Overweight Toddler

(3 Posts)
TreaterAnita Sun 28-Aug-16 21:16:08

Hopefully this is the right topic for this post.

My DD has always been a pretty enthusiastic feeder - she was born on about the 50th centile I think (she was 7lb7oz at 39+5) but then moved up quickly to the 75th centile and then to the 91st where she seemed to stay (I've got weights from 5 months and 9 months which both have her just above the 91st). The HV at her 9 month check seemed pretty happy that that was where she should be so all was fine.

Recently however I've noticed that, while her limbs and face have started to slim down as she's become more mobile (she's almost 19 months and started walking at 14 months) she's got an increasingly pronounced stomach and actually just feels very heavy. The HV weigh-in clinic is on a day when she's at nursery and I'm at work so not been for ages, but when I weighed her on our home scales she's 14.5kg! That's well above the 99th centile for a 19 month old girl - I distinctly recall that my son (who is very skinny and a fussy eater) only reached that weight when he was over 4. To be fair, DS is pretty short for his age (he was prem and never quite caught up) whereas DD is fairly average height (she was on the 50th centile last time she was measured) but she's obviously on a much higher centile for weight and also crossing centiles, neither of which are great.

There may be some family form for this in that my dad (who is 67 and has a BMI of about 21) was a huge baby and there are pictures of me looking vvv chubby as a baby (I'm reasonably slim now and was very skinny as a child but I did struggle a bit in between). However she's not a baby any more really, and I was really expecting her to start dropping down rather than going up the charts.

People do tend to comment on her size and how well she eats, but it's usually accompanied by reassurance that they have/know a child who was a blob until the age of 18 months/2 years/2-and-half and then suddenly slimmed out. However the realisation that, if you randomly picked 100 19 month old girls, none would weigh as much as my daughter has made me think that we need to do something.

Diet-wise, she very rarely has treats or much in the way of empty calories. We tend to give DS cake/chocolate etc when she's not looking, and if it's unavoidable that she notices I will give her a little bit of his treat, so I'll break a cookie into 4 and then give her one piece and him the rest. It seems to be quantities of healthy food that's the issue.

In terms of exercise, she's very mobile now and we let her climb the stairs (under supervision) and walk on the reins etc whenever possible. She spends a lot of time running around and then throwing herself at her brother too. She also plays outside and runs around a lot at nursery.

I've identified 2 problem issues with her diet. One is milk and yogurt which she loves and which we (and in particular DH) tend to give on demand which we're now stopping and she is generally going to have 1 small yogurt and 1 bedtime cup of full fat milk per day.

The other issue is a bit more difficult because it's outside our control and that's food at nursery. The catering at nursery is great in that they offer home made breakfast, lunch, tea and then there's also a snack in there at some point of the fruit and crackers variety. However the last meal is at about 15.30, so by the time she's collected at 17.30 she wants to eat again, especially as DS hasn't had dinner and needs to eat before bed. Also she's apparently been having at least 2 portions and sometimes 3 of lunch and tea. At home, we don't really have seconds (I make the amount we need) and if she asks for more I just say 'no more' and offer her some fruit or, increasingly, some veg. She happily accepts this, eats it and then wants to get down. She doesn't tend to then ask for food between meals at home so I don't think I'm starving her, in fact I'm clearly not if her weight is off the chart.

I want to ask nursery to refuse her second portions (or maybe just give her a small spoonful and then say no more, if it causes real problems not to - I'm conscious that other children will probably want seconds, and she is a bit highly strung so a total refusal when she can see the food on the side wouldn't be a barrel of laughs to deal with). Is that request likely to go down ok? I don't want them to think I'm neurotic or anything, but she is clearly overweight and we need to get this under control as soon as possible. I can go to the HV if necessary to get some advice in writing, but I'd rather not have to as I haven't found the ones at the baby weigh clinic to be particularly approachable.

I really need some practical advice about how to deal with this, rather than anecdotes of spherical toddlers who became Olympic athletes which are great, but there are still a lot of spherical adults out there and I really don't want my lovely DD to be one of them!

tiktok Sun 28-Aug-16 22:03:18

Not really the right folder for this - try children's health.

This is mainly breast and bottle feeding.

Sounds like you will be best off asking Hv for advice when you have an accurate weight. Home scales may not do this. Toddlers do look chubby and have pronounced tummies until about two....she could be fine smile

TreaterAnita Sun 28-Aug-16 22:34:04

Thanks Tiktok, I'll repost. Home scales are reasonably accurate I think, they're not overweighing me, and we're not talking about a few grams, she's well off the top of the chart.

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