Monday, May 5, 2014

Orphan Nutrition

When we first decided to adopt from Poland, we did not know what "kinds of orphans" Poland had (foster care or orphanage setting, lots of malnourished children, street children, all of the above, etc...). Our daughter was in a foster care setting for most of her life and she was the only foster child. I naturally assumed she was well taken care of, properly fed, dressed and nurtured. Boy, was I surprised when we first met her. With our first encounter I really thought she was 4 or 5 years old- not a 7 year old. I didn't even recognize her from the referral pictures. Malnutrition was not on my radar when we went to Poland. When we came home from Poland, I immediately went to the pediatric office to get free Pediasure samples (that stuff is EXPENSIVE in the stores, even with a coupon, so put it on your adoption registry just in case). We pumped up her calorie intake to a healthy level. And since she has been with us, she has gained at least 20 lbs.

Earlier today, I came across this really great website about orphan nutrition. It has all kinds of tips like how to bump up your child's calorie intake (safely), malnutrition facts and how it affects our bodies, and feeding practices for your adopted child.

Of course, I'm going to put a disclaimer in here: consult your pediatrician first if you think your child is malnourished. I'm sure you have already had your first visit with the pediatrician, since being home with your child because you are an awesome parent, and talked all about it with him or her already.

Here is the website: http://www.orphannutrition.org/

I really like the list of food ideas to boost your child's calorie intake. It's a great way to sneak the calories in-even for picky eaters, so you don't have to buy that expensive Pediasure. Click here for the pdf.


What are your thoughts? Do you have a helpful website for orphan malnutrition? How about any good resources to recommend to other families?

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