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Dutchess_III's avatar

What are your thoughts on this pediatrician's recommendation that this mother should "fatten up" her toddler by using butter on everything?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42442points) October 13th, 2016

One of our own posted the following on Facebook, and with her permission I’m relaying it here:

“One thing I won’t respect our pediatrician’s opinion on is how/what to feed our kids. They’re saying [her 18 month old daughter] needs to gain weight and that I should start putting “lots of extra butter” on her foods and giving her fattening things. Let me get this straight…women spend most of their adult lives being told by doctors to eat healthy, workout, and lose weight. But as kids, if they’re “too skinny” according to their fancy charts, we should overload our kid on unhealthy foods, get them hooked on junk, only to rip all of those foods away and call them fat when they’re older? No. I won’t. My little girl eats well (unless she’s teething). She is very active so she stays slim. Her dad and I were slim kids too. I won’t start feeding her endless amounts of junk and set her up for future failure. I hope all parents remember that even though Dr’s have years of medical schooling, sometimes your parent intuition is smarter.”

I agree with her, completely. She has 3 kids, they all look perfect weight to me. She’s at a perfect weight herself, IMO.

What are your thoughts?

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33 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect a fallacy in the poster’s idea that butter isn’t healthy for a toddler who could use more fat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She didn’t say that. She puts butter on some of their foods. The pediatrician said to put EXTRA butter on her foods.

Mariah's avatar

The doctor’s advice doesn’t bother me, actually. My mother was advised similar things for me when I was young and extremely underweight. Kids gotta have their calories for all that growing they’re doing, and if they won’t take them in via additional healthy food, a little extra butter isn’t gonna kill them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I figure kids are the best judge of how many calories they need. Not consciously, of course, but their bodies will tell them when to eat and how much. I don’t know that me and my sisters were “underweight” (underweight compared to what?) but we were skinny.. Most kids of that era were.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t know, since I haven’t seen the child, but I would tend to lean towards the doctor. I guess it’s all those years of medical school.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know….what if another doctor said she was just fine? You get doctors with conflicting opinions all the time.

Seek's avatar

I think the doctor knows better than us whether the child is just of slight build or dangerously underweight.

Kids who don’t have enough fat on their bones are at risk of stunted growth and delayed puberty. They’re also more likely to become sick, and may have trouble concentrating and regulating their body temperature.

Clinically underweight is when a kid is below the 5th percentile of BMI for their age and gender.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The thing is that fat is used in neurons and brain cells, kids that age need the fat because the they are growing neurons and the brain. Fat should be in their diet when they are under 2 years old.

Strauss's avatar

^^That’s why there’s so much fat in breast milk.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My son was uber fat until he was a year old. He’s been a rail since then.

Mariah's avatar

”...their bodies will tell them when to eat and how much.”

As someone who has been very underweight my whole life, including as a kid, largely due to appetite problems (and even moreso as a kid because I was a very picky eater back then), I disagree. Some people really do have to push themselves beyond what “feels good” in order to get in enough calories. I would only eat about 1000 calories a day if I ate only the amount my body craved. Less if I weren’t on appetite stimulants.

chyna's avatar

I was a very picky eater too and severely underweight as a child.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was probably ‘underweight’ by today’s standards and I’m not compromised. You two don’t seem compromised to me.

Mariah's avatar

Lol, I wouldn’t use my health as an argument for the safety of anything.

Already being underweight was a huge problem for me when my Crohn’s symptoms started at 14. I lost 15 pounds that I couldn’t afford to lose.

Seek's avatar

I was very underweight as a child.

I’m seven inches shorter than my brother and mother, and six inches shorter than my sister. Eight inches shorter than my dad.

My brother and sister were considerably better fed than me, starting at an earlier age.

I can’t discount that there might have been another short person in my family line, but I’ve never met them.

Just saying.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You are mistaken that butter is an unhealthy food. The charts serve a useful purpose and take into consideration frame and height.

BellaB's avatar

This “women spend most of their adult lives being told by doctors to eat healthy, workout, and lose weight” isn’t true. Doctors do encourage patients to be healthy but they sure don’t tell people to lose weight all the time. Maybe in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but modern doctors know that skinniness does not equal health.

And since when is butter junk food? Kids need more fat in their diet than most adults.

Coloma's avatar

I think the hang up here is the butter everything suggestion.
If the child IS somewhat underweight feeding her more butter is not the way to go. Feeding her more lean protein, maybe whole milk, some extra cheeses, healthy carbs etc. is fine, slathering more butter on everything is not. Being too thin is just as bad as being too fat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can’t find a BMI calculator for kids under two. Maybe someone else will have better luck. When I look at pictures of the toddler, she looks perfect.

She’s 18 months, weighs 20.4 pounds. Mom measures her at 30 inches even. The doc said she was 31.5. That might be the problem. She isn’t as tall as the doctor thinks (maybe she was distracted when she measured her. I had a nurse misread my height by almost 3 inches once. She told me I was 5.4. How can you look at someone who is 5’ 7” and argue with her when she says that she’s NOT 5’ 4”?! “Well, the numbers don’t lie! You are 5’ 4!”)

@BellaB There weren’t nearly as many overweight people in the 50’s or 60’s as there are now. People aren’t just fat any more. More and more are straight up obese, and that is a huge health problem. I’ve been healthy and “underweight” all of my life. Never once did a doctor tell me I needed to gain weight, though.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: When the pediatrician or his staff puts the height and weight in the computer, it automatically calculates and gives the percentile among other children of the same age.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know that. I want to see for myself.

jca's avatar

I just tried to find BMI calculator for kids under 2 and I see it’s not done.

Call the doctor and ask what is the percentile for height and weight, or have the mom call the doctor. Every time the mom brings the baby to the doctor, one of the details that’s important is “what is the percentile for height and weight?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Forget doctors! I have Fluther!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Plugging in the numbers they all read that she’s a little smaller than average. She’s a little shorter and weighs a little less than average. I don’t see a problem.

jca's avatar

I got that she’s below the minimum, which, I’m guessing the minimum is the minimum.

Really the conversation about the details of the percentiles should be had with the physician, as we’re really just guessing and we always always tell people on this site that they should ask their doctor and not take medical advice from strangers on the internet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And Mom is IN the house.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dutchess_III Additional info: She was also born early and only weighed 6 lbs. She’s always been on the smaller side for her age. My newest baby is 2 months but was overdue and she was born weighing 8.8. She’s still larger than most kids at 2 months old according to the charts. I think all kids are different and there are a lot of factors to take into account. I simply won’t worry about these ridiculous charts when she’s thriving and healthy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was 5 pounds when I was born.
My kids were 6 pounds and 6.5 pounds when they were born.

You’re slender too, @ItalianPrincess1217. How tall are you?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, they should have put you on a stretching rack when you were 18 months old so you could be average like the rest of the kids!

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