6 Year Old Keeps Getting Fatter and Heavier

Updated on February 16, 2011
S.B. asks from Santa Barbara, CA
24 answers

I have gotten some excellent advice on here. My son is 6 years old and weighs over 80 pounds. I have been watching his food in take very well and he still seem to be gaining much. He was born small at 5.6 lbs. His weight has climbed since and continue to do so. Took him to doctor to test for food allergy etc because he always had a puffy belly. Came back negative. However he has constipation problems.

He does karate and I would say fairly active. He does not like vegetables, only likes corn. However I buy baby vege jars and mix them into his food or puree my own. I also force him to eat veges and fruits with meals . It is usually an hour long or longer battle to get him to consume his veges. I have tried to coax him, encourage him, shout at him to eat the veges. it is an uphill battle.

Doctors just say he needs to lose weight, some say they are not worried. He is a kid, how can I stress him out with diets after diets. Right now I am beginning to wonder if there is something else wrong. I even stopped giving him dairy/cows milk; switched over to almond milk. he still seems fat and heavy. He is bigger than all his friends. I am so stressed out over this. Could it be something else in his body that is causing this. We eat very healthy in our household and neither my husband nor myself nor our 5year old is fat. I am so sad and depressed over it. Anyone has any ideas about this? Thanks!

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answers from New York on

Quit the processed food - feed him real veggies and real fruits. Switch to fat free milk. Keep him active - no tv time, no computer time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

has he been tested for thyroid issues?
what about his insulin?


has he been tested for thyroid issues?
what about his insulin?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Has his thyroid been tested?

I think you should consider going to a nutritionist they can help you with what he should and should not be eating and the quantities so you can help get healthy without putting him on a diet just by eating correctly.

You should not force him to eat veggies. Yelling and fighting with him to eat will only cause more harm then good.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

What is his BMI? I do not see how he can eat a healthy balanced diet if he does not eat veggies. The current USDA recommendations for an active 6 year old are for 5 oz of grains (at least 50% whole grains), 2 cups of veggies, 1.5 cups of fruit, 2 cups of milk and 5 oz of meat/beans per day. You can find this info at mypyramid.gov. I think you need to see a nutritionist as childhood obesity has become epidemic and you do not want him to develop lifelong problems.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Hi, Sandy!
Take a deep breath and relax, sweetie. It sounds to me like you're doing the best that you can.

I can't say the same for your doctors. Over 80 lbs. is too much for a six year old, and if it's not normal in your family for children to be that big, which it sounds like it's not, those doctors need to figure out what the problem is, since you are feeding him healthy foods. If the pediatrician you have won't run the necessary tests, find a new doc.

On your end, keep feeding him healthy meals, make snacks fresh fruit only, keep him active (if you allow television, computer, or video games, those should be replaced with outdoor activities) and cut him some slack on the vegetables. : )

Continue to offer various veggies, prepared in a variety of ways, but don't force him to eat them. Let him have a piece of fruit, instead. Eventually his taste buds will change and he'll start eating some veggies. Especially if he sees the rest of the family enjoying them. If you have time, look up some cute ideas for preparing veggies - like a mini flower pot (cleaned out, of course) filled with hummus. Put a couple mini carrots in it, use a toothpick to put holes in the top of the carrots and stick a sprig of parsley in the top, so it looks like the carrots are growing. Sometimes, it's all about presentation.

But, seriously, food battles are the worst and can have long lasting impacts/consequences. So please don't force him to eat the veggies. If you relax, he eventually will, too, and will be more open to trying new things.

Best of luck to you and your little boy! Let us know what happens.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Hi Sandy B.,

OMG, my 14 year was just told yesterday by his doctor that he needs to gain weight. So, even though he eats everything in sight, I need to change his diet. So since mine is underweight, let me tell you what we usually eat - maybe that will help. Because obviously it is working backwards for my son.

What we eat is usually only a protein and fruit and veggie for our main meals. Or a pasta dish. We do not eat a lot of processed foods, he drinks 1% milk, and I limit his sweet snacks. He has a definite sweet tooth that I try to cater too with Nutrigrain bars and the like....they are healthier and lower calorie. I keep mandarin oranges, bananas, apples, grapes etc. in the house and those have always been "free" foods - he can eat as much as he wants of those regardless of when mealtimes are. I do not let him drink soda other than one small Coke a week as a weekend treat. He does not drink Koolaid or any of those. Only 100% fruit juice. Or water - lots and lots of water. We do not eat a lot of fast food. McDonald's is a once a month treat.

If your son doesn't like veggies try fixing them in different ways - the key to increasing veggie intake is to fill his belly with healthy, lower calorie food. Try different seasoning on them - We love basil on string beans, and a little onion powder, salt and pepper goes a long way to perk up peas. Let him help you grocery shop - I always let mine pick out anything he wanted from the produce department. LOL It became a game for him to pick out things that Mommee didn't eat. Tho' he still hates mushrooms and asparagus and kiwi.

It takes time to change eating habits - so be patient with him. Bribe him - give him a star for every night he eats his veggies without a fuss and after 5 stars he can have a treat. A soft serve ice cream cone for McDonald's - something like that. Then make it 10 stars, then 15, until he is so used to eating veggies he doesn't need the treat anymore.

Encourage him to fill up on higher fiber, lower calorie things - raw baby carrots, cauliflower, fruit. Switch to whole wheat breads and pastas - I buy Nature's Own whole wheat and it has 50 less calories per serving than white bread. Switch to ground turkey instead of ground beef, white meat chicken and seafood are also good. Limit his white food - potatoes, rice sugar, etc. Make sugar free jello for a treat.

Take walks, put on the radio and dance, get him moving in new and different ways. Buy jump ropes and have "competitions" on who can jump longer, faster, etc.

Whatever you do, realize that genetics play a part in this - he may have inherited an ancestor's DNA and may just always be this way. Whatever you do, make it a family affair so he does not feel singled out. And relax - if you stress, he will stress.

He is going to be okay!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Fighting with him at meals times will only give him an eating disorder when he gets older and then he'll fight all his life with it. Try looking up some cookbooks that have information and recipes about hiding veggies in food. Like adding puree'd carrots to Spahetti sauce. I can't remember the name of it but it's very well writen.

If he is active and is out there doing stuff then I say let it go. Fighting only makes it worse. There are lots of food out there that has hidden nutrition in it already. The kids favorite night of the week is Ravioli night. Ravioli is very nutritious. It has pasta=grains, tomatoe sauce=veggie/fruit you decide, meat=protein, and it has veggies in the sauce to bulk it up to where it has extra veggie servings.

I am pretty sure the raw food taken and added to the food you cook is going to be healthier and less fatty than baby food too. I think the less you act worried the less he'll react badly. He needs to be much less stresses out about his weight.

I would say take him to a different type doctor. I don't know what kind to tell you but something to do with his Thyroid and other internal stuff.

I hope you find the answers you need. It is very stressful for you to have to deal with this every day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I don't know who said average weight for a six year old is 40-45 pounds, but that's way off. You can't put out an average without knowing a child's height and build.

For example, my daughter (who will be six in three months) weighs 55 pounds, but she's very thin. Is she tall? Eh, not really...taller than average, maybe, but not a giant. Now, she has WEIGHED around 50 lbs since she was three years old and even back then she wasn't "fat," just a little baby chub, and she's always been EXTREMELY active. Now she's thin.

If he's active, he's probably just got more muscle mass which makes him weigh more, and he may not have fully lost his baby fat. Talk to your ped about it, and I'm sure she/he will recommend something. Be honest about what he eats, and how much.

However, and this is just a side note...I would quit battling him over vegetables. It isn't worth it...my rule is, take one good bite, and if you hate eat, you don't have to eat it. Now, I SNEAK vegetables into a lot of things and my daughter will eat them (now, she's figured out what I'm doing, and still eats it.)

For example, if you make any casserole with potatoes, make it with cauliflower instead. If it's some sort of cheesy casserole, it'll still taste (mostly) like potatoes. Make mock mashed potatoes out of cauliflower...just whip like you would potatoes, and season with garlic or whatever you like.

But from what I understand of advanced studies on the subject (and it seems like the experts want to keep this under the rug) young children (up to about 6-8 years) have a hard time digesting veggies, ESPECIALLY raw ones, and they aren't as "good" for them as everyone wants to say. Children need carbs and fat to grow and develop properly...there are just healthy ways to get them.

Believe me...the only veggie my daughter EVER ate until she was five were green beans...and obviously, we weren't going to serve them every night, so she only had a veggie once a week. She's perfectly healthy, and not fat at all.

I bet he'll just hit a growth spurt and it'll be like, wow, what happened?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

It really is important he learns to eat correctly, diabetes is drastically on the rise. I've always eaten healthy, however, they found I was protein deficient; my nutritional type is a protein type (so carbs put weight on me). I've been dropping weight like crazy and everyone at work is amazed, especially since I just had a baby. So, it could be your son is of a different body type than you (protein type, carb type, protein/carb type). With a protein type like me, it's about balance, balancing carbs with protein and upping the veggies and that does mean counting carbs.

I've struggled with being slightly overweight much of my life (size 14-16) and just had gestational diabetes. Am now still insulin resistant. It's all about counting carbs. Breakfast and snacks should stay within 15-20g carbs (cereal, waffles, pancakes are out - I have oatmeal with an egg, typically). Lunch 45g, dinner 30-45g. 2-3 snacks/day between meals. Every meal and snack should include protein (meat, cheese, nuts). I'd really recommend seeing a nutritionist, as they designed this for me and it could vary for your child.



answers from New York on

Have you check the BMI charts for kids? My daughter is 6 and one of the tallest in her class and weighs less than 60lbs and is definitely not skinny. If you son's height/weight ratio is off the charts which it likely is unless he's super tall, I would have some testing done. Try to talk to your pediatrician alone so your son doesn't overhear and ask IF the doctor was worried, what tests would he run etc. And then insist on those tests... It's better to be safe than sorry. If there's nothing wrong medically, then you've tried. But if there is, best to catch it now. Good luck! I know it's stressful.



answers from Indianapolis on

Go to www.myQIVANA.com/knapp1 and click onto products. Check out the METABOLIQ. I've been told by the docs that kids can do this too. This resets metabolism and helps with insulin resistance. This product is AMAZING!!! There are some testimonials on the site, too.

It absolutely can be something in his body. His chemistry is clearly off. It needs to be stabilized and reset.

Call me if you need to. D. ###-###-####



answers from Houston on

I have seen children from 6 years old that were just as heavy grow out of it by the time they are 12 and 13 years old. If he is active and there are no historical family medical issues that may have skipped a generation, I wouldn't worry about it so much. I had the same perception when I saw these children that my child hung around but now I look at them and the transformation is phenomenal. Children's bodies go through so much between elementary and middle school. Enjoy your active child and know that he will be alright as his body goes through its changes (especially when he hits puberty). My son also had a "puffy" belly growing up ( and I have the pics to prove it). Now he's got rock solid abs. I have no idea where he got them from. My husband and I aren't even close to having his body frame. Keep up the good work in feeding him his veggies, keep the karate going and rule out in family medical history problems. Hang in there!



answers from San Francisco on

I have no idea how common this is or if it's a concern but you might want to have his thyroid and adrenal glands tested. Hypothyroidism is one of the many things that can cause weight gain and constipation. All the best!



answers from New York on

My girlfriend decided to go on a baby food diet. Rediculous I know, but she thought it was healthy becasue it was for babies and she would eat only what was in the jar, she gained 6 lbs. Baby food even veggies if not organic have perservatives and are meant to put weight on a baby. Go for natural, puree like you have been doing and relax. Definitly ask your dr, for some blood test and to check the thyroid. Good luck, I kow it's frustrating.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Kids tend to grow out, then up. I'll bet he's going to shoot up very soon. If his food is healthy, watch the empty calories. Keep offering new & different veggie--corn is just about useless as a veggie. Maybe he prefers them raw or cooked? I love ALL cooked veggies but very few raw.....
Kids come in ALL shapes & sizes, and seriously, if you have a doc who is not even concerned, I'm wondering why you are so stressed about this?



answers from Chicago on

Have they checked for Celiac it can cause weight gain or weight lost? Also they are finding out vitamin deficiency can cause weight gain. I would have all this checked out. Keep a food dairy of what he is eating and go talk to a dietitian.


answers from Honolulu on

Is he tall? Little bitty babies have a tendency to make up for it later in life (it's common for preemie kids to be overweight) If you are keeping him active and he is eating a balanced diet I wouldn't worry too much. His next growth spurt may even out his weight to height ratio. If you are still worried you can ask your doctor about getting him tested for hypothyroidism. Good luck momma, sounds like you are doing a good job keeping him healthy.



answers from Chattanooga on

I would have a complete blood work up done on him to rule out any medical condition that could be causing this. If there is nothing medically wrong with him, you need to work on portion control. Do not EVER mention the word diet or fat to him or let him know you are disappointed in the way he looks. Use words like "healthy" and make sure he hears you saying the same things to your 5 year old.
Don't buy any processed junk foods. Make snack time a bowl of berries and bananas with light cool whip or sugar free jello and cool whip. 6 year olds don't do grocery shopping so if it's not in the house, they won't eat it. McDonald's every other week won't hurt him if you get a kids meal with a burger and apple dippers. Also, watch the fruit juice intake. I only give my daughter ice water....once in a while with a splash of juice in it.
Hide the veggies in healthy muffins and make that his after school snack.
Please don't make him feel bad about himself...that will just lead to an eating disorder. If he has healthy eating habits, he will shoot up in height one day and be fine!



answers from Milwaukee on

I think of my niece that was quite round and chubby in the 3rd and 4th grade (yeah a little older than your kid) but once she hit puberty she really thinned out naturally. My sister didn't make a big deal of things because it seemed to be a natural thing in our family (my sister and brother were both chubby in their younger years and thinned out during puberty where I was thin as a kid and got chubby during puberty). I would try to relax a little with the meal time. The bigger deal you make it seem like the more he will probably fight you. Continue to offer vegetables and try to get him to eat them willingly, hide the vegetables like you are doing. Try to take away white carbs (white flour, white sugar, white pasta and so on). At 6 they don't need much for sweets, try to make that an occasional thing a special treat from time to time. Make sure his portions aren't too big, if he wants more ask him if his tummy is good or if it still feels hungry. You seem to be very aware of his situation and thats great, there are many that have children that has serious weight issues but don't really seem to understand how dangerous it is. Make sure you watch what you eat, they will take a lot of cues from you. Remember some are just built a little differently, accept him for his size but just try to change things a little if you are feeding him healthy whole foods and stay away from the processed stuff he will be fine. Don't let him grow up thinking he is wrong because he is bigger than the rest of you, that will only do more damage and could very well lead to eating disorders and low self esteem. So try to calm down about it and learn to enjoy meal times with the family without fighting too much. Good luck, you're doing a great job.



answers from Dallas on

It's natural for there to be hormonal imbalances to cause weight gain as he's growing. But if you feel it's something to be concerned about, make an appointment with an endocrinologist (ask your pediatrician for a referral). It could be a simple imbalance that can be treated with supplements.

Hope it helps! Good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

he could just be a healthy kid and once he hits a growth spurt the weight will even out. look into both your families past and see if that has happened to anyone



answers from Dallas on

As far as I know...the average weight for a 6 year old is around 40-45 pounds. I would say your son is quite overweight. If you are watching his food, I think you should ask to be referred to a specialist. He could have a metabolic, hormone, or thyroid condition that causes him to gain weight. I don't know what kind of Dr. that is, but your pediatrician should know. This could continue to be a problem and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to fix. I truly don't think this is a food problem. His body is most likely very out of balance.

That average weight comes straight from the chart (published in 2010) by the American Academy of Pediatrics, in our pediatricians office. I re-looked it up online to see if I was wrong. It DOES say that's the average weight.



answers from Dayton on

I hope you are not letting him see how sad and depressed you are about his weight. If he isn't eating junk, isn't sedentary, then it does no good to be so stressed out about it. He is still growing, and getting him all stressed out about how he looks can be disastrous in the future.

My hubby and I have both lost considerable weight by counting carbs. Each group of 15 grams of carbs equals one carb choice. We eat no more than 15 carb choices per day. It is surprising how many carbs are in some foods. Even corn is a high carb food. We got some magnets in the diabetic section of Target that help us know at a glance how many carbs are in food.

Still, don't stress over it so much. Kids deserve to be happy about what and who they are. Keep him moving and let him know daily how much you love him the way he is.



answers from Orlando on

my sister was VERY chubby until she got to 8th grade. once she hit puberty she grew taller and lost a bunch of weight. if he's eating healthy and active....i bet that will happen to him too.

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