The Malnourished Boy England 2015


How do we go from feeding our children well in infancy, to feeding them rubbish as older children?

I saw a 10-year-old boy today who was very small for his age and looked quite malnourished. He had also been diagnosed with ADHD. His Mum told me his history. He had seen the Pediatrician and the dietitian and great efforts had been made to help him put on weight. For various reasons, he had to go to school early in the morning, and he had all his meals at school.

2 problems emerged from our conversation:

1. The dietitian was trying to help him put on weight by suggesting his mum fed him junk food such as biscuits. Mum rightly thought this was not a great idea. Not everyone gains weight with junk food and biscuits are not great food for brain or body development.

2. His 3 school meals sounded as if they would be deficient in protein and fat, so much so that I am planning a meeting with the head teacher. His mum told me that breakfast would consist of a breakfast bar or toast, cereal or porridge. An evening meal would be a hot dog, sandwiches or toasted sandwiches. Children need protein and fat food to grow, and to concentrate- meat, fish, eggs, and cheese would be a start.

I have arranged blood tests for iron studies, B12 and folic acid and full blood count as I feel he may well be deficient and this will also adversely affect his behavior.


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Dr J R McCormack 2019