I gotta be honest. And don’t hate me. But I was born skinny. I can give you a list of flaws and faults that I’ve got from here to to China– bad skin, honker nose, only-child syndrome, and the list goes on and on. But I haven’t struggled with my weight for a day in my life. I put on 40 pounds with both pregnancies. It took me a year to take the weight off, but I did, both times, with little effort. I returned to my ever-steady, 5’8″ frame, 117 pounds. And the kicker? I eat like a horse.
(Since turning 35 last year, I have noticed a depressing change in my metabolism, but we’ll save that for another day).
But for the sake of this post…
Me? Born skinny.
My husband? Born Skinny.
My 7 year old? Born skinny.
My 4 year old? Born solid.
And I would like to clarify, that “skinny” is not a term that I value. At all. If you follow this blog, you know this about me. I’d take fat and happy any day over skinny and miserable. But I’m using it today so you understand a new issue that has arisen in our home. When I say “skinny” in this post, I mean having no weight issue. No struggle with food.
It was cute when our good friends would call our 4 year old “Beef Cake” cuz he was such a solid little baby; we all laughed. After all, remember, it was no insult– I was “skinny,” my husband was “skinny,” our eldest son was “skinny.” He would be skinny too.
And I would like to clarify, this beautiful blond-haired, green-eyed boy, is by no means overweight. AT ALL. He just doesn’t have our build. He’s solid.
We feed our kids very healthy food (okay we don’t miss McDonald’s every 2 months, me included, but overall, healthy) . We exercise. We eat organic. We lead a busy, and not sedentary lifestyle. But I notice my 4 year old lately, with a truly revved up appetite. I can’t fault him, he has my appetite. My father’s appetite.
Like, after giving him a good dinner, followed by fresh fruit every night for desert, 5 minutes later, again, “I want a night snack.” This kid wants a morning snack, an afternoon snack, an evening snack. It’s constant. I find myself for the first time frustrated and saying, “You just ate five minutes ago! Fine, you can have a healthy snack like applesauce, or some DRY cereal.” And him replying, “I want cereal AND milk….” Who wants cereal AND MILK TOO after wolfing down a big burger, broccoli, pineapple and banana– when you’re four and your stomach is small?
I don’t want to create any food issues whatsoever. I have none. We all have none. But I also want to feed him when he’s hungry. If my kids are hungry for dinner at 4:30, I feed them. I’d rather give them a good meal, instead of stalling them with snacks. It’s the way I was brought up, and as a result, I have a loving relationship with food. And I want to offer him healthy choices. But I feel as his parent, I need to put the breaks on, if it’s getting out of hand. If your kid asked for food all day, you wouldn’t just give it to him, right? But he’s snack obsessed.
So, ladies, today the tables have turned. I am not offering my expertise today, but instead seeking yours. For the moms who struggle with food issues in the home, can you offer me some tips? I don’t want to deprive him of the food he loves, but I don’t want to overfeed him either. I am really on the fence with this one.
Is it a growth spurt, and I give him those snacks when he claims he’s hungry (which trust me, he can’t be), or do I hold back? I have found myself annoyed with the constant requests. I need your help.