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Small Sized Kids
A couple of times recently kids my 3-year-old didn't know have called her a baby on the playground. She's short--in the 10th percentile for height--and because of a specific medical condition is going to keep being short. She's about a head shorter than most other 3-year-olds, and I suspect these kids just look at her and assume she's 2. We've commiserated about how being called a baby hurts her feelings, and I've encouraged her to respond by saying she's 3, but I'm a bit at a loss about what else to say. I'd like to hear how anyone else out there has dealt with this kind of situation. Thank you.
Here's a couple things we did. We already liked the Madeline books, so we got the CD and a couple videos. If you know these stories, the title character is smart and brave but small in stature. We talked about her and sang the songs (about being petite and neat) and so my daughter really identified with that.
We also didn't make a big deal out of the word baby. I would say, ''Well, your not A baby, but you'll always be MY baby.'' Maybe that's why that word wasn't an issue.
For her peers at that time, we just taught her to say, ''I'm Quinn and I'm three.'' If she was asked about it, she would sometimes say, ''I'm petite.'' My daughter has a big personality usually so this wasn't too hard for her.
Now that she's five in kindergarten, we do have to address the issue again in a different way as sometimes here peers who are so much bigger will say, ''Oh, she's so cute'' and even try to carry her or otherwise baby her.
We are still into the Madeline stories so sometimes we go back to that to talk things through. Short girls rock! Elizabeth
You say ''We've commiserated about how being called a baby hurts her feelings'' which makes it clear that you also have hurt feelings. My guess, from reading your post, is that you are encouraging your daughter to have hurt feelings about this. Now, of course, we need to create the space for our children to express and explore how they feel. However, we cannot use our children to process our own feelings about their treatment.
You seem to feel that the ''truth'' will settle the situation. I think that rather than encouraging your daughter to insist on the truth (''when they call you a baby, say you are 3'') encourage her to 1)invite them to play with her and 2) encourage her to brush it off. Something along the lines of ''its okay if they think you are younger, sometimes we are wrong about how old someone is, but it doesn't mean we can't play together''.
I encourage you to think about it this way. What if your kid was being confronted by something that she felt 'targetted' for (because I sense you feel she is being excluded or targetted because of her size) that is actually true. Then what have you taught her in terms of her defense? Her only defense is to not allow this comment to impact her.
What if kids at the playground said to her ''you have glasses'' or ''you have two moms''. If someone says something to her that she cant combat with ''truth'' then she does not have tools to deal with it. If you teach her that we make assumptions about each other and that all people are different, and that the best we can do it to get to know each other and to play with each other, you have taught her how to interact in a variety of situations.
If SHE is truly saddened about this, of course, you need to let her express her feelings. But she does not need to carry around the weight of your sadness. Allow her to express her feelings, and encourage her to be confident in who she is no matter what anyone may think by looking at her.
I have a 3-year-old as well. He is very receptive to these conversations. anon
I'm looking for advice on feeding our daughter who is 5 years old and about 33 pounds and 40 inches -- about the 5th percentile for weight and the 10th for height according to the charts we have seen. She was a bruiser of a newborn at 9 1/4 pounds, but has grown slowly ever since. Her pediatrician says she is not underweight and is growing at an adequate rate, but recommends giving her whole milk and avocados (both foods she likes). One complication for us has been that she doesn't eat meat, while we do. We've offered it to her in various forms since she started on solid food but she has never accepted it. She also doesn't like nut butters. She likes tofu, cheese, and eggs, so we give her those and she seems to us to eat a pretty well-balanced and nutritious diet. We're amazed and envious, though, when we see the amount of food that other kids her age easily put away at a sitting. I realize that she's probably just meant to be petite and I don't want to make her self- conscious about it -- but I would appreciate any advice or anecdotes about feeding a kid like this. Thanks! medium sized mom of tiny vegetarian daughter
So, what will seem like too much fat to you might be just what the little gal needs. I want to recommend using butter. After all the juice responses recently, I'm a little worried my pro-fat response will incite backlash from the militant, but I'm going to go ahead anyway.
Coconut is both protein and fat. You can put some atop oatmeal or even cold cereal. You can use either coconut milk or dairy milk to cook rice. Hopefully she will enjoy coconut. If she doesn't like nut butters, does she like just nuts? I know I don't really enjoy almonds unless they've been soaked in water 6-8 hours. Unsoaked taste dry and withered to me, while soaked are much more plump and taste yummy. If you can get her into trail mixes that include nuts, that would be a super way to add protein/fat. Both mushrooms and lentils are good sources of protein (shiitake especially, from mushrooms), but are pretty low in fat on their own. Olives are similar to avocados, in that they're almost all fat, but the monounsaturated healthy kind. Slather cream cheese on her bagels. Since the doc is recommending whole milk, I'll tell you that you can find whole milk ricotta, but mozarella is always lowfat. Have you ever made soups with cream rather than milk? Delicious & should help. Don't be afraid of creamy or cheesy sauces for her. It would help if you could go vegetarian 1 to 2 days a week yourself, because you'd get a better idea of what it takes to feel like you're getting enough without going overboard; plus it could expand your cooking skills. Lasagna of course is a great way to use whole milk ricotta. If you want to bake bread at home, there are recipes that include 1 cup of cheddar - though there is a company in SF that makes v. cheesy bread if you want to buy it.
You're probably doing just fine nutritionally, so I wouldn't worry too much. Just be sure that she's getting plenty of fat and protein, as it's easy to forget these or skimp on them in our lowfat culture (most lowfatters get plenty of fat/protein through meat, so lowfat is appropriate for them; not so much for your daughter). anon
My son is very small for his age. He has always been in the lowest 5th percentile in height and I imagine always will be for his gender. He is five-years-old and is often mistaken for much younger given his size, including by his peers. I want to help him find positive ways to respond to the inevitable statements he gets from children he doesn't know about his size, like ''you don't look 5, you look like you're 3.'' His knee-jerk response is to say ''I am so 5'' in an irritated and mad voice. I want to coach him to respond more positively, or at least not in a mad way, but I just don't know how to help him. Are there any other parents of small children (boys) out there who can give me words of wisdom, and advice to share with my son? Thanks for any help. Anonymous
After a bout with giardia, my 3.5 year old twins have been found to not be gaining enough weight and it has been recommended that we add more fat to their diets. We eat very healthily- no fast food, hot dogs, soda etc... but I was wondering if anyone had any healthy, kid-friendly recipes that could put some meat on my boys' bones. Does anyone have any other creative recommendations for sneaking fat into kids' diets? mom of two toothpicks
Cook your veggies in butter
Liberal butter or olive oil on pasta/ potatoes
Make fresh fruit smoothies or milkshakes with milk,ice cream, Hershey's syrup in the blender AND add a TBSP of corn oil to boot (a daily milkshake is something nutritionists rely on to fatten diets, but you don't need expensive PediaSure etc.) Be sure at the same time to avoid giving too much juice- will blunt their appetite without adding fat or nutrition.
Consider fatty cuts of meat- my kids like flank steak, which is less offensive to me than hot dogs or hamburgers. Panfry chicken breasts, fish or turkey burgers in a little oil too. I avoid bacon, but my kids would walk a mile for it- look for nitrate free types.
Put out ''dip'' for their carrots- creamy Ranch dressing or guacamole. Avocados have a lot of fat.
Give them cubes of cheese whenever they snack and pizza with double cheese.
And since you avoid McDonalds, they'll probably go wild over homemade sweet potato fries- cut them up, toss with olive oil and oven bake at 400 degrees!
Olive and canola oils are the healthiest, but butter is better than most margarines (no trans fats). The fat in meat is still better than the fat in processed foods/ fast food which is ''partially hydrogenated'' etc. Also avoid ''tropical'' oils like coconut. Pediatrician with skinny kids
** Peanut butter -- an obvious one
** Cheese! Put a slice in each sandwich, toss a handful of grated cheddar in scrambled eggs, offer cheese with crackers (or a crisp apple!) as a snack....
** Put butter on toast along with the jam (boy, do I wish I could still afford to do that)
** Don't buy reduced fat stuff (unless you want to use it for yourself, and yourself only). Obviously this means skipping over things labeled ''reduced fat'' and ''light;'' but also - buy the regular (by which I mean not super lean) ground beef when you're going to make hamburgers; buy a can of refried beans to add to tacos or breakfast burritos....
** And, of course, my favorite - ice cream. Once a week doesn't kill anyone, especially a kid. Buy the higher fat brands (such as Haagen Dazs) for your kids and a sorbet for yourself.
Obviously, you want to introduce things that you can wean your kids away from fairly easily once they re-establish a decent weight. I always lament some of the things I was raised on -- for example, having dessert every night after dinner, and always eating chips with my sandwich at lunchtime. Those habits are hard to break, and they have made it hard for me to switch to a low-fat diet now that I'm older. But I think if you're wise about how you do this, you can give your kids some added fat now in ways that will be easier for you to subtley eliminate later.
Good luck! Sarah
My 3.5 year old son seems to have actually lost a pound or two since his third birthday. He weighs about 31 pounds right now where he weighed between 32 and 33 in July. He is otherwise healthy although in the past month seems to be eating less and says his tummy hurts after having eaten a few bites of dinner or no dinner at all. [He can be persuaded to be hungry if there is something unusual available like birthday cake but doesn't really overeat those types of things anyway.] The pediatrician is not particularly concerned. He is still on the growth chart (10th to 15th percentile) and his height is at the 25th percentile. He has always been slim but I want to be sure that if this is a signal of a health problem, that we address it sooner rather than later. Has anyone encountered this? Any thoughts? Anonymous please
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