Underweight and an Iron Deficiency?

Last Thursday my daughter had her follow up weight check. If you remember, she fell off the chart at her 15 month appointment and the pediatrician wanted to make sure she was staying on her own curve and not plateauing in weight. Height and head circumference were just fine.

So we beefed up the healthy calories and really focused on structured meals and snacks to make sure she had as many opportunities to eat healthy, caloric foods as possible to keep her on the right track.

And the results?

In six weeks she gained 11 ounces. Enough to keep her on her own curve and out of the ‘danger zone’ of plateauing on the curve.

But, and that’s a big but, the pediatrician wanted to see a bit more of a gain to get her back onto the charts. We’ll continue to make sure she’s offered a variety of nutritious meals and snacks as well as making sure the foods we feed her are higher in calories.

Now that we’ve gotten the weight issue taken care of we’re fine, right? Wrong.

At the 15 month check up my daughter’s iron levels were low. The pedi re-checked the numbers again this time and they’re still low. Now we have to  supplement with iron drops. Not easy for a girl who doesn’t eat much.

Not only am I now trying to offer lots of foods, I’m also trying to offer foods that I can hide the iron drops in. And this girl eats maybe 5 bites of one thing at a time. Not great when the metallic flavor of the iron supplement needs to be masked by the food or drink it’s in.

I still have yet to get a full dose in her. And she needs two doses a day, every day.

Luckily I have an awesome BFF who recommended a few products to try out. She currently uses Floradix Iron & Herbs and loves it. 

I actually first heard of this brand back at BlogHer’11 last year and have even received samples at a few events I’ve attended over the past few months. I’ve put a call in to the pediatrician to see if he approves of this alternative.

They even have a kids multivitamin I’ve heard great things about called Floradix Kinderlove Children’s Multiple Vitamin. I might get that as well to start Ethan on something in case he’s lacking in nutrition too.

We’re also making Green Monsters every day and are considering adding chlorella or spirulina. There isn’t a ton of iron in the chlorella or spirulina but it’s very easily assimilated. There’s also a chewable called Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Kid Greenz that I’m looking into as well.

And on top of the supplements I am also watching her Vitamin C consumption as well since it’s supposed to aid in absorption of iron. So along with the iron drops I’m also offering orange juice, melon, strawberries, apricots, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes and potatoes.

I’m going to try my best to get her iron levels up and decide on a course of action. If it’s not one thing it’s another! So is life…

A positive in this is the fact that my daughter is a smart, funny, and very personable 16 1/2 month old and we are blessed that our problems are ones we can address and resolve. I know that some families aren’t as lucky.

Have any suggestions for increasing iron? I’d love to hear them!

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Percentages… on the opposite end

With my son I never worried about weight and percentages when we went to the doctor for well baby check ups. He was always above the 50th percentile and usually was above the 75th percentile until he reached 2 years old. He was a fat, chubby, happy little baby and I loved it. I received comments quite frequently about how “healthy” he was. It made me feel like a good mama.

My son never had any food issues.

He also took a bottle quite well from the beginning and ate purees without a problem. Nowadays his eating is sporadic, as is any toddler’s, and I’m lucky to get in a full meal with him but he’s healthy and he snacks.

Then my daughter came. And since the beginning she’s been making me worry.

First came her refusal of the bottle. That lead to me quitting my job to nurse her full time… er… care for her and feed her. Then came her refusal of purees. She would only take one or two bites and then push the food away until I gave it to her in small pieces or chunks. That wasn’t much help since she didn’t get her first tooth until she was over 11 months old. Feeding was a very big chore.

But we kept at it and I thought she was getting enough food. Especially since she wasn’t yet one and she was still nursing.

However at each well-baby visit she seemed to be dropping in percentiles. And not by a little. She went from 50th to 40th. Then she hovered around 25th for a while before dropping down the 10th at her 9 month appointment. By her 1 year appointment she was down to the 3rd percentile however her height and head circumference seemed to be staying on their own curve so the doctor wasn’t worried.

But at her last check up, at 15 months, she fell off the chart for weight and is now below 0 percentile. And I’m kinda scared.

We have a weight check in 5 weeks.

I’m going to be doing everything I can to see if I can get her back up into the positive. The doctor reassured me that this is just a caloric thing. It has nothing to do with lack of nutrition. So I’m increasing the calories in this house.

I just purchased full fat milk… cream top milk to be exact. And I have full fat cream cheese, peanut butter, avocados, heavy cream, etc. She loves the green monster smoothies I make for myself so I’m going to start making her full fat versions to hope the extra calories do their thing.

And then we’ll go in for the weight check. And hope for the best!

Molly’s 15 Month Stats
18 pounds – below 0 percentile
30 inches – 45th percentile
47 centimeters – 75th percentile

Do you have any great pound-packing recipes for me to try with her? I’d love the suggestions! 

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