HV rant - my toddler is 'overweight'

(252 Posts)
sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:00:05

Well clearly he's not, he looks totally normal to me and any sane person. My HV on the other hand is massive.

DS was born on 25th centile for both weight and height. His height has remained steady on the 25th but as soon as he started putting on weight it crept up to bang in the middle of 50-75 centiles at 6 months and has stayed there ever since.

HV at his 2 year check this week told me that such a discrepancy must be monitored and that I should cut down his sugar intake.

The boy has a massive head (99 centile) and always has. Surely that weighs a fair bit?

I have found myself doubting his diet! He does eat a huge amount of fruit, fresh and dried. HV commented on sugar content of fruit. HE also has a Ellas kitchen cereal bar every day or so. She was scathing. Other than that he loads of veg and a balanced diet with portion sizes roughly 1/4-1/3 and adult size ( I have in the past wondered if he eats enough but never forced him to eat more)

When I have a cake or an ice cream (probably every other day) he shares it with me but rarely has his own. Although he likes to think it is his own - I just make sure I eat 3/4 of it! SHould I cut this out? He clearly does have a sweet tooth but he very rarely has biscuits (toddler group only), never juice, never sweets. The HV was banging on about sugar and sweeties and biscuits etc - he never has them!

Am I in denial about DS's diet and should I be more concerned than I am?

Oh and the other thing she critisized was that he eats little and often - for example he has a barely there breakfast but then 2 morning snacks at 930 and 11. (a banana and then later a box raisins or more fruit). She told me to cut out all snacks and just give him 3 meals a day.

Disclaimer: I was on here about a month ago listing his food intake and questioning whether he eats enough. Clearly I was wrong about that.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:00:50

sorry, 1/3 - 1/4 of adult size

RobotBananas Wed 17-Jul-13 21:04:19

I wouldn't particularly worry about his weight, but that amount of fruit won't be good for his teeth, esp dried fruit.
Perhaps stick to one snack in the morning and one in the afternoon, or give the fruit with a meal? What sort of meals does he eat?

lborolass Wed 17-Jul-13 21:05:07

I'm not an expert but I can see why they would want to monitor a child with such a difference between the height and weight centiles.

I'm sure someone much more knowledgeable about diet will help you but I wouldn't dismiss concerns out of hand, hopefully he will even out in time.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:09:25

Snacking is normal. Does your HV only eat 3 meals a day and nothing else? I know I couldn't.

It sounds to me like he's found his centile. My dd was completely opposite. She started off on a high weight centile and quickly dropped to around the 25th where she has stayed ever since. No HCP has ever shown the slightest bit of concern or queried what she eats.

I really wouldn't worry. Our DS had a tendency to be a little chunky but we keep him active and he's already looking much better now its summer. He also gains gets really chubby just before he grows.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:10:59

Oh and what milk does he have and how much each day?

bico Wed 17-Jul-13 21:13:00

I wouldn't give things like raisins outside meal times, pure sugar and not good for teeth. No idea re weight. Ds has massive head and last time I checked was 50th for weight and 95th for height.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:13:54

Ok now I feel totally irresponsible.

Fave meals are (90% of them are homemade)

Spag bol
Shepherds pie
Lentil/veg curry
Fish pie
Mac n cheese

Veg wise he has with every meal 2 of either baby corn, peas, courgette, sweetcorn, mange tout, cucumber, tomatoes.

He has full fat milk still, should I give low fat now? She didn't mention that.

Here is his average intake:

1/2 slice toast and cup of milk for breakfast (or 5/6 mouthfuls cereal)
Box raisins/satsuma
Lunch - eg falafel and hummous and veg, or soup.
Followed by handful strawbs. A small yogurt if he's still hungry, 50% of the time)
20 mls milk when he wakes from nap
Sometimes he has a bit of whatever I have mid afternoon snack
Dinner - main meal as listed above. 1/4-1/3 adult size portion. Followed by a yogurt and or fruit eg a kiwi.
Then 150mls milk at bed time.

Getting a bit panicky now that he's going to be too big for his height. We are a very short (and slim) family and DH comes from a very tall and slim family. We are all fit and healthy. DS is super high energy and runs around all day burning off calories.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:15:51

I need to think of non fruity snacks don't I. But its all he wants to eat esp in the heat.

They tend to like children to be on the same centile for height and weight. 25th and 75th respectively is quite a discrepancy.

I'd have thought he eats like a sparrow at breakfast because he knows he will snack later.

Could your routine support a later breakfast? My 2yo and my DH for that matter can't really face food before 9am: could yours be similar? Or could you effectively give him half a breakfast at 7.30 and the other half at 9.30, so that rather than having snack food at "snack time" he is having something more substantial which will balance his blood sugar better.

I doubt your child is enormous, but I think we nowadays have got used to seeing fat children so "normal" children look skinny in our eyes. It can be tricky to see our own children objectively.

Cross posted with you.

My 2yo doesn't drink milk. When he has milk he has semi-skimmed. Lots of water.

ShoeJunkie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:20:20

Sounds v similar to what DS eats.
I'm not an expert but I'd say that sounds like a pretty balanced diet.
Presumably he's getting plenty of exercise charging about like a loon
Toddlers tend to be pretty good at self regulating their food intake so as long as you're offering a balanced diet and not forcing him to eat everything on his plate I can't imagine there's too much of a problem.

Mrchip Wed 17-Jul-13 21:21:29

Hmm not all will be that pattern though:-

Ds1 91st height between 50th and 75th for weight-from birth to 3!

DS2 50th height 75th weight

HV happy with both

maja00 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:22:27

I'm sure he is fine, no need to panic now - just keep an eye on things!

Cutting out dried fruit and making cakes/cereal bars/ice creams a weekly rather than every other day kind of treat would be sensible.

I would stick with full fat milk, young children need fat - fat/protein rich snacks like cheese, eggs, hummus can be better than fruit for keeping them full.

Those two yoghurts a day probably have quite a lot of sugar too.

Some children are just a bit more prone to getting tubby than others. His diet sounds great though and it is great that he is really active.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:23:20

Really really honestly compared with all his nct buddies, toddler groups etc he looks to be one of the skinniest kids. And I am totally honest when I say I don't think he looks overweight ( I have been extremely self critical wrt weight in the past) But, clearly the figures show otherwise. I have just freaked myself out looking at patient.co.uk which referred to such a discrepancy as obesity. So I can't take this lightly I guess.

I have and will continue to try the 2 breakfast things. I think I'll just give him a small cup of milk when he wakes and then push til 830 for breakfast (he wakes at 7 and usually eats at 730)

Its hard when taking height into it, because the differences in centiles is just a matter of centimeters but when they're all running around together a cm here and there is just not noticable. So he doesn't really look shorter than most of the other kids.

Re the 75th centile - he's half way between 50 and 75. is this then automatically read as 75th?

Fraxinus Wed 17-Jul-13 21:25:18

Has your hv given him the label 'overweight'?

Or just discrepancy?

The diet sounds fine to me, but each child needs a different quantity of food to suit. I would take steps towards 3 meals a day, and no regular snacks. Children sometimes don't eat their meals because they have snacks, when we think they need a snack because they didn't eat their meal.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:27:08

Just being a bit defensive here but we have only plum baby yoghurts, fruit juice only BUT I know that's still a high sugar content. One max a day it is then, and will ask HV about going down to low fat milk.

Definitely yes to giving up ice creams - he only had his first a week ago but this weather has led me astray. Cake on the other hand - That has been a pretty regular vice of mine so I need to hide that from him for good I think.

Ds doesn't eat egg and isn't overly keen on cheese. Any other protien rich snacks I can stock up on?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:28:01

I don't think that is read as 75th. Like you say he is half way between the two.

Both mine have full fat milk and they are 5 and 9. I'd stop the sugary yogurts before I'd change the milk but I've never felt the need to do either smile

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:28:22

But re reading my last post, I don't want to 'ban' anything, right? won't that lead them to become even more desirable etc, I want him to have a balanced view of food.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:29:08

How about oatcakes with nut butter or hummus with veg sticks?

AlwaysWashing Wed 17-Jul-13 21:29:51

My 2.4 year old is 25th centile for height & 75th for weight and always has been. My HV hinted at overweight many, many months ago and as a first time Mum I took it on board and worried about it. However you only have to look at him to know that centiles are a load of tosh, he's fit and strong, baby fat all but gone. At his 2.5 year review the height and weight centiles were acknowledged but not in a negative manner.
Your sons diet sounds much like mine, he's always loved fruit, he likes to eat little and often too. He has always preferred proper, home cooked dinners to jars or pouches and doesn't have too much naughty stuff - never sweets.

I think you have to have confidence in yourself and you sound like you are doing an excellent job of managing your boys diet. tell the fatty fat fat HV to do one

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:29:59

Fraxiunus - to be fair to HV her words exactly were 'Wel... he doesn't really look overweight, but the figures say he is and we can't ignore that'

So really not about her opinion but what she reads in the centiles. Which are there for a reason so she obv can't ignore that.

Fraxinus Wed 17-Jul-13 21:31:37

I nearly hit the roof, by the way, when my dd brought her height and weight reading home from school in reception year. She is a slim girl, fairly tall, with muscular legs. Not tubby or flabby in the least. Very active.

The letter said the top 10% was overweight, and my daughter was just shy of the top 10%. I mentioned this to a fellow gp mother at gymnastics, who said there was clearly nothing to worry about.

I hope this makes you feel better. Some kids are heavy without being fat. The figures and HV guidance cannot account for these individual children, so I would consult a gp to get more specific guidance about your child's weight. I am sure you will find it reassuring.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:32:02

AlwaysWashing hahahahaha she really is huge!

So glad to hear your story. In my heart of hearts I am sure he is fine but it's impossible to ignore something like this. I have friends with different HVs and much, much chubbier toddlers, who have never had weight commented upon.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:33:50

Yes you make a good point Fraximus. GP visit might be a good idea. Like I said, his mahoosive head must weigh loads! Plus, while slim, I have never been particularly light/underweight - I am a size 8 but am near the overweight section of the BMI. I tell myself I have big bones. Thanks for reminding me!

justabigdisco Wed 17-Jul-13 21:36:52

I can see why you're upset, but really, why is it ok for you to comment on her weight and yet she can't comment on your DC weight (when it's like, you know, her job?)

Sidge Wed 17-Jul-13 21:37:13

Centiles are not "a load of tosh", they are a tool for interpreting growth.

A discrepancy of 2 centiles between height and weight would give cause for monitoring, as long as they are accurate measurements (height can be difficult to measure accurately in pre-schoolers).

A large head circumference isn't usually an indicator for weight; it tends to be related to height.

Many children will grow upwards and outwards in spurts, so a single recording of height/weight isn't necessarily useful but plotting growth over time can be useful. If there is a consistent increase in weight without a corresponding increase in height then intervention may be necessary.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:40:03

Think your HV needs to learn the phrase "watch the baby not the scales".

Your DS is keeping his centile? He's not moving up the weight centile? He is fit and energetic? Has he always been weighed on the same scale and are the scales calibrated?

Both of my DC have been low down on the height centile when young but once they hit 5 they have really caught up. They wouldn't have moved up the height centiles if I'd limited their calories smile

Think you also need to look at the both of you. My DH is very very stocky. When he was last checked at the doctors by said the charts said he was obese but he really wasn't and if he fitted into the normal rea on the chart, he would be seriously underweight. The charts just don't suit everyone.

Is he still on the 'charts'? If so, he's not overweight....toddlers that are on the bottom line aren't underweight.

gamerchick Wed 17-Jul-13 21:40:41

These stresses are why I banned outright all weighing and measuring in the schools along with no weighing after 6 weeks after birth.

I would kill for my youngling to eat as well as yours. Tell your HV to go boil her head.

RobotBananas Wed 17-Jul-13 21:40:42

His diet looks pretty good really, nice and varied and he eats loads of fruit and veg. I'd just ditch the raisins and fruit juice though, he doesn't need them, they're pure sugar and will really harm teeth.

Personally I don't think snacking is that normal - DS never did, but then I don't so it never occured to me. When he was little he'd have a cup of milk between meals, and if he was really hungry, fruit right before a meal (best time to give it apparently).

I dont know what the plum yoghurts are like, are they high in sugar? Sainsburys yoghurts are sugar free and might be better?

As an aside.. I don't think ive seen the health visitor since DS was 18mo smile

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:43:56

sidge - there isn't any increase in weight centile over the last 18 months. So he was 25th at birth, soon crept up to 50th by 3 months and then by 6 months was somewhere between 50 and 75. He has stayed there since then. So that in itself is ok, I think? She was worried about the difference between weight and height.

My comments about his head were totally in jest, I am just trying to make myself feel better. There was a lot of concern over the size of his head when he was a baby but he's totally fine in this respect, just takes after his dad.

He was very very wriggly under the height measurer, but I'm fairly sure it must have been accurate as he's been 25th centile since birth so likely hasn't changed.

I'll keep getting him weighed and see what happens.

noelstudios Wed 17-Jul-13 21:44:34

I think they are supposed to have full fat milk until 5 because of the higher calcium and fat content.

maja00 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:47:11

Visualise - that's not really true. A toddler with height and weight at the top of the chart isn't overweight, but a toddler with height at the bottom and weight at the top is. Same as a tall toddler with weight at the bottom of the chart is underweight, but one with height and weight at the bottom isn't - they are just small.

OP - just keep an eye on things, cutting down on sugar can't hurt, and weigh again in 6 months.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:49:40

Cross posts with the last few, sorry

Plum yogurts are sugar free, sweetened with fruit juice, thats why I mentioned fruit juice - he absolutely never drinks it, we don't have it in the house anyway. And don't get me started on squash, I can be a right boring old fart when it comes to drinks.

As for the snacking, well tbh I have been giving so many snacks under the advice of other lovely mnetters to try and curb meltdowns ;) He is far better behaved when he eats regularly, just like his dad.

JiltedJohnsJulie just cross posted above, yes weight been consistent since 6 months and height since he was born.

As a baby/small child I was really actually quite chubby and my brother was utterly enormous. He is now the skinniest man I know and people hate him for approaching 40 with zero fat on him and no sign of any to come while all his mates struggle with beer bellies and appointments with the gym.

I really need to think more rationally when panicking about DS. He's probably just taking after me.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:49:44

I'll keep getting him weighed and see what happens. why? It seems stable and the weighing and measuring is just causing you distress. If the HV was really worried she should have referred you.

Noel. The advice had changed to 2 now worth no minimum recommended amount of milk for 2yo. I've kept mine on full fat though, partly because I think they need the nutrients and partly because we drink it so its easy.

maja00 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:51:16

Robot - yoghurts that say "no added sugar" aren't necessarily sugar free. They most likely contain deionised fruit juice/puree, which is fruit that has been concentrated down to pure sugar.

IWipeArses Wed 17-Jul-13 21:51:28

So fat people are stupid?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:52:52

Think your brother must be like my sister. She was HUGE as a baby. Nearly 40 now, 5'9" and size 10.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:53:48

Thanks JJJ. I do feel like I am wasting a lot of energy getting so upset over this, but on the other hand I feel so bloody guilty all the time, am I doing this right, that right etc etc. There is too much to worry about!

Re milk, I will keep with full fat for his bedtime and cut right down in the day and use semi, and on his cereal etc

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:54:00

Iwipe who said that?

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:55:35

Trying very hard to ignore the comments about fat people, but frankly it is really, really hard to take dietary advice from someone who is clearly obese.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 21:58:09

sleep you are very brave. When I made a similar comment about not wanting to take dietary advice from Jo Frost I got slated...

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:59:40

Hmm. Time for bed maybe. For the record, said HV was great in all other aspects, and she can obviously read charts. It was just implication I didn't know what a healthy diet was, or that I didn't understand the consequences of sugar, that really got me.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 22:00:17

Does he really only have 20mls of milk when he wakes in the afternoon?

If he is grumpy when he is hungry then sugary (even good sugar) snacks won't help and protein/fat rich foods will be more important.

Shame he isn't keen on cheese though as that's ideal.

Do you think he would like beans on toast for breakfast at 9am?

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 22:01:17

Yeah I know - he asks for it every, single day without fail. I give him 1/3 of a tommee tippee cup and he drinks about half, if that even.

sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 22:01:30

I think his eyes are bigger than his belly smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 22:01:32


sleepcrisis Wed 17-Jul-13 22:02:28

Horry Tbh have never ever tried him on baked beans. Will go buy some and give that a go. He likes bean soups so don't see why not. I keep going with the dippy eggs but he just doesn't like eggs sad

maja00 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:04:17

Avocado and peanut butter (the type without sugar) are good snacks too.

You could check his measurements on a child BMI calculator (different to an adult one), I think there is an NHS one, but I could only find www.mendcentral.org/aboutobesity/obesityexplained/bmi as the NHS one doesn't work on my iPad. Toddlers sometimes do round out and then stretch up. Height measurements can be inaccurate too. If it is bothering you then a GP appointment is worth having as they often take a common sense approach rather than a rigid one and could also check the measurements. Afaik you can switch to semi skimmed milk at 2, I'm not sure if the difference is worth it, but we did switch for DD. plum yogurts do have sugar (from fruit juice, but sugar is still sugar), but about half as much as other brands.

YoniRanger Wed 17-Jul-13 22:16:12

Beans are full of sugar!

His diet sounds fine to me, most 2 year olds I know eat all of that and a bag of quavers a day!

Some humans like to graze and some to eat big meals, as long as the calories even out it doesn't matter.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 17-Jul-13 22:18:49

OP don't stress, seriously. And keep him on full fat milk - there is increasing evidence that people who eat and drink full fat dairy carry less body fat than those who don't.

As for what he eats - my two year old eats about twice that. I have no idea how much milk he drinks, and he still has BF morning and night and whenever else he thinks he can chance his arm smile

Children self-regulate with food much better than adults, so imposing rules on them like 'no snacking' and 'low fat milk' is utterly bonkers and totally at odds with how their body is set up to work.

The only thing that I would change is to think about adding more protein to his diet. Peanut butter on his toast in the morning, ham/beef/chicken sandwich for lunch, or some quiche, and perhaps some more traditional 'meat and two veg' dinners.

And I would ditch the raisins as a routine thing, they are very sugary. But don't beat yourself up, you are giving him a healthy varied diet.

LastOrdersAtTheBra Wed 17-Jul-13 22:19:47

It really doesn't sound like you have that much to worry about. My work colleague has been in a similar situation, we have the same HV and her DS1 and my DS2 are almost the same age, also almost exactly the same height and weight. I get 'no concerns' she has been told to come back for monthly weigh-ins and finally got referred to GP (who had no concerns). The only difference between us is that I have DS1 who followed the same toddler centiles and is now a skinny 5yo, so I did all the worrying for nothing last time round.

Children who have a healthy diet will generally even out eventually, this won't hold true for children who have an unhealthy diet and those are the ones they're trying to catch.

I hate seeing my work colleague made so miserable and stressed when she does all the right things, cooks from scratch, healthy diet, etc. You'd be negligent if you didn't worry at all but please don't take it to heart too much.

I agree with Alibaba about protein. My DD doesn't have a model diet by any means, but her fondness for protein, which tends to fill you up for longer, is probably the main thing keeping her from obesity.

Beans aren't all full of sugar. We choose whatever brand is lowest in salt and sugar and flavour which isn't necessarily the "reduced sugar and salt" versions hmm

My boys like hummus on sandwiches or toast as another alternative high in protein and (good) fat.

IWipeArses Wed 17-Jul-13 22:53:49

For goodness sake don't restrict what he eats, that's how obesity happens.

Of course as it's taken me 30 years to learn that fact you can ignore me as I'm both massive and huge.

RegularVoltaire Wed 17-Jul-13 23:10:38

I was told at my daughters 6 week check (I hadn't even considered weaning!) that she was "likely to be obese when she was older" hmm

She was 25 centile height and 91 centile weight.

She's now 10 and has been measured at school. She's 50 for both.

prettybird Wed 17-Jul-13 23:15:27

Another vote for not ditching the full-fat milk. Quite apart from the fact that a toddler needs it for energy, it also contributes to brain development.

Full fat milk has about 10 calories per 100ml more than semi skimmed. So if he was having as much as 500ml, that would be 50 calories more. A box of raisins is 45 calories. If you are going to stop either, then I would stop the raisins. I switched DD to semi skimmed because it seemed to be then done thing, but I think she may drink less milk now as a result. I didn't think very carefully about it. I am not advocating calorie counting for toddlers, but it can be useful information when weighing up choices.

Splatt34 Thu 18-Jul-13 05:08:50

Threads like this upset me. Do you want to give a2 year old a complex over food this early.

My DD is 2.8, weighs 17kg and is 96cm putting her on 91st centile for height and weight. She's been in 3-4 clothes for months and we recently had to ditch the car seat which was supposed to see her tilshe was 4. I am overweight, as is DH and when she was younger I constantly worried about her weight as she skipped her way from 50th down to 9th (BF disaster) and up to 98th by 8months. This is all for weight, they never did height til she was 2.5.

She eats a load of fruit which I won't discourage but yes she will have a mini milk, we will share a packet of pom bears at lunch and gid forbid she has an occasional biscuit. Healthy, balanced diet with occasional treats. Your DC will likely have a height spurt soon . I would seriously not be this stressed about a child who is bang in the middle of the charts.

Splatt34 Thu 18-Jul-13 05:08:57

Threads like this upset me. Do you want to give a2 year old a complex over food this early.

My DD is 2.8, weighs 17kg and is 96cm putting her on 91st centile for height and weight. She's been in 3-4 clothes for months and we recently had to ditch the car seat which was supposed to see her tilshe was 4. I am overweight, as is DH and when she was younger I constantly worried about her weight as she skipped her way from 50th down to 9th (BF disaster) and up to 98th by 8months. This is all for weight, they never did height til she was 2.5.

She eats a load of fruit which I won't discourage but yes she will have a mini milk, we will share a packet of pom bears at lunch and gid forbid she has an occasional biscuit. Healthy, balanced diet with occasional treats. Your DC will likely have a height spurt soon . I would seriously not be this stressed about a child who is bang in the middle of the charts.

MiaSparrow Thu 18-Jul-13 07:41:09

OP, this is really interesting to me because I'm in the same situation with DD - always 25th for weight and height (big head, mind!) then, totally out of the blue (OK, I hadn't had her weighed for ages), at the 2 year check she came out just below 25th for height and 91st for weight. It was quite a shock!

To look at her nobody would say she's overweight at all. Normal toddler pot belly, yes, but perfectly in proportion. HV too was shocked and had to triple check it, thinking that can't be right.

BUT... major difference between our experiences is my very good HV just said, oh well, she must just be really solid then and not to worry about it. Didn't even mention diet other than to ask if she's eating well. Yes she is. Good. End of.

Personally I thought at the time (this was about 4 weeks ago) that she was about to shoot up height-wise and I think now she has. I reckon I took her along just before the growth spurt. That's my theory anyway. Absolutely haven't changed her diet at all.

Hope that helps? Try not to stress and as always, your instincts over your own child's wellbeing are paramount. x

ithaka Thu 18-Jul-13 07:47:31

Oh good good, children change shape as they get older, 2 years old is far to young to predict his adult weight. Stop obsessing over his food!

I was quite a round, cute, chubby little thing growing up. I have been a lean fit adult all my life. I think a lot changes around puberty, personally. That is when I lost any roundness - my face shape in particular really changed.

I know plenty of people who were skinny kids who struggle with their weight now. Lots, actually. To me, the time to be vigilant is puberty, as many teenagers take little physical activity.

And sorry, I would not be impressed by a big fat HV Tlecturing me on diet & weight. I would listen to people who have actually got it right themselves.

RobotBananas Thu 18-Jul-13 08:39:41

maja00 I just checked, and you're right - the sainsbury's ones do have de-ionised fruit juice, whatever that is!

MiaowTheCat Thu 18-Jul-13 09:17:49

What we do with DD1 is that she has a beaker of milk when she wakes up (basically it defuses any tension with seeing DD2 getting a bottle feed at that time) and then she has breakfast an hour or so later when I'm more coherrent! Would that cut one of the snacks out if you split things like that?

For what it's worth - I think a lot of whether they look concerned or not does depend on the individual health visitor as well... I've had one utterly stress me out about DD1 climbing weight centiles - and the others in the team all point out she was finding her natural line (she was prem so was catching up) and do her height measurement as well in order to reassure me that she's in proportion - yet if I only dealt with the one who was tutting about her rising a centile - I'd be a gibbering wreck! Had it in reverse this week - she's just lost a few ounces - fairly natural really since she's had a huge upward growth spurt, plus she's in the middle of cruising with intent (plus started the terrible twos food strop division early... insert the "oooh she's sooooo advanced" boast here - NOT!) - but the one doing the weighing was all "oooh we need to watch that weight loss" while our regular HV was shouting over from the other side of the room "don't worry - look at her she's obviously doing fine!"

Fraxinus Thu 18-Jul-13 18:15:48

Jilted John's Julie...... I love it,

watch the baby not the scale

LadyEdith Thu 18-Jul-13 18:31:43




I had all this s**t thrown at me when ds1 was that age. I worked out on the charts that if his weight and height centiles matched perfectly he would be just half an inch taller.

I fluffed his hair up a bit at the next visit.

Then I realised HV visits are not compulsory and never went ever again.

He's now a 6 foot beanpole.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 18-Jul-13 18:52:26

alibaba its really interesting to think there is evidence like that. I wonder why. Do you think its people like me who just don't think the alternatives are very healthy?

breathe I didn't know about the calorie difference so that is interesting to know too smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 18-Jul-13 18:55:58

smile at Fraxinus

Ginderella Thu 18-Jul-13 19:08:53

I agree with LadyEdith - ignore, ignore, ignore - and don't bother with HV again.

"Watch the baby not the charts" - brilliant piece of advice. If your DS is happy and healthy you have nothing to worry about. Ignore HV and her outdated advice.

RNJ3007 Thu 18-Jul-13 19:14:02

I got that spiel... They do weight against age, not height. So my DD who is not on height chart as so tall is apparently obese. Even though you can see her spine and ribs.

I was told her food habits were to blame - how do you say that to a kid who has 3 meals and 3 snacks a day that are fruit/veg/whole grain/lean protein or quorn?! What do you cut out?! Today at nursery she had weetabux for breakfast with a glass of milk, water all day, melon and mango for morning snack, chicken with veggie rice at lunch and a fromage frais

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-13 19:14:31

I do think as a society we have become to accepting of childhood obesity and too quick to write if off as "tubby toddler" - DS is 3.5 and as you should be able to you can see his ribs clearly yet people say he is too skinny/underweight rather than seeing that as a healthy weight (he is 9th centile weight 25th height at last weigh in)

I am not commenting on any individual but I don't think advice to ignore weight concerns is good advice, nor do I think encouraging good eating habits is setting a 2 year old to be obsese/have food issues later in life. Balance diet and an active lifestyle are vital and should be part of normal life from a young age.

lovelyredwine Thu 18-Jul-13 19:15:39

As others have said - I'm no expert but he sounds fine to me. His diet sounds pretty good too - he eats veg and fruit, protein and carbs.

Using BMI as an indication of being too heavy (if this is what was used) is not a good process in my opinion. My DH always comes out as being overweight on these - this is a man who is in great shape - ran a marathon recently in just over 3 hours and trains most days for a triathlon he's doing soon, so is by no means overweight.

RNJ3007 Thu 18-Jul-13 19:18:38

Oops... Premature post!

I got that spiel... They do weight against age, not height. So my DD (4) who is not on height chart as so tall is apparently obese. Even though you can see her spine and ribs.

I was told her food habits were to blame - how do you say that to a kid who has 3 meals and 3 snacks a day that are fruit/veg/whole grain/lean protein or quorn?! What do you cut out?! Today at nursery she had a weetabix for breakfast with a glass of milk, water all day, melon and mango for morning snack, chicken with veggie rice at lunch and a fromage frais, then cucumber sticks and a rice cake for afternoon snack, baked beans and scrambled egg on whole grain toast for tea, then a banana and a handful of blueberries at home with another glass of milk. Hardly an unhealthy diet, right?!

Ignore the HV, frankly!!!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Thu 18-Jul-13 19:26:39

dd2 is a chubby/fat/whatever toddler. so was her sister - she slimmed down at about 4 or 5, and was well within normal height/weight ratios by the time she was screened in reception.

I was the same - fat until 5, and whilst I have the odd spell of carrying a bit of baby/holiday weight, I've had normal BMI throughout my adult life.

so we infer from this that our genes tend towards producing chubby/fat babies, who eventually slim down to being averaged sized children and adult.

I think if you believe your toddler or child is overweight, the first course of action should be watch and wait. Do nothing with their diet. Weigh them monthly. Check their height similarly. Doing this over a period of 6months will give you lots more information about how they're growing, whether their growth in height is outstripping their growth in weight, or whether any further weight gain appears disproportionate. I would not rush to make dietary changes off the back of a single snapshot measurement.

That being said, there is no loss whatsoever from increasing his physical activity levels, so I might think about trying make sure you're getting properly active every day.

brettgirl2 Thu 18-Jul-13 20:13:39

I've heard of people being given odd height measurements at that age as its hard to measure a 2 year old accurately and the centiles are close. Therefore there is prob a centile difference. My 4 year old has a good centile difference the other way, no one suggests she is too thin.

If you think he looks fine just relax and make sure he eats a healthy diet.

brettgirl2 Thu 18-Jul-13 20:15:26

rnj by 4 there is a bmi calculator which compares against height, google it.

MiaowTheCat Thu 18-Jul-13 20:37:22

I always ask them to do a length measurement if they're getting uppity about the high weight centile line... since the two invariably match - it stops it and I get a mumbled acceptance that "oh yes, she's perfectly in proportion isn't she?"

Considering we have issues at the moment with DD1 crawling out of her trousers regularly - I tend to take the amount of abandoned pants as a good indicator as well!

sleepcrisis Thu 18-Jul-13 21:50:25

Thanks for so many more replies, hard to read them all now and on my phone but I get the idea I need to chill out. I am feeling much better about it now, he is the picture of perfect health, I can see his ribs, he runs the equivalent of a toddler marathon each day, I am cutting back on dried fruit, introducing more protein, looking at the child not the charts - all great advice so thank you.

For what it's worth, I just checked his bmi online with weight and height and he is 17.5, perfectly healthy apparantly.

That's good enough for me!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 18-Jul-13 21:54:34

is not on height chart as so tall is apparently obese when my Dd had her height and weight done in reception one Mum received a letter saying her daughter was too tall. The mothers reply was "so what would you like me to do? Chop her off at the knees?" grin

It seems that many HCP can't cope with children who don't meet the average on the charts.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 18-Jul-13 21:55:46

smile at sleep.

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 07:45:17

Ok so last night I was all chilled out, now not so much. Just made DS eggy bread with banana, strawberries and a bit of honey. He was up at 6 and been asking for breakfast all morning. He ate the fruit and then fought his way out of his chair. So those of you who advised little or no snacking, what do I do whn he is having an enormous melt down at 10am because he is starving? I can't force him to eat a good protein rich breakfast can I? I will try to offer him his leftovers but I doubt that will cut it in the heat of the moment.
I am trying to turn a blind eye to him not eating breakfast but he is already behaving hyped and hungry. It drives me insane because he eats so well at lunch and dinner sad

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 07:51:02

Admittedly this was a bit of an effort to get egg ito him as he never eats egg, so he probably genuinely didn't like it. Maybe I should do breakfast again in Hal an hour and do something like toast and marmite that I know he likes. Or porridge. What can input on porridge that is not too sugary? He does love his honey... I have some st dalfour jam, might try that.

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 07:58:01

Oh and when I said he are the fruit, I'm talking 2 strawberries and about 3 slices of banana sad

WetGrass Fri 19-Jul-13 08:02:28

Not read the whole thread - but (after 4 slim DC) - I can confidently say that 3 meals a day is totally inappropriate for a toddler. 5 meals a day always here. Breakfast. Fruit at 10.30. Savoury Lunch. 'Tea' at 3.00 featuring any cakes/home baking etc that might be on the cards that day. Savoury dinner 5.00. Milk just before bed.

Any less frequent - and the moods are just awful.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 19-Jul-13 08:06:12

Just keep an eye on it.

If you don't like her advice don't go, basically, she is just doing her job.

And of course she can know about healthy eating while being obese herself.

I know its great to go to the gym loads..but I don't.

That just sounds bitchy and defensive.

He sounds.like he has a healthy diet. Quite a lot of food. But then my DD constantly eats ans is skinny, its a.mystery to me.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 19-Jul-13 08:10:54

Im pretty sure the people she really worries about are those who feed their kids.loads of crap and never get them to exercise.

Sounds like she was just mentioning it because she has to but it has got you really stressed.

Please don't..honestly

WetGrass Fri 19-Jul-13 08:11:53

(Btw - I was hounded by the hv for having DC 75th height and 25th or below weight (4 times the same pattern).

Build up a healthy and balanced food culture in your family and the long term will follow.

hmm at sugar-free yogurts for toddlers. Each to their own - but I'd rather send my toddler out to clean the communal stairwell with her tongue than tank her up on nasty artificial sweeteners. Plain yoghurt + fruit = job done.

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 08:12:20

Is he confusing hunger and thirst?

Try offering him water instead when he is saying he is hungry.

That said I don't see an issue with one or two snacks a day, it is the constant snacking - especially if snacks aren't varied - which is a potential problem.

Parmarella Fri 19-Jul-13 08:13:35

People, including some HV's are so stupid about averages.

As if average is something to aim for, something desirable in itself...

Oldest DS was worried about a lot, as in top 5% for height, and bottom 5% for weight. He is a stringbean, as DH used to be before he developed hs rugby player physique.

Other DS, like the OP's child, was born with big head, hands and feet. He was classed as overweight by inane school nurse, when clearly he is just big boned ( literally, his skull and bones are jst much chunkier than DS1) he does not have an inch to pinch anywhere on his body, no fat at all.

It seems as if people do not trust their eye sight and only go by charts and averages, so brainless.

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 08:16:14

I'm sure he does confuse thirst and hunger, but if I suspect that I wouldn't give a snack, I usually leave water around and once he has calmed down he drinks.

Re sugar free yoghurts, there are no articdical sweeteners involved, just fruit juice. We often do Greek yogurt and banana or strawberries too.

I am going all militant on snacking today, one mid morning and one mid afternoon. The problem is that he refuses breakfast, so I think I'm in for a tough morning...

Daisy17 Fri 19-Jul-13 08:17:02

My DS at 2 is 9th centile for height and 50th for weight. There is no visible spare flesh on him. He's just made of solid stuff! DP is same, quite short, fit and lean, no one ever believes he can weigh as much as he does. Good for you for taking a look at diet and things, but I really wouldn't worry.

WetGrass Fri 19-Jul-13 08:19:18

I found the snacks to be natural punctuation to the day (and this also meant that they weren't too frequent).

So a mid-morning 'break' (most toddler groups do this).

The afternoon snack is immediately after nap to ward off the grumps.

I discourage grazing.

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 08:21:28

If he refuses breakfast why not just wait until mid morning to give it to him unless you have to get out somewhere?

DS has been up since 6 but is only just having his breakfast now as I know he won't eat anything earlier.

Daisy17 Fri 19-Jul-13 08:21:32

Oh and my son never eats breakfast. Maybe some grapes. Weetabix and raisins at a push but not before 9am (he's up at 6).

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 19-Jul-13 08:29:25

Mine are 18 and 15 now. DS was 25% height/75% weight for years and a solid little chap. He's 6'2" now, well built but slim. DD was always 90%+ for height and weight - at about 10 they were weighed and measured at school - given a slip of paper that they all shared and told she was fat. She's now 5'3" and a size 8-10.

Bears little correlation at the end of the day in my experience. Go on as you are - don't let your dc be publicly weighed - the centile charts are out of date and statistically incorrect anyway. Also, DD started her periods aged 10 and there is no allowance for early development - when I put in her height weight and age the BMI said obese - when I put in the same measurements with an age of 13 (in line with her development) it said normal. Further at about 11 dd was so upset by this that she stopped eating and dropped one stone - start of anorexia - we turned it round quickly because I have eagle eyes and a good GP and enough money get a private specialist referral within nano seconds.

Feed them well (the only thing I can suggest about your regime is that rather than all the pasta meals I might sometimes give a salmon fillet and veg or half a chicken breast), exercise them well and they will reach the height and weight they are destined for. Quit worrying and let them be - politely ask your hv if she could share her diet with you

Ignore the HV - his diet sounds fine. If you're worried about teeth then swap some of the raisins etc or add in some extra teeth cleaning. The govt has a new initiative of shoving fluoride on every child's teeth at check ups (unless you refuse it as I do) anyway.

It's a healthy balanced diet. Children don't always match charts. Measurements aren't always accurate anyway. Ds1 was diagnosed with megacephaly when he was 2 & it took until he was 11 & a neurologist to point out that his head was a normal size (we'd been saying for years it was smaller than his brothers' heads). Until then it ended up on his notes & followed him without anyone actually looking and seeing what was in front of them if that makes sense.

I don't think you should be stressing about the weight of a toddler who doesn't look overweight. Interestingly my 3 children all eat very different amounts & they're all similar sizes.

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 08:31:31

He asks for breakfast incessantly from the money we get up, then won't eat it. Obv this drives me mad. Today ( and I know this is grazing and certainly not something I want to encourage) he had a very small cup of milk at 630, the fruit topping of his eggy bread at 730, and now he has sat down on the sofa watching his 20 mins of beebies, and eaten the rest of his whole banana and one soldiers worth of eggy bread. That's it now until snack time at 10am.

I am feeling a bit shit tbh, 3 days ago food was the last thing I would worry about.. I never ever let him eat on the sofa but today I just feel a bit worn down and it's only 830.

Think I'm going to try and forget this whole analysis of his fairly ok diet and just concentrate on no grazing and only two set snack times a day.

Norfolknway Fri 19-Jul-13 08:36:44

I took my DD for her check last month and she's 80th for height and 70th for weight.

Neither me or anyone else could believe it, she looks so petite!! She is in 18-24 month (if not smaller) clothes! All of her T-shirts from her 1st birthday fit her still.

As long as he's happy and healthy, I wouldn't worry grin

notanyanymore Fri 19-Jul-13 08:40:23

have you tried starting with the smaller snack first thing, and then the main breakfast later? (thats how i eat naturally)
re milk etc, children up to age 5 should have full fat, especially milk, because semi skimmed is so much lower in all the nutrients (my children drink alot of milky drinks, i do them half milk half hot water tho)
Also, children just do have their own size and shape. I have 2 that get fed the same, ones whippet skinny the other one is much more 'solid' looking (although the second one is much more likely to go on a sugar hunt... and get it from her nana!)
your son's diet sounds very healthy, and you said he's been on the same centiles since 6m? I think you need to calm down and not start a battle with him HV may have just been a bit of a jobs worth.

IWipeArses Fri 19-Jul-13 08:50:31

If he isn't fat why are you restricting his eating? Feed him when he's hungry, don't make him sit still, he'll be fine.

MrsHoarder Fri 19-Jul-13 08:58:23

I don't think of ds as having 3 meals and 2 snacks, he has 5 meals, so always has savoury and protein first. So breakfast was cereal, milk and fruit, brunch will be breadsticks and hummous followed by fruit, lunch will be hm soup, tea will be hm fruit cake or cheese with crackers, supper is fish and potatoes and a final proton of fruit. I will have my ice cream during his nap. For anyone thinking that's a lot of fruit: he gets terrible constipation if he doesn't have that much.

Add for things to add to porridge, you can add frozen currants

georgedawes Fri 19-Jul-13 09:04:15

I don't see what's wrong with grazing? I'd carry on as you are, he sounds happy and healthy.

loopydoo Fri 19-Jul-13 09:14:34

The snacks thing I'm sure is more to do with fruit sugar hits regarding his teeth. Sugar wise, I think he is perhaps having too much in the form of dried fruit and fructose but per than that, all sounds great!

They have targets and levels at which to intervene....just don't see her again....you don't have to see your HV.

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 09:15:52

The problem with grazing is no matter how healthy the meal the food all adds up meaning it is easy to end up over eating, particularly if they have 3 main meals and then carry on grazing

duchesse Fri 19-Jul-13 09:19:32

Snacking is NOT normal in most of the world. Only in the UK and US... Where it's presented by marketeers as normal. And coincidentally is where the highest rates of obesity are.

For comparison's sake, DD3 (3y11m, weighs 13.5kg) will eat:
Breakfast: enough cereal to cover the bottom of the bowl, one slice of toast, sometimes egg and soldiers instead of toast. Small glass of juice (often apple) that rarely is drunk.

She'll have a drink mid-morning.

Pasta, protein in the shape of meat or fish or cheese, carrots or half an avocado or raw pepper, fruit- about enough to loosely cover a tea plate.

Maybe some grapes mid-afternoon but often nothing.

Supper might be meat, potato and vegetables. Rarely pudding but if it is it's fruit and/or yoghurt. If it's got too late she often doesn't finish supper (which is why I try to feed her a balanced mainish meal at lunchtime).

Almost never has biscuits, sweets or dried fruit. Hardly ever a snack. She is on the go all the time from the moment she gets up till bedtime, so never short of energy! But all children are different and DS was certainly a lot more hungry than the 3 DDs have been. All very active though.

yetanotherworry Fri 19-Jul-13 09:30:16

I wouldn't really worry at this stage but would try and monitor his weight myself over the next few months (not too frequently though). When ds was little we'd always find he'd get a bit of a podgy tummy and then have a growth spurt and look a bit skinny again.

In terms of diet don't change his milk. Full fat milk is 4% fat and ss is 2%, so there's not really that much difference but the ful fat has so many more useful fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids (good for brain development especially if organic). The things to worry about are dried raisins are they are just sugar with very little other benefit - dried apricots are better because although they are full of sugar, they are also rich in iron. Also modern apples can be quite high in sugars so look for a more traditional apple - there's a table online somewhere that shows sugar content for different apples. I also try and stick to a rule of having proper sugar in food so I check the ingredients and if it contains fructose or glucose syrups then I don't buy them.

Parmarella Fri 19-Jul-13 12:29:32

Grazing in itself is not good, obviously

Better to be hungry between meals, so you get into the habbit of eating when hungry, and NOT eating when not hungry ( mindless snacking must be a key factor in obesity).

Also, grazing is bad for your teeth

crazypaving Fri 19-Jul-13 12:30:59

I'm amazed by this thread!

op if your child has an unhealthy diet then so does mine. since when do homecooked food, fruit, yoghurt and healthy snacks constitute a cause for obesity? raisins aren't 'pure sugar'!! they contain iron, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. fruit is HEALTHY ffs! growing children need energy!

I don't understand this. it's things like this that remind me why I avoid health visitors like the plague. I've never had a sensible suggestion from any of mine.

look at your child, op. you say he's reasonably skinny? meeting milestones? happy and healthy? his head is on 99th centile - it may be that the rest of his is catching up as it's unusual to have such a large discrepancy between head/height/weight.

seriously, op, stop second guessing yourself. in my opinion you're doing brilliantly and your dc sounds healthy and like he takes after you and your dp!

Seb101 Fri 19-Jul-13 13:12:36

In think your child's diet is really good! You should be congratulating yourself not feeling guilty. Carry on as you are is my advice.grin

JollyHolidayGiant Fri 19-Jul-13 13:38:56

I agree that you should give a snack first thing in the morning and a breakfast later. Sounds like your DS isn't ready to eat breakfast first thing.

We have DS's 2 year check in a couple of weeks. He's 27mo. I think his height is 50th centile and his weight between 75th and 91st so we will probably get the same coments.

Anyone who picks DS up is amazed at how heavy he is, because he's heavier than he looks. DS doesn't eat as good a diet as yours though. He won't eat any veg other than carrots. Mine subsists mainly on fruit, meat and cheese. He'll eat bread/pasta but not regularly and he won't touch potatoes, rice or cous cous.

We switched to green milk when DS was 2 as it was easier/cheaper for us to just buy one kind of milk.

My DS is very active. Choosing to walk or ride his balance bike rather than go in the buggy. He has been known to walk for miles. I reckon my one is mostly muscle.

sleepcrisis Fri 19-Jul-13 13:47:57

Jolly it would be interesting to hear what your hv says. Come back and let me know!

What stuck me most from the things you have written, sleepcrisis, was your HV saying your child doesn't look overweight, but she can't ignore the figures. hmm. Does she not know that all children are individuals, who are not automatically going to fit the neat, statistical bands?

As a case in point, there are sportsmen who, when weighed and measured, have a BMI that defines them as obese - but they most certainly are not overweight - the BMI calculation doesn't take into account the fact that muscle is heavier than fat, so a muscly sportsman may have a high BMI but not an ounce of excess fat, and is very fit and healthy.

Cutting the dried fruit out of your son's diet is a good idea, but more because they are very tooth-unfriendly (dried fruit sticks to the teeth and can cause decay). Apart from that, it looks like he has a pretty good diet -yes there is a lot of sugar in fruit, but there is also lots of fibre and vitamins which are so good for him. Plus it is far better, surely, to have a child who loves, demands and eats lots of fruit than one who craves crisps or chocolate.

I threw my HV out of my house when she told me I didn't have my own son's best interests at heart when I wanted to carry on trying to make breast feeding work rather than putting him onto formula. They are usually a great support for parents of young children, but they do sometimes get things wrong.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 19-Jul-13 17:02:22

I honestly can't see what's wrong with grazing, I've always done it, I just feel dreadful if I don't eat at least every 2 hours in the morning. Dd is the same. Neither of us are obese.

IWipeArses Fri 19-Jul-13 17:12:09

Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full.

JiltedJohnsJulie - I am sure I read somewhere that it is actually healthier to eat 6 smaller meals a day than three ordinary size ones - I suppose because it keeps your blood sugar levels more even.

My DD got sent to a paediatrician at 7 months because of 'excessive growth'... Otherwise known as being a total chubber. The Paed, bless her, told me not to worry, that you can't say bsbies/toddler's self regulate then put them on diets, and that as long as I was feeding her a normal healthy diet (and I quote "and that includes her bodyweight in biscuits at baby groups") that it would all even out by the time she went to school.

Sure enough, she weighed 15kg at 12 months... And 15.1kg at 24 months. With no change in diet, just offering her a range of food, including treats, and letting her eat what she liked.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Fri 19-Jul-13 19:34:44

I went to a weaning session last week and the HV running it told us that follow-on formula had arsenic in it.


Just pointing out that what they say is not gospel grin

maja00 Fri 19-Jul-13 19:42:41

15kg at 12 months shock Isn't that the weight of an average 4 year old?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 19-Jul-13 23:59:46

and I quote "and that includes her bodyweight in biscuits at baby groups") good to know I've been doing things right grin

I'm not so sure, jiltedJohns - I always thought it was me that should be eating my child's body weight in biscuits at toddler groups. blush

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Jul-13 00:09:52

Would have liked to see you wrestle DDs biscuits from her at toddler group. One of you would have come off worse and my money wouldn't have been on you grin

<makes mental note that if ever have another dd I do not give her a strong and feisty name>

duchesse Sat 20-Jul-13 00:29:31

maja, certainly more than my nearly 4 yo weighs.

To illustrate the difference between children, DD3 actually almost never eats more than 1 biscuit. I think she must have a stomach the size of pea (with a bladder to match, alas sad )

sleepcrisis Sat 20-Jul-13 07:18:28

Well, after 2 days of cut down dried fruit and fresh fruit, and 2sncks a day (eg nut butter, hummus) DS has woken with constipation at 6am , 1hr 15 mins earlier than normal.
Business as usual around here from now on (although I am still on raisin alert)

Yes toddler group and biscuits - they literally swarm around the plate like bees! How on earth is anyone meant to restrict that!? And also people who don't have many snacks, I'm genuinely interested in how you handle a day out eg at the beach. We live near the coast and I do think his grazing has got worse since we've had good weather - 6hr stretches on the beach does not lend itself to 3 full meals - all that running, swimming, sun, sea air - I don't think we'd manage it without endless Tupperwares of fruit and the odd lick of an ice cream ...

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 07:33:23

Sleepcrisis: that is to be expected, i I I am afraid. To avoid it you need to add in the fibre he was getting from dried fruit in some other way and also get him to drink more water. Maybe homemade smoothies might help?

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 07:34:20

Ps: I would not cut down the fresh fruit, ESP not in summer. Just swap fresh for dried.

noviceoftheday Sat 20-Jul-13 07:40:57

Sounds very similar to my dcs food intake. Dd is 4.5 yo, I don't think we have been to HV since she was 4 months. Ds (2) hasn't been since his 6 week check up. They are not compulsory.

As an adult, I tend to go for small meals/snacks a day rather than 3 full meals. It's a bit like splitting out my 3 meals across the day.

Reastie Sat 20-Jul-13 07:51:41

Interesting thread. HVs made me completely worry about DDs weight at 2 year check too.

She was born on 99th centile for weight (I had gd) and 9th for height, she then quickly went down to 25th centile weight (they panicked alot and made me formula top her up as they were worried about her weight loss, turns out she was just getting to her 'natural' centile after my gd). Since weaning she's gradually been going up the centiles and is now on 75th for weight and still 9th for height. She made me really worry about this (and I still have a thing about it). My DD won't eat vegetables or pasta or bolognese or lentils or many fruits so I get in a real tizzy about what she eats. I've had weight issues and put on alot of weight when pg/bfing but have recently lost alot. I worry DD will have similar issues.

I'm also trying to exercise DD (but she doesn't realise I'm doing it). We do alot of fun running and chasing games which she loves. Btw I wouldn't worry about the 3 meals a day no snacking. I had a useless weight loss coach who was the same about only eating 3 meals but to me it doesn't make sense - surely it's better to spread your food out to keep your blood sugar even rather than eating bigger meals. I've lost 6 stone (nearly) and have spread food through the day rather than 3 meals.

Sirzy Sat 20-Jul-13 08:04:33

During days out DS rarely snacks, just has his picnic lunch. He is too busy having fun to think about eating!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Jul-13 08:28:18

Reastie you've lost 6st! That's amazing thanks

sleep I don't agree with the posters who said cut out the fresh fruit. When I said me and dd aren't obese, we are both quite thin and both snack. We both love fresh fruit too.

If he's constipated I'd take him somewhere where they sell a selection of fruit and let him choose some. Give him a couple of dried apricots too smile

When you were asking about sweetening porridge, we tend to sweeten ours with fruit (even raisins or chopped dried apricots). DH has recently got them sweetening it with jam though...hmm

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 08:43:00

Interesting thread... Haven't had time to read all posts..

But in my experience I would ignore HV. They have charts and graphs which might have their place but all that concerns me is the quality of what my child eats and appropriate exercise. I want my child to be healthy and energetic - how he looks and what he weighs will take care of itself...

I have two DCs- same diet, genes etc. one has always been skinny and the other is very chubby (extremely cute with it too). I apparently was the same as a little kid and became extremely lean at age 6 or so and still am. I am not remotely concerned by my chubby toddler's weight - or voracious appetite.

Personally I don't give him much ice cream, only because it's full of sugary additives. But I give him double cream etc as kids' requirements for saturated fat are higher than ours. I also see biscuits as a treat - so one at toddler group is fine but that's it for me. Again, I am more concerned about crappy additives than calories per se.

I also try to make sure he isn't strapped in a buggy all day (not suggesting you are doing this BTW). I just feel a high appetite means more energy to burn off.

Your DC sounds adorable to me!

RobotBananas Sat 20-Jul-13 08:44:17

i ddon't think anybody said cut down on the fresh fruit did they? Just raisins as they're terrible for teeth. They'd be alright given before a meal though.

As for snacking - I just got myself out of the habit. I do eat big, protein-filled meals though, and they keep me going for hours. I don't really eat sugar, so i don't get that energy surge, then slump 2 hours after eating.

It makes sense if some people want to spread their food out more, but 3 meals a day works for me. You just have to find what's right for you and your kids though.

sleepcrisis Sat 20-Jul-13 08:45:01

DS absolutely adores fresh fruit in any form and asks for it over a biscuit any day. I cant believe I considered cutting it out. Cutting out dried food is easy and I am taking that into account if only for teeth. SuiGeneris I dont see how a smoothie is any different to a bowl of fresh fruit?

Sirzy - wow I'm impressed. DS loves being at the beach but all that fun builds up such an appetite. Plus all the distractions mean that he won't eat his picnic lunch in one sitting for love nor money, so I can hardly prevent the natural grazing? There's no high chair containment at the park or the beach!
I've also come to the conclustion that DS just runs so much that he burns so much off and is probably 50% muscle.

sleepcrisis Sat 20-Jul-13 08:53:10

RobotBananas - the thread has got so long now that I can't be bothered to look back (my longest thread yet by far!) I seem to remember there were a few mentions of too much fruit not enough protein, and if he snacks on fruit he wont want his meals, and fruit is high in sugar, and too much fruit is bad for his teeth.
And the HV frowned at too much fruit, thats where it started I guess.

I'm also working on more protien at meal times but keeping up the fruit intake esp in this weather. I think he gets a lot of his fluid intake from fruit.

sleepcrisis Sat 20-Jul-13 08:56:52

Oh and thank you people for the suggestion of small snack then a late breakfast - it worked today. We did banana and milk at 630 and then he are a decent size bowl of cereal, more milk and some fruit at 845. Best breakfast he's had in months!

ariane5 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:02:15

Up untill dec my dd2 (3) was tiny. She has recently put on a huge amount of weight (13.5kg-16.2kg) and looks chunky. I have had no end of comments from healthcare people and it really upsets me.

Her diet is healthy as it can be but she has health problems so nothing I could do about the weight gain. What upsets me most is when dr/hv talks in front of dd about it as I don't want her having issues in later life about her size.

I would if I were you maybe try to cut back a bit on cake/ice cream but don't worry too much I am sure your ds is fine the size he is.hv seem to have odd views on things sometimes .

RobotBananas Sat 20-Jul-13 09:06:44

The fresh fruit is fine, esp.in this weather. Yes, loads will be bad for teeth, but some fruits have loads more sugar than others smile

Honestly, I would take the HV and the centime charts with a pinch of salt. He's TWO!

All he needs is a growth spurt to get his height more in line with his weight. By all means change his eating habits for the sake of his teeth (but jeez, my toddler's favourite snacks are all sugary - raisins, yoghurt raisins, Goodies fruit/flapjack bars - and I don't lose any sleep over it) but I honestly don't think his weight is something to worry about at his age.

MiaowTheCat Sat 20-Jul-13 09:49:52

I went to a weaning session last week and the HV running it told us that follow-on formula had arsenic in it.

Oh god please tell me you're going to complain about that particular little gem of idiocy!

I couldn't make our weaning talk with DD1, health visitor looked like her head was going to implode with the idea that someone had other stuff to do in life than sit and wait to be needed by health visitordom. Said she'd get the weaning info given out at that session together for me for a fortnight's time when she was next doing clinic. That was when DD1 was about 4 1/2 months (they tend to do the weaning talks early in case people are going to go for early weaning - get the information out there)... DD1 is now 15 months - I'm still waiting for the information! (HV is lovely but terrible for not writing stuff down and having the memory of a goldfish!)

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Jul-13 10:06:48

Glad a snack and later breakfast have worked better today. Yesterday you were asking about protein breakfasts, as he really doesn't seem to like eggs how about Blueberry pancakes or Sausage and beans? Would he eat a German style breakfast with cheese and ham? There even porridge pancakes, savoury muffins and good old cheese on toast. These are only suggestions though, like I've said all along I think you are doing a great job smile

Hurrah for the late breakfast having an effect. grin

CrackersandCheese Sat 20-Jul-13 12:15:53

I'm afraid that I haven't read all the posts but I just want to add that at 2 you should change from full fat milk to semi skimmed milk. It has exactly the same amount of goodness in it e.g. calcium but less fat. Children do not have higher saturated fat requirements than adults, which someone mentioned.
They should also have low fat cheese and yoghurt from this age. Not the low fat diet stuff that's full of sugar and sweeteners, just plain low fat yoghurt and low fat cheese.
That will probably sound crazy to most, but that is official guidelines from 2.

I am not anti-fat in any way by the way... but the simple fact is that a quarter of children in this country are obese and many more overweight. We need to reassess what we consider to be OK.

Someone up-thread said that the difference in calories between full-fat and semi skimmed milk is only 10 calories per 100ml, CrackersandCheese.

CrackersandCheese Sat 20-Jul-13 13:18:08

It's more than that, although not much. But you have to look at cumulatively always having full fat milk, yoghurt, cheese etc...

Anyway- this is really not the main thing wrong with children's diets from what we know from dietary surveys. But I did want to clarify what is recommended.

brettgirl2 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:40:13

Cheese all this low fat everything is nonsense I don't care what official guideline you have found. It is my opinion that sugar is what causes people to be fat. When dd1 was 2 they said you could switch if they are eating and growing well. There is no need to eat reduced fat anything at any age as long as your diet is varied and you eat lean meals as well as fattier ones. Low fat options are a modern invention and while they have been available people have got fatter!!!

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 13:44:17

Not sure i agree crackers. Yes that is the official advice. But there is a growing theory that all of us, kids included, should be eating good quality fats at every meal and way less sugar, fructose and vegetable fats. I won't provide any links here - there is a huge amount on google.

Put it this way, kids are fatter and more unhealthy than they have ever been. These kids aren't getting fat from butter and full fat milk. They are getting sick from highly processed grains, consuming huge quantities of hidden sugars and industrialised vegetable oils.

Fats are essential, but the right fats.

There is nothing low fat in our fridge - none of us overweight (except our toddler). grin

CrackersandCheese Sat 20-Jul-13 13:53:04

Good fats, yes, very important. Moving to a lower fat dairy product is only reducing the saturated fats.

Of course sugar causes weight gain if you have too much. But at reasonable levels, as with fats, it's fine. And most of it should be naturally found in foods like fruit. It's very difficult to get too much when you eat wholesome food. It's not when you are eating things like cakes, biscuits, pastries, confectionary etc.

And I did say I didn't mean crappy processed low fat foods. Which I agree are not good for anyone.

brettgirl2 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:59:37

Crackers there is a big difference between sugar and fat. Fat makes you feel full, sugar doesn't, it makes you crave more sugar..... Yes of course there is sugar in fruit and that can't be avoided but there is a real argument about whether fruit juice for example is good for you or really unhealthy!

Of course fat causes other problems if your diet is not balanced. But even low fat stuff without added sugar has a higher percentage sugar (look on the side of milk), although this is slight.

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 14:02:52

There are good fats in high fat unprocessed dairy, crackers. You also end up eating less too - full fat encourages satiety. The tide is already turning on margarines back in favour of butter.

matana Sat 20-Jul-13 14:04:01

I thought the reason they advised switching from full fat to semi skimmed milk is because semi skimmed has more vitamins and nutrients in it?

brettgirl2 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:10:14

In terms of calcium ss has 122mg per 100ml and ff has 120mg according to the bottles in my fridge. Not too worried about that.....

CrackersandCheese Sat 20-Jul-13 14:15:54

The sugar in milk is lactose. It's not added??

Look- I was just clarifying official advice. Which is based on 1,000's of peer-reviewed studies on 100,000's of people. The advice is the best information we have to guide good choices and you are of course at liberty to ignore it and make up your own opinion based on what you have read on Google (which someone referred me to earlier).

My view is based on science and the latest science at that.

I am not saying there aren't good fats in milk. I'm saying that you can cut down the 'bad' saturated fats and some calories, which cumulatively add up, by swapping to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two. And you retain the good minerals like calcium.

There are of course bigger issues with children's diets, which I'm sure are obvious and others have mentioned.

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 14:20:16

Hi crackers. I'm not having a go at you, honest. I think the older I get the more official "guidance" changes. Complete 180 turns.

I am a boring geek that reads a lot. There is a lot of science emerging about fats/good fats. Have a look.

Who knows - in 20 years time we might all be told coke is good for us....

CrackersandCheese Sat 20-Jul-13 14:27:06

Ooh... I'm not taking it personally!

I just want to reassure you that I am very well aware of the latest science. It's my job wink

The only convincing link between sugar and weight which is relatively new in terms of several large, good-quality studies is for sugar-sweetened drinks. And I say new in terms of now having confidence in the results.

Advice changes because evidence gathers over time until we can be more certain of the effects of not following it/following it.

Whilst it may be tiring and confusing that advice changes over time, that is not an excuse for ambivalence and we should do our best with what we know. That last bit is obviously my opinion.

Silverfoxballs Sat 20-Jul-13 14:31:30

The amount of sugar in fruit and veg varies, peas and corn have some of the highest levels of sugar in veg. I eat them just as I eat dried fruit but not often.

I am anti low fat diet and Marge does not get past my front door and neither do low fat yogurts or diet drinks. None of us are overweight. We eat a decent diet but everything in moderation.

DH is a food scientist and has been ranting on about what oohdaddypig has mentioned for years.

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 14:31:48

You sound like you have an interesting job, crackers!

One of my issues with official guidance is that it is too slow to react. A lot of the current advice is still based on (flawed) studies from 30 years ago.

Want to come round for a nice cup of tea (with full fat milk) and a debate?! I am too boring for everyone else grin

oohdaddypig Sat 20-Jul-13 14:33:57

Maybe silverfox's DH can come too... Strawberries and cream for dessert...

brettgirl2 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:34:56

Its not about google crackers but what works for my own weight management wink, no-one in my house is overweight (unlike the people in the office who religiously use skimmed). And of course the biggest issue with ff milk being that it tastes gross in tea......

brettgirl2 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:35:56

Or full fat greek yoghurt, yum grin

RobotBananas Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:28

Low fat cheese isn't cheese grin

I'm surprised the advice is to.give low fat cheese to toddlers tbh. Even if it is current advice I will be ignoring that one! DS only has SS milk because that's what the rest of us drink - not buying 2 kinds of milk.

Sugary shit cereals, artificial sweetners and other crap does not enter the house though.

MrsHoarder Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:57

Full fat Greek yoghurt really would taste gross in tea wink

Its a much better breakfast with some chopped fruit...

RobotBananas Sat 20-Jul-13 16:15:48

what's your job crackers, sounds interesting. I've seen some recent papers about low carb diets, not sure they made it to publication though.

Will be interesting to see what happens to advice over the next couple of decades, if it changes away from the low fat/high carb thinking at the moment.

prettybird Sat 20-Jul-13 17:04:39

Actually, once you get re used to it, ff milk is ok in tea I am old enough to remember when there wasn't a choice blush - you just use less of it. smile

IWipeArses Sat 20-Jul-13 17:42:48

Crackers, how can semi skimmed milk contain all the goodness of full fat milk if it contains 50% less of vitamins A, D etc?

Sirzy Sat 20-Jul-13 17:52:09

Full fat milk tastes gross in anything!

There again I would be happy if DS would entertain drinking any sort of milk, he hasn't touched a drop since 18 months!

Layl77 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:02:21

I'm not sure who said grazing is unhealthy and a uk/us thing but this is not true. Three square meals a dy is a relatively modern thing. It's not necessarily compatible with kids who from birth are better off grazing or feeding frequently and not ha kg blood sugar crashes and going hours without. Yes popcorn at the cinema and sweet crap is a new snack trend but kids need to eat when they feel hungry and self regulate no be forced to sit and eat what's on a plate three times a day. That's how tummies get stretched and people can end up bypassing the full feeling ending up overweight. I let my kids eat healthy food when they feel like it and meals too which they can leave se of if they choose.

duchesse Sat 20-Jul-13 18:15:45

full fat milk is 96% fat free and since the cream is where the Vit D is, which helps you to metabolise the calcium, you may as well drink water if you drink skimmed. Unless you are a very outdoorsy person and are getting enough vit d from the sun (which most of us aren't) you won't be absorbing much of the calcium from skimmed milk. Semi-skimmed just sounds like people can't make their mind up.

duchesse Sat 20-Jul-13 18:19:03

If by "relatively modern" you mean post settled agriculture phase (ie in the last 15,000 years) as opposed to when we hunted and gathered, then I sort of agree with you, although the grazing in hunter gatherer societies only really applied to fruit and veg and easy to find stuff, not to meat and fish which as a precious resource was/is a far more ritualised sharing occasion. Mealtimes have been part of human culture since the dawn of time- they are a symbol of our peaceful coexistence and cooperation over obtention of food.

Layl77 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:23:38

Socially yes but as far as bodies are concerned especially with children it's not necesarily the same. Breakfast for example the choices most kids have are really limited to sugary or carbs. My kids don't do breakfast unless its fruit yoghurt or proteins type. A long as snacks are nutritious and treated like fuel I think they are essential,

Sirzy Sat 20-Jul-13 18:24:28

the problem is a lot of people use 'grazing' to justify over eating - they still have 3 meals and then just 'graze' between the meals. I would imagine very few people actually eat LITTLE and often!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Jul-13 19:12:12

Crackers the issue with low fat dairy is that it has far lower amounts of the fat soluble vitamins.

Full-fat dairy is really not the problem. Sugar is the problem.

Do you eat low-fat cheese? It is not cheese. Apart from which it limits you to cheddar and possible mozzarella which isn't exactly exciting.

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 21:52:48

Sleepcrisis: I was suggesting smoothies as an easy way of staying hydrated and having fresh fruit. They are not the same, in that from the fibre intake pov fresh fruit is better but occasional smoothies are fine.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Jul-13 21:57:34

robot I've always eaten a low ish carb diet naturally. Its only when I've got married to DH that I've eaten more, and guess what, I've put weight on.

brett when you said you've been putting ff in your tea, I thought you meant formula grin

cracker according to the Healthy start website children between 2 and 5 years can drink full fat or semi skimmed but not 1 percent as they don't provide enough calories. So there is a difference between should and can.

Fraxinus Sun 21-Jul-13 19:45:11

Sirzy, I agree with you. Grazing is not an ideal eating pattern for most kids. While kids can be whiny when they get hungry, at the extreme of the spectrum, children who have only one meal a day manage. I have seen it. It is not ideal, but when they are going to get their food they can sit quietly and wait for it even though they are very hungry and have been for hours. It all depends on what they are used to. So gradually reducing snacks will mean they can tolerate hunger better, and eat better at mealtimes.

IWipeArses Sun 21-Jul-13 22:36:28

I'd imagine children who are habitually hunger for hours a day don't have the energy to complain.
I'm not actually sure whether starving children into submission is an ironic suggestion or not these days.

Fraxinus Sun 21-Jul-13 23:45:30

Feeding children 3 regular meals is not a suggestion to starve them. hmm children adapt to the feeding regime you provide them. If you have constant snacks on offer, they will pick and whine when they are hungry. If you feed them 3 regular meals a day they will learn to tolerate a certain amount of hunger and eat well when food is provided.

You would be surprised how much children play even when living off one meal per day. I would struggle, because I am used to 3. But life does not stop just because it is tough.

RobotBananas Mon 22-Jul-13 07:56:36

Oh FGS.. what a ridiculous suggestion. DS has 3 meals a day and has plenty of energy. He was running around for hours yesterday afternoon and only said he was hungry about 20 mins before dinner.

3 meals a day is what I had as a child, same as most of my friends. Its fine.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 08:54:10

Why tolerate hunger if you're not in poverty? Sounds like a weirdy controlling thing to me.

And as food restriction is probably the main cause of obesity, you are setting yourself up for a fail.

Eat when hungry, stop when full. For some people that will be 3 meals a day, for others that won't be enough. Particularly toddlers who have small stomachs and high metabolisms.

sleepcrisis Mon 22-Jul-13 09:01:42

Can I just ask, how old are your kids who go 5 hours without eating? There is a huge difference between 2 and 3 imo, esp as many toddlers will be bf on demand throughout toddlerhood and surely it would take a while for them to get used to not having something every couple of hrs or so.

Sirzy Mon 22-Jul-13 09:12:02

DS is 3.7 and has had the same feeding routine for about the past 18 months.

Some days he will have a snack mid morning or mid afternoon (one piece of fruit or one biscuit) but most days he doesn't ask for anything because he eats well at meal times. I would never let him have more than the 2 snacks a day either because I know he can't be hungry then.

I think snacking only becomes an issue if they are constantly after food (and getting it) having a small snack between meals is fine, moving from one thing to the next not good!

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 09:14:09

Why is it not good if they're not actually getting fat from it?

Sirzy Mon 22-Jul-13 09:24:12

Because the need to constantly eat is not a good habit to get into and could very easily lead to obesity later in life.

Overeating is a massive problem in this country and why childhood obesity (and adult obesity) is such a problem.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 09:27:31

Binge eating in response to restriction or other stress seems the most likely cause of obesity. Allowing children to self regulate will help them avoid obesity. Restricting their eating is more likely to make them obese as time goes on.

RobotBananas Mon 22-Jul-13 09:54:00

Hmm.. some people are coming across as a bit rude. Implications of being controlling about food are nothing to do with it.

We eat proper meals, and don't go hungry between them - believe me! Just get peckish just before a meal, which is normal.

I don't want to be stuffing my face with snacks every 2 hours.. I don't need to. DS might have the odd biscuit or something, but not as a rule. Its just not part of our routine.

OP- agree. Expecting a 2yo to go 5 hours without something is unrealistic. DS is 5, and hasn't had snacks in the day since about 3 I think

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 09:58:58

Robot that's it though isn't it, you get a bit peckish just before a meal, then you eat, not tolerating hunger in the way Fraxinus talked about.
And just because you only need three meals a day doesn't mean that's the best way for everybody, anymore than I was failing because my DC1 never went more than 2 hours without a bf for a very long time.
Stopping a child eating regularly who wants to is far more damaging than allowing it.

RobotBananas Mon 22-Jul-13 10:13:30

But nobody is saying that, where did anybody say you were failing your DC confused. If snacks work for you, fine. If they make you fat, don't eat them (my case). I always find I'm more hungry if I eat biscuits or something mid morning, and end up eating more for lunch - probably the sugar crash a couple of hours later making me want more food. Once I got out of the habit of snacking mid morning and mid afternoon I didn't get hungry at that time anymore, and ate better at mealtimes.

I have to say though - I know so many kids who are constantly nagging for snacks and get them! They live on little bits of crap and then when it is dinner time, they don't want to eat and then their parents inevitably complain about it hmm (not saying you do this!!)

My parents seem to want to stuff DS full of cake and biscuits between meals (which is weird as this never happened when we were kids) and then they moan at him when he doesn't want his dinner. Well.. of course he doesn't, he just had a magnum two hours ago.

I think I'm going off on a bit of a tangent now grin

It was just a bit of a revelation to me, that's all. I think we're all so conditioned to think that snacking is needed and that people can't go 4/5 hours without eating, that we feel deprived if we don't have something to eat every couple of hours.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 10:15:48

Ds2&3 both started on the lowest centile and moved steadily up to the top, ds3 was over the 95th in weight and height by the age of 1 and is the same now at 2.4 years. They were both premature though and would probably have been big if full term (ds1 was 11lb 2 at birth.)

Ds3 still has two snacks a day, around 10 and 2 o'clock. Ds2 is 10 and hasn't had a snack between meals since starting school. He's still tall for his age but isn't overweight.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 10:17:11

The thread is becoming generally anti-snack, with the implication that avoiding snacking, which means preventing children snacking, one way or the other is better for them, and it's not that simple.

RobotBananas Mon 22-Jul-13 10:19:50

No, avoiding shit snacks with little or no nutritional value, and filling children up before meals is not good for them. An apple of a biscuit between meals is obviously fine.

RobotBananas Mon 22-Jul-13 10:21:22

ugh.. re-wrote that half way through and contradicted myself. You know what I mean smile

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 11:05:55

A lot of those people, women particularly, who mindlessly graze eg. biscuits at toddler group, doughnuts at work, inhaling buffets etc. are likely skipping meals and trying to stick to some rubbishy 1400cal diet, whose body then grabs at the first calorie dense food it comes across.
If they were actually eating sufficient at meals, they wouldn't be drawn to the high cal snacks.

I agree though, the more nutritious the food, whether at main meals or snacks, the healthier and more weight stable everyone would be.
And nutritious food means full fat dairy, fruit etc.

Dackyduddles Mon 22-Jul-13 11:11:43

I think if you saw a diff hv you would get a diff opinion. If you saw five you would have five diff!

See GP. He's you know medically trained where hvs are monumentally useless it seems in RL and on here. If GP worried, worry.

Cut back a bit on multiple snacks but meals with two mid am/mid pm is what nurseries/cms work on generally.

Then relax as you will cause a food issue!

Dackyduddles Mon 22-Jul-13 11:12:58

And toddlers should be on full fat milk not semi or skimmed.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 11:53:04

I always thought it was full fat milk until 5 but the nhs website says they can have semi skimmed from 2 as long as they are eating well and on a good varied diet

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 11:54:44

Why not give them full fat?

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:08:32

Because mine drinks alot of it and full fat contains alot more saturated fat and calories.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:10:06

They need both fat and calories.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:22:50

Yeah he gets that in his diet, he doesn't need it from milk

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:24:40

Doesn't he? Why is he drinking it then?

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:26:31

Sorry, I don't mean to sound so antagonistic, I struggle to understand why people restrict their childrens food intake.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:35:45

I don't ristrict his food intake he has semi skimmed because he likes milk and drinks lots of it but over the age of 2 they don't need full fat so I don't see the need in buying it.

Ds1 is lactose intolerant and didn't like any of the substitutes so didn't have any milk or milk products from the age of 2, as l

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:39:11

Posted too soon , as long as they are getting the calcium/vit etc in their diet they don't need milk.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:40:39

He might be drinking a lot of it to get the fat. I think semi-skimmed for over 2s is daft. They need the fat, the vitamins are all in the fat.
Breastmilk actually gets fattier as the child gets older, I'm not going to start restricting how much of that my DC get. They need to self-regulate.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:42:01

No I agree that milk is not as essential, but if you're going to give it to them, then give them real milk.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:44:31

Well that's probably not true actually, I do restrict the amount of milk he drinks to some extent as he'd drink it all day long and not want to eat any meals, especially if he was drinking full fat.

In the same way I don't let h eat cake all day long because he wouldn't eat his meals

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:49:27

If you let him eat cake all day, every day for a month, you don't think he'd get fed up of it?
If he really drinks full fat to the exclusion of anything else, then perhaps he needs fattier meals?

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:50:10

If I gave him full fat id have to restrict it, or he wouldn't eat as he'd be too full.

If ds4 who is ebf at the moment was 2 and bf more than eating I'd be restricting how much he was bf as I'd prefer at that age for him to be having a balanced diet

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:53:14

No he'd just be too full with all the fluid to want to eat anything, nothing to do with needing the fat. Yes he might get bored of cake if I gave it him as much as he liked, then again he might not so I'm not going to try it.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 12:53:47

If my daughter was bf more than I thought she should be, I'd look at what was missing from her food rather than restricting her milk iyswim.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:59:00

There doesn't have to be anything missing from their meals, sometimes they just have a preference.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 13:03:00

I don't think they'd prefer it if it wasn't what they needed nutritionally. Children do self-regulate. Like adults do if they haven't messed themselves up from dieting.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:14:26

That's rubbish, noone eats only the foods that contain things they need, if that were the case we wouldn't have the odd bag of crisps or chocolate bar.

And ds1 wouldn't prefer to nip down the road for a kebab on a sat night istead of eating the food I've cooked.

missesjellybean Mon 22-Jul-13 13:16:48

my dc was born on the 98th centile and had dropped below the 25th century before he was 4 months old and has happily followed this trend since (i had to have medicines in pregnancy and was told they would make dc larger than he would have naturally been) I was quite happy with the centile dropping as I had been told to expect it but hv kicked up such a fuss and insisted on referring to the pediatrician at the local hospital.

when we saw the pediatrician she told me that they weren't particularly concerned about what centile a child is born on as they will naturally find their own 'line' within a few months and stay along that line.

they are only concerned (at my local hospital anyway) with sudden increases or decreases....
but I was told that hv follow a different protocol where if the increase / decrease is 2 centiles or more they have to take action...eg refer, monitor weight or something along those lines..


missesjellybean Mon 22-Jul-13 13:18:50

centile not century lol

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 13:25:58

Moomins, both crisps and chocolate contain some things that we need. If I found myself regularly craving crisps, I'd increase the carbs and salt in my general diet.

prettybird Mon 22-Jul-13 14:15:24

I'll need to remember that justification when I find myself constantly craving chocolate! grin

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 15:33:07

Me too! I have enough carbs and salt in my diet, I eat crisps because I like the taste.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:36:25

Agree with Iwipe. Young Children are generally very good at self regulating. If thy want chocolate or milk all dy they probably need the fat.

Snacking isn't bad as seems to be being suggested on here. I snack all of the time and my dd needs feeding regularly too. Neither of us are obese and just because you snack doesn't mean you don't eat when you're hungry and stop. When you are full. I've always taken on far more calories in the morning than any other time of day. If I had breakfast then had to wait until lunch I simply wouldn't be able to function.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 22-Jul-13 23:00:44

My hv would have a fit if I suggested ds3 needed more fat in his diet with the size of him. I think it's far more likely that he's missing his afternoon nap, is grumpy and over tied at the moment and is missing his bottle of milk at nap time. He thinks I'll relent and give him milk in his bottle.

Funnily enough he doesn't drink milk if we are out all day, or like last week when we were on holiday he only asked for some at bedtime.

duchesse Mon 22-Jul-13 23:22:00

As Sirzy said further down, offering 3 good meals a day is hardly "restricting calorie intake". It's simply ensuring that the good nutrition offered at the meals is taken up rather than displaced by nutritionally empty foodstuffs such as squash and biscuits. Especially when you're dealing with very small people, it's important that they get nutrients in everything.

And no, IWipe, most people don't get fat from "binge eating", whatever that is. They get fat from consistently, day in, day out, eating 100 cals too many for their activity level and body size.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:14:34

No, duchesse, they don't. Of course if you have something to back that up I'll read your references.

duchesse Tue 23-Jul-13 10:23:42

Ok, Here's one article. Shall I look for more?

duchesse Tue 23-Jul-13 10:25:51

Here's another- the ways you gain weight all boil down to taking in too many absent-minded calories.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:26:22

Is that your evidence?

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:28:46

Ok, here's an article - 180degreehealth.com/2012/10/how-we-get-fat please note, this one website is not my only source, but this is a very excellent summary of the incredibly complex reasons people get fat.

duchesse Tue 23-Jul-13 10:28:57

Do you really believe that 50% of the US population and 40% of ours is obese or nudging obesity because they're sitting in front of the fridge snarfing down entire cakes at 3am? Most people would realise they had a problem and seek help in that case. Most people's weight gain is so gradual they hardly realise it's happening.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:33:33

With a reduced metabolism due to reasons such as dieting, a binge could just be eating as much as you actually need. A big sunday dinner after a week of being 'careful' will result in fat gain, whereas someone who hadn't been trying to stop themselves eating wouldn't necessarily gain from the same meal. M

duchesse Tue 23-Jul-13 10:33:49

This one authoritative enough? Just 10 surplus calories a day for 30 years will increase your weight by 20 pounds.

Have you seen Secret Eaters? Fascinating telly programme about people who don't know why they're so fat. Without fail it's because they eat too much.

Some have no concept of portion sizing, some forget that drinks have calories in, some vastly underestimate how many calories they take in while they're cooking (last episode I saw, a woman ate 1100kcal in snacks and drinks whilst preparing a family barbecue), etc etc.

They all think they are eating normally so the odd Kit Kat doesn't matter - usually the Kit Kat is the least of their worries, and it's the extra 1000kcal in juice, beer and fizzy pop that's keeping the weight on.

RobotBananas Tue 23-Jul-13 10:41:03

Agree with duchesse. Some people binge and will be overweight as a result, but imo its the extra hundred or so calories that people eat a day, over the level needed to maintain their weight, that leads to slow and steady weight gain. Its why just reducing your calorie intake by a small amount over a long period of time is a very effective and sustainable way to lose weight.

The reasons people overeat are obviously complex though.
I do agree that a fucked up metabolism due to yoyo dieting and severely restricting calories has a massive impact though.

RobotBananas Tue 23-Jul-13 10:41:47

Horry - I was just going go say something about secret eaters. Great minds smile

Sirzy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:44:10

and it's the extra 1000kcal in juice, beer and fizzy pop that's keeping the weight on.

This was my issue. You tend to be aware of what you eat but not what you drink when I started looking at the calories in what I was drinking it was quite shocking how you could easily add 500 or more calories in a day just in drinks. I have now gone back to drinking mainly water and as a result had a massive weight loss without having to change too much else in my diet.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:44:31

The NYtimes article is about a mathematical model of weight gain in which they have averaged the weight gain, it doesn't actually show that that is how weight is gained.
Everyone I know who has put weight on puts it on in spurts. I haven't been constatnly changing size for the last thirty years, it's always come on in half a stone - stone bursts, separated out by months or years of stability.

Sirzy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:46:22

Everyone I know who has put weight on has done so gradually. I can't think of anyone who has just put on a massive amount in a spurt which is why people tend not to notice the weight going on as much.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:49:17

Who doesn't notice the weight going on?

Sirzy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:50:56

You don't wake up half a stone heavier, its a pound here and there which adds up over time. Its only when your clothes start getting tighter, or you see a photo from a year or so back that you stop and think "shit I am getting bigger"

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 10:54:54

I don't wake up half a stone heavier, but a stressful week later, or yet another failed diet yo-yos back up again.

Agreed. Most people don't weigh themselves that often, so they could put on a stone slowly before their normal clothes didn't fit.

colditz Tue 23-Jul-13 10:55:43

I know it goes against the grain, but unless your child is clinically underweight, don't "tempt"them to eat with sugar. Although he's probably not fat, there IS a discrepancy between his weight and his height, and "tempting" him to eat at breakfast, nine thirty, eleven and then lunch .... It's too much food. He's only eating it because it's sweet and it's there. While small children need snacks, no child needs to constantly have something edible in his mouth.

RobotBananas Tue 23-Jul-13 10:57:37

Stop doing yoyo diets then smile

Everybody's weight fluctuates by a few pounds each month, so you just need a couple of pounds on top of that after a heavy week and suddenly you're 6lb heavier. But a couple if weeks of healthy eating and cutting our crap and it should start to go again.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 11:02:17

Yes, no more yo-yo dieting, I'm allowing my body to self-regulate.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 11:03:34

A couple weeks of cutting out crap is a diet though.

Sirzy Tue 23-Jul-13 11:11:41

No it isn't. That is eating properly!

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 11:17:46

I suppose it depends on your definition of crap though doesn't it?

Prozacbear Tue 23-Jul-13 11:44:46

Oh dear, I've been giving DS full-fat milk! Didn't realise for over-2's it isn't necessary blush my mum is always banging on about the importance of milk...

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 11:46:01

It's fine to give them full-fat milk!

Prozacbear Tue 23-Jul-13 11:53:39

It might explain why he's addicted to milk though... I think I've been lax because he loves it so much.

IWipeArses Tue 23-Jul-13 11:55:25

It's not lax to give him milk. Milk has plenty of necessary nutrients.

CrackersandCheese Tue 23-Jul-13 13:34:55

Ah sorry.. Been gone a few days and can't catch up.

There's no vitamin d in milk. It's fortified in the US and I think that's where that stems from.

I'm a dietitian and have experience with paeds (someone asked). I will try and go through and answer any other questions tomorrow.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:52

Bear I give both of mine full fat milk. They have a cup at least twice a day, sometimes they ask for more. Have no intention of cutting back as they are both growing. They are 5 and 9.

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