Measurements taken, the doctor turned to me and said my son was in the 10thpercentile for weight and height. I was horrified. “What’s wrong with him?” I asked. “He eats all the time.”
Dr. Taylor smiled and said, “There’s nothing to worry about. His growth is steady. You’re small, his dad’s small and he is small.”
I was relieved as I thought he might be suffering from “failure to thrive,” a situation where a child is not meeting expected standards of growth because of being undernourished. It’s not that I wasn’t feeding my child; I had read something online and then, like many first-time moms, worried about it.
It’s certainly something for parents to look out for. Kids who fail to thrive don’t receive or cannot take in, keep, or use the calories that help them grow and gain enough weight. The condition can be serious: a child’s brain grows as much in the first year as it will grow for the rest of a child’s life. Poor nutrition during this period may have lasting harmful effects on brain development.
A number of things can cause failure to thrive, including:
- Not enough food offered.Parents can mistakenly cause the problem. They fail to feed enough formula or have trouble gauging intake when breastfeeding. They worry their child will get fat and restrict the amount of calories they give their kids. Some parents don’t pay enough attention to their children’s hunger cues. Or, they feed an inappropriate diet.
- The child eats too little.Some children have trouble eating enough food because of prematurity, developmental delays, or conditions like autism in which they do not like eating foods of certain textures or tastes.
- Food intolerance. The body is sensitive to certain foods like milk proteins, which are important to a child’s diet.
- Health problems involving the digestive system.Conditions like chronic diarrhea, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, celiac disease, and gastroesophageal reflux can inhibit nutritional intake because the child refuses to eat or it’s hard for the body to absorb and retain nutrients.
- An ongoing illness or disorder.A child who has trouble eating — because of a cleft lip or palate, for example — may not take in enough calories to support normal growth.
- Infections.Parasites, urinary tract infections and other infections can force the body to use nutrients rapidly and decrease appetite.
- Metabolic disorders that make it hard for the body to break down, process, or take energy from food. They also can cause a child to eat poorly or vomit.
Usually, kids who have failure to thrive can be treated at home along with regular doctor visits. The doctor will recommend high-calorie foods and may place an infant on a high-calorie formula.
Depending on the child’s feeding habits, doctors may recommend offering foods of certain textures, spacing out meals to make sure children are hungry, avoiding “empty” calories like juices and candies, and other strategies depending on the child’s condition and family situation.
If you’re concerned your child might have “failure to thrive” or has been diagnosed with the condition, consider adding Thrive Ice Cream to your child’s diet as supplement or healthy snack. Here are three reasons why:
- Thrive is REAL©Dairy Certified because it’s made from milk and cream from U.S. dairies focused on quality and it’s hormone free.
- Thrive delivers complete nutrition. A six-ounce cup contains 9 grams of protein, 24 vitamins and minerals, 4 active probiotics, and 6 grams of natural fiber.
- Thrive eats like a treat. Most kids love the creamy texture and flavor of ice cream so getting a small child to eat Thrive is easy in most cases. Thrive comes in the basics – vanilla, chocolate and fresh strawberry, along with no sugar added vanilla.
If your child has been diagnosed as “failure to thrive,” consult with your pediatrician before adding any supplement, including Thrive, to his or her diet. If your doctor is unfamiliar with Thrive, share our web address www.thriveicecream.com. We share a wealth of information on medical conditions that benefit from Thrive, Thrive’s nutritional facts and ingredients, and an FAQ.
Nutritious Thrive Ice Cream in single serve cups can be purchased online here. Orders placed Monday-Wednesday are delivered in two-days time, perfectly frozen and ready to enjoy!