Skip to main content

Family Nutrition: When your child is ‘failing to thrive’

There’s so much information about child obesity out in the press and media, but what if you are dealing with the opposite end?  It can be very scary as a parent to watch your little one fail to gain weight.  As you travel back and forth to the doctors waiting for the dots to appear on the growth chart a million things can go through your head.  You sit and wait and then finally get the ‘diagnosis’ failure to thrive.  What do you do next?

Failure to thrive is more of a descriptive diagnosis that is the result of an underlying condition or situation.  It’s loosely defined as the inability to gain weight for approximately three consistent months.  

What should you do with this diagnosis?  The first suggestion is to insure your infant or toddler gets a full medical exam.  You want to rule out any metabolic disorders, malabsorption disorders, or food intolerances or allergies.  Believe it or not, something such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) can contribute to a lack of weight gain.  Infants and toddlers are smart cookies and if it’s painful to eat, they will withdraw to avoid being uncomfortable.  I also suggest asking for a referral to a dietitian or working directly with the dietitian in the office as he or she can complete a calorie account and compare to recommended needs.  Dietitian’s are the specialists for food and nutrition and are the only clinicians licensed to evaluate nutritional status and provide suggestions to nurture nutrition related conditions.

It’s also imperative to think of any changes that could correlate with a weight stability or loss.  Did your infant or toddler just start daycare?  It’s possible that they aren’t getting the attention they need at mealtime.  Are they an early crawler or walker?  They could be burning more calories than you expect and you may need to increase nutrients.   Have you recently introduced new foods?  If so could your infant or toddler have an intolerance that is causing some pain?  Speak up, all of the above are very important for your physician or dietitian to know.

A thorough medical exam and the help of a dietitian can help get to the bottom of the cause.  Failure to thrive can usually be turned around once the cause is detected but its imperative to use your resources.  Have any questions? I’d love to help provide you with an answer.  Be well.   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

EAT TO RUN

I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…