Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too chubby?

I've been concerned about Timmy's weight for quite some time and the things I feed him and his refusal to eat healthy things I make for dinner. He loves breakfast and lunch, but when it comes to dinner it's only buttered noodles, mac n cheese, burritos, fries n dogs and quesadillas.

I think it's taking it's toll on his body now. My mom got him some jeans and khakis for Christmas, and they no longer fit him around his waist. We got him some size 6/7 adjustable waist shorts from Walmart, they are way too long and way too tight around his waist. The elastic waist shorts we got him make him look like a cholo because they are too long, but they fit him OK around the waist. At bedtime he wears pull-up diapers because even size 6 diapers are too small for him now.

I'm afraid if I don't do something now he will be one of those boys who won't take his shirt off in the pool because the other kids will make fun of his boobs. Or, worse, the doctor will diagnose him with high cholesterol or something. Robert says if we put him in football as a linebacker they won't tease him, but what if he doesn't like football?

Robert and I were both "the fat kid" and it's not fun. Kids can be so cruel...the pointing and the whispers were the least of it. Getting detention after P.E. class everyday for coming out late because I didn't want to change in front of the other girls was not fun either. I was referenced as "fat Christina, not shorthaired Christina" so as not to get mixed up with the other Christina in my school. I do not want my children to have to go through that.

Beginning tonight Timmy will eat what he's served at dinnertime, and if he doesn't eat it, then he doesn't get anything else until the next meal (which is breakfast). I served rice with chicken broccoli curry cream of mushroom sauce tonight, and he managed to get three bites down. I let the hunger pangs set in (if he had any), and then gave him some milk before bed.

A lot of parents do this, but I didn't really want to. I didn't mind the extensive planning ahead to make sure he was going to have leftovers that he liked when I was making something he didn't like for the rest of us. I didn't mind using an extra knife or pot to make something he would actually eat when I made something I knew he didn't like. It'd be different if he liked carrots or brown rice or zucchini or something healthy. I'd continue to make sure he had those few healthy things he liked until he grew out of this stage. But, when he will only eat pasta, tortillas and dairy, it's not good. I've tried disguising healthy foods sometimes (hiding veggies in his burritos), and that works, but I can't do that every single night. Unlike me, he gets tired of rice, beans & tortillas.

So, that's that. We'll see how things go and if he starts dropping weight because he's eating less or because he'll start to enjoy the healthy dinners I make.


Brandy said...

Ok first of all ya gotta change the labels from "Fat,Timmy" to something else ;)

Secondly, how old is he?

Honestly, he does look too chubby for his apparent height/size to me.

Where does he stand on growth charts from the WHO?

Does he get activity?

The types of foods he likes are so carb heavy that those alone could be the issue. Hopefully as his body re-acclimates to less carb heavy food you will see a change not only in his physical body but in his likes of different types of foods.

Christina said...

Thanks Brandy. LOL! I put "fat, Timmy" for sorting purposes, but I'll put food in there too. I didn't even see that.

He'll be 4 in September. He's been in the 95th for height his whole life. His weight percentile exponentially sky rocketed from steady in the 95th to off the chart when he was about two and has been getting higher ever since. It slowed down when I switched him from whole milk to 2% slightly. We go to WIC every 6 months, so they keep track of these things for me and show me the charts. I'm pretty sure they use the WHO charts. He was 47lbs. (21 kg) at his 3 year appt. So, I think he is too chubby. You can't see in the pic, but he has little back rolls too which he hasn't had since he was a little baby.

He's very active, it seems like he runs up and down the hall all day. He literally cannot sit still. We go to the park once or twice a week now that the weather is better, but the winter we hardly went anywhere.

Elisa Rush said...

Good for you, Christina!! Timmy will get used to the new diet and find some healthy foods he likes over time. So keep trying new things and get things similar to what he already likes. If you know he likes a certain spice, try it on different things. Or offer a dip he likes as long as he doesn't suck the dip off and leave the veggie!!

You also may try the better variety of veggies, like a red bell pepper instead of green. Red is more easily liked because it's sweeter and doesn't have that raw green taste. Or try fresh fruits.

Try to make a big deal over how good things are and ask people he really looks up to to make over healthy food when they are around him. Show him cool things about food, too, like the core of carrots. My husband (42 yo) likes carrots better when I showed him how I used to dig the tree out of the center when I was little. He swears he would have eaten carrots as a child if he'd known how cool they were!!

When my nephews were little, they began to love avacados and hot tea b/c I made such a big deal over them that the boys decided to try them--- and liked them. They had to be just like their Aunt Elisa! ;D

Also, you could make healthy foods more fun by using cookie cutters or making crafts out of it (like edible animals with fruits or veggies and toothpicks.)

You're on the right track, just keep it creative to win him over!!

Nicole said...

I am prouf of you Stina that you want the best for your sons health. I am not being mean or anything, you know I love you, but I agree with you, I do think he is a little on the chubby side, and with juvenile diabetes so rampant today, like you I would do the same thing if it was my child. I have the opposite problem, Grace is waaaaaayyyyy too skinny :P It could also be part hereditary, so that's what you need to counteract with a healthy diet and lots of physical activity. Does he eat fruit for snacks? Like someone else said, he has alot of carbs, so cut that portion a little and add more vegies/salad/fruit/protein to his diet. Have you tried the "you have to eat one bite before you can say no thank you" rule? That is now working well for us, Grace is discovering new things she likes and dinner time isn't so hard anymore. Also I did the whole if you don't eat this you won't get anything else and she soemtimes learns from that too.
I really hope that he can keep trying new things.
Elisa had some great ideas too!

Christina said...

Great ideas, Zippy! Timmy loves my BFF Melissa, and whenever she comes over she tries to get him to eat something he normally wouldn't. It usually works LOL!

Nic, he does like fruit. I'm always sure to give him plenty of that at breakfast and lunch. He likes lowfat yogurt too, low fat bran muffins, and hot and cold cereals. The treats I give him are usually pretty low in fat and sugar too like graham crackers and Maria cookies. So, breakfast is usually pretty healthy. Lunch is not so bad, PB&J on wheat bread, chilibeans with corn bread, beans & rice, soup, tuna with saltines.
We have the one bite rule too. So, when I'd normally give him leftovers of mac n cheese, I'd make him try some veggie chicken stirfry first, holding his mac n cheese for ransom. LOL

Thanks for encouragement and ideas ladies. I really hope this will start to work for us. :D

Nicole said...

You are doing well, you have good ideas and are not afraid to use them :P LOL
Have you tried different things for a sandwich, like grated carrot, sprouts, cucumber, baby spinach or lettuce, snow peas, pepper etc that he could make up a sandwich or a roll with some cheese and meat like (ham, silverside (beef) or chicken or turkey?)
Also trying to get him involved with the meal preparation may also help, getting him to pick a nwe vegie you could try from the shops, washing the vegies etc for you so you can cut them. Even growing some herbs that he can pick to put in dishes may encourage him to give the dish a go, or grow some easy vegies like beans or sprouts that he can take care of.

Jenny-Fair said...

I would not expect a child to LOSE weight. Putting a growing child on a diet is a very bad idea. I expect that whether you do something or not, he'll simply grow into his weight-most kids do. Also, since you said both of his parents were chubby as kids, I am not sure why you are expecting him not to be. I mean, that is simple genetics. Finally, making food a battle tends to make kids develop WORSE eating habits, not better--habits such as sneaking food, being greedy, etc. I would not do it. Also, kids will be teased, period. If he's skinny he'll be teased for that. I knew a kid who was teased for wearing brown shoes. You can't stop that. I know you mean well, but I suggest you think about the consequences of things other than a number on the scale, which is pretty meaningless at this point.

Elisa Rush said...

Having him help with meal prep is a great idea. It will help him not be afraid to try more healthy foods.

It's good to see in your heart that you want to intentionally help him form good habits with food that will extend for a lifetime and aid him in a healthy lifestyle. You are a wonderful mother to understand that the habits he is forming now aren't the ones that will increase his quality of life and that he needs to be set in a new direction. This is what mothering is all about.

Love you bunches!!!

Christina said...

Jenny, I'm not putting him on a diet. I don't know where this idea of lowering an unhealthy intake of processed simple carbs and trying to replace some of it with a healthier food is called a diet. When I switched Timmy from whole milk to 2% and lowered his intake from 32oz. to 16oz. Sarah called it a diet too, and I don't get that. It must be a crunchy thing.

We've decided to not make it a battle and let him choose if he wants to eat dinner or not. But, I'm not going to make special separate meals for him anymore.

If lowering the amount of mac n cheese, pasta, french fries and hot dogs and replacing them with brown rice, vegetables, roasted potatoes and lean meats is called a diet, then so be it, he's on a diet.

Being fat does run in the family, but that doesn't mean it's good and healthy. Addiction also runs in the family, but that doesn't mean I won't beat their asses and then haul them off to jail myself if I ever find them smoking crack. I'm breaking the cycle.

Jimmy, the younger one is not overly chubby, but that's because his favorite foods are veggies and chicken. He has the same fat family as his older brother, KWIM?

Nicole said...

LOL eating healthy is a diet? How silly!! Christina you are trying to teach him HEALTHY eating habits, you aren't FORCING him on some horrible "diet" you are actually encouraging him to eat what he SHOULD be eating. You go girl!! Can't wait to hear how this has impacted him. I know it will be good news!
And to encourage you, since we got firm with Grace, she has eaten her tea every night for the last 3 weeks, no fighting, no whining, she actually says at the end "thanks mum that was good" or "wow, I ate my tea, I never used to like that!" :)

Nicole said...

Christina, I am so proud of you! You are such a great mom that only wants what's best for your boys!

By the way, when I told people that I was making healthier food choices I had some get upset with me telling me I was too skinny to diet and lose weight :-/ I told them that I wasn't trying to lose weight and I was not dieting. I was just making healthier choices for my body which means more fruit, more fresh foods and not as much junk. I'd like my body to last for many years without any healthy problems.

So yeah, I'm proud of you!!!

Nicole said...

I meant health problems lol