July 28, 2009
From the minute my daughters were born, they have needed to gain weight. At birth they weighed between 1 1/2 pounds and just over 2 pounds. Needless to say that's very small. Now here we are nearly 4-years-old and weight is still an issue.
Why am I bringing this up? This country clearly has an obesity problem... I'm not trying to belittle that... but it can be just as frustrating trying to help a young child put on weight.
The girls started out on a special formula which helped them gain weight. Once we switched to milk we did the requisite whole milk with a switch to 2% milk when they turned two. At their next check up their pediatrician advised me to put them back on whole milk. I think their 3-year check up was the first time any of the girls were "on the chart" (just barely) for their weight.
As an adult it can sound thrilling to be told you need to put on weight. Imagine the possibilities: cheese, ice cream, chocolate, you name it. But trying to help a child gain weight is a little trickier. You can only give them so much cheese.... I know because I give them a lot of cheese: a slice of cheese with lunch, cheese mixed with veggies, extra cheese on their mac and cheese. While I want them to develop at a "normal" rate, I don't want to clog their arteries and contribute to future problems. Our pediatrician suggested adding creamer to their milk, but so far I haven't been able to bring myself to do that. Right now my daughters gladly drink their milk. As someone who hates drinking milk, I'm afraid to take too many chances.
One of my biggest concerns is body issues. I don't want my daughters growing up being obsessed about their weight. whether it's gaining it or losing it. The other day they saw me working out and asked why I was exercising. Rather than say "oh, mommy wants to lose weight" my response was "mommy's trying to stay healthy." Little girls don't need to be thinking about their weight or counting calories. Hopefully as they grow and develop I can build the ground work for them to be healthy and confident.