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Tips on gaining weight the healthy way for a teen?


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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:50 PM   #1
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Tips on gaining weight the healthy way for a teen?

I got an appointment with a nutritionist for my foster kid, she is 14,5 years old. She is 5'2'' and weight 84-lbs. I was told over the phone she is around 15% BMI so she will have priority over other patients but we probably won't have an appointment before Xmas. She told me till then to add a spoon of olive oil to all of her meals, to buy powder milk, and the fattest yogurt I can find. I was told the nutritionist will call me for more instructions but don't know when!


Any of you have suggestions of what else I should add to her nutrition whether it's at home or in her lunch box?


Also, she does want to gain weight so she eats as much as she can, I bake around the clock and already got the fattest dairy products, I have big jars of fatty nuts, etc. She will gain 3-4 lbs and a week later she's down to 84-85 lbs again, it's like fat doesn't stick on her.



Thank you!
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:51 PM   #2
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If she's eating, stop obsessing about the # or you will make it worse. High protein meals with some carbs is probably good. Get her to exercise to build muscle.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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Women of that age group have the danger of going into anorexia if the weight issue is pushed too much, so what I would suggest is cooking with more Mediterranean type stuff. Olive oil based stuff should be fine, and an increase in protein. Healthy weight gain comes typically from protein building. Just confirm we are doing a healthy amount of exercise, and you can also consider an exercise/ food calculator to help sort out why she might be burning calories (it's possible her metabolism is higher than you think it is).
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Old 23rd November 2018, 1:12 PM   #4
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I was not in a panic mode till I spoke to a nurse and a nutritionist and they turned on that alarm in me by telling me her BMI is off the chart and will be put on top of the waiting list.



At 14,5 she still doesn't have regular periods and I am sure this is linked to being underweight.



I will appreciate any cooking tips. All my life I have worked at losing weight so trying to gain some is foreign to me.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 1:21 PM   #5
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Firstly has a physician spoken with you both about why she may be smaller than others her age?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 1:22 PM   #6
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Feed her everything you can't eat.

Seriously, if you see her eating, take some of the medical professional's panic with a grain of salt.

At the end of his life, after my mother passed, my 83 year old father's blood work came back & his sugar was 106. That's 6 points higher then what the doctors consider the top. The new doctor on his team panicked, wanted him to put him on all this medicine. . . blah, blah, blah. I told her to calm down & that I would restrict his sweets -- he could either have ice cream after dinner or a pastry at lunch / brunch but not both & I'm sure his sugar would go down. He was an 83 year old alcoholic, with high blood pressure, a bum ankle that caused him to walk with a cane for 20 years, who already had 4 heart attacks who just lost his wife. I really didn't see the point of making a fuss over an elevated sugar level. Had it been pushing 200 I would have done something else. Sure enough when he eliminated one treat per day, the numbers went down.

Just make good food available to her & keep an eye on things but realize you are on the right path. Don't let the doctors overreact.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 1:28 PM   #7
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any food here is quite a good choice:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...t/art-20047801
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Old 23rd November 2018, 2:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0nnivain View Post
Feed her everything you can't eat.

Seriously, if you see her eating, take some of the medical professional's panic with a grain of salt.

At the end of his life, after my mother passed, my 83 year old father's blood work came back & his sugar was 106. That's 6 points higher then what the doctors consider the top. The new doctor on his team panicked, wanted him to put him on all this medicine. . . blah, blah, blah. I told her to calm down & that I would restrict his sweets -- he could either have ice cream after dinner or a pastry at lunch / brunch but not both & I'm sure his sugar would go down. He was an 83 year old alcoholic, with high blood pressure, a bum ankle that caused him to walk with a cane for 20 years, who already had 4 heart attacks who just lost his wife. I really didn't see the point of making a fuss over an elevated sugar level. Had it been pushing 200 I would have done something else. Sure enough when he eliminated one treat per day, the numbers went down.

Just make good food available to her & keep an eye on things but realize you are on the right path. Don't let the doctors overreact.

You're right I need to calm down. Her life isn't in jeopardy and even if she has suffered from malnutrition I can fix it! She told me her mom stopped cooking when her father died and since then (5 years) mom fed her frozen dinners, every day, all the time.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 2:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Garcon1986 View Post
any food here is quite a good choice:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...t/art-20047801

Thank you, I know it's the best way to eat, I have cut on red meat and try to make legumes twice a week. My boyfriend is from France so he likes eating lean, veggies, olive oil, etc.



As a Canadian raised on a dairy farm I grew up eating meat 3 times a day, pastries made with animal fat, I should send the kid to my mom lol
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Old 23rd November 2018, 3:01 PM   #10
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Cheers to you Gaeta, just make sure you've had a medical assessment of your small kid to make sure there aren't any significant medical things that are pulling her back from gaining weight. A BMI of 14.5 at the age of 14 1/2 is tiny indeed.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 3:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaeta View Post
You're right I need to calm down. Her life isn't in jeopardy and even if she has suffered from malnutrition I can fix it! She told me her mom stopped cooking when her father died and since then (5 years) mom fed her frozen dinners, every day, all the time.
You & she are going to be just fine. You are taking better care of her then she has been taken care of to date. Give her body time to adjust. Keep on lovin' her.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 4:28 PM   #12
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Hagen Dazs works for me. But I kinda think that as long as she eats when she’s hungry and isn’t having any anorexic kind of thoughts or doesn’t have some underlying medical issue, it’s her natural healthy weight for now. Maybe she’ll put some pounds on a little farther into puberty.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 7:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaeta View Post
Thank you, I know it's the best way to eat, I have cut on red meat and try to make legumes twice a week. My boyfriend is from France so he likes eating lean, veggies, olive oil, etc.

This is your problem. Lean this, lean that. Stop it! Pork, beef, and potatoes! Throw in healthy root crops such as carrots, turnips, and beets. Add in high quality vegetables such as squash and beans. Couple that with decent exercise and she will be fine. She's also young - high metabolism. I could eat the world at age 14 (if anybody actually bothered to feed me.) It is only when you are older that you have to watch what you eat. My husband and I could eat 3 large pizzas just the two of us when we were teens, but we couldn't eat even half of that now.


Also, at age 14 she needs fat in her diet. Fat to get through becoming a woman, and fat to assist in her brain's changes. Without a diet with decent fat content (and olive oil isn't it, sorry) she's going to be undernourished. What she doesn't need is a lot of useless calories, like white bread, sugar, and junk food...so you're doing that part right. But a diet high in healthy animal fat and protein and quality root crops is good for someone with a high metabolism.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 8:05 PM   #14
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I agree with what Major Merrick wrote.

I was a stick when I was a teenager. I looked emaciated. And my BMI was such that the people providing health insurance for our family required me to get a physical to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with me. But I wasn’t malnourished or anything like that. I was fine.

But if you haven’t done so already... which you probably have... but there are medical problems that can cause someone to not gain weight. If all of her blood levels and everything like that check out fine, then I wouldn’t worry about it. But there are other things, for instance celiac disease, that can cause people to be malnourished and not gain weight. But blood tests would tell you that.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 8:32 PM   #15
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My daughter is like a long drink of water. At the same age, she was in the bottom 10th percentile. Absolutely healthy and no eating disorders. Now that she's 19, she weighs more because of hips and boobs, but still super skinny. One of the things which helped me to not worry was the fact she inherited my sister's physique. She grew up with strangers asking if she was anorexic. (She wasn't)

I did watch a doco once about trying to get thin people to put on weight. Turns out that their bodies wanted to keep that weight and their metabolism would burn through all the extra calories. Except for one guy who's body converted the extra calories to muscle. Google "why don't thin people get fat" and you'll find a lot of interesting info.
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