Wed, 09 Jul 2003

Eating out can stimulate kids' appetite

Dear Dr. Donya, I have a 15-month-old son born with the weight of 3.7 kg. Since he was 4 months I have given him solid food with the texture according to his growth. But since then he can only eat a little bit of his food, and sometimes when he chews he will choke and looks as though he will vomit (but he doesn't).

Right now he has eight teeth with four of them just starting to grow. So, since he can only eat a little, I have to mash his food and mix it with his milk and give it to him in the bottle. Otherwise, he barely eats any solid food.

Actually since he was born, he has grown healthily and he is such an active, happy and cheerful boy. He started to walk when he was 10 months and he learns to do things fast.

My concern, for the past three months, is that his weight has remained the same. When he was one year, he was 11.1 kg, then when he was 13 months he was 11.4 kg. But that time he got diarrhea and lost 0.5 kg. Now he is 15 months and he weighs 11.1 kg. When he recovered from his diarrhea, his eating pattern returned to that of before.

I know his weight is still normal for his age, but it is the same weight as when he was one-year old. He has not put on weight for the past three months, and has only gained back 0.2 kg since he lost weight two months ago.

I try to give him more food in many ways, but even though he likes the food, he eats only about one tablespoon in each feeding because he can only take a bit at a time.

* Should I be worried about his current weight that has not increased for the past three months?

* How do I train him to eat better? No matter how little the intake, I always let him eat by himself and feed him at the same time.

* Will his eating skill improve as he has more teeth?

* Should I give him vitamins? So far he never takes any.

Thanks for your help.

Warm regards


Dear Yun,

As you mention, your baby rarely eats solid food. How about other foods? Milk, fruit, snacks, or sweets?

I am concerned about his growth. He has teeth yet he is still eating food that is mashed or given with milk. I don't think it is sufficient.

You said you try to give him more food in many ways. Can you give me more detail?

Kids this age like friends and to be social so he mostly eats better when there are other little ones around, a change of environment or eating out.

How much milk a day do you give him? Some children just go without other food.

Can you give me a two-day eating pattern and food list then we can discuss it further.

--Dr. Donya

Dear Dr. Donya, I heard about your health page in The Jakarta Post a few days ago. I have questions about vertigo. I have had vertigo for a long time and have been examined by several neurologists in one of the famous medical centers in Jakarta, but I haven't felt any better at all. It even gets worse and I feel terrible. Please advise me what to do?

Thank you.

-- Delty

Dear Delty,

Vertigo is sometimes difficult to cure. You sound serious with the vertigo and I don't understand why no doctors have given you the treatment you need. I recommend that you also check with ear specialists. Maybe they can help you.