Interesting discussion going on now across the blogs about kids being fat and whether parents should harp on them for that (or not).
It's an interesting topic..
I know that sometimes drawing attention to it can have a completely opposite effect.. meaning sometimes it stresses the kid out so much they eat more or worse yet they stop eatting and try to control the situation on their own terms (anorexia).
But I can tell you nothing is sadder than only knowing childhood as a FAT kid.
You are left out of so many important social development aspects.
First is that sad experience of being picked last for everything,
or not being invited to anything.
Just great for the self esteem.
YOU ARE THE FAT KID NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH!!
And then there is the humilation of having none of the hip cool clothes or shoes,
because the CHUBBY sizes (as they were called when I was a kid) were just FUGLY!!.
In fact, if I recall correctly, my selection had alot of plaid.. maybe it was a sign of the times.
Oh and here is an ego booster .. when your shoe size was EEE.
Yeah that was something you wanted to write to "Dear Diary".
The interesting thing about this whole feeling of being inferior to everyone else is that I always felt like my home was the safe zone.
No fear of being called fat.
But then again I NEVER shared with my parents the humiliation I experienced.
Wouldn't that be a sign of weakness??
I kept that stuff all to myself.
There was the occaisional diet that my mom would work with me on.. and yes, I lost the weight, but damn trying to keep my appetite up with my three growing brothers was alot of work and I succeeded at that.
So looking back on this and on my own girls, I think it is important to emphasize healthy eating and teaching your children to read labels (I did not do this, and God knows these food labels did not exist when I was a child).
Luckily, I have very healthy (normal size) kids, who are now women (and yes we joke about inherited genes).
If I have learned one thing in life.. it would be that
the root to solving all problems is to take the approach of education..
Inform children of nutritional needs and requirements,
do not be judgmental, and
encourage them to think about the food choices and I mean think about them in terms of what are you eating that has protein, and iron and calcium. Make it educational .. make it informative and most important make those good foods available.
Wow.. that felt good to write ...thanks Draz