Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My kiddo has a beer belly.

Not to be taken literally. However my kiddo is "buncit" (a large stomach in Malay). My paediatrician cousin says "Aw,... don't worry it is normal for all small toddlers to have the belly".

My kiddo at 17 months

It worries everyone especially the grandparents who do not stop mentioning it to me. My Dad especially would not stop nagging. Hmmm... I would say my kiddo is an exception. He was born big, the radiologist in the UK mentioned that he had a long femur (thighbone) at 20 weeks old. From a year of breast milk he was this very very healthy looking baby. He is so cudly in bed. :)

My Kiddo at 3 months

My Kiddo at 5 months
He was always on the heavy side of the expected baby weight. He is a solid strong kiddo. But the nagging does not stop. He has is a "buncit" boy. It worries me too. Does my kid have worms? Is he like those African children who are perpetually having large stomachs due to malnutrition and sickness?... What my cousin says reverberates in my head again. "It is normal for my kiddo to be buncit". Okay.... Since my kiddo is on the big side... He will definitely eat a lot and he does.

I decided in the early days to be strict with his eating habits. This is so he would not be obese like those China emperor babies we keep on reading and hearing about. I need to teach him good eating habits now because it is a reality that one's health for the rest of his life depends on his foundation eating habits.

So no coca-cola (fizzy drinks), no sweetened drinks, no chocolates, no cakes, no sweets, no candies, no processed food etc. Good foods are like, grains, nuts, eggs, any fruits, any types of vegetables, rice, low salt food, low sugared food, fresh food is best etc. I might sound harsh and inflexible but I need to think about how his eating habits now will dictate his future eating habits.

I feel strongly about this because I just heard the news about how Malaysians are complaining that their children are not sleeping well. I think Malaysians on the whole have lack of exposure on the relationship of food and their children's sleeping and waking habits. For example a can of coca cola has about 7.5 teaspoonful of sugar and is high in caffeine. You can not expect a child to drink that and not be hyperactive. If it could make us grownups have a burst of energy. Imagine what it can do to that tiny bodies our kids have. I suspect the sleeping problems kids have are directly related to their eating habits. I also have a cousin who had been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder ADHD. Which balls me when I can see my Aunty giving him all the food which contributes to him having such high energy and does not allow him to rest his heart. With all due respect, to all mothers make sure you know what you feed your children. The saying "you are what you eat" is so true in this case.

Furthermore, I am no professional in nutrition but I have a few tips:

  • Do not feed your kids any of the high sugar, high salt or highly processed food 8 hours before they are suppose to sleep (except milk formula, i even dilute this in his milk).
  • Always have fresh fruits lying around so if your kid wants to snack they can pick it up. Bananas are good.
  • Feeding your kid Bad food (in my list of no's) is flexible for mornings, but not all the time everyday. At least you don't become too much in the other extreme and have some flexibility.
  • Give your kid 3 main meals a day with 2-3 snacks (good food list) in between.
  • A toddler only needs about 16-24 ounces of milk a day. However My kiddo is a milk monster I am struggling at reducing his milk intake.
I repeat that I am not perfect nor am I a professional nutritionist but good eating habits are extremely important for children. As the Malay idiom says "Melentur buluh hendaklah dari rebung" (Directly translated: To bend bamboo, do it when it is still a shoot").

They are a lot of advice on the internet about healthy eating habits for children one example is BBC nutrition for toddlers 1-4


tsmanta said...

Thank you for posting this! I am also very strict in what my kid takes esp sweets, chocs and keropok. And I have been told that I am supposed to 'loosen up' because I am being too strict when it comes to giving my toddler junkfood. And she's only 2 y.o.

Doc Rogue said...

You are right to be strict with your child's junkfood. First rule "you are the MOTHER to him/her". What you say goes! Second rule "Feed your little heroes, food they serve Kings, they will become Kings in the future".

I mean Kings as in people who are wise, healthy and well to do.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Great saying Rach hope more mothers/parents feed their children healthy food. Many kids facing food abuse they been eating too much sweets in their daily intake. My 2 kids can only enjoy the sweets once a week and that is on saturday plus during special occasions like birthdays or high fuctions like national day, chirstmas etc.


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