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Chubby Baby = Healthy Baby


Contrary to what doctors, books, scientists, BMI, weight charts, the guy at Whole Foods, etc….the only way to tell if your baby is healthy is whether she is chubby or not. Forget what modern science has told you. If your baby doesn’t have the cute Stay Puft Marshmallow Man body than you are not feeding them enough. This is according to my grandmother.

As in the humorous twist of fate, my daughter is skinny…I, of course, am not. There is quite the history of what constitutes a “healthy” look in the Latino culture. I have been a victim of this first hand.  I use my grandmother as an example because she is the most “verbal” when it comes to weight “problems”. I have never been skinny. My weight has fluctuated, more than a rollercoaster. (By the way, I hate rollercoasters. Not important, but felt the need to let that out) I can always tell which side of the weight scale I was on based on my grandmother’s reaction to me.  It was either “Estas flaco, tiene que comer” (Translation: You’re skinny, you need to eat) or “Estas poniendo gordo” (Translation: You’re getting fat). I don’t know the Spanish saying for “your weight is just right” because I’ve never heard it….probably doesn’t even exist. Now, I’m okay with my body. I know I can never have Brad Pitt’s abs, and I’m fine with it. Having a child, I now see how young the opinions of weight can start.

Most of the older generation (ie. Generation before me…and no I didn’t call you “old”), have commented that my daughter looks too skinny. They always would ask what we are feeding her and at what quantity. Apparently, I never knew I had to provide a spreadsheet for my family….Excel is now open. The comment is usually followed by “I used to give you (or my kid) Arroz con Gandueles at 4 months” (Translation: Rice with pigeon peas). My reply has usually been “But that’s not good for the digestive system at that age”.  Their retort is usually “but you turned out fine”. OOOOoooooh the “But you turned out fine” line. Don’t you love it?

Here’s my little rant about that wonderfully naive line. Sure I turned out “fine”…I didn’t die from said food. So in that sense yes I turned out “fine”. I have a few gastrointestinal problems, but that’s beside the point. Now let’s break down that line. By saying that “you turned out fine” implies that what was done in the past is still a relevant child care technique today. So progression in medical sciences is thrown out the window.  I always say “if that’s the case why don’t we do what the cave dwellers did?” Sounds dumb right? That’s how I feel about that “fine” line. There is a reason we do things differently with our children. There is a reason my daughter has a different diet then others. If you want to give your child “arroz con gandueles” and a side of “lechon” (Translation: Rice and pigeon peas with pork)…that’s fine. I will keep giving my daughter the foods recommended to me. When she grows up and has children (Lord please be a LONG time from now) she will listen to the guidelines of her time.

There is one person I listen to when it comes to my child’s weight, her doctor. Sounds crazy? It must be a foreign concept that I would actually listen to someone that has years of medical training. Unlike what some people think, we are not made in a factory. We are all different. We have different body types. Your baby might be naturally chubby and mine might be naturally skinny…that’s okay. As long as they are healthy and not malnourished then you are doing fine.

Unfortunately I have to give my kids a “Cultural Training”, so they know what not to listen to when it comes to our family. I love my grandmother but if I listened to her I’d be at the gym one week and the next at Burger King. My skinny baby is healthy to me and her doctor. I don’t need to fatten her up to look “cute”…she’s already beautiful.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    03/22/2012 7:58 am

    well said love

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