Eva's 12 month check up was going fine until the doctor looked at the computer screen,"Gasp! This is hooorrrrible!" Eva is in the 11% for weight and somewhere in the 30's for height, but her growth curve is kind of flat. The doctor's first reaction was to put her on Pediasure (1-2 cans a day). I declined. Pediasure has tips on its website for picky eaters. I'll add one to that list: don't give Pediasure! Now, there are definitely cases where it helps, but I don't think it should be a first line of attack. Eva is chubby and has plenty of "output" so do not believe that she is in danger. She stopped eating baby food a few months ago but hasn't made the transition to table food. Ian went from baby food to table food directly, but I think she needs some transitional foods. It just goes to show you that you never know everything.
Now, I am not a nervous parent and I know that the charts they use are for formula-fed babies, not breastfed babies and that has an impact. Formula-fed babies eat more because it comes out quicker with less effort and caregivers push them to finish the bottle which is one of the reasons why breastfed babies have lower rates of obesity as adults because they self-regulate their food. However, it was the flat nature of her curve that may indicate a problem. Still, it is quite disconcerting when a doctor says,"This is hooorrrible!"
Eva will not eat fine purees anymore, but she will eat yogurt, rice porridge (with seaweed), anchovie porridge, refried beans, and adult hot cereal. She will eat vegetables, rice and pasta sometimes, but not a lot. I never gave Ian soups and porridges, but in Asian countries, that is what they give babies and young children. When we were in Singapore, I was surprised at how well Eva ate the anchovie porridge. I filed it in my brain to try, and made my own, more Korean version with seaweed, like my friend Sarah gives her daughter. I want to encourage these savory tastes instead of surrendering to giving her sweet things just because she'll eat them. Another friend lent me the book Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron. It has recipes for transitional foods and ways to add extra nutrition so that Eva gets more punch in the foods that she does eat. I am lucky to have such a diverse group of friends because I didn't have to look far for solutions.
Eva's eating is already improved. We will go back for a weight check at the beginning of May. They may want to do thyroid testing at that point if she doesn't gain more weight. Again, I really don't think she has a problem, but I will follow up.