:01

*By junk I mean I'm not sure about the sugary stuff as my mum advised

VA1983 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:21:44

Maybe it is a mum thing! My mum said my sister lived on dry cereal, crackers and sausage and chips for 13 years because at least she ate good quantities of it! My dd will however eat two or three mouthfuls of my home cooking before declaring she doesn't like it. Sigh.

TeaBelle Tue 20-Sep-16 20:23:53

You can be thin but very unhealthy though...

SouthernComforts Tue 20-Sep-16 20:28:10

Dd is also 6 and super skinny. I've pretty much given up on 5 a day tbh. If she'll eat it, I'll feed it her. I was encouraged to put cream and sugar in her milk, mix cheese and butter into sauces, fry rather than grill etc. by her consultant and dietician.. I don't do that now but if she wants Pizza, nuggets, pasta etc most days I give it her.

(Dd was tube fed when younger due to her aversion to eating, so on the extreme end of 'fussy')

I made myself ill worrying about nutrition when DD was small.. now I have to be more relaxed or I'd go insane! She's tall, energetic etc so I'm sure she'll survive a few more years without her 5 a day!

HeyMicky Tue 20-Sep-16 20:29:05

DD is 4 and very slight and I make sure she eats her fruit and veg as well as lots of protein.

Her cousin was exactly the same and was given all kinds of crap "for the calories". She's nearly 10 now and has rolls of fat and terrible habits.

I'd look for other ways to enhance her diet - extra cheese and cream, protein powders, nut butters, eggs etc

TheGingerBreadWoman Tue 20-Sep-16 20:30:51

My ds is borderline under weight. He takes medication that just kills his appetite. We saw the dietician to discuss my concerns.

We talked about what he did eat (he lives on apples and junk food...but overall doesn't eat a great deal).

She said that as long as what he does it over the day generally covers all the main food groups then feeding him more of the higher calorie foods would do him no harm. What would be described as a healthy diet for him wouldn't be for another child who's weight wasn't a problem.

The one things she did stress was that he must have full fat milk and if I can get any other high calcium foods in him that will benefit him with one growth (since he is only 8 that's really important).

Mycraneisfixed Tue 20-Sep-16 20:32:31

Left to eat what they want most children will arrive at a healthy-ish diet. Better she eats what she can especially is she's active.

oldlaundbooth Tue 20-Sep-16 20:34:43

I'd just let her have what she will eat.

You could try hiding fruit and veg I. E. Courgette muffins, banana bread etc.

MrsKCastle Tue 20-Sep-16 20:43:34

I have almost the opposite problem with my DD. She is 5 and super skinny, but will eat loads of fruit and veg. She has very little dairy food and isn't a huge fan of carbs either. I don't want to get her into bad eating habits by giving too many cakes and biscuits, but I want her to gain weight... It's hard to know what to do for the best.

VA1983 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:45:09

At the moment if I let her eat what she enjoys it would go something like this:

Breakfast: spaghetti hoops on toast
Lunch: half a cheese sandwich, chocolate biscuit bar, maybe a piece of fruit or cucumber if she is in the mood
Snack: 2 biscuits
Dinner: chicken nuggets chips and peas. A yogurt.

georgedawes Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:01

That doesn't sound too bad!

VA1983 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:15

If I try and get her to eat her 5 a day it goes something like this:

Breakfast: beans on toast or an apple with toast
Lunch: half a cheese sandwich and a yogurt (usually leaves cucumber and grapes unless she is in the mood to eat them!)
Snack: refuses a piece of fruit
Dinner: a few bites of a home cooked meal. Then screams hunger and that the dinner tastes horrible and she is really hungry sad

unlimiteddilutingjuice Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:49

I have a fussy skinny 4 year old and I'm afraid I mostly let him eat what he wants. In terms of fruit and veg he will only really eat tinned tomato's, oranges and juice so I just try to work those in where I can. I have resorted to pretending that tomato puree is "special ketchup" grin

Citybaby Tue 20-Sep-16 20:58:20

I feel your pain, my Dd1 is 3, skinny and very fussy, really only eats dairy, carbs and biscuits with the very occasional banana or grape. I do tend to give in at dinner time and give her pasta and cheese once again as at least I know there's something going in. My dortor said to look at her diet over a week rather than a day which actually makes it not look so bad plus it stops you getting too worked up every mealtime as you can think 'there's always tomorrow...'

HeyMicky did you mind sharing what you do with protein powders? I'm always looking for days to get more protein in as she refuses meat and will only allow peanut butter once a week.

BennyTheBall Tue 20-Sep-16 21:03:44

I have a skinny 14 year old.

He eats pretty much anything - just small quantities.

He weighs 5 stone 10.

Tonight for dinner he had chicken and leak pie, creamed spinach and peas - but half of the portions his elder brother ate.

He has a good diet - but a tiny appetite.

Hufflepuffin Tue 20-Sep-16 21:09:31

Have you tried mixing purees into the spaghetti hoops? Maybe try an Ella's kitchen carrot or sweet potato pouch, then if it "works" you can make your own.

moomoogalicious Tue 20-Sep-16 21:16:15

Your first meal doesn't sound too bad. I have a super skinny 9yo. She eats eats fruit and veg but no cheese (except pizza or pesto), eggs or meat. Some days she seems to eat hardly anything but makes up for it on others, so as a pp said its better to look at the whole week. A typical day is:

Breakfast: porridge with Nutella
Lunch: half a butter sandwich, crisps, small choc bar
Snack: fruit
Dinner; half a veggie sausage, pitta bread, salad (or broccoli, Yorkshire pud and gravy)

If she has a day where she eats a mouthful of dinner, then I'll give her some chocolate milk or something before bed

HeyMicky Tue 20-Sep-16 21:36:30

Citybaby I just whack it in wherever if I think she could do with something a bit more filling.

So stir it into yoghurt, mix it through mince-y meals like spag Bol and cottage pie, add a scoop to smoothies, add it to eggy bread in the egg mix and so on

OSETmum Tue 20-Sep-16 21:53:33

I have a super skinny, super active but luckily non fussy 7 year old DS.

I say let her eat what she wants and give her a vitamin.

A typical day's food for DS would be:

Breakfast: porridge/ weetabix and a crumpet or toast with a glass of full fat milk and a chewy vitamin.

Snack: banana ( at school because they're only allowed fruit snacks) or whatever he wants if not at school.

Lunch: tuna/ ham sandwich on 2 slices of bread, carrot, frube, mini sausages/ chicken and a kinder chocolate bar.

After school snack: protein shake and another sandwich and a biscuit if he'll eat one (doesn't have a massively sweet tooth).

Tea: could be anything, it was chilli, jacket potato and garlic bread tonight.

Before bed: glass of milk.

Writing all that down, I can't see how the hell he can't maintain his weight 😲!

Mycraneisfixed Tue 20-Sep-16 23:20:23

My DGS hates Shepherds Pie but loves mince&mash after he saw it on Peppa Pigconfused So the mince part includes assorted chopped peppers, carrot and onions. Result!

ceeveebee Tue 20-Sep-16 23:26:33

Your unhealthy day sounds like my DSs healthy days! He is a veg refuser although getting a lot better

Could you not do something like homemade chicken nuggets and sweet potato chips instead of the ready made stuff?
Would she eat pasta with hidden veg sauce? Fruit smoothies? Veg muffins?

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