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2 Bumps

Is it possible to feed your kids -too- healthy of food?

A friend of mine has always been kinda diet crazy- which isn't a bad thing! But it looks like her DD who is 4 is SO skinny! In a swim suit you can see her ribs, hip bones and spine!! My DD is 5 and she is thin but I can't count her ribs...

Her DD's meal look about like this (I see them several times a week and we talk alot)

Breakfast fruit and no sugar cereal with skim milk
lunch fruit, veggie, lean meat, skim cheese slice ( usually no bread or anything at lunch) with water
snack fruit with water
dinner- lean meat, whole grain, 2 veggies. with skim milk.

Her DD is not allowed to eat cake or candy even at parties- she brings her yogurt ( yogurt or sorbet are her special treats )

Can this be not enough calories for a growing child?

I know everyone will say her ped should know but they do not do vaccines of yearly check ups. Her DD has not seen a doctor in 2 years and then it was because she had bronchitis.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:42 PM on Feb. 16, 2013 in Kids' Health

Answers (16)
  • It sounds like the quality of the food is fine, but the quantity of it may be questionable. It sounds like your friend is concerned about being overweight herself and is limiting her daughter as a result. If her daughter had her own weight issues, I'd say that's a good thing. But if the daughter has shown no sign of having weight issues, then I'd be concerned not only about whether she's getting enough to eat but also whether her mother might be giving her an unhealthy idea about food and weight and body image and all that goes along with those things.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:32 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • My bigger concern would be the obsession with diet tat the woman is passing down to her daughter. No cake or candy, even at parties, no fat in the house--it all sounds good, but young girls are soon enough influenced to start worrying about their bodies and their weight, and too often, that wrry turns into illness. My sister and I both dealt with anorexia, and I think a lot of the reason for it was the overimportance placed on being thin and athletic, looking good, etc, in our childhood home. Healthy foods are great; obsession with anything is definitely not.

    Answer by Ballad at 6:32 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • It could be that she's not getting enough fat. Even when eating veggies, a little bit of fat is actually good because it helps the body process the nutrients within the veggies. If everything in the house it nonfat or lowfat it could be that she's also not able to process the healthy foods she is eating. So basically, yes it can do more harm than good, especially in a child. There are healthy fats that even dieting adults should be eating. Avocados, nuts, etc. are healthy fats that can actually help boost the nutritional value of other foods.

    My bigger concern is that mom isn't taking her to regular check ups. Even if they don't vaccinate, young children need annual check ups to make sure they are healthy. It seems like mom is too obsessed with dieting, and that maybe she's afraid of what the doc will say about her dd's weight.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:50 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I don't think it's a case of "too healthy" because I don't think eating low fat or non fat versions of foods is the definition of "healthy."

    It's not a question of not having cake/candy. It is a question of whether the child gets enough fat & calories. It's perfectly reasonable to provide yogurt, fruit, or some other "treat" in lieu of sweets. A "treat" can be low fat or non fat (like berries or other fruit, or non fat yogurt.) It doesn't NEED to be calorie-rich or fatty, as long as there is enough fat in the REST of the diet. But if this child has only non fat yogurt & skim milk, then whether she has access to the fats in olive oil, butter, nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, etc. becomes more important. (Breastmilk is another source of fat.)

    Eating "less healthy" in the sense of having more sugar & sweets wouldn't be the answer. It's more whether or not HER concept of "healthy" actually is balanced for a child.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:23 AM on Feb. 17, 2013

  • .We eat pretty healthy here (but do have cake at birthdays and occasional sweets..but I am more apt to bake with whole grains than white flour etc.). I have found that if my daughter has koolaid and a cookie at church or a friends she gets "itchy" (like a yeast infection) but it is then gone the next day. The doctor said it is because we don't eat much sugar...and having her drink more water should balance it out. My daughter chooses to now drink water with her cookie instead there. The danger in never letting your kids eat sweets is that it can become this "forbidden" thing which may be more of a draw to them later in life. We teach our kids moderation..and that too much sweets will "hurt the tummy". I think it is admirable to feed your kids fresh fruits and veggies lean meats, nonsugar cereal....but learning to partake in sweets occasionally may give a more balanced view of food...more healthy outlook in my opinion.

    Answer by energygirl at 11:05 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • enough calories...I would think so.....we do need some fat though (kids need it according to my dr. for brain development....he told us that when he gave us permission to do almond milk etc. in place of cow's milk)...he said cheese is a good source though....I wonder if your friend's kids eat cheese? I understand not doing vaccines, several of my friends don't. We do the basic ones (that have been around for years and polio etc.) but not the new ones that they come out with each year. Some young kids are just thin if she eats plenty......she may be just a thinner child as well.....

    Answer by energygirl at 11:09 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

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