J.B. asks from Austin, TX on March 03, 2008
Buddha Belly & Large Appetite
My daughter is 17 months old and has a large buddha belly and an ever bigger appetite. She is constantly asking for food/snacks (unless I distract her out of the kitchen).
Her weight is in the healthy 75% for her age and pediatrician says everything is normal, but I worry because she is constantly wanting food. I have had many people tell me that kiddos this age cannot overeat but I have seen her eat so much she gagged and then asked for more. Others have said that she will slim down once she gets more active, but she has been walking since she was 10 months old and is very active and still has the buddah belly. My biggest concern is that she have a healthy relationship with food and I want to make sure that I am not giving her food issues if I limit her intake a little. My husband says we can feed her as much as she wants to eat b/c we only give her really healthy food (she LOVES fruits and veggies). Anyone have a similar buddha belly situation? Thoughts?
S.L. answers from Houston on March 06, 2008
As long as you are giving her healthy food (esp. fruits and veggies), let her eat when she is hungry. Kids get hungry often--and they are growing, so they need the energy. As long as she eats healthy and stays active, she's not going to gain too much weight. Big bellies are normal for kids this age. A good way to tell if she is gaining too much weight is to see if the rest of her body is also big. AT 75th percentile, she's just fine.
B.W. answers from Houston on March 05, 2008
You are right to be concerned. I don't know what the answer is, but something isn't right, and you need to see another pediatrician.
J.G. answers from Houston on March 05, 2008
I think I would talk with my pediatrician and see what he/she says about it. Is he/she (ped.) concerned about her weight?
C.M. answers from San Antonio on March 05, 2008
It's important not to make an issue out of food when a child is young or it will always be an issue for them. If she says she's hungry let her eat but only let her snack on healthy food like fruits and veggies. No one has ever gotten fat from overeating fruit and veggies. As far as the buddha belly, if that is the only place she seems fat then you really don't have a problem. this is what you should watch for, her putting on fat all over. Most children have a buddha belly because they have adult size livers. Their tummies need a lot of room to hold all their organs until they grow into them. My son is now 3 and he always ate really well, was a little chubby and had a belly. He's very active and he didn't really start to slim down until about 2-2 1/2 years old. He slimmed some when he began walking but his belly didn't really start to slim until he had more heigth on him. He also occasionally gagged on food and kept eating. For him it was simply that he was in a hurry and tried to eat to fast, the gagging had nothing to do with hunger. Also remember if she's snacking on fruit and veggies their not as filling as other foods, your body processes them really fast, even faster if she's very active. munching on whole foods all day is probably the healthiest way to eat.
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C.V. answers from Houston on March 04, 2008
I'm not sure what your background is, but most cultures pride themselves on on "healthy" children. My baby is the same way. She's the youngest yet bigger than her older brother and a couple pounds under her 4 year old sister. My biggest problem is she is too heavy for me to carry!
It is frustrating sometimes, because if I don't feed her as she demands she throws a fit. She will finish off everyone elses leftovers! She's never "not" hungry! They grow out of it. Just make sure that you feed her nutritious snacks. As long as she is eating healthy you won't have to worry about childhood obesity. I don't give mine soda (hardly ever) and the sweetest thing they get are fruit snacks.
The flip side is that when they grow out of it they become picky like my son did. He lost too much weight and now he doesn't eat anything! I'll take the chunky baby anyday!
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B.P. answers from Houston on March 03, 2008
I would be sure to keep her on healthy foods. If you keep her eating 3 healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks with lots of outside excercise, she should not be overweight. I have a 1 yr old and a 2 yr old that literally eat more than me. BUT they will fight you for spinach and turnip greens. They eat very healthy, never get sugar, don't like it. They are both in the 10-20 percentile for their weight and height. It amazes me b/c they eat so stinking much. Dr. says it is b/c of WHAT they eat not how much. hth
V.O. answers from Austin on March 04, 2008
Your daughter describes mine exactly!!! and yes, it is perfectly healthy. My daughter started walking at 9 months and her very chubby body (90%) was trimmed down to the 75% very quickly. She is now 26 months and has trimmed down considerably. She is now in the 50-75% with a small "budha" belly. Likewise, we give her TONS of fruits and veggies...Of course, she also eats a considerable amount of carbs (but we limit that too). I love what one of my friends told me: "this is the only time that a person can be viewed as cute and adorable without having a model's body and having to worry about what they look like"
A.A. answers from Houston on March 04, 2008
I am on my second child. They are both very healthy boys with very healthy appetites.When my 3year old was a baby and on to almost 2,he was very chubby...but yes he did loose every bit of it.He now is nowhere near chubby and my second child is as cute and chubby as can be....and by the way...all kids want snacks and food all day!
M.R. answers from San Antonio on March 04, 2008
I don't have any great suggestions for you...just a little reassurance. It seems children this age like to eat/snack. I have two boys, and both DS1 and DS2 went through this phase. They ate all day. Neither one of them was ever more than %50 in weight, but I still was concerned. It seemed like if someone had a snack they wanted one too. Just know that this phase shall pass too.
I agree with your DH...if you offer nutritious snack, you should have too much to worry about. Good Luck!
K.C. answers from Houston on March 04, 2008
The Buddha belly isn't from eating too much. At her age (check with your pediatrician for how long this lasts), she doesn't have the muscle tone in her belly to hold everything in, and a baby's/toddler's organs, pushing outward, are a big reason for the belly. It's very normal. If she's eating primarily healthy foods and drinking plenty of water and milk - stay away from juices, which are mostly sugar - you shouldn't worry at all. My kids were just the same, especially the older two - chunky monkeys! Now, at ages 13, 8, and 6, they are all slender and muscular. As for the eating, my kids have always gone through phases when it seems like they are eating even more than I do, and when that happens, it seems to be followed by a height gain shortly afterwards. Good luck and take care!
B.S. answers from San Antonio on March 04, 2008
She may be hungry or she may just like chewing on things and the taste of food. It is OK to give her food as long as it is fruits and vegies only. My son always chews on celery.