With the rise in childhood obesity, should parents be concerned about their children’s weight? Your child’s healthcare provider will monitor your child’s weight from birth. But parents should not worry about the weight of a child under 2 years of age. Experts say there is no information to support the notion that chubby kids in this age group are more likely to get heavier in the future. Breastfeed for the first 6 months and then continue to breastfeed with complementary foods for up to 1 year, or longer as mother and baby desire.
Babies who are breastfed for the first 6 months tend to be leaner. One reason is that breastfed babies only eat when they are hungry, not when their parents encourage them. Unless instructed by your child’s healthcare provider, do not encourage your child to finish every bottle. Offer more fruits and vegetables and less cereals and cereals. Continue offering fruits and vegetables as snacks are introduced. Give your baby only breast milk or bottled formula unless otherwise directed by your child’s doctor.
Juice is optional and is actually less nutritious than real fruit. Avoid introducing fruit juice or wait until your child is a toddler. If you decide to juice, wait up to 6 months and don’t give more than 4 ounces of 100% juice per day. Do not give your child fruit punch, soft drinks, or other sweetened drinks. As parents, eat well and stay active. Your children will model what they see you do.