child growth chart: tracking your child’s growth
Too tall? Too short? Too chubby? Too thin?As your preschooler grows and changes, it’s natural to wonder how she compares. Try not to worry too much. Your child’s doctor tracks this. Most 2-year-olds retain a little chubbiness because they haven’t reached the proportions of an older child. Now’s a great time to start tracking height at home; every few months, mark your child’s height on a wall or buy a paper child growth chart or a weight percentile calculator. Children love to see how they’ve grown!
As they head toward 3, most preschoolers’ torsos have elongated and their bodies are shedding the baby fat. How can you tell if your child is the proper weight? Your pediatrician tracks growth and can show you how your child’s numbers (height and weight) compare with statistical averages for her age. Two is usually too early to worry about fat. Even if your child is still chubby, growth and lots of active playtime are likely to change this. Chubby preschoolers are not necessarily destined to become chubby adults.
Given the rampant child obesity rates, however, it’s a reasonable question to ask. Pediatricians are growing increasingly proactive about identifying 2-year-olds at high risk and then tracking suggested lifestyle changes.
REASON FOR OBESITY IN CHILDREN
A common reason preschoolers are truly overweight is because they’re allowed unrestricted access to bottles of milk or juice. Limit milk (served in a cup) to 16 ounces per day and juice to 4 ounces per day, and avoid soda. (Serve water or diluted juice with snacks; most kids don’t notice if you dilute it gradually to half water, half juice.) Never restrict a preschooler’s diet without medical advice, however. What your child’s body needs most of all right now is a healthy mix of nutrients in order to fuel the big growth demands her brain and body face now and in the coming years.