Some moms – perhaps with a history of body image issues themselves – shudder at the sight of a big, juicy, chubby toddler. Blogger Jessica Katz wrote about a mom in her baby group who complained that her 7-month-old son was “too hungry all the time” and therefore thought it logical to put him on a diet by replacing his oh-so-fattening breast milk with water.
She didn’t want a “fat kid.” Yikes, imagine how she’d deal with a rotund tot.
Hopefully not like Aly Gilardoni, who has had her daughter on a diet since the age of 2.
Gilardoni claims that she doesn’t want her daughter to turn out like her, weighing 238 pounds and eating a 3,000 calories a day consisting of junk and carbs.
Obviously this mom should rethink her tactics, like modeling healthy eating habits and letting her kid eat like a kid. And eating like a kid does not mean hot dogs and candy bars; it means eating 1,700 meaningful calories a day instead of 700. It means trusting that the extra toddler padding is normal and healthy.
What Gilardoni and the Baby Group mom suffer from is a little problem called projection. They are passing on their genetics, to be sure. But they are also handing down bad habits, negative body issues, and terrible messages surrounding the fuel we all rely on for better or worse: food. To start sending those unhealthy messages to little boys (and especially girls!) during these formative toddler years is just … well, that’s just immoral.
But, in my view, letting this happen to your toddler is as well:
While the poor treatment of the world's fattest toddler at his school is terrible, it's young Xiao Hao’s family who is entirely at fault.
No matter how you slice it, it’s our job as parents to instill healthy eating habits – whether we chew what we spew, or not. These messages in a bottle (and tater tots of truth) will last a lifetime.
It’s just food, neither friend nor foe. These moms needn’t make an enemy of it, if only for the sake of their children.