Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is Your Baby a Chubby Checker?

With dimples on knees and elbows, a Buddha belly, double chin and puffy cheeks, she is a picture of absolute cuteness, but could this be the way to becoming a fat child and an obese adult?

One study has found that babies who put on weight fast in their first 4 months may be at an increased risk of obesity later on in life. The baby who is too heavy to move may become victim to a vicious cycle of inactivity and overweight. The more chubbier baby is, the less she moves and the more chubbier she will get. Her inability to move will make her frustrated and irritable, which may lead to parents overfeeding her to keep her happy.

The prescription for a chubby baby is not usually a diet, but rather slowing down the rate of weight gain. Here are a few tips to help with this:

  • Use feeding only to satisfy hunger and not other needs.

  • Make dietary adjustments if necessary e.g. switch to low calorie formula or use skimmed milk.

  • Try water for a overweight older baby who wants to keep sucking after her appetite has been satisfied, or who is thirsty rather than hungry.

  • Don't give solids prematurely as a way to encourage sleeping through the night - it doesn't work and may lead to overweight.

  • Evaluate your baby's diet. If you've already started your baby on solids and she's taking more than just a few spoonfuls of cereal, reduce the milk intake. Cut back on solids if you have started them prematurely (most experts recommend not starting solids until 6 months). If baby is taking juices (which shouldn't be before the age of 6 months) dilute them. and don't put thin cereal in a bottle for feeding.

  • Get your baby moving e.g. let your "stand" on your lap and bounce

For more tips on how to keep baby healthy and happy visit http://www.babyonline.co.za/

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