Saturday, January 01, 2011

Overweight Infants

The path to obesity begins even before babies transition to a solid diet, a new study says.

STUDIES show that almost one-third of 9-month-olds are obese or overweight, as are 34 percent of 2-year-olds. 

You know, I have wondered about this for a long time. I see some of these really chunky babies that have tons of rolls and I wonder, "Am I underfeeding my child?"  Every time I take my babies to the doctor they are always in the perfect range so I don't get it.  Finally, this last time, I asked my doctor how my child is in the perfect range, yet I'm seeing all these roly poly babies.  He replied, "What makes you think they are healthy?"  Hmmmm....

There have been times in church nursery where parents instructed me to force feed there babies whether or not they were hungry.  I've always learned that hungry babies will eat.  These babies were trying to turn away their faces from the spoon of over abundance.  I would even look at the amount given to me to give the baby thinking "I don't think she can eat all that".  Finally, I decided that no matter the instructions, If I'm told baby was already fed before service and she/he turns away from even more of a feeding, not to force feed them.  These were usually the really chunky babies like this article talks about. 

Why is it that when kids are young, they are force fed more food than they need?  When we are little we are given ice cream or treats for boo boos.  Then told to eat lots because we are growing (well, nutrition is important!) yet when we are older, we have to suddenly stop all those habits and learn to eat less!  I can see why it's so hard to reprogram ourselves after years of being told to eat everything on our plate and more.  When we've had a bad day at work or with the kids, it feels good to grab the tub of ice cream.  Instead I've learn to eat more quality food rather than quantity.  Learning how to eat nutritionally rather than eating whatever fills our tummy for that moment.  Of course I encourage my kids to eat during mealtimes and snack times because they are growing.  But I also know that food can be used to keep little ones quiet and happy.  Have you seen the toddlers walking around with bottles of Apple juice all day?

I've had to learn the hard way how to push food away at the table and just be happy with my portion size.  My mom was really good about not stuffing our faces thank goodness.  LOL.  She knew that if we were hungry we would eat so I know this has helped me.

P.S. This is not to say that chubby babies aren't super cute. Tee hee....  All babies are cute and cuddly (and squishy).
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