Every day I have to trick my 21-month-old daughter to eat. Even when she does, it’s very little. The pediatrician put her on PediaSure® because she’s too tiny. She weighs about 21 pounds. What’s your advice?
Maria, PediaSure® is good for helping small children add extra calories and vitamins to their diet. It’s essentially the same as infant formula. However, children often prefer it as their main nutrition because it’s easy to consume, especially for a child who does not like to eat table foods.
Toddlers are very busy and tend to snack. They don’t like to sit still in one place for any length of time. I would suggest offering your daughter another taste of food when she looks for her milk, and never offering any beverage in a bottle at this age. Many children keep themselves from hunger by drinking from bottles throughout the day. This practice not only deprives them of many vitamins and minerals available from a variety of foods—it also promotes tooth decay.
There are two other things to consider regarding your daughter’s size. If she was premature or had a low birth weight, she may not conform to the “average” growth charts most physicians use. Also, you should consider how big you are her father are. If you are both smaller, she would be, too. Even though she is tiny, if she’s appropriately following a curve, she’s probably fine.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.