Current Parenting Challenge: Underweight Child

February 24, 2017

Here we are again:
Doctor: "Ava is in the 1% for weight".

This is nothing new to us. Erin was underweight most of her life. The first 6 months of life, Erin was hovering around 45%, but then it started decreasing at each checkup and by 2 years she wasn't even on the charts. Looks like Ava might be on the same track. Doctors look at Ken and expect to see big kids, so when they don't, they get somewhat concerned. Erin's doctor suggested we get blood work done but nothing unusually showed up. We just focused on feeding Erin properly. Erin was a very picky eater (to think it couldn't get worse). Trying to feed an underweight picky child = Difficult. With age she became less picky and has now packed on some weight and at age 3 she actually feels heavy! Hooray! Ava is starting to get picky, but she definitely eats a lot more than Erin did at this age. It's amazing how early kids start to develop food preferences. Ava carefully analyzes what's on her plate and picks out the stuff she doesn't want to eat and throws it on the floor. Goodness. Hopefully it won't take Ava too long to pack on some weight.

Grocery shopping for the girls means buying foods that are high-calorie. Since they both can use some extra pounds, we sort of let them eat anything and everything. We try to keep meals as healthy and balanced as possible, but we definitely don't mind letting them put extra butter on something or eat an extra spoon full of ice cream (yes, Ava has tried ice cream already). Feeding your child can be quite stressful. It's a never ending battle, because one week they'll be eating like champs and the next, they'll want to eat nothing but rice. We're just thankful both the girls love milk. I'm sure at one point in the future, they will just suddenly start to eat well and weight won't be an issue anymore. But till then, we shall battle through this "One more bite!" journey.

Oh, and I remember my mom telling me what a picky eater I was when I was little and how I didn't want to eat anything. Apparently all I ate as a kid was rice with soup and I couldn't finish a McDonald's cheeseburger till I was in the 8th grade. haha! Sorry mom! 😁

Some high-calorie foods and meal ideas:
  1. Dairy: Whole milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, creamed soups, pudding
  2. Protein: Eggs, peanut butter, bean soups, nuts, hummus
  3. Fruits/Veggies: Sweet potato, avocado, dried fruits, bananas, peas
  4. Carbohydrates: mac and cheese or any other pastas, french toast/pancakes, mashed potatoes, oatmeal
  5. Other: honey, butter, syrup
  • Oatmeal with blueberries
  • Cottage cheese with strawberry jam
  • Banana egg pancakes with nutella
  • Toast with cream cheese and whole milk yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs with heavy cream and cheese
  • Pasta with heavy cream, peas, ground meat and cheese
  • Butter on everything
  • Cheese slices with pepperoni/deli meat and crackers
  • Rice with beans and sweet potato fries 
  • Smashed avocados and bananas
  • Grilled cheese and smashed avocado sandwich  
My cute picky eaters:

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