Hack my nephew!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Yes, hack my nephew.

He's not paleo or anything like that but he's almost 11 and is smaller than my 7 year old daughter. He's truly little guy who seems to not have stopped growing. He eats all kinds of food, not particularly good food. He drinks pop, eats soy, non-organic dairy and CAFO meat and his mom cooks everything with MSG laden canned "chicken stock", he eats lots of sugary cereals etc...

Recently he was referred to an endocrinologist to check on him and he doesnt seemt to have any thyroid issues which is good news.

Here's the kicker - Instead of asking about his diet, the Endo suggested that he drink Carnation Instant Breakfast, Boost, Nutrament and eat lots of Ice Cream. From what I can see those products are filled with Sugar, Corn Syrup and a whole mess of crap that NO ONE should be eating! So dissapointing.

What suggestions can I make that will help my guy to put on some weight/grow? He will soon be starting puberty and I want him to be in the best possible place to take on the changes coming.

My sugestion to his mom is to feed him REAL FOOD.

What foods would be best for him to eat to help him put on some weight.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Whole Eggs, Bacon, non CAFO meats, lots of green veggies, Sweet potatoes, reg potatoes, basmati rice. No more MSG canned crap, no more boxed cereals, no more pop, buy Organic whole dairy (at least). No more soy products.

I think with all the anti-nutrients associated with legumes and grains it might be a good idea to cut them out?

So basically I need some good recommendations to get an 11 year old to gain weight, high calories, good calories. I know that it may just be a phase and that he may eventually be 6'4", but Im particularly worried because he will soon be hitting puberty (unless that is delayed also)

Thanks in advance.



on March 28, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Check out this story on MDA: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/my-son-is-growing/#axzz1qRbQwT7q My son is small too and I'm trying to get him more Paleo, it is hard for kids used to eating whatever crap is handy.



on March 28, 2012
at 05:52 PM

yes! Sorry....



on March 28, 2012
at 04:47 PM

"seems to not have stopped growing"? do you mean he seems to have stopped growing?

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2 Answers


on March 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Thyroid problems aren't the only reason children don't grow. They can have an HCG deficiency and any number of genetic conditions that cause small stature. I agree the diet sounds like crap, but he should be tested for more than just thyroid condition. If it's his weight and not stature that's abnormal and he has hyperthyoidism, there would be more symptoms than just being skinny. If there is a genuine medical problem, there can be long term effects on his health that need to be addressed. And be SURE his blood glucose is being monitored, Type I diabetes used to be called the "wasting disease." I have a son who is Type I and no amount of food was going to put weight on that boy until the diabetes was treated. Have a number of friends who had their kids diagnosed diabetic around age 11. Look for excessive thirst and urination, nausea and vomiting, exhaustion, and inability to put weight on. His muscles will look wasted too in more advanced stages. My son's doctor missed this all together, fortunately I caught it in time.

Conditions that should be checked. Chronic diseases such as congenital heart disease, kidney diseases, asthma, sickle cell anemia (not only black people get this), thalassemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), celiac disease, Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and genetic conditions Other things to consider: Family history: Are there small people in his family? We're not all Masai tribesmen. Growth rate: Has his rate of growth and weight gain been consistent (the pediatrician should have his growth chart). And is he within a normal range (which is pretty broad) for his age. Could just be idiopathic short stature, not caused by hormone imbalance. Puberty: He may start growing more at puberty. When I taught high school biology, I'd see the dinkiest freshman boys enter at the beginning of the year who caught up in their growth within a year or two of going through puberty. It's just "constitutional growth delay."

Hope any of this information is helpful, I know this can be scary to parents.


on March 28, 2012
at 08:10 PM

growth hormone is what causes children to grow--nutrition is a factor, and yes it's important, but I believe it is a largely fruitless to use food in the hopes of causing him to grow--even raw vegan kids do actually grow (not with the greatest health but that's another issue.) Now, if you want to inculcate healthier eating habits, that's great, and when he's older and perhaps wanting to hit the gym to build muscle and fill out, he'll remember his cheap friends potato, egg and canned fish.

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