Healthy Eating – a change 4 life

Change 4 Life imageWe received a letter from school this week, as have many other parents – it turns out that my 11yo son is underweight – his body mass index (BMI) is in the 1st centile, which is ‘underweight’ and not a ‘healthy weight’. But I thought the measurement for change 4 life was ‘Healthy Eating’?

For us though, I’m pretty sure it’s a family thing, we are all four of us slim, and yet we eat LOTS of food (healthy, AND cakes) – The boys just move a lot… every week between them they go to a running club – twice a week; football twice a week, netball, and tennis – that’s busy, oh and one of them does a martial arts class too… They move A LOT.

I understand that The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is an important element of the Government’s work programme on child obesity, however, in our case I don’t want him to be worrying that he’s too thin, but he is worrying… comparing himself in height to his younger brother’s tall, big footed friends, pointing out his skinny ankles, and his skinny ribs – and most importantly, I don’t want him to be worrying that he’s doing too much exercise.

I think we’ve managed to reassure him that he’s fine as he is, (although I have been trying to get two breakfasts into him before school!) and we have continued with our five-a-day chart on the kitchen wall, (and that’s helped me – as I’m making fruit and muesli smoothies for my breakfast every day, come on, even my wedding cake was fruit-based!)

And we are also operating a ‘good behaviour’ reward chart at the moment – the prize being a Manchester United top (I know, he’s really no son of mine…), and I’ve let him pick some new running trainers online, therefore acknowledging that sport and exercise is a GOOD thing. (and his feet ARE growing!)

I’ve been reading other blog posts this week relating to this, I think the focus needs to be on healthy eating, not that the child is too fat or too thin, this is where the insecurities start – and I think that the change for life programme does essentially focus on this, with some great ideas for school packed lunches for example.

However, seeing in black and white that your child is falling into the ‘underweight’ or ‘very overweight’ category does sow a seed of doubt and make you think…

For links to healthy meals we have made together, try our baked salmon with pak choi recipe or the salmon and ginger – both really easy and healthy.

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6 Comments to “Healthy Eating – a change 4 life”

  1. I guess we might be getting one of those letters soon. I wonder if showing them that she’s always been in that centile since a few weeks after her birth that they’ll believe she’s just supposed to be like that. I was pressured by the health visitors to stop breastfeeding because she was too light, but I knew she was fine and kept going. When I did switch her to formula it made no difference at all.

    I was a skinny kid, I didn’t have an ounce of fat on me until puberty. My mum didn’t put on any weight until menopause, and her Nanna (on my husband’s side) was a size 6. Its just how she’s meant to be.

    1. chaos Author

      That’s totally the same as us Kath, both OH and I were super skinny as kids, and that story re suggesting stopping breastfeeding is all too familiar – well done for persevering – and here’s to our healthy kids x

  2. Honestly this is making me so mad! Kids weight fluctuates as they go through growth spurts. And genetic make-up dictates some of it too. Are we trying to create a nation of individuals obsessed with calorie intake now? I thought that was the opposite of what we needed to be healthy! Gah!

    1. chaos Author

      totally… I’ve been practically forcing food on both of my boys this week, it’s got me into a panic that I don’t feed them enough, poor kids are stuffed!! 🙂

  3. I am a mother with a 14 year old and a 2 year old who both fall below the 5th percentile on the weight for height chart. They are both picky eaters, but in completely opposite ways. My older boy, who is my step-son (I’ve know him since he was 9) likes to snack on carb-heavy junk foods and isn’t into fruits and vegetables. My 2-year old would rather eat fruit and fresh vegetables. The doctors and nutritionist tell me I should stop offering him so much of the healthy stuff and start feeding him more junk-food so he puts on some weight. I don’t want him to turn into his brother, though!

    1. chaos Author

      Seriously Renee? that’s potty! Absolute bonkers… everything in moderation I say, healthy carbs surely? rather than junk-food?
      I’m sure you are doing what you think is best for your 2 year old, I’d ask for another medical opinion from a nutritionist maybe??


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