One Size Doesn’t Fit All
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Weight, a crucial factor that we monitor for one’s well-being. As cautious as we like to be, most of us constantly monitor weight through various ways. We are critical about it everyday when we see an adult, a teenager, a toddler and even a baby. We are worried if we are normal or on the upper scales. Almost 60% of people are over-critical about their weight or someone else’s. Body shaming has a larger impact on a person’s well-being. No one has the right to criticize or comment about another person’s weight. There could be a lot of history behind why someone is what they weigh today.
Just like black and white are colors, thin, lean and fat are sizes. There are many factors involved in a person’s growth. Approximate weight of a child is determined while growing in the womb. When out in the world, doctors provide a random estimate of what they will be by 18. Trust us, these are all rough estimates. As a parent, you’d agree that a child doesn’t eat the same way everyday. As adults we know it isn’t just about “how much” we eat, don’t we?
When we live in a world of trial and error one cannot trust everything to fall per the common growth charts. Today’s parent prefer to follow the the charts for their babies growth over natural growth. We live in a nuclear atmosphere where we hardly know much. Definitely, there’s not going to be a debate on nuclear or joint family now. Each has it’s own pros and cons. The actual thing is how much we know as a parent and how much are we willing to risk as parents. The role of today’s parent is crucial in a child’s growth. Some are finding the balance between the old and new ways and are ready to take the risk whereas a few more are giving their children what they didn’t get.
In today’s pregnancy there are so many categories according to a woman’s health: ranging from risk-free or low-risk to high-risk pregnancy. The things we are allowed to do and things we mustn’t due to our health speaks volumes about the child to be born. Similarly, how our health is affected during postpartum is as important as the pregnancy care itself. To many losing their pregnancy weight causes enough stress. This leads to emotional trauma which directly affects both the parent and the child.
When it comes to a child’s weight, most doctors today go by the chart. The websites, the articles, the YouTube videos, channels — everything talk about “how to make your toddler gain weight” without really knowing if our child measures up in this. As much as we love to see our kids having chubby cheeks and dimple chin, it is also necessary to understand that not all kids are going to be the same. If you were hardly 8 Kg at 12 months then you can’t expect your daughter to be 10 or 11 Kg at 1 year. It is like asking a fish to climb the tree. We agree,parenting comes with so many troubles. The first among those are:
- Weight Issues:
For the skinny bunch with normal growth:
- Why is your child hardly gaining any weight?
- Why is your child eating less?
- Why is your child so thin?
- Is she anywhere on the charts?
And the more personal questions that causes stress and annoyance:
- Are you giving the child anything to eat?
- Do you ever take care of the child?
- What do you give the child? Tell me!
For Plump kids with normal growth:
A chubby baby is always the charm to grandparents and parents too. That’s how it has been for ages, that’s exactly what the media shows us. Since we have always seen chubbiness as healthy (mind it, only in kids per society norms), we tend to generalize that all toddlers will be chubby. The questions asked to parents/by the parents of chubby kids are equally alarming:
- Do you think the child is overweight?
- What if the child continues to be so as they grow?
- Could we reduce the portion size?
- Why is our kid advanced than kids of their age?
So, there’s always going to be questions. Children grow at different paces and each child follow different patterns. We would like to politely deny the fact that plump children are not capable of doing things. There’s a lot of difference between plump and obese.
For Overweight Kids — Crossing the excess margin.
If your child is excessively plump, they are in the obese category. It is important to view the factors that cause it at an early age.
What are the factors that cause obesity at an early age?
How healthy are they going to be?
What are the side-effects of being obese?
It is important to check the following factors and change a few daily patterns to make it resolvable early.
- If your little one is eating a lot of junk, this could lead to quick weight, but these are just filler weights. Avoid junk as much as you can.
- If your little one sits at one place all through the day, it is a must to set up some activity where they could move around slowly yet steadily.
- Genes are important since how the body burns fats depends entirely on what it has always known. When a parent is overweight, the possibility of a kid falling into the same category is high.
Irrespective of the size of the kid, there are many factors that play a direct role in a child’s growth and development. Here are some important factors that we tend to forget often:
- Hereditary — If you were on the thinner side, don’t think your little one is going to be the chubby little darling. Similarly, if you were plump, your kid will mostly be like you or on the thinner side too based on someone else in the family. Most of their eating habits, physical activity and physical structure will be similar to yours.
- Gender — The gender of your child plays a vital role in their growth and development. Never compare a boy’s growing pace with that of a girl’s. It will be different even if they were born on the same day. A girl’s growth pace, weight as well as height is different than a boy’s. Their liking towards various activities, their temperaments, their growth rate all has difference according to their environment and nutrition too, but gender plays an important role.
- Nutrition — Some children love to eat all, a few others are picky eaters, the rest are slow eaters. It is essential to provide a highly nutritious yet balanced diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. A malnourished kid will feel weak and tired throughout the day. In such situations it is best recommended to visit your General Pediatrician and closely monitor the child’s growth and development milestones. If your child is active, alert yet eats less throughout the day, then lessen your stress and be glad their intake is apt. Kindly don’t relate nutrition to weight. A balanced diet will prevent obesity.
- Lifestyle — In today’s fast paced world everyone in the family is busy with some task. Way back in time, elders generally take care of toddlers, now everyone is busy with technology. A family where people spend time with people grows better. When you have a child at home, it becomes important to engage them in activities without screen time. If your toddler gets busy watching TV, mobiles or laptop, their entire childhood is wasted. Similarly, a child who is not allowed to play, to mess up things, to get their hands busy will grow up scared or arrogant to get their way. As parents, we need to pave a path to being human.
- Physically Active — A physically active kid burns calories quicker than a sedentary kid. Some of them might be on the leaner side whereas some might be on the plump side. What matters most is if your kid is active, alert and responds to what you ask or say, put your doubts to rest. If your kids love playing with pets or outside in the mud, then it is true that nature will be their good friend and nurture them in a healthy way.
- Family — Children are a perfect mix and match of family. What they see, hear and do is because of who they are with all day long. How they are treated reflects immediately on their behavior. It is vital for their growth and development. A child living in an abusive environment will be insecure and disinterested in food in general. A child living in a healthy environment grows with love and care. Family is important how a child grows, behaves and leads their life. A happy baby is a healthy baby.
- Geography — Where we live plays a vital role in the growth of a child. Some children eat better during winter and others eat well in Summer. Some eat little irrespective of the season, some eat more throughout the year and the rest has it in bits and pieces.
Apart from these factors there are always a few ground rules to follow irrespective of your size.
- Eat what you need, not what you desire
- Walk your calories
- Posture plays a vital role. How you stand is how you look.
- Never let anyone’s comment play with your emotions.
- Trust yourself and do what is right for you and your family.
- Kids follow parents as role-models, make your best bet.
Since parents have a bigger responsibility in bringing up kids, it is important to follow healthy eating and being physically active. Your child follows you at their best, so be your best and make yourself the best version you want to see. Though thin, lean and fat are sizes, it is important to be your true self which ever category you fall in.
Even though we all come in varied shapes and sizes, always remember every child is different. The focus of the parents in terms of growth must be on the milestones around that age. Chubby cheek and Dimple chin is not the only factor for health. It is important to eat right, think better and work naturally to have a healthy growing phase. We know one size doesn’t fit all, trust that and carry yourself bravely. Above all, encourage kids to respect all.