Ok. I have a seven year old that is 35 pounds. He was a drug baby and has seen a gastro doctor most of his life until a year when he hit the weight chart at 0.02 and then they released him since he maintained that average for 6 months. He has been through feeding therapy and OT and PT for autism High Functioning with extreme Process sensory disorder. He was on prescription formula for almost three years and the two years plus with pedisure. He eats like a bird and with the texture issues the foods that would help with weight gain he will not eat. No sauces, no nuts, no juice, pasta, rice is a struggle. He drinks full fat milk and chocolate. He has recently fallen off the weight chart big time and we have an appointment to go back to the gastro doctor. He is huge on raw veggies and most cooked veggies with butter. He will eat salad without tomatoes but no dressing. He will eat the inside of a taco but not the shell. I am at a loss and everyone is saying give him protein drinks? I cook everything from scratch, no added sugar, no artificial color or flavors and all organic so buying protein drinks that adults use for workouts is disturbing to me. Any suggestions?
Good Afternoon Debbie,
This is definitely a tricky situation and I’m sure you’re working very hard to maintain his weight. I would keep encouraging you to add things like butter and oils to your son’s raw and cooked veggies. It would also be good to add high calorie sauces and ingredients to everyday foods, like sour cream to the tacos. While it’s important have a nice balance of protein, to carbohydrate, to fat… at the end of the day – having adequate calories is most important. If you’re looking to protein shakes you might want to consider a Boost Plus or Ensure Plus. They offer a nice balance of carbs to protein to fat and also include a wide array of vitamins and minerals to ensure even on days where food intake is low, all nutrient needs will be met. If you are still finding it hard to meet your son’s needs through added sauces and foods to meals and protein shakes- I would suggest finding a dietitian that specializing in mental disabilities or picky eating. They are quite knowledgable on texture issues and providing parents with skills to ensure food intake is adequate.
Malia Cable, RDN
Essential Nutrition – Eating Disorder Dietitian