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
Pizza
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)
Banana
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!

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