5 yr old Trying to Gain Weight

Hey Everyone,

I am getting frustrated. My 5 year old has not been gaining any weight. She is getting taller but not gaining...if anything she might have lost a pound or so since diagnosis on Nov 16 2010.

We have been to our endo twice and she is not overly concerned about it and referred us gto the nutritionist who has given me the advice to try to keep her at 150 g carbs a day. It is extremely difficult to do so as she is a typical 5 year old tiny girl who is very picky.

I am only 5 ft and 105 lbs so she has a smaller frame as I do. I do want her to gain weight but the advice to keep her at 150 g carbs a day just is not working for us.

Some days she will eat 80 g carb a day while others she might eat 80 g carb in one meal. She also enjoys alot of low carb snacks such as cheese sticks and other items that just are not high in carbs.

Does anyone have any helpful hints for us?


Thanks in advance!!! :)

The best thing you can do is keep her blood sugars in good range.  Any high blood sugar means those calories aren't being absorbed.  When blood sugar is high the glucose/carlories are collected by the kidneys and then urinated out.

Otherwise I wouldn't stress too much or try to force feed your child.  I have a 5-year-old son (not diabetic) who's super active and eats a lot, but there's no way he could eat 150g carb a day.  Not unless he got all of his calories from milkshakes!

A friend from church went through a similar issue... the mom is tiny and naturally thin like her daughter.  They eat healthily and don't restrict any foods, but the daughter's pediatrician keeps wanting the little girl to gain weight so she's in the proper percentile.  Luckily this mom knows they are fine and while it's good for the doctor to raise a concern, it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong. 


I would not worry too much. (Haha, I know). My son is 5 and very tall for his age (99 percentile) but only around 75% for weight. He also stayed at the same weight for almost a year even though he grew 4 inches. This was a little concerning to the endo team but not enough to really do anything besides wait and make sure he was eating as much as he wanted. My husband and I are both tall and thin so it was pretty genetic. More recently he has been gaining weight along with height. :)

Carbs will help gain weight, but so will any calories. I would just encourage her to eat as much as she would like. Not encouraging over eating, just eating when she is hungry. You can try using foods that are nutrient dense that have a lot of calories like avacados, nuts, etc. It doesn't have to be carbs. She probably doesn't really have to worry about unhealthy fats either so cheese and meat fats are probably fine.

GOod luck!

I agree with the others above -- sometimes when D is involved, doctors get caught up with weight, etc, even if it's just genetic and not related to good control or insulin amounts. (OB's I'm talking to you! Someone with T1 might be genetically disposed to a big baby even with good control, lolol).

It seems like it's setting her up for poor relationships with food to force so many carbs on her! But, when she is interested in a food, you could add some calories to that item. (e.g., add peanut/almond butter to toast, hummus to bread, raisins or banana into cereal to up the calories.)

I actually had the reverse problem when I was little, although I was a bit older than your daughter. When I was 7-8 years old, I was gaining too much weight. One of the contributing factors was my protein-rich snack before bed. Cheese, peanut butter, protein shakes....  I would say though that as long as her blood sugar is in good control, don't stress too much about it. Since you are also very petite, (I am 5' too! :D ) it isn't surprising she is also little. As everyone has said, being healthy is what matters, not fitting into the "recommended" weight/height ratios. Good Luck!

Kids that age need to be tricked at eating, try making it look like a game or motivate her to eat. My son is the same why what I do is find something he really like for example when I carry him and swing then I swing him once and tell him to eat whatever I want to feed him so that I can keep swinging him and it works. Just be creative but first with yourself by finding the right healthy diet for weight gain which contains many calories and then think of how you going to make him eat the diet.