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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 6 yr old with poor appetite and petite stature

 ltunes - Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:50 am

I have a 6 year old daughter who currently weighs 32 pounds and is 36 inches tall. Her growth and weight have always been slow. Her 2 1/2 year old sister has almost surpassed her. I am very concerned that she has something serious and that not addressing it will make it worse. Her appetite is very poor and limited. She never asks for food and when she does she is very finicky about what she eats. She refuses to eat any type of protein and her intake of vegetables is poor. She takes iron supplements and she compensates her diet with a great deal of dairy products. She has been seen by several doctors and they all reasure me that she is healthy but will remain petite. I am concerned with this diagnosis as no diagnostic tests were ever performed to make that assumption. To me she appears pale and is often sick but this doesn't seem to concern her pediatrician. Are there any tests that I could suggest that her doctor perform to rule out anything serious?

Much appreciated,
 yasser_hamed - Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:56 am

what about her blood tests, CBC, stool and urine analysis
yasser hamed M.D
 ltunes - Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:45 pm

Thank you for your quick response. I will suggest those tests to her pediatrician however, when I have suggested testing in the past, she felt it was not necessary to subject her to needles because she was confident that she is healthy. I continue to be concerned about it because she is so tiny.

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:59 pm

Dear Laura,
What about her growth percentiles, where does she lie on the curves?
Have you and her father been measured and weighed to know her target height? If not, please discuss this with your doctor.
Also, I agree a simple stool and urinalysis would do no harm.
 ltunes - Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:05 pm

As an infant to 6 months she was in the 50 percentile range. After that she fell to the 10 percentile until age 18months. Beyond 18 mths she has consistently been at the 3 percentile. I myself am short, 4 feet and 11 inches. Her father is 5 feet, 11 inches. This is one of the reasons why the various doctors have not taken my concerns seriously. They take one look at me and assume that she is taking after me and then discount the possibility that her stunted growth could be from other factors. Based on the heights I provided, should she be taller?

 ltunes - Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:08 pm

Oh, one other thing. Is there anything out there to increase appetite? She never says that she is hungry and mealtimes are often a stuggle. If there a vitamin on the market that can increase appetite in children?

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:03 pm

Dearest Laura,
Your daughter's fall from the 50th to the 10th and then the 3rd percentiles is serious, and means that there has been a very long standing problem. If she was naturally short and lean, she would maintain the same percentiles.
Kindly discuss this with her doctor.
As regards the calculated target or expected height, there is a dataset software available that calculates that. It differs from country to country, and also depends on ethnic background. Ask that it be done for your daughter.
 bio - Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:46 pm


This is an old topic, but I found it while searching on Google. My son's situation is very similar to Laura's daughter's. He is 6, has poor appetite, he weighs 32 pounds and is about 40 inches tall. His bones are so frail that his limbs look like sticks. The difference with Laura is that he has always been barely in the 3rd percentile of the growth chart. His weight at birth was 4 pounds and 10 ounces. I am very worried about the situation and always have. More recently, I have seen an endocrinologist at the Montreal Children's Hospital and they tested the production of growth hormone by his pituitary gland and everything seems normal. What is wrong with my son's growth ?

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:04 am

Your child is absolutely normal. It is usual for children who suffered intrauterine growth retardation (a condition in which children weigh less than 5 lb at full term ) continue to show growth failure as children. so long as he hasn't fallen beneath the third percentile, then this is his normal growth pattern.
 ptovta - Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:30 am


I am a mother of 5 and in my experience kids need to get, of course check ups from their doctors, a little exercise, fresh air and a little bit of sun once in a while. But the most essential piece of the puzzle for me has been to give my kids natural vitamins and soy shakes (from a company that has been in the market for at least 50 years) this will help repair their fraile bodies. Kids need to be hidrated, preferably with filtered water and go to the bathroom (#2) the very least once a day, this I have noticed is crucial to their well being. Topped with "Lots of Love and Patience". These have been keypoints to my kids good health.

p.s. Always listen to your heart, mothers and kids have a connection nobody can explain.
 Shana Johnson, CNA - Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:26 am

User avatar What about giving the child Pediasure? Like ensure for adults, it helps get the proper nutrition to poor eaters.
 ptovta - Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:19 pm

Dear Nurse:

I have had a great experience with ( products my mother gave them to me and I give them to my children. These products give you the purest form of nutrients so in a way it helps your body heal at the same time.

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