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question about feeding 2 year old
eliguns841984 posted:
My DH and I have both struggled with severe obesity for some time...DH since he was a child, and me since puberty. DH's entire family on both sides is severely obese, and my dad's side of my family has a mild problem with obesity as well. As adults, DH and I now live busy lifestyles, exercise regularly, and eat well. I am now 125lbs and 5'3", and DH is heavier (maybe 265lbs and 6'2") but a bulky, muscular build...not fat.

So naturally when we started to have children we swore they would never face the challenges we did as far as being overweight. We are very careful to teach him about "sometimes foods" such as french fries, "foods that give you big muscles" such as broccoli and lean proteins, and "fill you up foods" such as pasta and bread. He understands these concepts pretty well and at age 2 he will eat a great variety of foods, and he prefers fruits and vegetables to sweets and junk. My concern is that DS is a BEANPOLE! He is in a high percentile for height, but right at about 50th percentile for weight. His pedi didn't act worried about his weight, but did note that he could stand to gain a bit and suggested we continue to give him whole milk. We have started to incorporate more red meats into our meals, but we really like to stick to lean proteins and vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions...including the expert on the board...of ways we can help our son gain a bit of weight while maintaining a healthy perspective on food and nutrition. I have read and talked to parents of kids who needed to gain weight, and they have been told to let the kids dip their foods in ranch dressing, drink shakes, add cheese to everything, and basically pump them with junk. I'm just not comfortable with that idea and don't want my child insisting on having ranch to dip his food in because that's what he had for a period of time while he was needing to gain weight. I'd love any insight!
Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
Congratulations on having a healthy lifestyle and weight. That is a huge accomplishment. Love your profile photo, beautiful!

I'll check in with our expert to see if he can address your question. I'm pretty sure shakes and ranch dressing are not going to be his answer.

For clarification, what is your specific concern? Did your pediatrician identify any health issues from being underweight at 2?

eliguns841984 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you!!!

My specific concern is just finding a healthy way to help my son gain a bit of needed weight. His doctor does not feel that he is UNDERWEIGHT and has not said there are any health issues going on, but has stated that he is slightly out of proportion as far as weight to height. He is healthy and normal otherwise, just skinny!
eliguns841984 replied to eliguns841984's response:
sorry, to further what I'm looking for...

I'm concerned that our focus on healthy foods has led our son to be a scrawny kid I guess. I know it sounds silly, but we have fought with EVERYONE around us since he was old enough to start on purees about his food intake. We do allow junk and sweets from time to time of course, but people didn't understand why we wouldn't let them feed him all kinds of crap at restaurants and stuff. Now that he's getting older and he's a skinny kid, I'm worried that maybe I've gone too far with healthy eating, if that's even possible. Let me also add, that we have not EVER counted his calories or deprived him of food when he is hungry....there's no weird stuff going on here. Just plain old healthy foods and snacks!
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to eliguns841984's response:
Thanks for the clarification. I'll see if our expert can weigh in!

I was fascinated by how many people offered unsolicited opinions about what to feed my kids from the minute they started solids! I'm proud of all the fruits and veggies and whole grains my 2 and 6 year old daughters enjoy. The Mother-In-Law (and others) have made snide comments or blatently offered food I would never feed my kids them at family events. My husband and I are baffled by this behavior - we both come from families filled with heart disease. "Keep your eyes on your own paper!" is what I want to say

Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to eliguns841984's response:
I just read your comment "there's no weird stuff going on here. Just plain old healthy foods and snacks" to my husband and we both laughed. It seems that "plain old healthy" is weird to some people! I hope this site can help change that!!!

eliguns841984 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
LOL well I was beginning to realize that my posts kind of sound like I'm obsessed with my toddler's weight or that I might be a psycho mom that makes him diet because I want him to fit a certain image. I just wanted to clear that up before anyone could wonder LOL.
jhilton1 replied to eliguns841984's response:
my husband and I try to feed our kids healthy food and we never take them out for fast food. Their other parents do, waaayyyy too much, and I feel bad like we have to be the parents that arent fun, but to us, it is keeping our children healthy and teaching them about nutrition so they wont be obese adults. I think that society thinks that kids should be kids and get to enjoy and eat fun foods, whatever they want. Well, thats why we have so may obese kids! I wouldnt worry too much about your son unless your doctor starts to think he is unhealthy and underweight. My son is actually in the 51st percentile, but it is because he is soooo tall, and he has just always been a thin kid, and thats ok, that is who he is. But he isnt unhealthy. (he is 12 now)
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to jhilton1's response:
jhilton1 - you nailed it! Not letting kids eat whatever they want is seen as "mean" by some!

And eliguns - you don't sound obsessed or psycho! You sound like a concerned mom. Now if you were talking about wanted your son to be thin for swimsuit shopping, I would worry

nursingbug responded:
I agree with how you are feeding him, I think you are doing great! I don't agree with the idea of allowing a lot of cheese and ranch dip etc. If they get used to it, they are going to expect it for the rest of their life. I wouldn't worry about his weight unless the pedi is very concerned. As long as he is developmentally on track, he is probably fine. I think as parents we want to see our kids in a good place on the charts, but that really isn't the most important thing- what is important is that they are healthy! and maybe where he needs to be is exactly where he is! I also have been struggling with my daughters weight- but at the other end of the scale... I have been trying to just feed her the best I can and let the scale be- it is not the only way to measure health. But of course I will defer to Dr Tiongson....
Christopher Tiongson, MD replied to nursingbug's response:
If your child's BMI percentile is in the healthy zone, then congratulations! It sounds like your child is at maybe the ~90%ile height and a 50% weight, so that might be around the 25%ile for BMI. If the trend is good, then your child's growth is tracking along a healthy path.

Children who have 2 parents with weight issues are at higher risk of obesity that is 13 times higher than the baseline, so you are doing a great job.

Just like I would counsel parents with a child at the 75 or 80th%iles not to worry, likewise feel good about your child being at the 20-25%ile.
eliguns841984 replied to Christopher Tiongson, MD's response:
thank you for your encouragement and advice. I really appreciate it, and I will just try not to worry about it! I guess it's just odd to me that he's so lanky when nobody in our families is built that way-but hey, I suppose that's just who he is!

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