Weight/height question - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-15-2007, 12:27 AM
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I have been a vegetarian (sort of) for 14 years. I've been much more strict about it since having my first daughter who is now 3. My daughters and I eat no meat. We only eat organic dairy and eggs, and my daughter drank soy milk from about 15 months old to about the time she turned 3. Now, she prefers cow's milk. She was always a chubby baby, and an average height. Around 15 months old however, she started going way down on the height curve. It figures she would be small, I'm only 4'11". However, I'm the smallest in my family, and even as a child, I was higher on the curve than she is. At this point, she's in the 5th percent for height and the 50th for weight. That makes her BMI pretty high, and according to the charts, she's overweight. The dr. says she looks fine and doesn't think there is any problem. Everyone tells me she doesn't look overwight at all. I'm hoping she is just growing slowly in height, but will soon catch up to her weight, although, her weight seems to be increasing at a faster rate than her height. So, needless to say, I'm a little worried about her diet. Maybe that she's getting too many carbs and fat, and not enough protein. I don't know. Does that happen with children? Has anyone had similar experiences or any good advice?
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#2 Old 01-15-2007, 12:54 PM
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Firstly, you don't really need to be worrying so very much about the BMI of a 15 month old. Young children (under say, age 5 or 6 years) are often chubby. They're not little adults, and so it's okay that they're body types don't match those of healthy adults. If your doctor and your friends don't see an issue, it seems unlikely that there's a problem.



Let her eat a variety of healthful foods, and she'll be fine.



Don't cave in to the "ideal baby" idea.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#3 Old 01-15-2007, 01:35 PM
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Well, she's 3 now. I really never worried about it before, but she seems to be gaining weight really well, but not growing in height. The chart I used was actually a weight to height chart for children, and the percentage was similar to that of the BMI chart I also looked at. I know some kids are still just chubby and it doesn't actually mean anything as to how they'll be as they get older. I worry more about her height. I think I am abnormally short, my parents are not that short, nor are any other family members. So, I always figured there was some reason other than genetics for my height, and I figured my kids would outgrow me. She may still outgrow me, and I know I shouldn't worry so much about a 3 yr old, but I just want to make sure she reaches her potential.
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#4 Old 01-15-2007, 10:44 PM
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So what do you all think of the theory that soy could stunt growth. I read that somewhere, and I don't buy it, but just wondering if anyone else had heard of that. I'm not sure what the whole idea behind it is.
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#5 Old 01-16-2007, 08:26 AM
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My nephew is really small for his age - at about the 5th percentile for height. My sister is 5'4" and her DH is about 6'0". They actually had tests done on him to see if he had some problems - it turns out that he's just a slow grower and he should catch up by his early 20s. He is also pretty skinny, though. His sisters (who aren't as low on the growth charts as he is) drink soy milk, but he does not. It's just genetics there.



I've worried about a friend's DD, who has genetics stacked against her in terms of weight problems. Both parents are overweight and her maternal grandparents were both large people, too. Her paternal aunt and uncle were also both overweight. There have been times when her doctor has worried about her, and other times when she's fine. It all has to do with her growth spurts. From what I've observed, though, most kids that age know to stop eating when they're no longer hungry. As they get older, they might bargain for more ice cream or a dessert of some kind. But the little ones pretty much ration themselves. If you're worried, you can focus on generally healthy foods, and keep the desserts as a treat for special occasions or something. Or make sure she's getting plenty of time for active play.
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#6 Old 01-16-2007, 01:41 PM
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my ds will be 4 in March. He was a preemie weighing 4.6.bs at birth. He's NEVER been on the "chart". But, we've never worried as he's never flucuated or gone down in weight. He's 40 inches and 33lbs (he's a freakin' paperclip!!).



What would cause concern in your instance IS the fluctuating your child is doing on the charts. Maybe have your doc run a general blood panel to see if "something is missing" from her diet?
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#7 Old 01-16-2007, 10:14 PM
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When she first started falling off the curve, we did the bone age test, and she was fine. I don't know if that's something that could change. Anyway, the dr. seems pretty confident she's fine. She said after a year of age, the genetics are just starting to kick in. The size of a baby has more to do with the environment in the womb, and then as they become toddlers it has to do with genetics. Also, I think there were some mismeasurements, because she was supposedly really high on the charts for height as a baby and then she just stopped growing, but I know for a fact she had grown during that time period, because of how clothes fit and things. I ask almost every time we go to the dr. and she always says she looks fine. She was anemic at 2 yrs old, so I give her a vitamin, but not one with a ton of iron like I used to. Around 18 months of age we saw a dietician who basically told me what I already knew, but told me to give her some extra fats to replace what she was missing by getting soy milk. She also tried to convince me to give her fish sticks or something for protein. I never did. I started putting ground flax seed in her food, and that was about it. Anyway, I still wonder if there is something I'm missing, even though I know she eats a lot better than many toddlers, and she's obviously gaining weight. Thanks for the responses everyone.
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#8 Old 01-17-2007, 03:10 PM
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It's the curse of parenthood, isn't it...worrying about stuff we can't control.



I really dislike those growth charts they use. I know they have to use them, but it just makes it seem that if your child isn't at such-and-such a percentage, there's something wrong.



Our oldest just turned three and she's extremely tall for her age (43 inches), and about 39 pounds. She's always loved soymilk and has had it since she was about a year old. Didn't seem to stunt her growth at all. Our youngest (almost two), however, is extremely stocky, but not quite as tall as her older sister was at that age. And she's another soymilk lover. I think it's just about all due to genetics. Our oldest got my tall genes, whereas our youngest got a majority of my wife's shorter genes...or something like that.



Sounds like your daughter is healthy and beautiful. What more could we want?
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#9 Old 01-17-2007, 10:30 PM
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It's true. I have to remind myself to be thankful that both my girls are healthy! I guess I'm just always worried about failing them in some way. I think it's harder when people are always acting as though I am depriving them of something by being vegetarian.
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