Author Topic: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain  (Read 57666 times)

Offline aireachail

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #150 on: June 01, 2009, 06:54:41 AM »
Meagan,

If it makes you feel any better, I know someone with a 2 year old who only weighs 23 lbs. He is perfectly healthy, and his doctor isn't worried.

However, I don't think it would be a bad idea for you to give Judah some "other high calorie foods" and perhaps increase the number of times per day that you feed him, if you're not already doing so.

Have you ruled out any potential problems with food absorption or allergies? A friend of mine had a baby who had serious problems with weight gain until she found out the baby was truly intolerant of dairy foods. Once dairy was removed from the mother's diet (she was breastfeeding), the baby began to gain weight. Even as a toddler, she could not have dairy.

Just some thoughts...

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #151 on: June 01, 2009, 05:24:08 PM »
Meagan,

Beyond the check for allergies thing (which I fully agree with!), don't worry.  As long as he's tracking for his developmental mile stones, really, he'll be fine.  The fact that he was so SMALL at birth also makes me think he's just fine now.  Being born two weeks late and only weighing 7lbs is pretty small.  If I'd had mine that late they would have weighed 11 lbs!!  So, really, it sounds like he's fine.  I just remembered that I had two that only weighed 19lbs when they were a year old.  That really isn't that far off from 16lbs.  Especially if he was a small baby.  And mine were moose babies (9+ lbs) and they still didn't hit 20lbs at one year.

Don't worry, mama (easier said then done).  Push the high calorie healthy foods and let him grow.   :)  Sounds like he'll be fine.

patti
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Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #152 on: June 02, 2009, 05:28:25 AM »
Thanks so much for the encouragement. It's amazing how worried you can get over something when other people act like somethings a big deal, or how relieved when people encourage you. So again, thank you both! I'm pretty sure he doesn't have any allergies. He never throws his food up, gets rashes, or acts like he feels bad after eating something. I nurse him 3 times a day right now. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He eats food at each meal plus gets snacks in between. The only thing I can think of would be that I stopped nursing him at night around 4 mo. because I wanted to get him to sleep all through the night.  I knew other moms with babies close in age who had their babies sleeping 11-12hrs with no nursing at night, and they're as healthy weight wise as they should be. But now because we want to have another baby, I feel like I need to wean him in order to get pregnant...because I know nursing can effect you ovulation. What are some good healthy high calorie foods that I can feed him?? I use avacados and coconut oil right now, but don't you need to be careful how much coconut oil you add to their foods because it's so high in saturated fat??

Offline mommyoftwins

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #153 on: June 02, 2009, 08:50:26 AM »
Hi, Meagan. I wanted to encourage you, also. My 4 1/2 yo twins are 25 & 29 lbs, and are on track with height now. They are sooo skinny, but I know they are healthy because I feed them good food, and they have been eating a lot of it, they aren't sickly looking, they do things developmentally beyond those of their age. Even my 9#10oz baby who was big for the first several months is 22# at 21 months. She is tall, but slimmer still than other babies. I have FINALLY stopped worrying about their size in comparison to others.

We have given them lots of good fats for so long, but they aren't any fatter. I have been thinking about this idea of giving fats to fatten. I don't necessarily think that's what's going to make them put on weight (not that it's bad to give them). When farmers want to fatten their animals, they don't feed them fat, they feed them grain! That is what makes most people fat--grains/carbs (typically the refined stuff). So, make sure he's getting GOOD carbs, too. Those are also very important for his growth. I think you should keep it balanced, lots of veggies, whole grains, good fats, fresh whole milk. You know that if he's eating all that stuff & looks healthy (other than being compared in size with others) he almost surely is.

Kids are just getting bigger & bigger. All the kids I see around me are being offered food (often refined & processed, but not always) just to keep them quiet or happy when they may be making too much noise or need to sit still. I think they get used to this and develop a constant need for a bite of something just to keep them "happy" through the day. IMO, there needs to be some kind of routine in the eating process to get their metabolism working properly. Just as there is order to the days that God created & order to how things work in nature, there needs to be order with the functions of our bodies.

Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #154 on: June 02, 2009, 09:08:49 AM »
Thanks so much! I'll start trying to offer him some more whole grain snacks instead of so much fruit and veggies at snack times or with meals. We're also looking into getting some raw milk, but it's about 30 min. from where we live so I don't know if that's gonna work or not. We'll see. Everyone is so right about being compaired to bigger and bigger babies. Even my dr. said that the growth charts are based on average American babies which weigh more than they used to. Anyways, thanks so much for all the encouragement.

Offline mommyoftwins

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #155 on: June 02, 2009, 09:31:59 AM »
Yeah, our milk is actually 45 minutes away. The good things is that we've got 3 other families on this side of town that rotate the "milk run," so that we only have to go up there once a month. If you know anyone close to you that wants it, you may try something like that!

Offline happygardener

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #156 on: June 02, 2009, 05:59:13 PM »
If you are going to quit nursing soon, definitely find some good raw milk...as much as he will drink.  Do you have goat's milk available?  That would be the best option. 

I would also be careful about feeding grains.  Grains are very hard to digest--for all of us, really--but especially for young children.  If you soak them in an acidic medium (yogurt, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, etc.) for 12-24 hours first, they are digestible.  Or sprout.  Read "Nourishing Traditions" for more info on that, or see the threads about that on this site.  I personally omit them altogether for my little ones, as we have had many problems.

My story:  our little girl was born a healthy weight, about 8 lbs, but was very slow to gain.  She slept through the night for 7-9 hours at starting at 3 weeks old, so initially I thought it was that.  She is also #7 for us, so I also thought maybe my milk was not as rich.  But I was so busy, and since she seemed healthy in other ways, I didn't really worry.  Also, I realized later, that because I was so busy, I hadn't noticed that she was nursing so quickly, maybe 5-10 minutes at a time.  She probably wasn't getting the hind milk that has been previously discussed here, and also, I probably needed to use measures to make my milk richer.  Well, at nine months, she seemed alarmingly small to me, so I weighed her.  (We don't do well-baby checks).  I was shocked to discover that she hadn't gained an ounce in two months!  She was only 16 lbs, and very skinny.  She was on a few solids, since around 8 months old, but her digestion started getting worse and worse.  Her poops were extremely nasty and the foods looked almost like it did going in!  (BTW, any time a baby/child chronically does not have formed BMs and/or a very acidic, nasty smell, you can pretty much guarantee a digestive problem--usually the child cannot handle grains).  She was only eating fruits and veggies at this time, so I couldn't understand it.  Well to get to the crux...when we consulted with a natural therapist (not quite an N.D.), she helped us determine that it was a thyroid issue.  I can't even remember all the ways that thyroid and digestion and growth go hand in hand, but this made a ton of sense to us.  A simple way you can check anyone to see if the thyroid is funtioning properly, is to paint an iodine patch on your skin.  Just buy the regular liquid iodine from the drug store, and use the stick to paint a 2x2 patch on your belly, arm, or some similar place early in the morning.  Ideally, the patch should stay on the skin for 24 hours before fading completely away.  If it only stays 12 hours or less, you most likely have a problem.  Our daughter's only stayed two hours at first! 

I can't remember all that we did to remedy it, but these are the most important things.  First, we were told to take her off all solids until she was a year.  Most likely my milk supply was lacking, so we were told to supplement with raw goat's milk diluted 50/50 with water.  Gave her as much breast milk and goat's milk as she wanted.  Also gave her food grade liquid iodine drops.  NOT THE IODINE SOLUTION FROM THE DRUG STORE...that is poisonous!  Simply using kelp is not enough for someone with a true thyroid problem. 

I wanted to share all of this because I have learned that thyroid issues are EXTREMELY common, and most times are misdiagnosed.  Many children can be "on the small side" and seem healthy, but problems can crop up later, particulary developmetal and learning disorders.  [That reminds me...our daughter did not crawl until almost 11 months, walked at 17, and did not have a tooth until over 13 months...and still seemed "healthy".  But I believe these things were delayed due to thyroid.]  Of course I'm not saying that all small children have something wrong with them, but just wanted to help people realize that it isn't always genetics.  They can still be small in stature, but at the same time still having baby fat. That's always a good thing, when it results from healthy foods! 

I would continue the good fats, lots of fruit and veggies--with more emphasis on the veggies than fruit--raw milk (!!) yogurt (naturally sweetened or plain) and plenty of good protein foods.  Quality eggs are an excellent choice, good meat, and almond butter, if prepared at home with soaked nuts.  Don't ever let a child fill up on empty-calorie foods.  Always give nutrient-dense ones.  I give my older children homemade sourdough bread, but will wait yet with our littlest. 

Maybe this won't help Meagan, but maybe for someone else who has similar issues? 

Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #157 on: June 03, 2009, 03:38:56 AM »
WOW! Thanks so much. Actually his Dr. (she's a DO not an MD and she's in agreement about no vaccines and is okay with using herb - so not like many drs. around here) she wanted to test his blood for thyroid levels if he haden't gained sufficient weight after a 6 week trial. He started at 14.2 and was 14.7 after 6 weeks. This was at 9-10 mo. He's now 16lbs. at 12 mo. So after the weight trial, she said since he was gaining about an ounce a week that there was no need to do the blood tests, that it's probably just genetics. My hubbie was always tall and lean growing up, and my mom said I was tiny as a baby. She actually stopped nursing me and put me on formula after 5 mo. because I wasn't gaining weight. So it really may be genetics, but my main concern is giving him as much nutritious foods as possible that will help him grow strong. Now happygardener what kind of high protein foods do you mean, and how do you make almond butter at home. I have tons of almonds. Also I thought you weren't supposed to give them any nuts until they were a year old? I do have access to raw goats milk. My MIL has two sabine (sp) goats and she has tons of milk. Judah's actually been drinking that since he was little (a little here and there) and we thought about getting one of our own, but I like the taste of cow's milk better. I am planning on weening him...I think...I guess. It's such a struggle for me. I want to, but I don't. Aaaggghhh!! Anyways, if I do, I'll definitly use the goats milk over cow at first because I have noticed some digestion issues with it as far as his BMs go. I've also noticed that they are soooo stinky lately and sometimes he does have some undigested food in it. Esp. corn and blueberry and grape skins. Anyways, any suggestions on good foods would be great. The only grains I give him now are whole wheat bread. Thanks so much!

Offline happygardener

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #158 on: June 03, 2009, 05:43:31 PM »
Hi Meagan,
Wonderful that you can get goat's milk!  It is really a superfood!  Even if you continue to nurse, you can still make high-quality yogurt, kefir, cheese, tapioca pudding, :D etc. with it! 
I'm certainly no expert, but 16 lbs still seems small to me for a 12-month-old, even if genetics plays a part.  A baby can have a small frame due to genetics, but should still be chubby.  Here is a quote for you on that, from Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions: "Remember that babies should be chubby and children should be sturdy and strong, not slim.  Babies need body fat to achieve optimum growth.  The fat around their ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists is growth fat that ensures adequate nourishment to the growth plates at the ends of the bones.  Fat babies grow up into sturdy, well-formed adults neither too tall nor too short, and either slender or stocky depending on genetic heritage."

I would encourage you to do the iodine patch test (I meant to write 2x2 inches in my previous post) for the thyroid...it can't hurt, and if it shows something, you can either go on those results or have it checked further.  If it is a minor problem, it is pretty simple to fix it by supplementing.  But you can find out more about that later, if the need arises.  A thyroid disorder will really affect digestion, and therefore growth, in a major way, no matter how much good food is given.

I was going to write a bunch of food ideas that we use, when I realized there is better info available that doesn't take up space, and is written much better and more thoroughly than I could ever do!  The link is: http://www.westonaprice.org/children/foods-toddlers-preschool.html   This is for the Weston Price Foundation website.  It has absolutely-must-read information!   ;D  The whole site is so informative about nutrition for everyone, and eye-opening for the great majority of Americans.  Do check it out, if you have never done so, especially the sections on breastfeeding and children's nutrition.  Also see the section on grains: http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html  I also repeat my recommendation for the Nourishing Traditons book, because it is a helpful recipe book, along with loads of information on proper health practices and food preparation.
BTW, I have an easy method of making yogurt if you should need it..let me know if you want it. 

Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #159 on: June 04, 2009, 03:05:25 AM »
Yeah, I actually have the book Nourishing Traditions, but I've really only read the intro sections. I have read the breastfeeding section too, so I did know what she said about chubby babies. I guess that's where I started to really consider that he "needed" to put some weight on. Not to be like every other baby, but because he needs the fat. Anyway, I'd love your yogurt recipe. I've tried to make yogurt before, but I didn't have a candy thermometer so it didn't stay the right temp. and didn't turn out. It was more like thick milk. I'll buy one and try again though. Plus the lowest temp my oven goes to is 150 so that won't work. I've looked at the breastfeeding articles at the Weston Price website, but I've not looked at the others you posted. I'll check those out. I'll also do the iodine patch test. You said to paint a 2x2in square on his stomach, and see how long it takes for it to fade?? I think you said ideally it should be around 24 hrs. I'll post the results. Is that just iodine that you buy at a drug store?
  As far as nursing goes, I've decided I'm going to cut down even further than 4 x day, but not stop completely. I'll just make sure he eats for a long time so he gets all the hindmilk. I'm just going to nurse him at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'll offer him goats milk with his food during those meals and with snacks. He won't drink milk cold, he wants it warm! I guess that's what he's used to though! Anyway, at least I'm still nursing him, but decreasing the amount will hopefully help with getting pregnant! So at least for now, this is my plan. We'll see! Again, thanks so much.

Offline happygardener

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #160 on: June 04, 2009, 10:35:50 AM »
Yes, just use iodine from the drug store. 

Here's what I do for yogurt.  This is for one gallon, but you can scale it up or down to suit your needs.  I make 2 gallons at a time because it will keep at least a month if in unopened jars, and we use a lot for soaking grains, pancakes, etc. besides just for eating as is.

Start with fresh milk.  Cow or goat is fine.  Clean four quart jars and lids well, or you can use plastic containers.  Glass is better because it is more spill-proof and sanitary.

Heat milk slowly, stirring occasionally, to 180 degrees.  You can heat the milk less for a "raw" yogurt, but it will be pretty runny because the bacteria in the culture have to compete with the enzymes in the raw milk.  But even using milk heated higher, the yogurt will still be good for you because of the probiotics you are putting into it.

Cool the milk pot in a sink full of cold water, which is much faster than waiting on the stove, to 115-118 degrees. 

Add one cup of yogurt culture to one cup of your warm milk and whisk together in a small bowl.  (I use Dannon plain yogurt because it works well and is readily available and cheap. You can use your own yogurt afterwards to culture a new batch, but only for a while, because eventually the culture weakens.) Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir well. 

Now pour the contents of the pot through a funnel into jars, seal tightly, and place them in a picnic cooler about the size that will nicely hold the amount of jars you are making.  I have tried other methods such as dehydrators, oven lights, etc., but I have found the cooler method works perfectly every time.  Just be sure the yogurt doesn't cool too much as you are putting it into jars, and it will stay at just the right temp in the cooler.  I have several sizes of coolers, and I just use the right one for the job!  For a small batch, a soft thermal lunch bag would probably even work.  Or in a pinch, maybe you could use thick towels in a closed box?  Haven't tried that--don't know.

Your yogurt is done in about four hours.  It will be somewhat runny at first while still warm, but after it chills it should be quite thick.  It will never be as thick as storebought, since they add thickeners to theirs, but it shouldn't be runny if you have a good culture and the right temps.  You can leave the yogurt to incubate longer (I have forgotten it overnight many times!) but it won't get much thicker, just more tart.  The health benefits are even better the longer you culture, but it won't taste as mild. 

Let me know if this works for you!

BTW, I am replying to your question on the weaning thread!   :)

Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #161 on: June 05, 2009, 02:31:30 AM »
I've tried to make yogurt before, but I didn't have a candy thermometer so it didn't stay the right temp. and didn't turn out. It was more like thick milk. I'll buy one and try again though. Plus the lowest temp my oven goes to is 150 so that won't work.

Hey Meagan,
You might want to try to make yogurt in a crock pot. I've found this to be much easier than trying to watch temps on milk on the stove. I always forget about it and scorch it!!!

Basically, you heat the milk on low for 2.5 hours (I make a full gallon at a time, but we have big eaters), then let it sit for 3 hours, take out 2 cups of milk and mix in 1/2 c. yogurt (plain yogurt) then dump all that back into crock pot. Cover your crock pot with a towel or blanket and let sit 8 hours or overnight. In the morning, we have fresh yogurt, and we are ready to go! Easy-peesy!!! ;D

Anyway, my yogurt (crock pot) always turns out more runny than the store-bought variety. I actually LIKE it that way--very easy to pour into a blender and make smoothies, and we add protein powder and rice bran, which tastes great, BTW. Also, frozen berries and honey make for a delicious smoothie.
Here's the link to crock pot yogurt:
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html
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Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #162 on: June 05, 2009, 05:58:01 AM »
Thanks for the yogurt tips! I'll definitly try them both!

Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #163 on: July 07, 2009, 03:03:16 AM »
Well, I'm not really sure what the difference has been, but the last time I weighed and measured my son was in Feb. and then I just did this month. In Feb. he was 16 lbs. and 27 in. This month he's 17 1/2 lbs. and 29 1/2 in. Now I did wean him and he's drinking raw goats milk right now and I have noticed some weight gain, but that's only been for about 3 weeks. Anyway, something is working. Maybe he's just having a growth spurt! I'm not really sure how fast they're supposed to gain weight and inches anyway.

Offline momofkings

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #164 on: September 09, 2009, 03:27:09 AM »
Our 18 month old is about 21 pounds.  That alone doesn't necessarily concern me, however, her whole abdomen area seems very bloated all the time.  It's very noticeable.  She does not seem to have any trouble having bowel movements, does not act like she feels bad, is active, and has a good appetite.

Any ideas what could be going on?  I do believe she had candida earlier but we took her off fruit and have been having LOTS of probiotics, plus she drinks raw goat's milk kefir.  She is still bloated. 

Parasites???  If so, what does one do for that??

That's as far as I have gotten and would really appreciate any ideas or directions of where to look? 

Thanks!
Jackie

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #165 on: September 09, 2009, 05:48:52 PM »
Jackie,

Are you sure it's bloating and not just "toddler tummy?"  Nearly all toddlers have what appears to be quite a tummy between about the ages of 18 mos. and 3 or 4.  Around that time their tummies flatten out more and their height picks up some of the bulge as well.  Is her tummy hard when you press on it?  You say her bowel movements are fine - are they fully formed or are they mushy most of the time?  If they are mushy then she is in fact having digestive issues.  If they are formed and she feels well, I would put it down to toddler tummy at this point.  If her tummy is hard and hurts when you press on it or hers stools are mushy more often then not (requiring quite a few wipes to clean her up) then she likely is either not digesting or not aborbing (or both) her food.

patti
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Offline momofkings

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #166 on: September 10, 2009, 03:46:29 AM »
Hi Patti,

I would say it is pretty bloated all the time.  She doesn't necessarily act like it hurts when I press on it, but it sticks out so much that I don't even like putting her in 2 piece outfits because the shorts go under her belly and the shirts ride up. 

As far as her bowel movements, they are mushy.  We have been crushing up some digestive enzymes in her food (we just started this this past month).  Prior to that we were loading her with probiotics. 

I am concerned.  Do you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Jackie

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #167 on: September 10, 2009, 06:55:30 PM »
Hi Patti,

I would say it is pretty bloated all the time.  She doesn't necessarily act like it hurts when I press on it, but it sticks out so much that I don't even like putting her in 2 piece outfits because the shorts go under her belly and the shirts ride up. 

As far as her bowel movements, they are mushy.  We have been crushing up some digestive enzymes in her food (we just started this this past month).  Prior to that we were loading her with probiotics. 

I am concerned.  Do you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Jackie

Hi Jackie,

It sounds like she's got gut issues.  It would be really helpful if you could get the Genova Diagnostics Stool Test done to determine if she's either not digesting and absorbing or just not absorbing.  If you can't do that then what I would recommend is continuing to load her with probiotics, but you also need to use an enzyme that has ox bile in it and ox bile tastes terrible!   :-X  So at this point, I would continue to make sure she gets the equivalent of two enzyme capsules PER meal everyday.  Try to avoid extra fats until you can find out if her body is even absorbing/digesting fats.  Does she have dry skin?  Dry/cracked lips?  Ears clogged with wax?  If she has one or all of those, then she's not digesting or absorbing fats.  Somehow we'll have to figure out how to fix that in a child that can't take capsules.   ???

The other issue you have to ask is why her gut is this way.  The most likely cause is of course, food allergies.  Sometimes I feel like people must think I'm a broken record but it's because I see sooooooooooooo much of it all the time.  The probiotics and enzymes will help her digestion/absorption, but it won't fix "why" those things are happening.  In that case the ELISA food panel would be in order.  If you can't do that then start by eliminating gluten for 30 days and watching her bowels/stomach.  After that keep the gluten out if you notice *some* good changes but not completely and pull dairy in addition to the gluten for 30 days.  Then pull eggs.  Then nightshades (tomoatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers).  My guess is one or all of these are an issue.  It is possible there are others because they would be unique to your family, but these are almost always universal.  So start there and see what happens.  The fastest and easiest way to figure out the food thing is the ELISA test.  It's $169 if you have no insurance.  It's $350 (or something like that) if you do have insurance.  Don't know if that helps you for planning at all. 

hth

patti
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Offline momofkings

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #168 on: September 11, 2009, 04:18:14 AM »
Thanks so much for the information!  I have been concerned for some time about this and trying so hard to remember when it first started.  I don't remember any problems during her whole first year, so I am thinking something has happened within the past 6 months.

We have just recently started crushing up a digestive enzyme in her food.  It does not have ox bile extract, but does have lipase, which digests fats.  It is an Ortho Molecular product called "Vascuzyme".  Do you know anything about that?  It has protease, amylast, and lipase (all from pancreatin), papain, trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain from pineapple, quercetin and rutin.

Also, I have searched and searched for a good probiotic.   Any recommendations of a great one to get over the counter.  I've seen so many and their sources have been from crusteaceans, soy, milk, or a healthy human subject???  Can't figure out what a GOOD one looks like.  I've tried the NOW brands of the Tummy Tune Up and the one with the fermented greens. 

She DOES have a lot of ear wax.  Her skin doesn't appear to be dry, lips either.  She does seem to be hungry a lot and frankly I'm just not sure what to give her.  I had to stop nursing her when she turned 1 (another story) and she did have major constipation at that time before we got her onto some bottles.  It seems things haven't been right since then.  Her bottles have been about equal parts raw carrot juice, raw goat milk kefir, and water.  We add Barley Life to each bottle, along with her probiotics.  We do give her fermented cod liver oil daily, she eats raw butter, and coconut oil. 

Any other thoughts? 

You are a blessing to me!
Jackie

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #169 on: September 11, 2009, 06:04:09 PM »
Thanks so much for the information!  I have been concerned for some time about this and trying so hard to remember when it first started.  I don't remember any problems during her whole first year, so I am thinking something has happened within the past 6 months.

We have just recently started crushing up a digestive enzyme in her food.  It does not have ox bile extract, but does have lipase, which digests fats.  It is an Ortho Molecular product called "Vascuzyme".  Do you know anything about that?  It has protease, amylast, and lipase (all from pancreatin), papain, trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain from pineapple, quercetin and rutin.

Also, I have searched and searched for a good probiotic.   Any recommendations of a great one to get over the counter.  I've seen so many and their sources have been from crusteaceans, soy, milk, or a healthy human subject???  Can't figure out what a GOOD one looks like.  I've tried the NOW brands of the Tummy Tune Up and the one with the fermented greens. 

She DOES have a lot of ear wax.  Her skin doesn't appear to be dry, lips either.  She does seem to be hungry a lot and frankly I'm just not sure what to give her.  I had to stop nursing her when she turned 1 (another story) and she did have major constipation at that time before we got her onto some bottles.  It seems things haven't been right since then.  Her bottles have been about equal parts raw carrot juice, raw goat milk kefir, and water.  We add Barley Life to each bottle, along with her probiotics.  We do give her fermented cod liver oil daily, she eats raw butter, and coconut oil. 

Any other thoughts? 

You are a blessing to me!
Jackie

Hi Jackie,

Okay - let's see.  Never heard of that enzyme.  The only thing that concerns me with it is the pineapple.  My experience has been so far that more people are allergic to pineapple then realize and it ends up counteracting the positive effects of the enzyme.  It would be better to find one without bromelain or pineapple at this point.  The quercetin is an excellent addition to it. 

PB 8 probiotic is excellent.  You can get it pretty cheap from Luckyvitamin.com.  It is a white bottle with blue or green writing (depends which one you look at).  It can be spendy at the store but Fred Meyers does sell it for $24.  Sometimes it'll go on sale for $17.  I just try to stock enough from the web.  It also has none of the stuff in it that you listed.  I do know most local vitamin stores sell it.  It's a pretty common one. 

Okay - she is NOT digesting fats if she's got cloggy ear wax.  Do not give her ANY cod liver oil for the time being.  It will actually make her worse right now.  The butter is fine if it's added to her food or cooked with.  Do not give her any extra oils apart from what is cooked with or put on food for taste. 

If my son's body is any experience at all, giving her the Barley Life could also be adding food allergies to a damaged gut.  If it is a blend of fruits and veggies, I would recommend holding off on it for the time being.  You need to get an ELISA test done on her first so you know what you're dealing with.  We gave our son Juice Plus as a multi thinking we were doing him a favor and instead, because of his gut issues, made him allergic to EVERY fruit and veggie in the stuff.   :-\  :'(  :o  >:(  :(
So I'm not saying it's not good stuff, it's just that it could be causing more damage right now then helping.  If she had any constipation on a regular basis then she is also not digesting her food.  Digestion can be damaged by eating food your allergic to and the body fighting it once it hits the stomach.  So again, finding out what she's allergic to is going to be the key to fixing her tummy.

hth

patti
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Offline momofkings

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #170 on: September 12, 2009, 02:15:25 AM »
I agree--I am thinking looking into food allergies is the next step.  But are you saying that the digestion/absorption issues are most likely BEING CAUSED by an allergy?  So, in other words, remove the foods that she is allergic or sensitive to and the digestion and absorption will return to normal?  I am trying to figure out if they are separate issues to deal with.  Like not digesting fat, etc.  I'm confused on what I should even be feeding her right now!!

As for the Barley Life, it is the dried juice of barley leaves.  One of the reasons I am using it, in the bottle with fresh carrot juice/raw goat milk/water mixture is that the benefit of juicing is that it is EASY to digest, really even bypasses it and the nutrients go into the bloodstream instead of going through the digestion process since all the fiber is removed.  I was thinking this was one thing I could count on as being good for her as she is going through the digestion/absorption issues.  So, that has me a bit confused as well. 

I am afraid that all the healthy foods we are feeding her are going to be all the things she won't be able to eat!!  Then what?? 

Also, how is the testing for the ELISA test done?  I know it is a blood test, but she is just 18 months old. 

Jackie

Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #171 on: September 12, 2009, 03:59:24 AM »
PB 8 probiotic is excellent.  You can get it pretty cheap from Luckyvitamin.com.  It is a white bottle with blue or green writing (depends which one you look at).  It can be spendy at the store but Fred Meyers does sell it for $24.  Sometimes it'll go on sale for $17.  I just try to stock enough from the web.  It also has none of the stuff in it that you listed.  I do know most local vitamin stores sell it.  It's a pretty common one. 

hey patti, can you give a link to the PB 8? i just can't get it to come up searching for it on LV.  i am hesitant to try it, because i have one that is 7.25 Billion per capsule and it does nothing for me, it's dairy free too.  but the NOW probiotic defense works much better for me.  anyway, just thought others might not be able to either.
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Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #172 on: September 12, 2009, 04:55:59 AM »
PB 8 probiotic is excellent.  You can get it pretty cheap from Luckyvitamin.com.  It is a white bottle with blue or green writing (depends which one you look at).  It can be spendy at the store but Fred Meyers does sell it for $24.  Sometimes it'll go on sale for $17.  I just try to stock enough from the web.  It also has none of the stuff in it that you listed.  I do know most local vitamin stores sell it.  It's a pretty common one. 

hey patti, can you give a link to the PB 8? i just can't get it to come up searching for it on LV.  i am hesitant to try it, because i have one that is 7.25 Billion per capsule and it does nothing for me, it's dairy free too.  but the NOW probiotic defense works much better for me.  anyway, just thought others might not be able to either.

Hi,

I had a hard time finding it on LV too.  I had to type it in several different ways.  Here's the link.  http://www.luckyvitamin.com/item/itemKey/51318  It's half the cost at LV that it is at local stores.    I'll email you directly this afternoon with the other stuff you wrote to me about.

patti
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Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #173 on: September 12, 2009, 11:36:58 AM »
I agree--I am thinking looking into food allergies is the next step.  I am trying to figure out if they are separate issues to deal with.  Like not digesting fat, etc.  I'm confused on what I should even be feeding her right now!!

I am afraid that all the healthy foods we are feeding her are going to be all the things she won't be able to eat!!  Then what?? 

Also, how is the testing for the ELISA test done?  I know it is a blood test, but she is just 18 months old. 

Jackie

Hi Jackie,

Praying that you'll work out all of the answers to your dd's issues.  Here is a link to an article that helped me undersand the difference between digestion and absorption issues.  http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2330.msg241041.html#msg241041
and another one that helped me gain perspective on how allergies fit into the picture.  (She's selling stuff, but the info about allergies was helpful to me.) I'd love to hear Patti's input on this as well.

If I understand correctly, the ELISA just requires a finger stick, so it wouldn't be too traumatic. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that Patti.)

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Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #174 on: September 12, 2009, 12:03:30 PM »
I agree--I am thinking looking into food allergies is the next step.  But are you saying that the digestion/absorption issues are most likely BEING CAUSED by an allergy?  So, in other words, remove the foods that she is allergic or sensitive to and the digestion and absorption will return to normal?  I am trying to figure out if they are separate issues to deal with.  Like not digesting fat, etc.  I'm confused on what I should even be feeding her right now!!

As for the Barley Life, it is the dried juice of barley leaves.  One of the reasons I am using it, in the bottle with fresh carrot juice/raw goat milk/water mixture is that the benefit of juicing is that it is EASY to digest, really even bypasses it and the nutrients go into the bloodstream instead of going through the digestion process since all the fiber is removed.  I was thinking this was one thing I could count on as being good for her as she is going through the digestion/absorption issues.  So, that has me a bit confused as well. 

I am afraid that all the healthy foods we are feeding her are going to be all the things she won't be able to eat!!  Then what?? 

Also, how is the testing for the ELISA test done?  I know it is a blood test, but she is just 18 months old. 

Jackie


Hi Jackie,

I just now saw this.  Sorry.  I think the stuff Gwen linked to is pretty good at describing the absorption/digestion issues.  Honestly, in the case where food allergies are involved, I'm not sure if this is one of those chicken and egg issues.  On the one hand, poor digestion will cause food allergies because the food will putrify and then eventually go into a leaky gut (caused by poor digestion).  On the other hand, food allergies make a body inflamed and cause poor digestion of foods one is allergic to.  So.......... what came first?  The chicken or the egg?   ;D  If I had to guess looking at my son I would say the allergies came first (since they were from birth - most of them) and the poor digestion/absorption came next as his gut integrity got worse and worse.  But don't mark my words on that.  That's just a theory.

Potentially, yes, you could be creating an allergy to barley.  But honestly, if she's allergic to gluten (a high likelihood) then barley would be out anyway as it is a gluten grain.  If it were me, I'd pull that out right now.  I think it is potentially causing more hurt them help right now.  At least until you know for sure. 

At this point, ANY food she eats is a possibility for a food allergy because of gut integrity (or lack thereof).  That's why I said I think ELISA testing is the next most important thing you can do.  To improve her gut you MUST remove whatever she's allergic to.  For right now, I would immediately pull gluten because it seems to be the most common.  And you may notice changes right away.  Even if you remove it, if she's allergic to it her blood will still react so that will not affect the reliability of the ELISA test. 

The ELISA test can be done two ways.  Your doctor can draw tubes of blood from her arm (this is interesting in little ones) or he can call the lab and request they send him a fingerprick kit.  This can be done in your home and mailed directly to the lab.  In that case, your doctor may not even charge you for a visit if he allows you to just go pick the kit up.  Hint here - hang her finger down (not up) when you're sqeezing blood out!   ;D  Need I tell you I didn't do that with the first one and couldn't figure out why she wouldn't bleed until my loving husband pointed that out to me?   :D  I do the fingerprick test because I don't want to pay  fees to see the doctor for 5 people, then the lab draw fees, etc.  That way I only end up paying to see the doctor when the results come back in. 

In the meantime, you don't feed her any given food more then once every 4 days if you can avoid it.  This is especially true of grains and meat.  Try to avoid gluten right now (wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt).  Rotate, rotate, rotate.  But on days she gets something two days in a row, don't worry about it.  On my best week Luke ends up getting at least one thing twice in four days.  Just do the best you can.  In the beginning it does feel overwhelming, but after a few weeks it becomes a way of life and is easy to adjust to.  I also feed my whole family the same so I'm not catering to one person.  This also helps to prevent issues in them as well (although we all have food allergies at this point but my two best ones are almost free and clear). 

Hope this helps some.  God bless,

patti
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Offline momofkings

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #175 on: September 13, 2009, 06:56:10 AM »
Thank you both.  I am glad to hear the finger prick is an option.  Although I wonder how much blood is needed?  Is that a traumatic thing too?  Certainly less so than the needle in the arm.

Does anyone know if the ELISA can be done without a doctor's involvement?  I would love to be able to handle this all at home and get the results myself.  I'm sure our insurance doesn't pay for it anyway, so it would just be much easier to do it at home and handle the results ourselves.  It seems like I have seen advertisements for something like this at some time, but can't recall the details.

Also, about the barley greens.  Trust me, I have looked into this thoroughly because I went off gluten and was taking Barley Life.  The Barley Life is just the barley grass, NOT the grain.  The grass does not contain gluten.  I researched that before I began taking it.  She has never had gluten in her life, so that is one thing I am certain that she is not reacting to.  Her diet has mostly been made up of:  breastmilk until age 1, hard boiled egg yolk until age 1 then whole eggs, raw fruits, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, some, but very little meat, some, but very little non gluten grains like brown rice and millet, raw nuts, raw seeds, dulse, raw goat's milk/carrot juice/barley life bottles, clo, coconut oil, raw butter.  She, unfortunately, recently got some popcorn a few times from her siblings. 

It is overwhelming sometimes trying to figure it out.  We have 6 children and already feel like we have changed our diets sooo much, it seems hard to think about changing it all again.  I am really praying and asking God to show us the way because there is so much conflicting information out there.  I appreciate the opportunity to be able to come here with like minded people who have some wisdom to offer.  Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

Jackie


Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #176 on: September 13, 2009, 11:55:22 AM »
Jackie,

It sounds like your daughter has been given a wonderfully nutritious diet.  From what I've been reading, the elimination diet is more reliable than even ELISA testing. So, if it were me, I would continue with the enzyme therapy that you've started, and I might try eliminating the dairy and see if that brings some changes for her.

That, combined with the very healthy foods you're providing, are going to be the very best you can do at this point without getting more specific diagnostic testing done on her stools. 

Parenting 6 little ones, keeping a home, and providing a healthy diet is a huge job in and of itself.  If you can find a good Naturopath/MD that would put his/her head together with you, and help you with the testing and such, I think you would find it would really be worth it in the long run just for your peace of mind. :)  After all is said and done, we Mamas can spend so much time & money researching, worrying, testing, and trying different things that it makes it worth it (in my mind) to find someone reliable to help with medical things like this so you can just focus on being the Mama. :)

Many blessings, and please keep us posted as to how she's doing!
Gwen
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Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #177 on: September 13, 2009, 12:22:24 PM »
Jackie,

Okay, got ya on the barley greens.  I wondered about that but wasn't sure on it.  In the end, the only way to heal a child that can't take oral supplements (swallow pills) is diet anyway.  So the elimination diet will still be how you're going to heal her.  That said, short of testing right now (I'll cover that next paragraph  ;D  ) I would recommend you remove the dairy and eggs one at a time.  Both are high allergens and are likely to be a problem.  Mu gut says go with removing dairy first.  The reason why is that for some reason dairy tends to be what causes, gas, bloating, runny/mushy stools more then eggs.  Eggs tend to cause rashes, mood issues, etc.  So pull the dairy (that includes GOAT).  I had no idea people actually got allergic to goats milk, but alas, we all did because we were allergic to bovine dairy.  There is some connection there, I just don't understand it.  Or, you could remove bovine dairy for 30 days, if some but not total improvement happens then remove the goat too and go from there 30 days later if you need to remove eggs. 

The next thing is the raw fruits and veggies.  She is really going to need to eat hers lightly steamed, softened.  At this point, with her digestion/absorption in serious question, you need to make it as easy as possible for her body to digest foods and raw isn't it.  I know, we had to make this change to and it was a little difficult in the beginning.  Stuff doesn't have to be mushy, but it should be pretty soft.  If you heat it REALLY slowly on a very low heat you can accomplish this without killing all the good stuff.  But that's hard on her tummy right now.  My son is just now able to handle raw foods in smaller quantities and we are 9.5 months out from starting this with him.  So in time her body will be okay with it.  Just right now it's going to be hard on her. 

I was always told US BioTek would only send the fingerprick test to a doctor's office but you may as well call them and find out.  If they'll send it to a home then please tell me 'cuz I'll be shouting hallelujah!!  I don't like paying for 5 doctor's visits just to get my results.   >:(  I already know how to read the darn thing!   ;D  The fingerprick is a piece of cake.  Seriously.  The stick is so quick (it's a diabetic lancet) and squeezing for the blood to come (if you keep the finger pointing down!) is really easy.  They have 3 or 4 little circles they have you fill.  Little circles, like a skinny pinky width across maybe. 

You're doing a great job feeding them healthy and once you figure out what you need to pull out you'll do fine.  If you have success with the elimination of dairy and eggs that is great.  At that point the only thing the ELISA will show you is if she's allergic to anything else you have missed (which is EASY when it comes to fruits and veggies).  Oh, nightshades would be another high allergen to consider. 

Take care,

patti
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Offline HOMEFree

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #178 on: November 23, 2009, 04:44:59 PM »

Is there a difference between Almond milk and Almond Drink?

I was looking at the cartons in the store to buy for my 1 yr old and could not figure it out.

Is there a technical difference why it would be called drink instead of milk? Like when they say a juice is not juice anymore but a "cocktail" or "ade"?


Offline herbs girl

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Re: Underweight Infants & Toddlers: Healthy Supplements For Weight Gain
« Reply #179 on: December 10, 2009, 12:45:30 PM »
Bumping this up. We have a 1 year old in the 10th percentile for wieght and 80th percentile for hieght. She had only gained about 2 oz from 9 months-almost 13 months.

Does this sound too small? She is 21 lbs at almost 14 months.

I had added some cream to her milk and somtimes food, she gained around 1/2 #