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Monday, 29 September 2008


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pob sounds perfectly in proportion to me. the tricky bits come later, with healthy snacks for older kids, making sure she gets plenty of exercise, and not forcing her to clear a plate if she isn't hungry


Sam's only three months and people make the same rude comments to us regarding his size. Listen, babies cannot be fat! I feel like screaming that at the world sometimes.

I don't know how to steer a child through the terrors of self-image and the pre-teen/teenage years. But I have met both you and H. and you are both tall people. It stands to reason that Pob will also be tall and her body is gearing up for that. You're feeding her healthy food and she has good eating habits. It's wonderful that she doesn't reject food! I think that alone is a good indicator of future healthy eating habits; she won't be rejecting something healthy in the future just because it's not a processed carb that she loved to goo as a baby.

At the end of the day, I always remind myself of this. My SIL Beth is gorgeous and willowy and wispy. She's got thin, beautiful arms and legs. I will never have that. I'm 153 pounds over 5'10" which is perfectly healthy and actually quite thin BUT I will never have skinny arms. It's okay. It's not how I'm built. Pob might not ever be willowy. But oh goodness will she be beautiful.


We never fed the Mini Cheerios. We have organic alternatives, and we watch his sugar intake.

Chubby baby comments aside, this just might be her build. I don't have to tell you that they all come in different shapes and sizes. The Mini was always in the middle for weight, but everyone always says he's "solid," which unnerves me, he is what he is and our Pediatrician has never shown concern. One of the kids in his gymboree class over the summer was a month older than him and was built like a very large four year old. She was huge. Her mother and father were average sized and not overweight.

One day, when she's an active 4 year old, you'll wonder where her baby chub went. And you'll miss it.


The fact that her height and weight match makes sense. If she were 99th for weight and 39th for height then I might worry.


My 20 month old daughter has always been in the 95th percentile for height and weight. Her pediatrician said as long as she is in proportion not to worry. She is currently the tallest child in her daycare class and has a bit of belly. But, guess what, all the other kids have little bellies too.

I would get the comments when she was an infant that you stated. At first they bothered me to no end. Then, I realized, they don't know her like I do. As far as I know? She's just the right size for her.


I've got a big boy also. He to is in the 90 something percentile for everything. He LOVES to eat also. So far I have not found one thing that he does not like, minus hambugar meat and I think that's to do with the texture.
Don't worry about her weight. It use to bug me when people said the same thing about Bryce. Babies are not suppose to be skinny. My doctor said it's not a concern as we don't need to worry with his weight until he's a toddler. Like Pob, Bryce's weight and height are all matching so that's a good sign.
I've switched Bryce to 2 percent milk instead of whole. I try to feed him fruits and healthy snacks also.

Carla Hinkle

Cheerios there have sugar? There are varieties here with sugar but the old standby, regular Cheerios that everyone feeds babies (they come in a yellow box) I don't think have sugar ...


Regular Cheerios do have sugar...we give BG organic Purely O's which don't have added sugar, though the carb content works out to be the same. I think they're so universal here because they're a handy size and shape for working on pincer grasp for babies starting out self-feeding. I give them to BG over other snacks because they're vitamin fortified and decent fiber content, so they seem to be more nutritionally dense than, say, rice cakes. But I have the opposite as you, a very skinny kid who doesn't eat much, so I try to pack as many calories as possible into every bite (we load olive oil and butter on everything).


My kids were all in the 90's throughout their baby hood and toodler hood and then one day about 5 years old, I turned around they were skinny and tall and muscled and fit.

And honestly we just fed them good food and let them eat what they want and didn't push them to eat at the table, and let them run around get lots of exercise and have fun.

I know you worry, but if you start practicing the idea of just relaxing and letting them eat good food and not crappy sugary junk, then you will be okay when they get older. Kids do get plump as they get older around 7 or 8 then again around puberty, just before they have growth spurts and the hormones kick in, so don't drive yourself crazy if she does get big then small.

This is your issue, not hers, practice zipping your lip Mom, (I know, it kills me too! I feel for you.)

Please don't let other peoples silly comments bother you. They are often just not thinking, and don't mean to be insulting.
I believe that the best thing you can do for your child is feed them healthy, nutritious food, in reasonable portion sizes, introduce them to a variety of ethnic foods (which I can tell you already do), and perhaps even more importantly live a healthy lifestyle including lots of exercise--walks, time at the playground and eventually biking, hiking, organized sports (if she's interested).
Pob will learn her self asteem by watching you, and how you see yourself. A few extra pounds here or there won't do any harm, but a life-time of shame sure will.
I'm struggling with theses exact same issues myself. I wonder how it would be different if I was raising a son instead of a daughter.


If you look under the fabric of American life, you'll find that it's all supported with a bulwark of cheerios... :-)

About the whole weight issue, I don't know your family history and body type, but I do know that my pediatrician said that this is not the time to worry about fat UNLESS you are giving your baby/toddler junk food. And you aren't doing that, so try not to worry???


No idea on the eating thing but have you looked at weight for height? If she's at the same percentile for both should she not be OK on that? This page


has a link to weight-for-length for her age.

But I concur on the Cheerios. The standard parent language questionnaire for the US has Cheerios in the "common food words" section on from the youngest age (I think - at least from 16 mo) but when my colleague adapted it for the UK he first replaced it with cornflakes and then found even that was so rarely known it wasn't worth asking about.


I think people can be predisposed to weight and body type. Bee ate like a horse but he was always a lean baby, hovering around 25th percentile for weight (around 50th percentile for height). Now 2 1/2, he's a long and lean little boy and very healthy.

As long as Pob is healthy and active, I wouldn't worry about her weight. I also always tried to feed him healthy foods low in sugar. Although my ILs watch him a lot and love to give him cookies, rolls and croissants...

Betty M

From my experience of girls coming up to 5 I would say that being a roundy round baby or a skinny minny doesn't seem to make much of a difference in the long run - they are all seem to be roughly the same regular healthy build when they start school. And these kids are eating their fair share of Cheerios, crisps, chocolate cake etc along with the fruit and carrot sticks. Every now and again you will see the odd one who is overweight but it is absolutely not the norm.

I think the comments come under the rubric of idiot things to say to a parent when you haven't engaged your brain and feel the need to say something. I used to get loads of equally annoying - "isn't she small/thin/scrawny/you need to feed her up" comments on L and she is totally average now.

On maternal body weight however I am still carrying loads of excess so can not comment save to say I have to stop myself making comments about it within L's earshot.


Yes, the body image concerns for our children start early don't they? I worry about what impact my own will have on MiniMe (and I am really trying to hide mine around her).

Oh, and remind those lovely commenters that you WANT fat on babies as that is what helps brains to grow. So, Pob is going to be the genius of the group?!? :)


I know it's hard, I get the comments, too. Although I get them the other way, because I've always had little ones. But like Pob, my babies eat absolutely everything put in front of them, and they eat it all. It's just different strokes. And when I read that Pob is a healthy 90 percentile, I think "Excellent. She is healthy and, in case of illness, she can weather it well."

And I was told by a paediatrician that once they really start hauling around the house, weight melts off, so the more weight the merrier.


Dear Thalia, as you know I've got a big 'un too, one who looks far bigger in every way than any of the same-age children we know here. It would be so good to get our two together again so you could see Pob in more... stately company! And I know you know this, but Pob is just lovely the way she is. People who make comments about chunky thighs in babies often mean it as a compliment, not intending to push all our insecurity buttons. And I have to admit, when I've got Banana on the changing table, that there is something irresistible about that soft flesh...

It sounds so good how you're feeding Pob, and that she's eating healthily and well. That's the best foundation for eating habits later. And as the other commenters have said, she will grow out of her baby weight when she's toddling. More long-term, she will be exposed to sports too, especially through H, and thus she'll have a far easier time maintaining a healthy body and body image than perhaps we ever have.

As for the Cheerios, it's funny you should say that. I had known Cheerios in the US as a non-sweet (though sugared) cereal, so when I saw them on sale in Britain, I thought "Great!" and grabbed two boxes. Banana loved them but one day I tasted one and discovered that it was absolutely loaded with sugar. And lo and behold, the British version is indeed much, much sweeter than the American original. Not a good nutritional choice, by any stretch of the imagination. I wonder why companies do that?


I totally feel your pain. One of the nice things about adopting kids is that I know they will not inherit my, er, unfortunate lower half. Of course, they could have had a chance at Tim's fabulous long, thin legs but I am OK with having them forego that. I think I would be lots more stressed than I am about the fact that they eat everything in sight if they seemed like they had my body. As it is, they are over 90% for height and around probably 20-25% for weight so I feel like I kind of dodged a bullet.

But seriously, fat babies do not fat adults make. And vice versa. They do need to have fat to grow right, as another commenter said. I just don't think there is anything to worry about just now.

And your Cheerios sound nothing like the non-sweet kind I feed my girls every day. Hmmm...


Can I join the chorus and tell you not to worry? But you're a mom and you will worry, no matter what.

I'm relieved to see Kath's comment because I don't think of Cheerios as being overly loaded with sugar. Perhaps that's why I don't like them here? ;)

There are lots of organic alternatives here with similar names. We eat a lot of Kashi Heart to Heart in my house which is akin to Cheerios but with lower sugar, higher fiber and heart shapes.

Height and weight in the 90s? I'd tell everyone you have Wonder Girl/Woman as a daughter. She's just an Amazon: strong and smart like her mom.


And then you have me who is concerned that her little one is still somewhat under 25% percentile for weight and a meager 50% for height. I've got a petite one. And in the States tall-ness counts for a lot. I worry already about middle school where I envision her being the short brown girl among amazonian cheerleader types. And I worry about her not being athletic enough. Sports is a big deal in public schools here!

And cheerios...well, they're round and small, perfect for practicing pincher grasp and developing fine motor skills! They don't have as much sugar or salt as other things and they leave fewer crumbs, which is good when the little one is carting them all over the house, in the car, in the park. My LO doesn't snack on them as much as just play with them, transferring them between cups, etc. Believe me, I've tried to get her to snack on other stuff but that invariably leads to more messes (Teething biscuits are the worst, mess-wise! Gerber wheels etc. are also messy and taste like they have more sugar) I just started Goldfish, and now she prefers those to cheerios, which isn't necessarily a good thing because eventhough they do have the added benefit of cheese, they also have more salt, I believe. I could easily obsess over trying to find the perfect snack/play food but eventually I find myself all in a lather about something pretty small in the big scheme of healthy eating habits.

marie baguette

Funny as I was totally against cheerios but the nanny wanted to use them to develop grasp. I doubled check and it is not loaded with sugar and sodium.
As to the comments, I can imagine how stressful they might be as I have the exact opposite problem: my son is very small and people can't help but commenting about it.
As long as Pob eats healthy foods in reasonable portions, she will be fine! But I disagreed about your comments on Brooklyn Girl blog. Lots of articles have been published about the dangers of early obesity.
For example:
Not that I am saying that Brooklyn Girls kids or Pop are obese! I am just saying that if the pediatrician recommended to lower Brooklyn Girl's baby food intake, it must be for good reasons.
What I can't stand here in the US is the concept of "snacks". French kids don't snack but here, kids are always eating something or drinking juice! I just can't believe it!

Carla Hinkle

At least I am not crazy about the Cheerios! If I'd thought about it, I guess they do have a bit of sugar but they aren't what I'd call loaded, so there you are. My kids didn't really *eat* them so much as play around with them. I can't imagine they got much caloric intake from them.

Anyway, as you might have read in BG's comments I had the opposite experience -- a skinny baby who chubbed up between 2 and 3, just when she was "supposed" to be thinning out. I started out pretty laissez-faire w/r/t what toddlers eat but the experience has led me to be a bit more watchful.

I certainly don't think a 1 year old who is even in the percentiles for height/weight has any sort of a problem. It is irksome when people make comments, even well-intended (when my grandfather picked my daughter up, he said "you're a whole lot of girl!" Ick.). Try not to worry, but it isn't at all the wrong thing to try and instill healthy eating habits even at her age.


Nope, our cheerios do not contain much sugar. They don't do as well on sodium but they're still not too bad.

But why do we feed them to our daughter? It's the iron. She doesn't like meat very much and hates being spoon fed pablum so we are always on the lookout for finger foods with iron in them. Almost all of the organic and "healthy" alternatives do not contain iron and often have fewer minerals then regular breakfast cereals. Not that we're starting her on Count Chocula - we stick with the standard low sugar varieties. Cheerios work well because of there size and consistency. We do give her rice, corn and wheat puffs occasionally but they are really weak nutritionally.

So our daugher is "small" and people often comment on how petite she is. She makes up for it with her bellicose and belligerent nature (and I'm only partially kidding here). Our son was large and off the percentile charts - same genetic pool, same diet, same amount of exercise but he slept a lot while she is still trying to work out what the whole sleeping thing is about. Anyway, our son is still very tall but he's thin and his favourite activity is running - he makes us take him to the field to run laps (he's seven).

I will stop worrying my daughter is too small if you stop worrying that yours is too large - deal?


Girl Detective

We give our kids O's without the high fructose corn syrup. I give it because they're great practice for the 2-finger pinch when they're little, and they're not too messy to clean up. They also keep the kids occupied for a while; they're good tactile and visual food.

Kids and food. Maddening. My elder is painfully skinny, is difficult about food, and may have a hypoglycemia problem. Whee. I put healthy food in front of him. I model good eating habits, and sneak my treats so that he isn't tempted by seeing me consume what I won't give him, since he so often refuses "big, strong food". I give him a multivitamin, and hope for the best. I do better if I don't dwell on it. Easier said than done.


Huh, I had no idea there were different Cheerios. From what I found online, American Cheerios are made by General Mills and have 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams serving size and UK Cheerios are made by Nestle and have 6.4 grams of sugar per 30 gram serving size. That's a HUGE difference.

I had thin babies. They've filled out some, but Nick is still rail thin and they are both very tall. I don't pay any attention to comments and usually reply sarcastically at this point though it did bother me for awhile.


P is a great lover of Organix snacks too!

I have the opposite problem in regard to P's weight and height, as I worry she's too small. She's not a great eater, but she has a tremendous amount of energy and is usually rather healthy, so I convince myself that it is enough. As other commentors have mentioned, you'll get people making remarks whether your child is chubby, thin, tall, short, and everything in between. It's annoying to me and I hate it, but I have gotten better with it over the past year.

To again echo what others have said, with good eating habits as you are encouraging, I'm sure Pob will be perfectly fine. They really do thin out when they run everywhere - even my string bean thinned out a bit!


Oh, Thalia, people even call MY babies chunky and downright fat. (And they range from the 14th to 30th percentile for weight and 13th to 24th percentile for height)

People are stupid. Don't you worry about Pob. She's perfect.


Link to news blurb about research on suger and salt in cereals.
Haven't been able yet to find entire research article.


I gave my son Cheerious for the motor skills...and we're at the opposite side of the spectrum. My son is 33 months old, is 36 inches tall and just made 28.5 pounds. At Gymboree class, the other parents refer to him as "the baby." "Watch out for the baby!" they say to their children...and my son is a year or two older than them. People should just shut up and let these kids be happy, carefree kids.


I feel the same way - I have struggled with weight my whole life and never want either of my daughters to have to go thru that. I guess the best way is to lead by example? Good Luck!


My brother was very "chunky" as a baby and I was very "thin". The reverse is true now. I'm just saying babies weight isn't really a good predicter. My dd's ped says as long as the percentiles are close it's fine. 95 %in height and 50% in weight (or the other way around) not nearly as normal as 95% height 95% weight or 50% 50%.

Zeb went from 95% weight to 15% after he started crawling and especially walking. (That's' on the cdc charts, the change is much less marked on the WHO breastfed babies charts.) So when I'm not being cool-headed and rational, I have had the opportunity to worry about his %ile being too high and too low. (Mostly worried that the ped will recommend unwise interventions given the hysteria about obesity over here.)

The crawling/walking/running also coincided with my going back to work and his refusal to eat much while I was gone. And of course, one of the only solid foods he consistently liked to eat was Gourmet Supermarket Brand Organic Toasted O's. I had wondered what the obsession with Cheerios (especially since I never liked them much) but now I understand: food, iron, fine motor skills, convenience. Fortunately the fancy brand tastes better than General Mills Cheerios, since I've been having them a lot for breakfast too.


That was me-Luo Lin-don't know why my name didn't come out.

And I am going to look for some rice cakes for Zebediah. I think he'll like them, since his favorite things to eat are rice and crunchy snacks.


Cheerios were always strictly party food for us.

As for the rest - I think PB is in, roughly, the 131st percentiles for height and weight, but I think being a boy it doesn't "matter" so much. Which is silly when they're so young. I would try and remember your sensible comment. Healthy eating/habits rather than focussing on the scales and all that.


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