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Thread: need ideas for help gaining weight for my lil one.

  1. #1

    need ideas for help gaining weight for my lil one.

    I have a 1 yr old with cf. She always seems to be two pounds lower than they would like her to be. Shes just so small. Cutest darn thing though so funny even at a year. I seem to have tried a lot. Tried avacados, nope she don't like them. Sour cream, strawberry syrup, maple syrup, ciannamon , sugar, ice cream bars. How do I get her to take food even when she refuses. Some days she eats like a pig 700-950 calories a day. Sometimes only 600-750. Dietiation tells me she needs to be eating around 900. We've condensed her formula, now were tryingvto switch her between whole milk and pedisure drinks. So much difficulty trying to get her to drink her pedisure. Tried bottle tried sippy cup. Any tricks and tips would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Irs2015, we understand. We were there too. DS was born at 5 lbs 6 oz. And in NICU for months. Gaining weight the first year was hit and miss. We worked with the nutritionist but it wasn't enough.

    We finally hit on Ovaltine. He didn't like supplements but loves chocolate milk. We didn't want him drinking something without any nutritional value so we tried Ovaltine and it was a hit. Some use Carnation Instant Breakfast and similar potions, but chocolate flavored Ovaltine (not Malt flavored) was a hit. We put it in a sippy cup and never let it stay empty for more than a few minutes. We used 4tbs instead of 2 but see if that's too strong a chocolate flavor for her. DS wound up drinking 4-6 sippy cups a day and at 240 calories a sippy cup it's exactly what he needed. When we switched centers at 2 years old, the docs and nutritionists were shocked at how great his perect chubby weight. He was chubby, pink, and healthy and happy.

    Now I will add two other techniques we used. First of all when you have this kind of problem, don't be so picky about what food you use to up her weight. Whatever she likes, give her a bunch.

    The next thing we did that really contributed to our success, was to feed continually. Even with sitters and later daycare, the instructions were to feed, wait 15 minutes to 30, offer him a sippy cup, wait 15 to 30 minutes, offer him a snack, wait 30 minutes, feed lunch. Wait 15 minutes offer a sippy cup, etc.

    Remember - never, ever force, never ever never ever. I don't care what it is or at what age, if you force, you build resistance not compliance.

    Finally, our last strategy was to not accept his indications that he was full at a meal without one more go. Most people stop eating when they've had enough especially of what's being fed. If it's his favorite food, he will fill up and quit. Just take the bowl away without any attempt to get her to take another bite and smile. But then I would head to the cabinet for a DIFFERENT food. Pull something out.....chips, dip, applesauce, juice, pudding, crackers, ice cream, something that had not been served. I might take a bite myself, for me, not him. When he sees me eating something he likes, ask if he would like some. Usually the answer was yes. It was something different from the meal, so he wasn't full of THAT. If he said no, I honored that without any additional prodding or remarks.

    DS has maintained over 50% - typically 75% - BMI since then, despite being born at less than 10% and staying very low the first year.

    Let me know how she's doing and feel free to ask any questions.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    At that age ds still ate some baby food. Turkey, Mac and cheese, oatmeal with pears, which I doctored with a little salt and butter. Also liked certain yogurts --- yobaby, trip, yogurt. And I'd just shovel it in. I'd also buy convenience items --- chicken ala King, chicken and dumplings, single serving soups. At daycare they just ground up regular food very finely as he had issues with some textures. Didn't like ground meat or toast. Oddly enough he'd eat ham patties, hamburger without a bun... He was on extra calorie formula until almost age 2 which I added cram and chocolate powder. We also fed him vanilla carnation instant breakfast. Powder mixed with whole milk and an ounce of cream. Nowadays I buy chocolate crib at Costco. He didn't like premixed drinks like pediasure or boost. Too thick.

    i just tried different things and stuck with what he liked. I once took a case of spagettios on a trip to Mexico for a wedding.
    Parent to a child wcf double delta f508.

    Started Orkambi July 2015
    Began Symdeko August 2018

  4. #4
    I can't remember the exact name of the product, but it comes in a can that you can find in any regular store that's powdered egg whites. I mixed that in with my food, jello, whatever to get my weight back up after I had stomach surgery. You can't tell they are in there but there's a lot of protein in it

  5. #5
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    We too struggled with DS not being as big as they wanted. He started out around 10% and every time we went in the pushed for him to weigh more and have more calories, even though he was slowly moving up to 20-30ish. I ended up trying to force him to eat when he wasn't hungry and it backfired and he stopped eating, lost weight and they started discussing feeding tubes. We had a swallow test attempted to see why he wasn't eating and the OT suggested Ellyn Satter's books (Child of Mine) and I realize the issue was me and pressure. I backed off and he started eating. They still pressured which pressured me and so I just started dressing him heavier for his appointments. Seriously, it was ridiculous: The dietitian was thrilled he had gained so much between one set of appointments and I said "well, this was his first appointment with clothing on" (they did naked weight until 1 and then with clothing) and she just kept talking. I'd strongly recommend you read her book as I think it really resonates with the problem of pressuring to eating and how that can backfire and also that children have different "natural" weights, notwithstanding the CF team wanting then all to be at 50% bmi. It also stresses how they will eat a ton at some meals and like birds at others.

    The Satter approach, though, also has eating only with planned meals and snacks and not cooking only their favorites, and having family meals, but with lots of high fat options amonst the mix and having some of their favorites. Frankly, I had a hard time getting many meals/snacks in the day because of his horrible acid reflux and needing to have a couple hours between food and his vests and he wasn't ever hungry if he ate closer than a few hours apart. Part of the eating issues, though, I think came from lots of stomach issues: He never really liked food and now that his gi stuff is in order he seems to enjoy food.

    I try to follow the Satter approach, but because I still freaked about his low weight I did always have lots of high fat favorites at the meals and put a ton of butter on extras and also DS had Boost kids essential plus which was 360 calories each, so he had a ton of calories just from that. He is now in 90% of BMI (was over 100% and they actually wanted to cut his calories and have him loose weight!). But even as he was going up the growth curve, he was still not at the calories they said he needed to gain the weight they wanted!

    Anyway, that's another approach that might work along with the two that seemed to works so well for Gammaw and Ratatosk.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Great thread, with so many different approaches. Wow, AboveAll, 90% BMI! Obviously Satter's approach was a big help for you. We've been hovering close to 85% the last two visits and his pediatrician smiled really big - said he would tell us to cut back with most kids, but for him, they simply call it "insurance." We also always wait at 30 minutes after meals before we vest. I have found that some people haven't been told about the possibility of aggravating acid reflux if you vest too close to eating. But that was the advice from our clinic too. I would also imagine that the number of calories you need to consume in order to gain depends a lot on how effective your enzymes are for you, and the amount of pancreatic function you have remaining. It seems some really don't have the ability to put on the weight despite the caloric intake with appropriate enzyme dosages. But all of these approaches seem like great ways to maximize your chances of putting weight on "naturally." Let us know how it all works for you, Irs.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    I don't enjoy vesting right after a meal (especially a big meal). It is better for me to do it before eating or as far after the meal as feasible. I could see how a kid at dinner might hold back on getting full if he knows the vest is just going to aggravate his stomach right after he's done with his meal.
    Thirtysomething Dad of three (IVFw/ICSI), Mormon, Engineer in Utah.
    I was dx at 1 yr (failure to thrive), D▲F508, FEV1~94%, PA and MSSA, PI.
    2 brothers w/CF, 3 siblings w/out. My wife and parents are saints.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Maybe ask your dietician about scandishake. It's similar to carnation instant breakfast but twice as many calories.

    maybe check out
    there is an faq on the right side with recipes. Not sure how many are kid friendly, but gives you some ideas.
    32 year old, female, matching pair of Delta F508
    FEV1 ~45%
    Currently see Dr. Simon @ U of M hospital, he is the best!

  9. #9
    Weight gain can be done by eating food in coconut oil,as it does not require enzyme to digest conut oil

    Apart fr that it is recommended to have five meals

    and correct creon dose b/w meal

    child shoud go to potey 3 times max if creon dose is correct..

    there is a supplement of medium chain triglyceride[mct]
    It does not have tase..and u cn give it to ur child .with water mct is fat..a fat that does not require in will help u.

    With best wishess

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Yes, MCT oil Ank. It was prescribe in big brown glass bottles for DS when he was little. It went in every bottle of milk. But they don't seem to prescribe it anymore. My nutritionist said it's not but I do wonder whether it wouldn't be helpful.

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