The "Overweight" Child
You may have been told your child is too fat (or at risk of getting too fat) if his BMI is above the 85th or 95th percentile. Or if his weight is crossing percentiles on his growth curve. Or if your weight is high.
Don’t panic. And don’t restrict—that is absolutely the wrong thing to do. It will make him continually want to eat, sneak food, eat as much as he can whenever he can, and yes, gain too much weight.
Instead, do an excellent job with feeding.
Let him grow up to get the body that is right for him. Even if he is above the 95th percentile, if he grows consistently, he is growing well. Just know that his big body is smaller than if you had restricted him.
To provide support without interfering with feeding, maintain a division of responsibility in feeding. You manage the what, when and where of feeding and trust your child to do the how much and whether of eating from what you put on the table.
Throughout your child’s growing-up years, feed in a developmentally appropriate fashion.
To provide structure without interfering with activity, maintain a division of responsibility in activity: You provide structure, safety and opportunities. Your child chooses how much and whether to move and the manner of moving.
For more about raising children who eat as much as they need and get bodies that are right for them (and for research backing up this advice), see Ellyn Satter's Your Child's Weight: Helping Without Harming, Kelcy Press, 2005. Also see www.EllynSatterInstitute.org/store to purchase books and to review comprehensive educational materials that teach stage-related feeding and solve feeding problems.
©2016 by Ellyn Satter published at www.EllynSatterInstitute.org. You may reproduce this article if you don't charge for it or change it in any way and if you do include the for more about and copyright statements.