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Overweight toddler

(12 Posts)
TakeFive Mon 15-Oct-12 19:40:51

I weighed my 17.5 month old DS today on the bathroom scales and he weighs 15.3 kilos (I double checked it a few times to make sure it was correct). This is off the chart in the red book. He's always been around the 98th centile or so but has always been in proportion as he's tall as well and has a big head circumference. I couldn't measure him today as I couldn't get him to stand still but I doubt very much that his height will have jumped as much as his weight.

I feel horrified that I have let him get overweight. He has always eaten a lot since we began weaning but for that reason, I have always been really careful about his diet - he has no junk food or refined sugar at all. I don't even give him petit filou because of the sugar content, he just has plain yoghurt. He has never had juice either, just milk or water. However, I've always heard that babies under 2 don't really eat from greed so I guess I have let him have fairly big portions as long as it's healthy. He eats incredibly fast as well and never leaves anything on his plate. It almost seems like he's a bit obsessed with food, as once he's eaten everything really fast, he has a bit of a tantrum when it's finished and I say it's all gone.

He also has a total of 10 or 11 oz of whole milk a day, in addition to the milk in his breakfast cereal (2 oz of milk in the morning mixed with water, 1 oz of milk in the afternoon mixed with water and 7 oz of milk before bed). He has fruit twice a day, with lunch and dinner, and plain yoghurt once a day. He has rice cakes for snacks in between meals.

My husband has a really fast metabolism and has always eaten loads and is really thin, and I also can eat quite a lot and stay thin so I think I've assumed that he takes after us but this obviously doesn't seem to be the case.

I would really appreciate any good strategies for helping him. I know toddlers aren't supposed to lose weight but he obviously needs to stay the same weight for a while. I was thinking of slightly reducing portion sizes, and reducing the amount of carbohydrate a bit, and giving raw carrot sticks instead of rice cakes as snacks (as they take longer to eat!).

Also - can anyone reassure me that his being overweight now doesn't necessarily mean he will have weight issues for life? I just feel so awful that we have let this happen. Sorry for the long post and thank you if you have read this far.

TakeFive Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:30

I should also mention that he does get lots of opportunities to run around - I take him to the park or playgroup almost every day. But I am definitely going to look for more opportunities to make him active - any suggestions would be welcome!

forevergreek Mon 15-Oct-12 19:44:58

I would say he is probably fine and due a growth spurt height wise in the next few months.

How much excercise does he get? As in do you always use the buggy or does he walk on reins half the time? Play in park etc?

At this age many get chubby as not moving enough ( some still not walking), and I would expect that by Xmas he will be on the go more and have grown in height

AnitaBlake Mon 15-Oct-12 19:55:31

Is he actually overweight? I spoke to a dietician recently and she told me not to put too much emphasis on charts. They are there to guide only, does he look overweight? Yes, he may be big, but actually overweight? Is he in proportion to his height? Has he had a growth spurt, or is he due one? DD always fills out just before she grows.

Charts are easily and often misused. All they really tell you is what percentage of children are bigger/smaller than your child. Children don't grow on accordance with charts, the charts have been drawn from averaged information from children. Keep an eye on him by all means but don't panic smile

FWIW I have had problems with DD on the opposite end of the chart, I'm not concerned at this stage, she's obviously growing and developing well, she's simply smaller than her peers.

TakeFive Mon 15-Oct-12 20:14:31

Thanks both. Forevergreek - he does play in the park lots but we do always use the buggy when we're out as he stops at every gate/leaf/lampost along the way or just tries to toddle off in the opposite direction from where we are going. He also falls over a lot. I think I do need to persevere with him walking short distances outside though, and I will definitely be ensuring that he walks at least some of the way when we go out some of the time.

Anita - actually I don't think he looks fat, he just looks big - tall, big wide head. He is well covered though and his tummy sticks out (not so much when he wakes in the morning but after he's eaten each meal it does).

forevergreek Mon 15-Oct-12 21:06:11

Yes little one is a bit younger here but we toddler to get milk/ to see friends/ just around the block. Or like you say, out with buggy across main roads then toddlles where safer to walk slow. Always on reins though if near road as I'm paranoid he will get squashed! ( even though he walks nicely- we are busy London though)

I would say just keep an eye as you obviously are, but I'm surely by the sounds of it that he is just growing as he should. You will see a huge difference before he is 2!

hellion Mon 15-Oct-12 21:12:28

Have you spoken to your health visitor or practice nurse, and got her to measure and weigh him. Household scales aren't always accurate esp when you are trying to get a toddler to stand still on them. They may be able to advise you on whether you need to reduce his food. From what you say it seems very healthy. Good luck. (My friends ds was categorised as overweight and he is a tin ribs)

treadonthecracks Mon 15-Oct-12 21:13:57

My son was very similar. Very tall and needs an adult sized bike helmet (and your head is very heavy).

He is now almost 6 and has really stretched out. He is never going to be a skinny child but I accept he will be rugby player build.

Someone on here recommend Ellyn Satter which I found really helpful and have been following for a coupe of months now.

treadonthecracks Mon 15-Oct-12 21:14:14

EBDTeacher Mon 15-Oct-12 22:02:58

How tall is your DS? I've just has a look in my red book. DS was 15.5kg at 17.5months (according to line of best fit). He was also 90cm tall. Both values are off the chart.

DS is not fat, just massive. His chest circ is that of a 5yo and he (now 2.2) wears 4-5 and 5-6 tops. My dad threw the shot for Yorkshire and DH rowed for Oxford. DS is, pretty unsurprisingly, built like a brick shithouse well.

I certainly wouldn't panic if your DS is in proportion just phone Wasps.

AnitaBlake Mon 15-Oct-12 22:53:31

Well covered is a world away from fat smile DD has her little bracelets still and her tummy sticks out, its entirely normal, I only have the babies I know to go on, they are all shapes (and sizes). DSD lost her tummy when she was around 3.5/4. DN still has hers at 3.5.

I'm on the other end of the scale, but try to look objectively at the other toddlers for a minute. Some won't be walking as well as yours, some will be walking better. Some will have more/less words than yours. Differing levels of co-ordination, understanding of concepts, height and weight are no different, just more easily measurable, so we focus on them more.

RubyrooUK Mon 15-Oct-12 23:08:50

Hm, I wouldn't be worried about weight at 17.5 months as that is still firmly in baby/young toddler territory. Not at all, especially not with a healthy diet.

My DS was a proper podge as a baby and young toddler. So was I and I've been a slim adult size 8 all my life - I just had serious thighs as a baby!

Anyway, DS has just turned two and I would say eats about half of what he ate at 18 months while being twice as active. He used to eat everything under the sun and now picks at things. Looking back at photos, I can see how much slimmer he is already and turning into "child shape" instead of "baby shape".

So I certainly wouldn't start thinking about restricting your child's diet. He needs food to grow and develop. I'd just enjoy his baby chub because he may well soon become a fussy eater!

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