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Please help - DS's diet is awful and he is losing weight

(17 Posts)
Frasersmum123 Fri 10-Jul-09 18:45:15

Our Paed says that seeing a dietician wont help, but I really dont know what to do - e is losing weight, and although he has always been a bit chunky, no child should lose nearly a KG in 3 weeks. (He is 2.4 and ASD)

Today my DS has eaten

7 floz semi skimmed milk
Weetabix Oaty Bar
Half a Banana
A malted milk
half a pouch of apple and mango puree (those ones meant for babies blush)
about 6 grapes
another half a pouch of mango puree
6 blueberry and raspberry rice cakes (mini ones)
A babybel
about 8 small cups of juice.

I know it sounds like alot,compared to some other children but there is no real substence in there, its mainly fruit so his nappies are terrible, and he is losing weight

He wont be fed (unless its sweet - like fruit puree or yoghurt) I have to wipe some on his lip and let him try it, but if he doesnt like it it doesnt pass. I keep trying foods, and leaving him in his highchair until he eats it all, (yesterday he managed to eat a quarter of a slice of toast after being left for half an hour with the TV on)

I dont know what to do because I dont know the root cause

I feel like such a shite parent because he is either wandering around with his food, or watching tv while he eats it.

Does anyone have any advice? Should I just keep letting him graze? He does have food around most of the time to choose from, but he just refuses, or should I make him sit and eat whatever we are eating? I have been advised by some people to let him go hungry and then he will eat, but I know he wont, he just gets whiny and I cant cope with that.

Sorry its a rambling post

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 10-Jul-09 19:02:58

will he eat chocolate (kit kat or dairy milk?) or coco-pops (dry, with no milk)? is there any way at all of bribing him - eg show him lollipop but indicate that first he must eat whole banana, whole bit of toast? My DS (autistic) would have starved if it were not for his love of hot buttered toast with marmite. Any good? Or a lot of my pals with autistic kids swear by Macdonald chips (for some reason, more attractive to the autisitic children I know than other chips). Or Happy Meal chicken nuggest I know none of these are healthy options but they are high calorie options. From your list, he is getting not a bad balance of diet though - carbs , protein, fruit..It is a nightmare, I know.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Fri 10-Jul-09 19:04:17

I'd go for whole milk rather than part skim and what about some peanut butter on his toast?

amberflower Fri 10-Jul-09 19:07:22

This is a difficult one - if he was NT you could probably be a bit tougher but I presume his restricted diet is mainly due to the ASD? My DS was a shocker for not eating proper meals if he had juice/snacks between meals at that age. (He is DX ASD but wasn't at that point). I must admit I did go down the 'tough' route, no snacks and 3 meals a day, if he didn't eat it removed it and offered no alternatives, but can understand why this is something you are reluctant to do.

Oh and please don't feel like a rubbish parent for letting him wander/watch TV whilst he eats, we all do that!

I think you have two options. You either get tough, remove the 'food around most of the time to choose from' option (you might just be offering him too many options) and try coaxing him into eating at regular mealtimes. Or you can continue to let him graze and just try and cram more calories into him.

Looking at his diet the main two problems seem to be the lack of protein/carbs. I presume he refuses to touch any kind of hot meal? Do you think he would eat more toast if say you spread it with fruit puree to sweeten it? Would he be spoonfed something like thick chicken soup if you added fruit (apples or apricots are good) to this to sweeten the taste? It can be a painful old process with any child at this age - sometimes if you want to avoid an absolute battle you just need to try and up calories as much as you can. For example you could change him milk back to full fat, try adding cream to his fruit purees to thicken them, that kind of thing.

Sorry I don't have anything more constructive in the way of advice...

amberflower Fri 10-Jul-09 19:10:29

Actually reading back I would also be tempted to either cut out juice and replace with water, or really dilute it, to see if that improves his appetite. Some children just fill up on drinks (mine being a prime example!) and satiate hunger as well as thirst that way, if that makes sense.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Fri 10-Jul-09 19:20:54

Well, speaking of drinks-there is no end to what you can sneak into a fruit smoothie or slushie drink. Same for peanut butter balls-for example flax and wheat germ.

Frasersmum123 Fri 10-Jul-09 19:43:11

Thanks everyone - im going to try adding cream to his puree tomorrow.

Some of the ideas are great, though he does have a peanut allergy so will have to give that one a miss

He wont eat anything that is hot, it has to be cold, but I will definately give some of the suggestions here a try

Frasersmum123 Fri 10-Jul-09 19:46:53

And I have bought some full fat milk for his morning bottle

amberflower Fri 10-Jul-09 20:17:06

Excellent smile

Do you think he might be tempted by something like slices of cold roast chicken again spread with fruit puree or maybe jam? (My DS used to love chicken spread with marmite, I know it sounds disgusting but is actually quite nice grin)

failing that slices of ham or little sausages? Again maybe offer a sweet 'dip' of jam or fruit puree to get him interested.

I know sometimes children can be really fussy about meat textures but it might be worth a try?

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Fri 10-Jul-09 20:19:54

There are many other nut butters on the market besides peanut and Nutella. Get crackin!

lou031205 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:33:06

My SIL's (NT) boy has an incredibly sweet tooth. And is very fussy about food. One thing she used to do is put a bit of savoury food on the spoon, and then a bit of fruit puree and give it together. The fruit puree masked the flavour of the other foods.

marmoset Fri 10-Jul-09 22:05:35

we had eating issues for ages, including an aversion to hot food and here are some of the things we gave to add calories and carbs/fibre:
-double cream in everything
-olive oil - look at the calories in that - even a tablespoon adds quite a few
-yoghurt - full fat
-semolina (tinned or home made)
-pureed butter beans sneaked into fruit purees - just keep tasting it as you add to keep it secret!
-quinoa (this one is quite new to me but my hunts round the supermarkets for finely textured foods led me to it) - can also be added to thicken anything he will eat
-cold Heinz tomato soup with lumps of bread in it/pureed with salami/you name it - it's a great flavour coverer!
-Ready brek sneaked into loads of things - makes a nice flavourless puree to add to fruit etc

Good luck - I think food has to be one of the most emotive subjects for Mums!

Seuss Fri 10-Jul-09 22:22:48

my ds loves chocolate ready brek - they do a ready chocolated one but we put choc spread in the normal one. He has it with full milk too. He is really fussy but ketchup, marmite and gravy are our saviours! I tend to go with him, sometimes he doesn't seem to eat much but others he doesn't stop, he's pretty skinny but very strong and very fast so I figure he couldn't be either of those things if his diet was that bad!

Frasersmum123 Sat 11-Jul-09 16:49:42

Thanks everyone, I knew that you wouldnt judge me even though I feel so blush about it all.

Well today I have managed to get him to eat the following

9oz Full fat milk with 1oz double cream
1 bowl of fruit puree laced with 2 desert spoons of double cream
A hobnob
Baby Bel
A weetabix Oaty Bar
Mini petit filous
milky bar
slice of toast with dairylea
6 oatcakes
another bowl of puree/cream

Which is a slight improvement - tiny steps!

SJisontheway Sat 11-Jul-09 17:45:04

Sounds like you are making progress.
My DD has always struggled with weight gain. Although she is now 3 she is still prescribed infatrini which is a high calorie milk (100 calories per 100ml v's 70 I think). I think there is a version for older kids too but paed insists this is still suitable. She also likes fruit purees. I always mix in custard which she loves and is good for extra colories. I don't feel too bad as she doesn't eat any sweets or biscuits (won't chew)

marmoset Sun 12-Jul-09 19:24:19

Way to go frasersmum . Don't get downhearted if this goes on for a while - just keep sneaking those calories in!

PipinJo Sun 12-Jul-09 20:14:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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