Natural Cures for Underweight Children - Ted's Q&A

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Posted by Sheryl on 07/03/2007

Dear Ted, Thank you for being an active member on the So far I haven't seen any info about underweight kids. My son is 3 years old and he's been underweight since a year old..he has a low appetite and slow digestion. i can instantly tell that he has an upset stomach if he gets hiccups after eating some outside food...he rarely eats outside though... If catches common cold, he cannot get rid of it easily.I never give him antibiotics because at age 11 months, his body was resistant to most of antibiotics and had to hospitalized for diarrhea and vomiting.. He's irritable most times..and crying too..even when he's playing ....say legos and the tower of blocks collapses ...he gets very upset and starts kicking his legs and crying or yells you naughty boy... He eats most vegetables and fruits but in small quantities..i have tried homeopathy but the effect is only temporary..i have spent lots of money buying goji juice and glyconutrients..had to stop because i cannot afford it anymore.. need some economical solution .... i give him tulsi (holy basil) leaves intermittently....we are from India and beleive in holy basil.. He has no sickness and no allergies.. But I am sure he needs something for his appetite and irritable nature...he doesn't sleep much either.. Let me know if you have any more questions, to evaluate his condition. I am waiting to hear from you. Thank you

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
383 posts

Sheryl: This is a fairly common problem, and usually 1/2 a lime (approx 4 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime) with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/4 glass of water is taken twice a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime. A drinking water with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 liter of water and a twice or three times a week vitamin B complex (its usually called B50, where most B's are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8 are 50 mg, except for folic acid is 50 mcg and B12 50 mcg) should resolve the problems in a matter of 2-3 weeks. The issue whenever the body is in a mild state of acidosis, or autotoxication, the body rejects everything. Sodium ascorbate vitamin C is helpful if taken only 2-3 times a week. This also happens whenever vitamin B complex are lacking. Holy basil is fine, but some chinese parsley (taken only twice a week should remove the heavy metals, which in my experience is one of the cause of antibiotic resistant as well as the body lowered immune system. To increase some immune system, perhaps just once twice a month dose of zinc gluconate 25-50 mg should do it. Magnesium is fairly important as it is synergistic with both vitamin B complex, and aids the body in detoxification. The appetite is expected to increase on the second or third week if the remedy is taken. Glyconutrients are extremely expensive where a suitable replacement of kelp supplement will usually have most of glyconutrient without the expensive price.

Replied by Sheryl

Dear Ted, My son is doing well..i have started giving him lemon and baking soda regularly every night. I also give him Chinese parsely. I have been using it liberally in our food ...being Indians we love the flavor. However I didn't know its use. He also takes b50 complex twice a week. Just wanted to update you and say thanks for your remedies. I have spent hundreds of dollars in tonics and supplements without knowing the remedy is so simple.

Replied by Jojo
Dagupan City, Philippines

i would like to ask if the dose is the recommendation (for weight gain) is the same for a 1 yr 9 mos old toddler? Thanks so much!

Replied by Patricia
Montreal, Quebec

Hi, I love earth clinic so much. I have a question relating to underweight kids. My daughter was very premature, 28 weeks, 500grams. She spent 3month in the NICU. She has hydrocephalus, no shunt, but has had MRIs to keep track of her condition. Other than that she has been very healthy, very happy, she is now 2 1/2 and talking tons, and is ahead of her age developmentally. She eats lots, is not picky, and does not have any known allergies. But she is sooo tiny, she is about 19 lbs at 2 1/2. I always say she just started small and she is staying small. But I am always looking for ways I can get some fat on her. Any advice would be really appreciated. I give her vit d, acidophulus, multi vit, and an immune combo vit everyday. Thank you so much everyone!

Replied by Anna
Pittsburgh, Pa

I've heard that stinging nettle might help. Its especially good for children with poor appetite! Just buy it in tea form and give to your child once or twice a day. Make sure to speak to a doctor first in case it might counteract with medication. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Replied by Merryanne
Orange City, Florida, Usa
120 posts

If it was my child I would be sure she gets at least one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil mixed in her food each and every day, (not at the night meal, it gives too much energy), a pro-biotic to help restore digestion, and if she likes to drink milk, I would try to get raw goat milk, it digest much better than cow milk, , , and get her off all unfermented soy, read all labels of all food processed, soy products will block absorption of a lot of the vitamins and minerals. I hope this helps, Merryanne in Central FL

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

My baby was also premature and was underweight for years, and then she just grew! Into a lovely young lady of average height! I never sweated about it and hope you won't.

Replied by Brooke
Montgomery, Tx, Usa

Since your child is only 3, if you have ANY questions about this, then ask your Dr.!! Get some bottles of Fletcher's Castoria, it is a mild laxative for children. Give it to him in a scant half teaspoon starting at 7am every thirty minutes until bedtime. That will get his stomach juices working properly. I use this on my children often, and they like the flavor - it tastes like Root Beer. I buy it in bulk also!! Then put flannel packs on his abdomen with an equal mixture of camphor oil, turpentine oil, and mutton suet. Melt the mutton first and then add the other two to it. Put a hot water bottle on top of that and leave it there for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Do that for 3 days straight. After this, get him on Castor oil packs, they are great for all ailments of the body. There is some information on EC about that and how to do it.

In his diet use those things that are easily assimilated. Instead of using cows' milk use dried milk. Give him more of the juices from the food for a while, it will be more easily digested in his body. Also I would start giving him Lime water and cinnamon water, not together but lime one day the next day cinnamon water, for 15 days do this. This will settle the stomach and hopefully cause his gastric flow to become more normal. I would keep him away from all nuts and nut oils, this might be why when he eats outside the home his stomach becomes upset.

My child had an allergy to peanuts and when we went to a restaurant I needed to ask them if they cook with peanut oil. Almonds MIGHT be OK - they have so many great vitamins in them. If you can get American saffron, which is the saffron that is not expensive, then take a tea cup with boiling water and add a pinch of the yellow saffron to that, let it steep and then strain it. Yellow saffron tea is very good for the digestion! Also some light massaging of his spine and his abdomen would be good, with olive oil. Olive oil is a food for the body. I use a steam shower and while my pores are open, I massage olive oil into my skin, that may help your son also. Good luck and I hope this helps you.

Replied by Preeti
Coppell, Tx Usa

Hi, my baby is now 13 months. She is underweight (17 Lb) I have tried so many things for improving her weight, almost everything, but doesn't work out. I am very much concerned about her weight, please help me out and suggest to me something that my baby can eat more and more and become pumpkin. Most of the time I cry because she is very beautiful but very skinny and tiny. Please help me I am still crying.

Replied by Ari
Atlanta, Ga.

Hi Preeti! Your baby may do well on Goat Milk! It does not have the problems that Cow milk may have for many people. It is very nutritious and should help your baby soon! It is said to be most similar to Human Breastmilk. It may come fresh at a supermarket or healthfood store in a can or powder to mix with water. Taste better than cow's milk too! Blessings to you!

Replied by Yoyo

Hi Preeti, Is there anything you are worried about aside from physical appearance? Is your child often sick? Are there behaviour problems? Is she in pain? Problems in her development?

Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much. I was a skinny kid myself until I got to my thirties. As a kid I lost count of how many diets and "treatments" I went on trying to gain weight. Some worked, all failed in the long run. It took decades for me to accept that my metabolism was a bit stronger than most people and this is just who I am. I finally got rid of all hang-ups and learned to love myself for who I am and not what other people think "healthy" should be.

Just thought I would say it, be careful. You might, with the best of all intentions, unknowingly plant some self-hatred seeds in your child while she is perfectly healthy and unique. However you should definitely seek advice if you suspect malnutrition, development problems, etc.

Replied by Jen
Bozeman, Mt, Us

Hi Preeti, I just wanted to give you my story to comfort you a little. I have 5 children. All were born big and healthy at 8 lbs 6 oz and up. They all were very tiny toddlers. My 4 girls were about 18 to 19 lbs at 3 yrs old. My son is only 4 now but he is also very small. Not even on the charts that the doctors use at this time. I tried not to worry because you can cause them to have eating disorders if you make food their adversery instead of letting them choose to eat when they want. I made sure to give them plenty of food that they might eat, available for each meal. They all had very different appetites. Two eat really well and alot and 3 are a little pickier yet they all were about the same size at each stage.

My oldest is 15 and she is now a very tall (5' 9") teenager who is at a perfect weight. She is very healthy in her food choices. My next daughter is 14 and is also very tall and healthy weight (she was one of the picky ones) she has chosen to be a vegetarian and still maintains great health with supplements and vitamins. My third is still small. She is only 10 but she has had digestive problems since she was a baby. We now give her enzymes and she is doing very well. My two little ones are still very small. My 6 year old is a huge eater. Sometimes she will eat like a teenage boy and she is still tiny. I think that it has alot to do with DNA and metabolism. Don't worry though. Children only need 1/4 of a peanut butter sandwich per day (Concerning calories) in order to survive. They can be given supplements and vitamins to help with nutrients if need be but they will grow at their own pace no matter what.

Replied by Oscar
Syracuse, New York, Usa

Dear Jen, There is a product named: Ensure whic is made to be an easily digested source of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and healthy type calories. That is what this product is designed for. Many doctors prescibe ensure for people with digestive problems. You can buy ensure at most drugstores, many supermarkets and all Walmart stores so it is not hard to obtain. You buy it in 6 packs for about 7 or 8 dollars. It is about as safe as it gets as a product. No presciption is required to buy it. A dear friend of mine recover from a state in wich she had great difficlty digesting just about everything else. She is fine now thanks to this stuff....Oscar

Replied by Ari
Atlanta, Ga

Hi Preeti: I personally would not give ensure to anyone much-less a Baby! Here is a partial list of what is in it from
The original Ensure supplement drink contains water, sugar, corn syrup, corn maltdextrin, milk protein concentrate, soy oil, soy protein concentrate, short-chain fructooligosaccarides, cocoa powder, canola oil and less than 0. 5 percent of corn oil

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia

I agree with Ari, Ensure should not be taken. All that soy product in it is enough to send me running.

You are better off having her drink green smoothies (including wheatgrass) as they contain all the vitamins and minerals. Stay away from processed foods as they are dead calories with no nutritional benefit. I would also give her a digestive enzyme and probiotics to ensure food is being properly digested not just "passing through".

Do you have access to raw milk products, or raw goats milk? They would also help her.

Replied by Obeybunny
Santa Ana, California, USA

Avocados and Ensure Drink (also called Pediasure Drink)

Try feeding your child Avocados and a chocolate flavored vitamin-protein drink called Ensure- there's one that is designed for maintaining weight. When my mom (who is now in her 60's) was an infant, she was what the doctors at that time called a "failure to thrive baby. " No matter what her parents fed her (home made baby formula, liver, peas, exc. ) she would not gain weight or get taller until her parents started feeding her Avocados mixed with mayonnaise. After that, she started to grow. Her cheeks regained color.

I had a similar problem to your 3 year old when I was a kid- I never ate much food. In fact, I think I could comfortably go 2 days without eating. My mom started making me drink Ensure every day which I could tolerate drinking because it never made me feel sickeningly full the way that more than one third of a cup of food did.

Oh, and one last thing. If your son catches a cold that doesn't go away within a month, get him checked out for hyperthyroidism (especially if his thyroid is as large as an adult mans') and iron deficiency. Other symptoms may be that his hair easily pulls out or that he chronically has hard stools.

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia

Obeybunny from memory Ensure has many terrible ingredients in it that I would not have anyone take. It has canola oil, soy, MSG and corn oil.... All terrible unhealthy things to take.

You are better off making green smoothies yourself... Lots of green vegetables, add carrots, maybe some apple or lemon juice to sweeten it a bit. Much more healthy and no additives that will damage your health.

I am very cautious of any processed "health" food .. most have additives you would not want in your body.

Replied by Tanja
Toronto, Ontario Canada

My question is if I could use Ted's remedies for underweight children (baking soda and lime B50 complex) for a 16 month old child. He eats very small amounts, I still breastfeed him, his iron is pretty low( 18). I've started giving him iron supplement and probiotics. Thank you.

Replied by Taileda

I have recently stumbled upon this website and love all of the information available. I do have a very challenging situation. I have a 5 yr old daughter who has Autism. She has always been underweight and is an extremely picky eater. I have tried to give her vitamins in her orange juice, Pediazure and she immediately picks up on the taste and will not drink it. Her pediatrician and feeding team has put her on Pediasure 3x's a day for weight and for her vitamin intake. What can I do to improve her weight as well as her appetite?

Replied by Nanowriter
Hotspot, Texas

Try giving her a selenium supplement. I use it for my skin cancer and my appetite always goes through the roof when I use it. You probably should get some professional help as to dosage because she's young and too much can lead to health problems.

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa

Dear Taileda,

I would keep searching for high calorie/high nutrient foods to try and hopefully you will find some things that she likes. Avacados would be great.

Mike from Denver often posts on this site with lots of information about high nutrient and healing foods. Take note and see what you might be able to fit into your daughter's diet.

I have a child that doesn't have the best appetite. I have been helping her through some health issues and am trying to maximize her nutrition. I have been making home made milk kefir smoothies for her and she actually has one for breakfast and looks forward to it daily. She used to not eat much breakfast. Here is the recipe. I make a big batch so others in the family can enjoy, and I freeze leftovers in small containers and she says they taste like ice cream. It makes a great snack. (We rarely eat ice cream, so maybe it really doesn't! :) )

1 quart whole milk kefir (I make mine with raw milk.)

2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

4 Tablespoons Sucanat (or other natural or raw sugar, honey etc.)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 t. celtic sea salt

2 organic bananas or 1/2 cup blueberries (you can do both)

I blend all of this up in the blender.

Rachel Weaver, in her book, Be Your Child's Pediatrician has some information about autism. She recommend Clay Baths and has found it to be very helpful for children with autism. If it improves overall health, it may improve appetite. It is something to look into.

Please let us know what you learn and what helps you!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mr. Ree

Have them drink 2 glass of Kefir a day...The kind that HAS the fat in it and NO fruit flavoring...Just plain...