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Ds is not gaining enough weight - what are the highest calorie foods?

(12 Posts)
bumbleweed Wed 10-Sep-08 15:41:04

Ds is 9months. Still breast-fed. Started solids at around 24 weeks.

Dropped to the 9th centile now and only gained an ounce in the last month. HV says he definitely needs more calories and although I feel he is fairly healthy I am starting to agree as he is starting to look really small for his age.

He not really interested in solid foods. But I need to get more into him.

Does anyone know what are the most calorie-rich nutritional foods - I know avocado and butternut squash but any others information or links as to where to research?


misi Wed 10-Sep-08 17:36:37

my son was like this and is as healthy as can be now, 4 years old, 114cm tall and 3 st exactly. he was born at 8lbs 4oz, went down to 7lbs quite quickly (ex wasn't producing enough milk). he dropped centiles here and there all the time yet after finding soya formula (cows and goats formula would not stay down) he stopped loosing weight and slowly put it back on, an ounze here and there but never loosing any. he still looked small for his age in weight terms but was healthy. never bothered with high calorie foods, as long as he added weight and didn't loose it I was not worried. HV kept saying we had to feed him up, put some weight on him, but studies show that the quicker you put on weight when a baby the more likely you are to be obese later in life, fat storage cells are only ever made and never destroyed by the body, the more you make earlier in life, the more there are to store fat in later in life (and therefore the more cells the body has to fill up).

my tutor at uni always said that if a baby is putting on weight, however small the gain, it still means that baby is getting more calories than it needs, therefore it adds weight, if it were not getting enough, it would loose weight, if it stood still, then it was only getting enough to sustain itself so was 'living on the line'.

avocado is rich in fat so beware of that, also beware of sugar/starch rich foods as they release energy very quickly and are more likely to end up stored as fat. complex carbs and proteins are best, they release energy slowly, giving the body a chance to use it rather than store it.

a couple of sites I found that may be of use

Mercy Wed 10-Sep-08 17:48:47

I'm tempted to say ignore the HV. Size isn't everything you know! My dd has always been on the 9th centile or below (she's now 7 years old).

And surely breast milk is the best thing to supplement his diet? (if he really is underweight)

Is your ds generally healthy and happy?

nicky111 Wed 10-Sep-08 18:28:13

My DD2 was very similar and from 12 months I took the advice of the health visitor. She suggested I put double cream or cheese in mashed potato and I found this worked if I rolled it into little balls as she could feed herself. Also put peas and things in it and that worked too.
You could try banana mashed with avocado, hard boiled egg spread on toast fingers and avocado and cream cheese too - although I think he may still be too young for this.
Also baked beans blush and cheese on toast. Feel like a bad mummy after reading above posts and have to admit DD2 is, at 18 months, still small for her age hmm and on the slim side so don't know if all my high calorie feeding made much difference but it made me feel better about it

SebbysMum Thu 11-Sep-08 10:53:11

The HV told me that dairy is the way to go to get the weight on. My son is small and fussy but he will eat cheese and when I make toast I make it 50:50 toast to unsalted butter. I don't think there is any need to avoid fat at this age and with babies like mine it has to be important. I have been known to add cream to his weetabix.

I'm no expert though. I'm only on these pages because I'm worrying about his lack of calories

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 11:01:21

dd1 has been under a nutritionist for this on and off for most of life.

at this age good high calorie foods

fully cooked eggs

another tip i got was to mix formula powder into her foods i.e. mashed banana, mashed potato, yoghurts etc would all have a scoop or two of formula but you may not be keen on doing this if you are breast feeding.

meals i gave dd regularly at that age;

mince and mash <potato and veg> mash made with extra butter and cream
cheesy pasta <again cheese sauce made with cream, add a blob of butter and a scoop of formula>
pizza fingers <i grated extra cheese on>
hard boiled egg and cheese on toast with buttered toast
fish pie <mash made as above>
custard with a bit of cream added
rice pudding made with less milk and a bit more cream
home made mini beef burgers


penona Thu 11-Sep-08 11:01:35

My son was/is similar, still small for his age and the HV kept naggin me about feeding him more, so I stopped getting him weighed! he just did not enjoy being fed/feeding himself etc, just wanted to play really. Then suddenly about 12 mo he started to crawl, was able to feed himself a little better and became really interested in food. He now eats alot, varied stuff and although is small he seems perfectly proportioned and is full of energy.

So I guess I would say, try not to worry too much. Are you eating properly so that your breastmilk is nourishing enough for him? Don't mean that rudely, I was FFing my two by that age, but I have heard that can sometimes be a problem.

It does seem to take a while for some babies to get into food (my DD - I have twins so had a direct comparison - ate anything and everything until about 12 mo - went from 50th to 80th centile while he dropped from 12th to 5th. Then when she started moving she stopped eating cos she'd found something better to do!)

BeachBunni Thu 11-Sep-08 11:50:55

Is he in porportion to his length/head? I would ask for the hv to refer you to a dietician if she is that concerned. When I took ds to get weighed a few weeks ago (10mo) he had dropped from the 50th to the 25th but she told me not to worry as it's common as they get more active at that age. I'm not sure if they do it for babies of older age but when ds was born under the 2nd, I had to express and human milk fortifier was added but that could be a hospital thing as he switched to high calorie ff before we left.
I still get a bit paranoid about his weight and would add things like butter, cream and mascarpone to food.

bumbleweed Thu 11-Sep-08 13:32:50

thank you all for your suggestions

misi - thanks for the reassurance based on your own ds, and for doing the links, although I think that fat is actually v good for babies and not something to beware of - also avocado is the right type of fat so good for adults too

yes ds is generally healthy - he looks fine, is developing fine, crawling around fast, standing up, laughing, babbling. He is a bit overtired most of the time which I am sure affects his appetite but I have tried all sorts to get his sleep better.

I've not been giving him much dairy as it is recommended to avoid up to 9 months for the best chance to avoid allergy, also I didnt see it as having anything that breastmilk doesnt have.

I am tempted to ignore HV especially as she advised stopping bf - which is clearly madness! But I do feel he is small and worry about his lack of food intake.

Saying that there is no reason I cant start to introduce it now.

I think sweet potato is a good one.

bundle Thu 11-Sep-08 13:34:18

mine were both avocado babies

also loved cauliflower cheese so much their nappies smelled of gouda wink

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 13:41:07

bumbleweed my sister was advised to give up breastfeeding her son and give formula instead as it has more calories hmm according to her hv. she ignored her and carried on as she always had.

her son was also slow at gaining weight and not a particularly brilliant eater but not especially poor either.

he is now 16 months is walking and talking and is imo is huuuuuuge grin but then my little girl is tiny compared to him. his weight is back to normal on the charts and he is doing great

Brangelina Thu 11-Sep-08 13:45:25

Don't do dairy, you're right to avoid it till later, if you need to add fats there are lots of much better things than cream or butter (which can develop into a bad habit and give problems in adulthood). I wouldn't do extra puddings for the same reason.

For extra fats go with avocado, add a spoonful of olive or rapeseed oil to all your baby's meals, bulk out cereals and other food with ground nuts and seeds or nut butters. Nuts can be safely introduced from 9mo if you have no problems. More breastmilk too if you can get it in.

My DD was and still is a skinny minnie, despite the vast amounts of food she consumes. She always used to be the smallest out of friends' babies or in her class at nursery but reassuringly has just shot past a couple of her classmates height-wise (at last!). Both were hefty babies, so size in babyhood evidently means nothing.

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