Saturday, November 7, 2009

ADDING calories to my child’s diet?

Make everything in real butter, add ice cream, mix protein powder into the whole milk? Seriously?

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If you’ve been here you know our third, Piper, has hemiplegic cerebral palsy. A common symptom of CP is being chronically underweight. At age three (and 1/4!) Piper weighs all of 25 pounds. Her baby brother is almost 22 pounds. Her skinny little waist can’t hold up her 2T pants, and now that she’s using the potty there’s no diaper to help! She is also slightly anemic, meaning she needs more iron in her diet. I’d love to throw a big steak on her plate every day and call it good. The problem is that she doesn’t chew effectively. She’d never manage a bite of steak without choking. So what are the solutions?

A good iron-rich vitamin supplement.

Chew therapy. Yes, there are such things, and includes an occupational therapist with a flavored exam glove shoving their fingers in your mouth. Not my idea of a good time, but Piper seems to tolerate it just fine. It also involves something that looks like a small dog toy to use at home. Maybe we could have saved the money and bought the dog toy….

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At the clinic, the nurse was tickled (I never get to give these out!) to give us this pamphlet on ways to add calories to your child’s diet. This is definitely going to take some getting used to. Now days especially, we are bombarded with low-fat healthy eating choices. Real butter? Gasp! Let me show you some tips from the pamphlet:

  • for high calorie snacks, offer milk shakes made with a cup of whole milk, a packet of instant breakfast powder and a cup of ice cream blended together (can provide over 400 calories).
  • when baking and cooking, substitute whole milk, half and half, evaporated milk or condensed milk mixed with dry milk powder for water or milk.
  • or mix whole milk with a packet of instant breakfast powder (adds 130 calories) or dry milk powder (adds 33 calories per tablespoon) to increase calories.
  • make a high calorie fruit snack using fruits canned in heavy syrup, add sugar or yogurt to fresh fruit or add a packet of instant breakfast powder to strained fruits.
  • make high calorie jello by substituting fruit juice for water in its preparation
  • serve meats and breads with added butter, margarine, gravy or sauces
  • serve fried foods, such as fish and chicken and add breading or flour before cooking

Copyright © 1999 - 2009 Keep Kids Healthy, LLC All rights reserved.

Yikes! It just goes against everything we know!!! Can you imagine an average kid on this diet? I know the other kids are going to protest the milkshakes unless they get some too! We will be doing our best to fill this skinny girl up with calories. Whole milk is back in the fridge. Maybe I should just have my grandma come over and cook ;)


shopannies said...

great tips

Stephanie said...

Can someone give me a diet like that?

Best wishes ;)

Leah M said...

Haha! The bigger problem is not HOW to add calories, but how to keep the other kids from demanding equal dietary treatment. I can hear the whining now.......

Mrs4444 said...

Oh, how funny! Did they recommend carbs like breads and pasta? (just curious)

She is such a cutie pie :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a little uncertain with the broad sweep of the recommendations. Not my area of expertise, but I've seen a a therapist.

My tendency would be to increase the fat and not the sugar. Esp refined sugar.

Fat is good for calories and for absorbing many essential vitamins and minerals. But it doesn't have to be butter. Can be vegetable oils, too.

If you can get some recipes from a keto diet...? And fiber is important, too.

You have a challenge for sure, but I'm betting you are up for it.