Monday, December 18, 2006

Gaining weight

No, not me. While the weight has not exactly been melting away during this break of mine, I'm at least back to the weight from my first weigh-in of early pregnancy four or so years ago, a loss of about 5 pounds from when I started keeping track again. If I can lose another 5 before I start trying again, I'll be happy.

The weight gain, or rather desired weight gain, is for my son. As a newborn, Scooter gained weight at the upper end of what's expected. He nursed well and seemed to be getting plenty. Then, at about nine months, about the time we were trying to get him to increase the amount of solid food in his diet, his weight gain leveled off and his percentile sank lower and lower. One pediatrician gave us a lecture about hiding extra calories and nutrients in food--put wheat germ in his applesauce, spinach in his tomato sauce, never mind that he didn't eat any of those. But this was the one doctor at Scooter's old practice we didn't particularly like; we preferred to put our faith in another pediatrician's advice: don't worry, even if he's in the 5th percentile for weight, he's holding steady there, so I'm not concerned.

Nonetheless, we've decided recently to worry about his weight again, mostly because he's so skinny. He's a picky eater and is not generally interested in food; he'd probably skip meals if we didn't offer them to him. That's not to say his nutritional intake is greatly lacking. He eats a variety of foods, just a selection from the same ones everyday: goldfish crackers, Cheerios, a couple other cereals (Barbara's Cinnamon Puffins and, oddly enough, Fibre One Honey Clusters), orange juice, milk, apples, chicken nuggets, veggie dogs, bread with either butter or ketchup, cheese sandwiches or quesadillas, and sweets.

So Trillian and I have been looking for ways to boost his calorie intake without relying entirely on non-nutritious offerings and turning this into a battle of wills. What we've come up with so far (some of which we've already implemented, some which is in the works):

1) Whole milk. In addition to the 2% we buy (Trillian can't stand the taste of anything with less fat), we've been buying a small container of whole milk as "the boy's milk." We offer it to him regularly, both to drink and with his cereal.

2) Chicken nuggets. I've given up on my quest for homemade chicken nuggets for Scooter. I made some really yummy ones the other night, but he would barely even touch them. We realized the problem is that he needs uniformity. With homemade nuggets, if he gets a bite where the spices or breading tastes just a little different, it puts him off them altogether.*

3) Apples. Lots and lots of apples. Trillian has taken to cutting up an apple and keeping slices near Scooter as he plays. He tends to eat more if he's distracted. That way we make sure he's consistently getting vitamins and minerals.

4) Fruit and vegetable breads. With cream cheese frosting. Applesauce bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, carrot cake, anything that's a little sweet but still chock full of vitamins and minerals. And he likes cream cheese frosting, which will provide more fat and calories.

5) Cheese. He used to love cheese, but has not liked it as much recently. We're going to try finding a couple varieties he'll eat plain so that we have a calcium-rich, high-calorie, easy snack.

6) Sweets. More specifically, bribing with sweets. Not my first choice, but it works. Tonight was the promise that he could have some chocolate after he finished the chicken nuggets on his plates. He complained less than usual and ate almost twice what we expected.

I find it somewhat ironic, in this day of obsessing over childhood obesity, that I am trying to force more calories into my son, even to the point of indulging in behaviors that are targeted by concerned experts--don't eat while involved in other activities, because then there's a tendency to eat more.

The trick will be balancing the foods that help Scooter gain weight while making sure that I continue on my downward path. Maybe if we eat the same sized portions...

*Since it doesn't look like I'll be able to get him onto organic chicken nuggets, I'll focus on making as much of the rest of his food as possible organic.


cinnamon gurl said...

Those sound like great ideas, especially the fruit/veg loaves with cream cheese icing... (or maybe that's because I like them so much) ;)

Mouse said...

That's one of my favorites and one I fear too. I love both the bread and the icing--and I definitely don't need it!

bubandpie said...

Barbara's cereal! I LOVE that stuff. When my mom is visiting a friend of hers in Toronto she always brings me home a few boxes - you can't buy it out here in the wilderness.

We've been giving Bub whole milk too, ever since the Pie switched over to milk. For awhile there we had four separate milks in the fridge: 1% for me, soy for hubby, 2% for Bub, and whole milk for the Pie. It was madness, I tell you, madness.

Mouse said...

We actually started getting Puffins because they're a good source of fiber, and both Trillian and I like them. I'm horror-struck that you can't get them there!