View Full Version : 19 Month old daughter eats like crazy, but only 5-10%ile

05-27-2005, 11:50 PM
Well, I got home early from work because my boss let us out for the long weekend, so it was my job to feed my daughter dinner today.

I wanted to make her something healthy, so she can have a break from my mother's (she babysits) chicken fingers, hot dogs, mac & cheese... type of feeding.

I made myself and her a quick and easy dinner:

6oz. chicken
1.5 cups mixed veggies
1 piece of cheese (for her only)
natural pb sandwich (for me only)
1/2 piece of Multigrain bread (low carb Atkins brand) (for her only)

I had 4 oz of the chicken and about half of the veggies, and the pb sandwich, she had the rest which breaks down to:

1/2 piece of multi grain bread (she kept asking for bread so I gave her some thinking she wouldn't like it, well she loved it...plain)
1 piece of American cheese (sliced, prewrapped kind)
3/4 cup of mixed veggies (corn, green beans, lima beans, broccoli, peas)
2 oz chicken, boiled, plain, no seasoning or anything (looked like a lot of chicken for her)

Her macronutrient split looked like this:

Her body weight: 20 -21 lbs, (according to doctors, she is in the "10 percentile for weight, and 5 percentile for height".

Everyone comments on the shape of her legs and her calf muscle and overall she feels more firm than I would think a baby her age should feel (her cousins are/were a heck of a lot softer/chubbier).

Another average meal for her is a hotdog, 1 serving of yogurt and one of those single servings of microavable mashed vegetables for kids and half of a banana; or a good size serving of dinty moore beef stew, single serving microavable, and half of an apple or orange; or 2 eggs (one yolk and 2 whites) and Quaker oats, plain. She usually eats 4 good sized meals like these per day, with one smaller snack.

Point being that she eats like crazy and doesn't gain weight! Everyone who sees her eat wonders where she puts it all.

She loves to pick up heavy things and walk around with them, like my 5lb jug of protein powder (though I don't let her do this too often for fear of her little back), and she likes doing pullups on the bar of her swing set, with me holding her thighs, but she pulls most of the weight and laughs. She's also pulling herself up and down from our bed constantly when we're in our room watching TV at night before she goes to bed, and holding our hands, she climbs stairs one leg at a time with her leg seeming to go past parallel to the ground.

At such a young age, I don't want to risk overdoing anything, but if she's having fun I'll let her get her excersize in however she enjoys it.

I always want to encourage her to have fun running around and getting excersize, and keep her used to eating good whole foods. I'm very happy that she loves mixed vegetables, boiled or just thawed from the freezer, and she also loves eggs (hard boiled or fried), cheeze, yogurt, plain boiled chicken and the same quaker oats that took me forever to get used to! She'll only drink milk when she eats cold cerial and my wife tricks her by scooping spoonfuls of just milk, but all in all, not a whole lot of milk in her diet, and that's why we've been focusing more on cheese and yogurt.

I show my wife how it's almost just as easy to prepare her these meals as it is to give her leftover meals or her microavable toddler foods, and my wife said (about a month ago) "Wow, I never think to make her stuf like that." and she's been getting better at making better meals now.

I know it's a hell of a lot better than what I see a lot of other kids her age eating. My sister will give her 13month old mac & cheese as a meal, until she's full, or McDonald's french fries as another meal.

I would have thought that with my genes, she would have had a tendancy to be on the fatter side, though her mother is Phillipino and was very skinny as a child. We're both fairly short too, I'm 5'5" and she's 5'3".

Does this seem crazy, or does it look like she's lacking in anything, or getting too much of something, just by a quick glance?

She gets plenty of sleep, and always seems to be so happy and in a great mood all the time. We realy feel lucky with how easy she's been. I guess I'm mostly concerned about her lack of weight gain. 3 months ago she was 18 lbs, then hit 20 the next month and seemed to stop there.

05-28-2005, 12:37 AM
I expect she's doing just fine Alan...she sounds active and happy, and I'm assuming she doesn't have any skin problems or persistent infections that might indicate a problem. She's eating high fiber foods, so I'm assuming she's eliminating properly (guessing she's not completely trained yet, so you're still using diapers or "Pull Ups."). If she's meeting other developmental milestones, I wouldn't worry about the weight or lack of chubbiness.

It may be she's not eating as hugely as you think. With toddlers, about as much ends up on the floor or in their hair as actually goes down. Also, the RDA for toddlers (1 - 3 years old) is 102 calories per kg bodyweight. If she's 20 lbs, she's a bit over 9 kg - so she needs approx. 925 calories a day. If she's as active as you say, maybe even over 1,000. The sample meal you listed contains approx. 260 calories (assuming it all went in) - if she eats around 4 meals like that, plus a small snack, she's right in the ballpark.

The only thing I'd suggest that might be lacking is to keep an eye on her good fats - young children need their EFAs too! And I'd lay off the hot dogs and chicken fingers - most commercial hot dogs contain a lot of fat, sodium, and nitrates. Chicken fingers can also be high in sodium and may contain trans fats.

05-28-2005, 12:52 AM
Yea, I was wondering about how to get those fats in her. I don't think I can sneek in some Udo's or flax without her noticing. Besides the fattier fish, I don't know what else I can do to get them in. That's always been the hard part, even for my own diet, then I found out about Udo's and flax oils and never realy worried about it much more (for myself). She does like peanuts as well though, but it takes her a while to chew them up (usually just one or 2 at a time).

Thanks for the info on calories. I never knew what the RDA was for her, I just tried to stay away from the typical large high processed macaroni type of meals that I used to get as a child (though I can't yet get my mom to make specific meals for her since she also watches my nephews and niece, but that's just one meal a day, 5 days a week). My wife is going back to college full time in a couple of months and is going to get paid by her GI Bill and Navy college fund, so she'll have more time at home with our daughter (no offense mom ;) ).

Oh, and she's very picky when it comes to messes with her food. She doesn't like when anything sticks to her hands and holds her hand out waiting for us to wipe it. We're getting her used to feeding herself, but help her with the loading of her spoon and fork sometimes (though we try to let her do as much as she can, until our patience wears thin lol).

And she does have mild eczema, but so do I and my sister and mother as well. I figgured it's more hereditary, but I'm also worried a little about athsma. Other than that, no other skin problems or anything (that we know of, but regular doctor check ups have been fine so far (knock on wood)).

Thanks again,

05-28-2005, 01:30 AM
Need to be careful with the fish - mercury toxicity is a much bigger deal with young children than it is with adults.

You could try blending a half-teaspoonful of Udo's into some yogurt, or some applesauce - something with a stronger flavor. If you don't add much, I don't think she'll notice a difference. She wouldn't need much anyway: the recommended dose is 1 T per 50 lbs bodyweight - a bit over a teaspoon would be a full ration for her. A few drops at a time should be relatively easy to disguise.

05-28-2005, 01:50 AM
Thanks again! Great ideas.

05-30-2005, 07:18 PM
Alan - she'll be fine. If she is reaching developmental milestones, etc., she's fine. Looking at the parents being short, too, it makes sense in the big picture. Don't sweat it.

Oh...and please, no more hot dogs. Big time choking hazard. If I hadn't seen kids dead in the ER from hot dogs I wouldn't have mentioned it. Wait until at least elementary school, although I think the recommendation is 10 years old.

05-30-2005, 10:18 PM
Yea, I never liked feeding her hotdogs, mostly because of their nutrition value (or lack there of). I never thought of it as a choking hazard though. Just yesterday I was feeding her what I was eating. I made more than what I was going to have since I was feeding both of us.

Well, I made the mistake of feeding her pork chops. I boiled them in a frying pan, then cut them in long strips, kind of like fish stick size. Well, she was eating them fine until I noticed her getting tired of chewing them. Just as I was watching her have trouble with the chewing, I saw her give up and try to swallow the whole piece that she bit off. I saw her eyes get big, and she opened her mouth wide. It was obvious she was choking so I scooped my finger in her throat and luckily was able to get it out on the first try.

That scared the you know what out of me. I'm backing off on the meat now (at least the tough stuff), unless it's something like broken up hamburg or pulled chicken. I felt like such an idiot for feeding her the porkchops. I just hate how it's so hard to feed toddlers well. I don't like the over processed pre-made toddler food that comes pre-made in microavable cups, but I feel like they're my only option sometimes.

05-30-2005, 10:40 PM
Alan, one of the things I used to do with my kids when they were small, was to take suitable leftovers (pasta dishes, chicken or turkey/gravy, meatloaf, etc.), chop them up into bite-sized pieces, and freeze "toddler-sized" portions in small, single serve containers. That way, there was always something appropriate for them, in the event they couldn't (or wouldn't) eat our food. I'd just pop a container or two in the microwave, offer whatever side dishes (veggies, fruits, cheese, whatever) they wanted and voila!

That way, I almost never had to buy special toddler meals. They're over-starched and over-priced anyway.

05-31-2005, 01:31 AM
elissa, you are supermom. :)

05-31-2005, 10:31 AM
LOL - but only for a few more years...Number-One-Son is finishing Robert Graves' "I Claudius/Claudius the God" and will be reading "The Jungle" and "The Right Stuff" over the summer to prep for his Honors/US History class in the Fall. And my doppelganger recently won a $100.00 Savings Bond - she took 3rd Place in a district-wide Holocaust essay contest. The "midgets" are actual people now, and moving into lives of their own. And I am sooooooooo glad of it! :D