Friday, March 2, 2012

Mamas, Can You Help?

This is my Kennah-bug, our little Thin Mint. Isn't she beautiful?!?
Some of you have stated in no uncertain terms you'd like to see more pictures of her ;-)
It's not that I don't want to post pictures. I have an entire array of excuses that would knock your socks off, I'm sure. But the truth is, I take a lot of pictures of all my kiddos, but Thin Mint has had 5 ear infections since she's been home and has grown 3 inches...and she looks so thin.

She's always going to be petite, but frankly I'm surprised she hasn't gained more weight in the 9 months she's been home.

We've seen all the doctors and done all the lab work to make sure there isn't a medical reason for her ultra-thin physique. She was scheduled to have tubes put in last Friday, but she had too much congestion to do the surgery. Once that's done she will undoubtedly feel better!
So here's where you can help me.
Do you have a child that's suffered from malnourishment?
A child who needs to gain weight?
Here are the things I do:
Prepare nutritious meals at home (the ramen noodle thing is a rare occurrence ;-)
1) Have her drink 1 C*rnation Instant Breakfast drink every day.
2) Keep plenty of fruit, popcorn and crackers and almonds around for snacks.
3) We drink water, not pop or juice.
4) She takes a multi-vitamin.
What else can I do? I welcome your comments of things that have worked for you, and even suggestions of things to try.
Mama and her Thin Mint would be so appreciative!


The Stiffs said...

When we brought our son home, malnourishment and feeding problems were at the forefront. Thankfully, Jack turned around quickly and now I have to make sure he doesn't eat too much. Some friends put lots of suggestions on our blog, some where mix supplements like nurture into milk shakes, etc. We don't do juice either. Our doctor was concerned that if we gave him too much dairy trying to beef him up that it could hurt his iron absorption. Blessings, you and your thin mint will be in our prayers.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Maybe ... she needs more "junk food" ... more calories ... in addition to all of the good stuff.

Seriously. You are feeding her very healthy things (which is good and commendable) but maybe some additional cookies and juice would be good for her.

My Little Miss came home 4 years ago. She was (actual biological age, not falsified birth certificate) 8 or 9 years old. She wore size 4 clothes (yes, toddler sizes), and those fell off of her. Four years later, she is still skinnie minnie, but has grown so tall that she is wearing size 10-12 (ate age 12-13).

We rarely limit her intake of the wholesome nutritious food, and she often eats more than any of the 3 teens in the house. But, we also let her eat desserts quite often, because she does need the calories.

The "junk food" never replaces the wholesome nutritious meals, but we do add sugar to add calories. )

Funny thought ... if we keep adding sugar will she get sweeter? We're working on that, too.

:) :) :)

Melissa said...

My super tiny girl is drinking pediasure anytime she wants it and any flavor. We do drink juices. Not the sugar full kind, natural stuff. Snack foods are only off limits right before a meal. I let her eat most anything...fats and sugars included! She needs all the calories I can get in her. Praying with you! They will grow and gain EVENTUALLY lol...

Jennifer P said...

We are in the same boat. I hope you'll share any suggestions. Our problem is that our skinny guy doesn't like butter and fat stuff. He will eat some ice cream but doesn't love dairy products.

Hope thin mint feels better soon.

Julie said...

Our son is in the same boat. I basically let him eat whenever he is hungry. I don't limit much of anything, but milk. He is lactose intolerant. We feed him junk food and good food. Our pediatrician said just to feed him whatever he will eat to get his calorie count up. Brian is 4, but only weighs 27lbs and he gained 4 of that since coming home. It is so hard.

catsage_2000 said...

Connie when we brought our oldest home she was 11 months and 12-14lbs. WE were told to put two pounds on her in two weeks so they could start her immunizations. The doctor said feed her anything she will eat, add butter to everything, make things with whole milk (we didn't have a lactose intolerant child, thank goodness). She ate french fries and I made tons of pudding with whole milk. And we had the two pounds on in two weeks.

Our family: said...

We have the same problem too. A six almost seven year old who still wears size 2/3 panties. Maylie has been home three years and hasn't gained much weight. But she's grown a ton! I think everything she eats just goes into the vertical growth. She ate a ton the first six months she was home but slowed down her eating as she settled in.
We never limit the amount of what she eats and she can have seconds or thirds anytime.
Eggs are great! Lots of protein and good fat. We put cheese on top and sour cream on top of anything we can for her. (even the vegetable) Lots of butter on whole wheat toast. Whole milk, yogurt, avocados, protein bars. We do limit sugar because it's just empty calories. But ice cream seems like a great way to add some calories and fat, within reason!
I think their bodies take several years to catch up from the lack of nutrition. She's growing so that's a great sign!

Nicole said...

One of my friends puts olive oil and butter on everything and also does lots of avocados. We were told to put Brooklyn on pediasure when we first came home, although she did not have a low-weight issue ... but it has lots of good stuff in it and she loved it.

Good luck and God's blessings to your precious thin mint!

Jean said...

We have our Anna that was growing ever so slowly. I brought her in to a endocinologist because we were concerned. Anna also has the cleft L/P.

I sometime wonder because of the cleft if some foods are difficult to eat- so we always cut her food and give her "easy to eat" textures. yogurt, pudding, eggs, ice cream, etc

Well Anna is doing great now- she hit a growth spirt- still petite but gaining and growing. Now that she is 5 yrs old she just became more hungry!

Yvette said...

Our little guy (who is a dwarf) but is teeny tiny skinny too. He was actually diagnose failure to thrive at one point (wanna see a ballistic mom LOL!) On to the point - instant breakfast is the same as pediasure if you use whole milk. He loved butter which I would slice and he still calls cheese (blech!) When I make dinner his plate is made last and I add extra sour cream, or butter to his sauce. Adding protein powder to smoothies or even juice - I found that a. food presented as a "special treat", and b. a lot of calories are lost with fluids (water), c. this can quickly turn into a battle so relax!!

quilt'n-mama said...

Our Natey Bug came home at 27 months and about 19 pounds, unable to eat solid foods, etc. (He is cleft affected too.)

He still is very small for his age but we have put some weight on him slowly.

Here are a few of the things that our doctor suggested- yogurt, make sure you are actually buying yogurt with fat in it:) I didn't realize that whole milk yogurt could be hard to find- but YoBaby is whole fat as is some of the other brands and ones that are almost like dessert:) I found a brand that was vanilla flavored and I mixed about 1/2 cup of it in his milk (also whole milk.) He drank it from a sippy cup that I took the valve out of.

Nate also loves half & half... I know it is crazy but we let him drink about 3/4 cup of half and half each day. He loved the taste and would actually ask for more. To this day, he loves straight half & half so we still let him have it sometimes. (he's 5 1/2 and about 2% on the growth chart.

The doctor also wanted to make sure that Nate had plenty of protein, so we fed him tons of eggs... boiled, fried in butter, etc.

Peanut butter was another item that he encouraged... so I fixed peanut butter crackers and on bread, etc for snacks.

Fruit is always "free" at our house, the kids can eat it whenever they want. I always keep apples, bananas and oranges for snacks. Avacados are another things that can be really good. I used it in a lot of stuff to add calories. Thankfully Nate like it with corn chips so we let him have that too.

Sweet potatoes baked are popular at our house- I always add extra butter to his and he eats it with brown sugar on top:) I make a lot of bread and try to make it whole grain as much as possible, then we toast it and add peanut butter, nutella, apple butter, etc.

Our doc said just sugary stuff didn't really help but good fats can make a difference.

I have heard of people adding extra olive oil to foods to help add calories but I have not done that.

Don't know if any of that helps or not but something we have tried.


ps- hope your trip to the new doc went well too! It was a beautiful day in OK on Weds. we had a blast:)

connie said...

THANK YOU, ladies, for the awesome tips!!!!! Some things I hadn't thought of! And we were also told that instant breakfast was the same as pediasure (less expensive and better consistency). I'm taking notes don't stop now :)
Thin Mint, you're gonna get more butter, eggs, fat-full yogurt and olive oil :)

Shonni said...

She is so beautiful. Praying that she feels better soon.

ronvic7 said...

Hey there,

We've got a tiny one too, Kat was 23 lbs wearing 18 month baby clothes at age 3 when adopted, is now 8 and only 42 lbs, wears 4T panties:))

We used Ensure milkshakes,I'm sure this amounted to Pediasure now, they didn't have Pediasure then.

She was sick all the time and had a T&A surgery after 6 months home (had to get weight on her first)once she had that she has been very healthy.

I think she will always be very thin, she just doesn't gain weight easily-- but as long as she healthy I don't worry.

I do give her Tums for calcium, she doesn't like any milk or dairy and a multivitamin.

Jennifer P said...

We are in the same boat. I hope you'll share any suggestions. Our problem is that our skinny guy doesn't like butter and fat stuff. He will eat some ice cream but doesn't love dairy products.

Hope thin mint feels better soon.

Gina said...

We have kids who needed to eat extra calories also, but they are not our adopted kids. Anyway, we always put extra butter, cheese, dressing, sauce etc. on their portions of food. It makes it taste better anyway so they tend to eat more of the healthy foods at the same time. Making higher fat lunch items that the parents, or anyone watching their weight are not eating. If no one is allergic, peanut butter is a good calorie booster. Pediasure is a good option if she will drink it. Mine never would. I agree with only drinking water, we mostly drink water only and occasionally milk. However, if she just isn't eating enough some high calorie drinks could do the trick. (In addition to the instant breakfast.) Good luck.

Treasures Evermore said...

Sounds like you are doing an awesome job...and maybe she is just going to be petite. If she is eating healthy and absorbing all the nutrients, I wouldn't be too concerned. Our Thai son is exactly the same. And he is very healthy, just very petite for a boy and compared to my African children. It's just the way he is.

I am against adding sugar and junk food to put weight on someone. We have enough health issues with child (not to mention adults) who are overweight and unhealthy....why add junk food and then they have other health issues like diabetes and obesity.

She is so beautiful.

Patty said...

My little peanut just turned 9 and is barely 40lbs. The dr. told us long ago to put the calories in anything and everything we could---butter on toast, whole milk with everything. I try to limit the junky junk stuff--the empty calories. But she loves hard boiled eggs and bagels with butter. Rice with butter. String cheese has been a good snack and various nuts. I have a hubby who is severely underweight (18mos. of chemo did it, at 6'5 he is only 150lbs) so I'm always pushing the high cals on both of them. Sadly, I'm the big cow around here....if only they could do fat transplants! LOL

Bebe said...

Eggs, cheese, whole milk, bacon. She doesn't like peanut butter or most meat. Loves to drip in ranch, so baked sweet potato fries & pizza gets dipped. We only drink milk or water & she loves fruit. She gained 7 lbs last year, so I think we are on the right track.

mbcfree said...

Our Guatemala boy came home malnourished as well. One thing the doc suggested is bacon. Eli loved bacon! I saved the bacon grease and put it on veggies for him. He ate a lot of ice cream with fruit in it. A lot of milkshakes. We always gave him the healthy stuff but I just added fat and some sugar to everything I could. As he got older and started to grow and gain weight I took the fat and sugar away. Now he's 7 and doesn't remember all the unhealthy stuff.

Julie said...

I have a super thin 15 yo boy who has mono and no appetite at all.

Peanut butter as much as I can push it at him.

Pediasure (he likes the chocolate)

Whole milk

chocolate milk

Junk. I know, it sounds awful, but I bought sugary cereal, poptarts, you name it. My house is full of sugary processed food. Due to a surgery that had him down for over 6 months and then the mono, my only goal right now is to get him to start being built up. I will focus on the healthier foods when he's healthy and gaining weight.

Tanya Fifer said...

Hi Connie,
Katie Joy come home at not quite 13 lbs at a year old. She's now 6 and just recently hit the 30 lb mark and still in 2-3T panties!

I feed her lots of whole milk and eggs, and full fat products where the rest of us eat low fat or fat free. She also consumed 2-3 cans a day of Pediasure the first year we were home, then a can a day for another year, now I add a couple of tablespoons of pediasure to her cups of whole milk.
I *need* to do better with the multivitamin thing!
Other than that I don't worry about it at all! :) I like the term Thin Mint for Kennah!

Kaitlynsmama said...

Use a Boost rather than Carn... Instant breakfast (we use them at the hospital to help put weight on our pregnant mommas that are ultra thin and they come in "milk"ones of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla or several juice based flavors). Also- juices are fairly high calorie, especially the V-8 Splash juices, and a good source of fruit and veggies while adding calories. The drink (or try pediasure) should be with a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack and possibly before bed.
Try keeping a "goodie bowl" handy and fill it with a mixture of M and Ms, pretzels, Cheerios, raisins, cheese its, etc ( mix of healthy and "junk") .
You may also consider making "shakes" with low fat yogurt, a small amount of juice, fruits, etc...
We did the above when caring for "failure to thrive" skinny minnies from the orphanage in Korea and the were always amazed we could put 2kilos on a kid in 2 weeks ;)

Clay and Amanda said...

Thanks for the tip on the c*rnation instant breakfast! Those PediaSures were killing me! When my daughter came home I continued to feed her the diet she was used to in Korea: rice, seaweed, broth, tofu, veggies. The Dr. said to start feeding her more because she was very underweight, which I didn't realize! She does not like meat except for chicken nuggets and hates eggs and hotdogs (which is a good weight gainers!). So I feed her cheese cubes, peanut butter on butter crackers, pb&j, whole milk, tapioca pudding, rice pudding, full fat yogurt, nuts (macadamias, cashews, pecans, etc, pistachios), nachos with refried beans and sour cream, nutella, bread, and constant flow of banana or multi grain Cheerios! Good luck! My dd and I have had a very hard time bonding (she has been home 10 months) and it really seems the more she gains the more attached we get (which im sure has a lot more to do with time but It helps when I can see the physical changes!) I love reading your blog and hearing about your kiddos!

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