1

votes

15-YO Daughter not getting enough calories - where should we add it in?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Our 15-year-old daughter is a competitive swimmer and practicing 2 hours x twice a day in addition to a couple crossfit workouts per week. Our fairly strict paleo meals are not enough for her - she has dropped some pounds rapidly this month and it's effecting her performance. Where and how is the safest paleo way to add to her daily calories without adding a lot of dairy (only raw milk right now), whey protein, white potatoes, peanut butter, sugar that the swim coach has suggested?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 21, 2012
at 06:00 AM

You make VERY good points Gydle and I agree.

10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:13 PM

If she's looking for a quick performance boost she'll benefit greatly from some MCT oil before her swim. It's a pure fat derived from coconut oil that burns like a pure carbohydrate (aka she'll feel it right away). You'll find it at most stores that sell vitamines. It's a safe way to boost energy and on down days can be a great source of fat (120 cals/tablespoon)

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:44 AM

I'm 100% with crowlover. She needs to learn to make healthy food choices based on how she feels/performs, not based on what you think is kosher. Potatoes are not evil. neither is dairy (particularly cheese) if she's not lactose intolerant.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:25 AM

I don't understand what you mean by this

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:00 PM

Fat has a lot of calories so it's the easiest way. 3 tablespoons of cooking fat, like beef tallow, can easily add 300 calories, after 3 meals that would be about 900 calories. This is what I do because I need to eat more calories, like your daughter. It works very well.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Pure fat. Say she eats 3 scrambled eggs for breakfast, cook them in 3 or more tablespoons of bacon grease or your animal fat of choice, and she will get plenty of easy calories. When you cook, add more fat than you think the pan needs, then tripple that amount :-$ Most people cook with way too little fat. Don-t be scared of it. It makes dishes dedlicious and healthy. Just don't cook with vegetable oils, including olive oil, because that makes food greasy and discusting. When adding fat to diet use fats high in saturated fat and cholesterol, specially since she's a gowing teenager.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:45 PM

and Im concerned too that the the question asked is related to the teens PERFORMANCE rather than her health in general and her growth. I am NOT saying these parents are not concerned about her health, Im certain they are but a teen not getting calories is the main concern is my mind not her competitive performance. Yikes.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:21 PM

@SK- I think Crowlover means that her parents obsession with food/health may be detrimental to their daughter. "our strict paleo meals" seems to imply that it is the parents' idea, and "safest paleo way" to add calories screams fear of food, which can certainly be confusing for child in their formative years.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:15 PM

I didn't say or assume that calories are being restricted. Im saying its a very fine line when adults attempt to control and monitor what a teenage girl (and child or teenager) eats. And I think you have to have a fair amount of constant vigilance to have kids on a strict paleo diet and I see a lot of obsessing on this site. Me included. But I would never attempt to control my teenagers diets. Teach yes. Refuse to buy certain things with my money - Yes... As a parent and child therapist I can assure you that this is a fine line.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:01 PM

It's important not to speculate. The OP said meals "weren't enough" for her, and didn't say that calories were being consciously restricted by them or her. I take that to mean that she's eating to appetite but not eating enough to maintain weight. I don't think her parents concern over her weight loss is "obsessing".

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:36 PM

uhmmm because she is a teenage girl with a slew of people obsessing on her weight and what she is eating? Its important to consider that we are discussing a teenage girl - NOT a child, NOT an adult. Teenagers seek autonomy from their parents. That is their job.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Does your daughter want to be on a "strict" Paleo diet? Im just curious about that? Fifteen year olds should be able to eat what they want. I developed an eating disorder at that age from my mothers' food obsessions and compulsions and my father's exercise compulsions. It doesn't take much. Im sure you have thought of this but just in case you have not.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Bone marrow! Mmmmmmmmmmm

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Cashews are seeds, so you're right technically. (A lot of people think they are legumes. This is incorrect.) Functionally they are classed with nuts. Cashews are higher in monounsaturated fats and lower in PUFAs than most seeds and nuts. Definitely not perfect, but not that bad.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Cashews are seeds. (A lot of people think they are legumes. This is incorrect. They are related to mangos.) Functionally they are classed with nuts.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:22 PM

^ I second this. If you want your daughter to be able to hold her own in the pool against her competitors, she's going to need more glucose than you're allowing her. Fruit, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and/or dextrose powder post workout are all great options to consider. Also, it is interesting that she is losing weight because swimming stimulates the appetite and also coaches usually have females do additional land-based cardio to help lean them out

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:13 PM

With that much exercise, why *not* include some potatoes?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Cashews aren't nuts btw. But almonds are great and macadamias are even better. Fruit is good. Sweet potatoes, lard, bone marrow, avocado, steak.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Of course, if she isn't getting enough protein, feed her more meat.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 19, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I second all of these recommendations with exception to the nuts. I vote coconut oil & butter for fat in lieu of those.

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9 Answers

best answer

7
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Nuts - macadamia has the best fatty acid profile, but cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans are reasonably good. Nut butters of the above.

Avocados - who doesn't like guacamole?

Sweet potatoes with butter! ummmmmmm

Fruit, even some dried fruit if necessary

Homemade Larabars - mix up some ground dates and nuts. Add cocoa nibs, coconut, coconut butter, etc of you choice. Shape into balls or bars and keep in freezer.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 19, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I second all of these recommendations with exception to the nuts. I vote coconut oil & butter for fat in lieu of those.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Cashews are seeds. (A lot of people think they are legumes. This is incorrect. They are related to mangos.) Functionally they are classed with nuts.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Cashews are seeds, so you're right technically. (A lot of people think they are legumes. This is incorrect.) Functionally they are classed with nuts. Cashews are higher in monounsaturated fats and lower in PUFAs than most seeds and nuts. Definitely not perfect, but not that bad.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Cashews aren't nuts btw. But almonds are great and macadamias are even better. Fruit is good. Sweet potatoes, lard, bone marrow, avocado, steak.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Bone marrow! Mmmmmmmmmmm

best answer

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Is she getting enough protein? Drop the crossfit, she's doing too much- she can do that when she isn't training so hard for swimming. I'd actually not recommend coconut oil, because that has a reputation for encouraging weight loss, and she doesn't need that. Add butter or ghee to everything. Eat more fruit, sweet potato, etc... She also needs to be sleeping properly.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Of course, if she isn't getting enough protein, feed her more meat.

best answer

1
45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Smoothies are an excellent way to add calories. Make with coconut oil, avocado, etc..

Here's one that has 840 calories: http://freetheanimal.com/2011/08/liquid-fat-bomb-smoothie-the-ultimate-energy-drink-that-will-blow-your-mind.html

best answer

7
C326acd0ae246a39c5685f2ba72e3136

on June 19, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Two words. Fruit and starch.

4
6eabd3bb8b79c00ca28477ffac4210e8

on June 19, 2012
at 11:58 PM

Thank you Everyone for your answers. The swim coach brought it up yesterday and we are searching for a healthy way to fix this. She swims and crossfits because it's summer (she has some time on her hands) and because it's what she loves to do - she reads and watches tv, too! We eat "paleo" foods because we feel they are healthy - boxes of cereal, waffles, potato chips don't exist in our house because we believe processed foods are not a good choice for anyone, regardless of their age. She is in no way restricted in her calories - fruit, protein, sweet potatoes, butter... we want her to be STRONG and healthy - and she looks healthy or we would have noticed before the coach said anything... again, thanks for your answers.

2
6690459d4e256da82d910376ac6c34fc

(323)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:10 AM

The easiest way to get calories in is with fat, around 9cals per gram (I think). I put coconut milk in everything; if I make a steak then add some to the remaining fat to make your own peppercorn sauce.

I'd also suggest backing off the training a bit (maybe a week), could be some over training suppressing appetite.

At 15 kids are invincible, and there's more social aspect to sport (swimming & x-fit) than sitting at home on the Xbox chatting to perverts.

2
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:38 AM

OKay I'm probably overreaching here but this question raises all kinds of red flags for me. She's doing crossfit IN ADDITION to 2x swim workouts a week? at 15? Most 15-year-olds sit around painting their toenails and texting their friends, hanging out at the pool or babysitting in their summer "free time". Are you actually seeing her eat all those strict paleo meals? If she's eating AFH or out of sight it could be going in the trash, believe it or not. Does she eat heartily at meals? and hang out with you afterwards for a while? Or is she picky or has she recently developed "food intolerances"?

The combo of 15 year old female and excessive exercise and high achiever is a classic ED profile. I don't know your daughter obviously but I would caution you to not make the assumption that you know her as well as you think you do either. I was a perfect daughter who loved my parents and did everything right and my lunches found their way into the trash and I worked out like a demon "because it just feels so good and I am good at it!" - when the weight came off I certainly got a lot more attention - from peers, coaches, parents... maybe there's something else going on here. teenage girls can be very sneaky and confused creatures. Just saying. You're obviously very caring parents and I wish you all the best.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 21, 2012
at 06:00 AM

You make VERY good points Gydle and I agree.

1
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:38 PM

I'm going to suggest that overtraining has suppressed her appetite. I can't think of another reason that an otherwise healthy person wouldn't spontaneously increase food intake in response to exercise.

As "August" said, drop the Crossfit.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:45 PM

and Im concerned too that the the question asked is related to the teens PERFORMANCE rather than her health in general and her growth. I am NOT saying these parents are not concerned about her health, Im certain they are but a teen not getting calories is the main concern is my mind not her competitive performance. Yikes.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:15 PM

I didn't say or assume that calories are being restricted. Im saying its a very fine line when adults attempt to control and monitor what a teenage girl (and child or teenager) eats. And I think you have to have a fair amount of constant vigilance to have kids on a strict paleo diet and I see a lot of obsessing on this site. Me included. But I would never attempt to control my teenagers diets. Teach yes. Refuse to buy certain things with my money - Yes... As a parent and child therapist I can assure you that this is a fine line.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:01 PM

It's important not to speculate. The OP said meals "weren't enough" for her, and didn't say that calories were being consciously restricted by them or her. I take that to mean that she's eating to appetite but not eating enough to maintain weight. I don't think her parents concern over her weight loss is "obsessing".

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:21 PM

@SK- I think Crowlover means that her parents obsession with food/health may be detrimental to their daughter. "our strict paleo meals" seems to imply that it is the parents' idea, and "safest paleo way" to add calories screams fear of food, which can certainly be confusing for child in their formative years.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:36 PM

uhmmm because she is a teenage girl with a slew of people obsessing on her weight and what she is eating? Its important to consider that we are discussing a teenage girl - NOT a child, NOT an adult. Teenagers seek autonomy from their parents. That is their job.

0
44f0901d5b0e85d8b00315c892d00f8a

on June 19, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Chicken

Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein
Chicken thigh ??? 10 grams (for average size)
Drumstick ??? 11 grams
Wing ??? 6 grams
Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz ??? 35 grams 

Fish

Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ?? oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein

Pork

Pork chop, average - 22 grams protein
Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz ??? 29 grams
Ham, 3 oz serving ??? 19 grams
Ground pork, 1 oz raw ??? 5 grams; 3 oz cooked ??? 22 grams
Bacon, 1 slice ??? 3 grams

Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice ??? 5 ??? 6 grams

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:25 AM

I don't understand what you mean by this

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