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How to fatten up my children?!?

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  • #16
    I have a 4yo DD that is ~32lbs and 2yo DS that is 25lbs. Just had DS in for his 2yo check-up and shockingly the pedi just said "he's been this way for a while, so he's fine". Both kids are super active and eat when hungry. We do breakfast, lunch, dinner, and I only refuse food if it's 30 minutes before a emal as far as snacks. Some kids are just plain skinny. Definitely don't restrict carbs, DS loves bananas. DD ate probably 1/3lb of meatloaf for dinner tonight, DS ate 2 fried eggs for breakfast. I talk with DD about filling her tummy at each meal and she will sometimes clear her plate, other times eat very little. There are weeks when I think we'll go broke feeding the kids, then the next week they eat practically nothing. As long as they are still gaining, growing, and developing try not to worry.

    I agree that average weights are skewed these days, right along woth clothing sizes.


    • #17
      Do your kids still have enough energy to run around? If so, they are probably getting enough food. The diet you are listing sounds awesome.

      I can't say that we suffer from the same problem as the OP (our 8yr is about 32kg/68lb, and our 5yr and 2yr are both about 19kg/40lb). The kids have free access to fruit and nuts whenever they want to graze (we've stopped giving them morning and afternoon tea). Breakfast for them is usually porridge with cream, raw milk and yoghurt.
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right


      • #18
        I really disagree with this whole idea that "averages are skewed" because there are overweight kids.

        Kids need carbs, and lots ofw them. I feed my kid whole foods, but also as many carbs as he wants. Kids need carbs -- period. My 8 yar old is super active, and while he is in the 85th pcentile for weight ( and 95th for height) you can see every little muscle in his mini 6 pack. So, just because a kid ia above average in weight, doesn't mean they have excess body fat. I love thos board, but i don't think the advice goes for kids, except that they should be eating real food.


        • #19
          i think the takehome point with "averages are skewed" is simply that the percentile is based on "average" and the average kid in the US is not healthy. just because a kid is a certain percentile does not make the kid un/healthy. maybe i need to read more closely, but i don't see anyone suggesting restricted carbs or restricted food at all. some kids are just more slender than others.
          my primal journal:


          • #20
            My three year old twins are around 30lbs a piece. They are thin, but so was their father when he was a child. He was small and skinny until he was a senior in HS, now he's a 6'3 220lb hunk of man, lol!!! Also, my kids still eat carbs, I give them cereal with milk if they want it and they eat tons of fruit every day, mostly bananas and berries. They also have pb&j, chicken nuggets sometimes and pizza, that kind of stuff.

            I would say that as long as your kids seem satisfied hunger wise and you feed them when they ask for food, they are probably just skinny kids or going through a skinny phase. A lot of that has to do with genetics. My first daughter from a different father has always faired on the thicker side and has never been skinny, even as a toddler. And now I have my twins who are basically walking sticks but they eat just as much if not more than my first ever did. I really think genetics plays a big role, but also keep in mind that you are not shoveling crap into your children all day like a lot of parents do, so compared to other's children yours may seem lean, when actually they are normal and healthy.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Saoirse View Post
              i think the takehome point with "averages are skewed" is simply that the percentile is based on "average" and the average kid in the US is not healthy. just because a kid is a certain percentile does not make the kid un/healthy. maybe i need to read more closely, but i don't see anyone suggesting restricted carbs or restricted food at all. some kids are just more slender than others.
              You are exactly right...And your reading comprehension is just fine. icz is fighting an illusion carb battle in their head apparently. The PB recs are quite close to range for optimal carb consumption in kids anyhow though. Mothers milk is 39% carb, 55% fat, and 7% protein by calorie and produces quite rapid growth (FYI cows milk is 29%carb, 52% fat, 19%protein). Adjusted for slightly less calories in a little boy thats probably right around your 100-150g of carbohydrate a day. Pretty cool how that works out eh? Get some good fats in them and some protein and your good to go.

              All in all my kids are able to choose the foods they eat. Neither of them like potatoes....they both go for the meat first....they both like bananna's, melons, apples, pears, and dark chocolate. They eat primal food till limits.
              Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-05-2012, 07:10 PM.


              • #22
                it is pretty cool! i have no clue if my kids get that ratio; i try to make sure they get a minimum amount of protein and they have access to a variety of foods of their choosing throughout the day (carbs and fat). last i checked, they all hover around 50% for height and 60% for weight, with what appears to me as a healthy amount of muscle for their bodies. for example, my 2 yo (who's still nursing and has free access to food of all sorts) is deceptively heavy when you pick him up. but you can see the slight outline of his ribs on the sides if he's not wearing a shirt. i can only assuming that he has a fairly high lean body mass, which i think is healthy for people regardless of age.

                the only thing that concerns me about a low weight in children is that they don't have much to survive on in case of illness. that's why i suggested muscle-mass building activities.
                my primal journal:


                • #23
                  This is interesting to read.

                  If you are happy with their caloric intake, then I wouldn't worry if they are active and healthy otherwise.

                  I thought that my little guy (will be 4 in August) was 'skinny' but now I realize that he's comparatively a little tank. He's well muscled, not pudgy at all (and never really has been), and he's currently 43 lbs and 3 ft 6 inches tall. That apparently puts him in 95 for height and 95 for weight, but there's no way that he looks fat. He even has to wear "skinny pants" because of his 'tiny' waste (relative to other kiddos his age.

                  Perhaps try diversifying into pumpkin (which you can do sweet or savory).


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mamame View Post
                    We've been pretty strictly primal at home now for over a year. Kids are 3 and 6. They are both extremely skinny for their age and as I was watching my 3 year old in the pool today I realized that my once chunky toddler has skeletal looking arms - it was kind of disturbing just how little there was to them. 3 year old is about 29 lbs, 6 year old is 38 lbs.

                    They eat rice/potatoes at least once a day. Lots of fruit and veggies. Meat at least 2 meals/day. I do low sugar/high fat primal baking that the kids eatonce in awhile. B'fast is usually coconut flour/almond butter pancakes made with lots of eggs (they OD'd on eggs and won't eat them plain more than once or twice a month now). The 3 year old drinks about 1 cup of whole milk/day. Snacks are cheese, pepperoni sticks, sometimes hard boiled eggs, nuts, fruit, raw veggies, popsicles (coconut milk with either dark chocolate or berries), or primal muffins or cookies. Veggies are usually pan fried in lard. When we have ribs/pork hocks the 3 year old has been known to eat big hunks of fat.

                    I don't think adding more fat to their diet is needed - they get PLENTY. They are quite active. I'm guessing more carbs is what they need? More rice? More potatoes? Neither will eat sweet potatoes. Any other suggestions?
                    Strong Kids, Healthy Kids: The Revolutionary Program for Increasing Your ... - Fredrick Hahn - Google Books


                    • #25
                      I was basing my comments on what the the OP said: "I need to fatten my kids up" and that their arms were "skeletal" etc. She asked whether they need more carbs. You know what? Probably. Your conscience was telling you to look into something - you just went to the wrong place to ask it.

                      You know if this were looking in on a vegan board, I imagine we'd all be pretty critical of the vegan parents imposing their values on their children if they were describing them as "skeletal." I am a critical thinker, and when someone tells me that their kids are too thin and are eating "rice and potatoes once a day" and "primal baked goods" for f-sake, my alarm bells go off. I am fully aware that some kids are thin -- my son is thin and his best friend's body fat is so low that he turns blue if he practically goes near water. But, neither of them has unnecessary food restrictions placed on them.

                      How about this -- check in with a nutritionist. (And yes they might be more inclined to the SAD, but at least they can tell you what healthy children need to fuel their bodies and not a bunch of ideologues on an internet site for goodness sake.)


                      • #26
               when i decide what to feed my kids, it's based on which foods are the most nutritious. if i wanted to "fatten them up" i would encourage foods like whole fat dairy, avocados, fatty cuts of meat. do you want to know what a nutritionist would say? "feed them more calories." obviously that can be done primally without loading crap into their bodies. primal cuts out grains, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which still leaves the most caloric-dense foods; which also happen to be high in other nutrients as well. if a kid isn't maintaining a decent amount of fat on foods like avocados and whole fat yogurt, either that's the way they're supposed to be, or there is something wrong with the kid's endocrine (and it should be checked out). you're the one who's shoving ideology at a kid; i'm looking for rational answers. a kid who is a hard gainer is not going to be encouraged to eat grains, even by a nutritionist, because they are not very dense in calories. use your brain instead of freaking out.
                        my primal journal:


                        • #27


                          • #28
                            At my eldest daughter's last hospital appointment I was told she needed to gain weight, but that was because she was actually dropping weight which is not a good thing in a growing child. At the time she had no interest in food and just wasn't eating.

                            I started adding more fat to all her meals. Vegetables had butter melted on top, cheese was sprinkled over eggs etc. It was like a switch was flicked. All of sudden she was hungry all the time and she has been eating really well ever since. I make sure she gets a decent about of carbs but don't stress if she doesn't get a set amount every day. We do a lot of dairy but it doesn't seem to effect her adversely.

                            Back to the hospital for a checkup today and she has gained weight and is the healthiest she has ever been. Primal eating really has made a difference for her.

                            I don't think that every skinny kid needs to gain weight. My daughter is still very slim. But when needed I found adding more calories was a good thing. Now just watch out for my thread "Help, my 7 year old is eating me out of house and home!"
                            Became Primal August 2011

                            SW - 84kg / 185lb
                            CW - 60kg / 132lb
                            GW - 60kg / 132lb


                            • #29
                              Kids grow and gain weight on complex carbs the same way adults do. (What the OP wants, correct?) In us, it can be unhealthy, but find me an article that says whole wheat pasta is bad for normal or underweight kids. Kids also happen to like pasta and breads, and that is for a reason. Their bodies need more glucose than ours. Not ring-dings or Twinkies or Koolaid, but real, complex carbs.

                              I am a mom, and a food educator, and a food writer -- so I do speak with some authority. If I were to limit my 8-year old son to the primally "accepted" foods, (meaning no WW pasta, bread, or tortillas) he would be beyond skinny. We need to trust their bodies inherent wisdom as well.


                              • #30
                                And yet, so many children with gluten intolerances who tend to do fine without WW pasta, bread and tortillas. HOw is it even possible?

                                Oh, right. "complex carbs" exist in a variety of starchy foods, not just wheat.

                                Mom, yoga teacher, and business woman -- since ethos is important.