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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My two and 1/2 year old has gained about 8-10 pounds in 8 months. He is getting very chubby. Should I be concerned?
    
Dear Concerned Parent:

We appreciate your love and concern for your child. The average child gains 3 to 4 pounds between the ages of 2 and 3. a child who has gained 8-10 pounds in 8 months is therefore gaining more weight than he should and this requires further evaluation.

You have not provided us with any more information besides that your child appears chubby. We will therefore approach the issue of excessive weight gain in a 2 year old from a general perspective.

First take your child in to your pediatrician for an evaluation. Most parents worry about Hypothyroidism as a cause of weight gain. Hypothyroidism is an uncommon cause of weight gain and is now screened for at birth.

Unfortunately the most common cause of excessive weight gain is Not enough physical activity coupled with the intake of too many calories. The calories may come from too much food or eating the wrong foods.

A Healthy diet at this age should consist of:
Breads, Pasta, Rice and Cereal; 4-5 servings
Vegetables; 2 or more servings
Fruit; 2 or more servings
Dairy products 3-4 servings
Meat, Fish,Poultry; 2 or 3 servings

One of the first things to look at in your child's diet is the fluid intake. Parents want to give their children healthy foods and can get carried away with giving too much juice. In general a 2 year old should be drinking 16 to 24 ounces of 2%milk, 4 oz of juice (at most) per day and the rest of the time should be drinking water (no soda). Studies have shown that just making the change in the amount of juice taken in during a day is enough in 20% of cases to correct the extra weight gain. Of course parents must also set good examples for their children.

Next, make sure your child is getting enough exercise. With screen based activities on the increase (TV, Computers and Video Games) so is obesity in this country. Safety is also an issue. Parents are not always comfortable (nor should they be) letting their children run around the neighborhood or park like they did 20 years ago. Parents therefore have to make an extra effort to keep their children active and physically fit.

We hope this information has been of some assistance

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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