How can I help my 12 year old daughter gain weight?
My daughter just recently had her yearly physical with the pediatrician. She has always been slim and average height. My daughter lost three pounds since having her physical in 2010. The pediatrician ordered blood tests which came back okay.....nothing out of range that would indicate why she lost weight. I explained to the doctor that this past year was my daughter's first year of middle school and she did a lot of walking around between classes and had about 10 minutes for lunch. Would that be enough to have her lose weight from last year? I am going to be meeting with a dietician before school starts. I am very concerned about my daughter's weight and want to help her in any way possible. I have started a daily food journal to keep track of her calories. I also try to make her a breakfast shake at least three times a week along with her breakfast. Do you have any tips to help me put some much needed pounds on my daughter? The pediatrician also wants me to have my daughter see a child psychologist who specializes in eating disorders. My mother is extremely overweight (obese) so I don't know what my daughter thinks when she sees Grandma so heavy. Often my daughter will be eating a snack (say for example a cookie) and say, "Mommy is it bad if I have another cookie. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Having her evaluated by a health care professional is an excellent step. She should be cleared of any underlying medical issues and have a behavioral assessment. A psychologist is certainly reasonable, although a specialist in adolescent medicine (she is almost adolescent) is usually where we refer this age group for evaluation if an eating disorder is being considered.
Force feeding (i.e., pushing high calorie drinks such as breakfast shakes) should be done under medical supervision. This method can sometimes backfire and create more eating issues than when you started.
The web site is a resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics and provides some guidance for assessment and approaches.