Of my five children, two of them have weighed in the 95th percentile up until about age 2. Interestingly, my oldest, who was exclusively breastfed, was the smallest at birth of any of my children and the fattest as a baby. The girl had triple rolls on her thighs! But eventually, like most normal children, she grew out of it and now she weighs just the right amount for her height and age.
I had never given baby fat a second thought until I recently had a conversation with a mother in the park. She mentioned that she put her children on a diet to counter act the effects of their pudginess.
A diet for a baby? I have never heard of such a thing before. Of course, everyone has heard about how childhood obesity is on the rise. But golly gosh, kids need fruits and vegetables, whole grains, carbohydrates, fats and calories to grow! What my kids don’t need is sugar and fat from processed foods. However, if I’m feeding them generally balanced nutritional meals, and good healthy snacks even a bowl of ice cream is acceptable occasionally. I refuse to worry about my pudgy infants!
Nonetheless, childhood obesity is on the rise and so here are a few warning signs to watch out for while your child is an infant:
*Parental obesity is a greater indicator in childhood obesity more than the rolls on an infant’s leg
This is likely due to lifestyle issues. If the parent is obese, generally it is because of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Believe it or not, babies can learn things about eating, even at that early age.
*A sustained growth spurt, where a child is growing more rapidly in weight than in height before the age of 4, is cause for some concern.
In general, you will find that your baby during the first few years grows in spurts both in height and in weight. A growth spurt is not cause for concern. However, if your child consistently gains more in circumference, rather than in height, you may want to be concerned. Parents should also be on the look out to see if a child’s weight seems to interfere with developmental milestones such as walking. Regardless, before you change your baby’s diet you should always consult your pediatrician.
5 Things You Can Do During Infancy to Combat Childhood Obesity