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TOPIC: Nutrient Dense High Calorie Foods

 
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September 10, 2012 10:51 AM
Almost 3 years ago we adopted a (mostly) Paleo/Primal eating style when we were having behavioral issues with one of our sons. At that time he was diagnosed with OCD, ADHD, and bipolar and was on a daily regimine of over 10 pills. I'm happy to say that today we are down to only one daily pill and mood swings and behavior is under control for the most part.

However, it appears that my little guy is not growing like he should. He sees the doc every 3 months and he grew .75 in but lost 4 lbs in weight. The doc likes the dietary changes that we've made and even said that gluten-free is the way to go because gluten interferes with o-3 absorption which is needed for proper brain development.

But, due to the weight loss I have to find a way to fatten him up or else she will put him on some more meds. The kid eats a ridiculous amount but when I look at his diet I guess it just doesn't have high enough calories to help him grow (he's 12 and now weighs 66 lbs; his younger brother is bigger than him).

His typical menu:
B: 2 eggs with shredded cheddar cheese, 2-3 slices of turkey lunch meat
L: turkey lettuce wrap, apples/grapes, granola bar, raisins
S: fruit or yogurt
D: (last night example) grilled mahi-mahi, asparagus, boiled new potatoes (note: he ate more fish than the rest of the family combined)
Dessert: (occasionally). small dish of ice cream or a fruit smoothie

In my estimation, this is a very healthy diet compared to most kids. But unfortunately I guess it's not high enough in calories.

Can anyone give me some good recommendations on healthy, paleo-ish, nutrient dense food ideas that are high in calories??
September 10, 2012 11:18 AM
There was a similar problem on Robb Wolf's most recent podcast about a father whose doctor told him they needed to fatten up their baby more. Robb Wolf suggested checking out the World Health Organization's recommendations for height/weights, NOT the US guidelines. Here is the link:

http://robbwolf.com/2012/09/04/sumo-deadlift-high-pull-episode-148/


If your kid eats a lot perhaps his body is craving fat. Seriously pour fat over all the food! Dip all those snacks/veg/finger foods into fat based dips. Coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, bone broth. Make paleo mayonnaise, butter, etc. Top those scrambled eggs and cheese with organic sour cream and avocados.
Edited by mehaugen On September 10, 2012 11:22 AM
September 10, 2012 11:26 AM
I wish I could get my kids to eat as well as yours. My sugar addict hubby sabotages all my efforts. I throw stuff out. He buys more.

Since your son's diet is pretty nutrient dense already, maybe just focus on the healthy cal/fat part. More dipping sauces that have avocado in them, nut butters for his fruit (if he can eat nuts, if not, sunbutter). More paleo-type mayos with olive oil, or full-fat greek yogurt mixed with honey or pesto or something he likes for dipping.

My son is only 3, but also <0%ile and new doc is concerned with weight (although old doc wasn't). He loves hummus (not paleo, I know) and I let him eat gobs of it because it's high fat. I also let him eat chunks of butter since he love it... although this probably won't work with a 12 year old!

Maybe also add extra coconut oil or butter into as much as you can. I would think it's easy to hide into other things without changing taste too much, and would add extra fat and cals.

Maybe make one of those paleo muffins or anytime cookies to add to his lunch, since that's probably lowest fat based on the example below.

If you let him drink milk, then full fat milk has lots of fat/cals. I know milk isn't the best, but I often feel like when my toddlers pick at their dinners, at least they're getting healthy fats and cals from their milk.

Or even just the cream from coconut milk can sweetened with honey and on top of berries.

Good luck. I think I'll be dealing with the same thing as my boys grow. But as my old doc says, our kids have their whole life ahead of them to get fat. It's ok for them to be thin while they're kids as long as they're growing OK.
  24977578
September 10, 2012 11:31 AM
Nuts and paleo baked goods. It's what I'm trying with my husband... with him though, the hard part is just getting him to eat.
September 10, 2012 11:36 AM
Are you doing just lean meats on purpose? This seems pretty low in fat.
What about snacking on caveman bars? (I make them with cranberries, apricots, cocoa nibs etc...) http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/foodslideshow/apple-pie-lara-bars/
September 10, 2012 11:46 AM
No not lean meats on purpose. That was just last night's dinner. We cycle through different meats (fish, pork, beef, chicken) to keep the boredom at bay.

On his weight --- I don't think the dr would have expressed concern except for the fact that he is losing weight which is not normal when grew almost an inch in height.
September 10, 2012 12:32 PM
Trail mix is awesome. I make my own for the kids (or buy the wildroots brand when in a pinch) and they gobble it up. High in healthy fats. Also I cook everything in a lot of coconut oil. Saying that though - my son is small for his age too. Although at his last appt the Dr expressed concern at his weight until my son took his shirt off for the exam and he retracted his concern, saying that he didn't look 'skinny' just slim and he is fine. My kids aren't PALEO though - my husband is a total non-believer so they do eat grains with their dad. I just try to get in there first for most meals and give them the good stuff.

Costco sells coconut chunks that are great for snacking on. Unfortunately they do have cane sugar on them but not a lot when you look at the label.
September 10, 2012 4:26 PM
I have 2 super thin kids with some of the same issues, we do primal with dairy though so it is much easier. I eliminated lean meats or when I make them I add fat to the kids (butter, cheese, cream sauces etc). One of their favorite meat dishes is Sonoma chicken salad which is chicken breast, mayo, celery, pecans and grapes, this fills in the fats that the meat is missing for their growing bodies. When we do fish they get butter and spices on theirs and I try to do a lot of Salmon which is naturally higher in good fats.

I also do a lot of baking for them with coconut flour which usually has coconut oil or butter, eggs, and sometimes some sucanat if it is a "sweet" Lots of trail mixes with nuts and berries. I also let them have more fruits than I normally eat and I try to make it banana's and apples with some berries and grapes as well.

With my daughter I also have to watch and make sure she is not loading up on too many empty calories as she can occasionally eat wheat and tends to want to eat more carbs than anything else. My son is GF and mostly primal due to food allergies and behavior issues as well. He does eat white rice and white/sweet potatoes. I try to make those small servings or side dishes and focus on good healthy fats and proteins, if he gets too much of the rice and potatoes his behavior plummets quickly.

Basically I look at the primal foods I avoid because they have so many calories and I feed them to my kids! LOL
  28585711
September 10, 2012 5:50 PM
I have been there. My daughter was put on the failure to thrive list beacuse she was just too underwieght.. still is. My best advice: Nuts and seeds, avocados (like on his wrap), it's a battle but your not alone!!!
  10063157
September 10, 2012 5:58 PM
Oh and lara bars are great too!
  10063157
September 10, 2012 6:22 PM
QUOTE:

There was a similar problem on Robb Wolf's most recent podcast about a father whose doctor told him they needed to fatten up their baby more. Robb Wolf suggested checking out the World Health Organization's recommendations for height/weights, NOT the US guidelines. Here is the link:

http://robbwolf.com/2012/09/04/sumo-deadlift-high-pull-episode-148/


If your kid eats a lot perhaps his body is craving fat. Seriously pour fat over all the food! Dip all those snacks/veg/finger foods into fat based dips. Coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, bone broth. Make paleo mayonnaise, butter, etc. Top those scrambled eggs and cheese with organic sour cream and avocados.
  28782796

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