Am I Making My Kid Fat?

October 25, 2013

cheeseburger_happyMy sweet 7 year old boy is exceptionally tall, as in head and shoulders above others his own age. Until recently, that meant huge challenges in the pants department as not only was he tall, but very thin as well. Until recently….

…..Sometime during the summer he had a growth spurt, and not of the vertical variety. More like of the stomach pudge, double chin, big booty variety. Seriously, the kid has booty! But when I look back, we had an active summer, lots of outside camps and activities, lots of playing and beaching and camping. It’s not like he was sitting prone on the couch all summer munching on bons bons, so what gives?

I feel guilty – like I have failed him. I have indulged his picky eating ways from a very young age and catered to his “very few food group” diet. So now, he is basically a carbaholic with the occasional plain hamburger and chicken and maybe some fruit if its not to brown or mushy kind of guy.

And I worry…is this just the begininng? Have I set him up for a life of weight challenges or is he just 7 and prepping for another massive vertical growth spurt? Am I projecting my own weight neuroses onto him? I hope not, as I certainly don’t want him to ever feel ashamed of who he is.

So, I am doing my best, trying to feed him healthily and with enough volume to satisfy a rapidly growing boy and hope that I don’t make the same mistakes with sweet little boy #2.

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  • Reply Lisa C October 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    This sounds just like my youngest sister. Super tall & skinny, mom sewed her pants because she couldn’t find a good fit in the store. At 7 or 8 years old she got pudgy–still tall with skinny wrists & ankles but a chubby belly & face. Within a few years she slimmed out again & has been a healthy body weight since. (She’s now 32) 🙂

    • Reply Christine October 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks for the comment Lisa…makes me feel a bit better. My mama brain was going a million miles an hour thinking thyroid problems, other issues? 🙂

  • Reply Erika E November 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I’m going through something similar right now with my son. He used to be so skinny I was always encouraging him to eat anything just to put on a few pounds. Now he has a few to many pounds and I’m trying to figure out how to help him lose them.

    • Reply Christine November 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Well, I am glad that I am not alone and maybe this is just a part of their natural growth cycle..out then up? 🙂

    • Reply Christine November 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      It’s so frustrating no? But hoping this is just nature and it will all balance out at some point?! 🙂

  • Reply Christine November 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Lisa:

    I too have a very picky eater and my husband and I struggle to feed both our girls. We are eating, pasta, pizza, chicken fingers (homemade…but nonetheless chicken fingers)…etc. I was so desparate to get my oldest to eat after a terrible 5 day hospital ordeal at the age of 4 where she didn’t eat for 5 days…(no food or even water). Both my girls are skinny and although I am lucky that they eat fruit and veggies, they love cheese and bread. My oldest could live off of that. They both are typical mac ‘n cheese, burgers kind of kids. Forget the stirfries and roasts. They only started eating salmon after my struggling to get them to eat it for 7 years!

    I hope it all balances out and that their tastes will change. All to say, I feel your guilt and pain.

    Best of luck. I hope it all balances out.


  • Reply Kristen Yarker November 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I’m a dietitian who’s worked with families with picky eaters for 5 years.
    Normal, healthy growth patterns certainly can follow an out then up pattern. On the other hand, studies have shown that picky eating can be associated with increased risk for obesity.
    Many kids go through a picky eating stage as toddlers and/ or preschoolers. There are strategies that parents can use to help kids build confidence with food and choose to try new foods on their own.
    While my workshops and most other services are for families with younger kids (toddlers and preschoolers), I also work individually, in-home with families with school-aged kids in both the Lower Mainland and Victoria/ South Island.
    I’d be happy to offer my help to your family. Contact me if you’re interested:

    • Reply Christine November 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks for your comments Kristen – as DS7 gets older some things get harder, but he is more willing to at least try new things now.

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