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Oh, please help! My daughter is in the 2 percentile for weight and I’m so frustrated trying to encourage her to eat. She’ll like something, like french toast, for a few days and then she’s completely over it. Doesn’t want to touch it.

I need easy ideas for high calorie, high fat (good fat, if possible), very nutritious foods. I am desperate. Does that come across? I’ll take any and all ideas. Thanks mamas.

(Addition: My daughter is 18 months old.  She weighs less than 20 pounds.)

11 Responses to food frustration

  • Stacy says:


    I am sorry you are feeling worried about your daughter, and I hope that things change for you guys soon.

    I wanted to start by saying that it is really common for kids to go through all kinds of phases with foods — sometimes they like something and then they don't; sometimes they eat a TON and then they don't eat a thing, etc. So I think the french toast thing isn't something to worry about too much.

    How old is your daughter? The foods to recommend will depend on her age…

    And now for growth charts…. Grrrr! (I am the mother of two very small — and healthy! –boys, 4 1/2 years and 16 mos old).

    The thing about growth charts is that it is not necessarily where your child is on the chart but whether they’re dropping off their curve (and there is one exception to this – most babies do drop a bit on their curve when they become mobile). You don’t mention your daughter’s age or whether she has always been at 2%, but unless she has dropped a lot or is dropping consistently — and she didn’t recently become mobile — you may not have anything to worry about. These situations may not apply to you but I wanted to put that out there.

    Also, my understanding is that you can’t necessarily “bump” your child up the charts, especially just through feeding. (I also speak from personal experience – when my first-born was 9 months old, I spent months trying to fatten him up with avocados, flax seed oil, quinoa, turkey, olive oil on rice, pure butter, etc.). I found that the stress of worrying about what he was eating was actually making him eat less. I tried my best to let go of that stress and trust my own gut: When I asked myself if I thought my son was healthy, the answer was always yes. He was energetic, bright-eyed, nursing and eating like a champ. He had no symptoms of any disorder or disease. He was just small. I eventually chose to stop worrying, continued to offer nutritious and wholesome food, and kept my regular schedule with the doctor to ensure that he wasn’t shrinking.

    He’s 4 ½ and super healthy. Small, and healthy.

    If your daughter strikes you as healthy and is staying on her curve, just keep offering a variety of healthy (and high-calorie) foods and enjoy your meals together!

  • Robyn says:

    Anything with cheese and beans. Mac and cheese, cheese quesadillas (huge hit in my house), milkshakes (you can add protein powder) — those are all the things that I've had to STOP eating so I wouldn't be fat!

    Also, if you read Dr. Brazleton's book, Touchpoints, he notes that toddlers really need VERY little solid food, as long as they are getting their milk and multi-vitamin.

  • Kristen says:

    To give you a little more information about my little one… she keeps dropping off the weight charts which is why her doctor is concerned right now. She had made it up to the 3rd percentile but now is back down to the 2nd. I appreciate any wisdom! Thanks for the advice given and in advance for what is to come.

  • My suggestions include smoothies made from yogurt, fresh fruit, some ice and a spash of milk or fruit juice. If she doesn’t use a straw yet, try freezing smoothie popsicles. Plus, I just remembered a fantastic game we made up that made my kids eat TONS more than usual. I’ll write it out and post it or email it to you; it’s a sure thing.

  • Stacy says:

    Some of the higher-fat foods my sons eat at that age:

    -mashed or sliced avocado.
    -flax seed oil mixed with other foods or straight. You can also add it to smoothies.
    -whole milk organic yogurt.
    -ice cream 🙂
    -it’s good to avoid peanut butter but my ND said that cashews and almonds are okay at that age, so you can also add that to smoothies or on bread, etc.
    -we also add coconut butter to smoothies (it’s somewhat sweet and has a good mix of protein, fat and carbs).
    -quinoa is a grain that has protein and my son liked it in place of rice.
    -LaraBars are made of fresh fruit and nuts. There might be a flavor your child likes.
    -we often eat cashews and raisins for a snack.

    That’s all I can think of. I hope this helps!

    Good luck!

  • Betsy says:

    Does your daughter like to eat any any particular type of foods- finger foods, squishy foods, crunchy foods? At about this age, my daughter developed a dislike for many textures and stopped eating many foods. I’m sure that you have talked about this with your doctor, but how much does she drink. My daughter was so in love with her sippy cup that she would just drink all day long. Once we made the (messy) transition to a cup, she started eating a lot more.
    Have you tried cream cheese? My daughter loves it on anythiing, noodles, toast, crackers. If you mix it with simply fruit, you get lots of yummy flavors.

  • Daphne says:

    We fall off the charts all the time. We had luck with posicles–blend up full fat yogurt with anything–fruit, tofu, honey, whatever she likes, then freeze it into pops. My kids loved these high calorie treats. The greek yogurts are super thick and my girls love them (as do I, but I’ll leave the high cal treats for them!)

  • Kristen M says:

    I just wanted to thank all you mamas who wrote in…. we just had a weight check last week and she is back on the charts! Yippee! Thanks so much for all your input. I have no idea if anyone will read this but I wanted to write it anyway. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me.

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