As a child, I was always skinny. I ate loads and I wasn’t a fussy eater, but I was very active and got used to being called “scrawny”, as unpleasant as it was. Right the way up until I was in my early twenties, I would struggle to keep weight on. Apart from the odd pair of size 12 jeans for a J-Lo shaped bum, and the 3 months following the twins birth, I’ve never been bigger than a UK size 10. I can eat tons and don’t put on any weight. Whilst people with weight issues will call me “lucky”; but like Ericka Waller posted on the babycentre blog the other day, it’s not lucky – people constantly criticise you for being thin! If I do any exercise, I have to eat a 4th meal or drink protein shakes, just to not lose anymore weight.

Whilst the twins are chubby little things, it seems that Bunny has my metabolism and is also a skinny kid. She eats a healthy balanced diet. 3 large meals a day, with a mid morning healthy snack and milk at school. She gets her 5-a-day and has good fibre and calcium intake. We aren’t really a snacky, junk food family. We generally don’t keep biscuits or crisps in the house. Bunny isn’t really interested in sweets, although she has one chocolate bar a day and we are all partial to the odd bit of cake in winter or ice cream in summer. We don’t “watch what we eat” as such, but we try to eat wholegrain foods, cut out empty calories, and avoid processed foods. We try to watch the saturated fat and salt intake, but aren’t overly obsessive about it.

Bunny is very active, she loves playdates, running in the playground at school, acrobatic gymnastics and swimming every weekend, so it’s no surprise her BMI puts her as underweight. I’d like to point out to those of you that saw the vicious rumours spread by a twitter troll, that I don’t “underfeed my daughter”, as was said about me. I am confident she eats well. We did however, take her to the doctor a few months back, to check. He said that whilst she is underweight, there are not any concerns over her weight, she’s very healthy and not to worry. We do as parents naturally worry though, so we are going to take three small steps to try and just put a tiny bit more meat on our little Bunny.

So here’s what we are going to try:

1) Increase the amount of milk we give her before bed. She sometimes has a small cup of full fat milk before bed, but now we are going to give her a bigger cup and make sure she has it EVERY night!

2) Add a pudding to her evening meal every day. Jonny however – will not be getting said pudding as he already looks like he is pregnant! We are going to make some homemade rice pudding as that’s full of calcium and a good healthy build-up pudding!

3) Add a small nutritional meal at 3:30pm, when she gets home from school. Something like a small portion of pasta, a piece of fish or some pizza toast (bread, tomato puree and cheese).

So we are going to give it a go and see what happens. We don’t want her to be concerned with body image, like I was for always being “scrawny”. She is “Athletic” NOT “Skinny”. Bunny knows we love her and that she is beautiful, but we have told her she will be stronger (which will help with gymnastics), if she is a bit fatter.

  1. @blonde_ruth says:

    My baby is only 5 months old and I’m already getting criticism for having a “skinny” child. She was born early and had low birth weight, she has doubled her weight in the 5 months which is what “average” babies do. Yet some people feel the need to pass judgement on her weight. She is on a high calorie milk and still only puts on 200g a week, and let’s be honest she’s not exactly running about yet, so we have to assume she is just going to a slim girl! All babies/children are different and ours is never going to big no matter what we feed her, its in her genetics. Some people need to learn to look after themselves and own children before calling other people.

  2. Heather says:

    I just found out today that my daughter is borderline underweight due to her bmi of 14.0. My oldest is the same way. She eats all day and eats cheeses and plenty of other healthy fat foods. I was also “scrawny” and don’t want my kids to have to deal with the same ridicule. Like the annoying are you anorexic question. Used to drive me crazy. Thanks for this article! I will try some of this stuff as well. 🙂

  3. Lacy Selby says:

    I was always lean and told “you’re so skinny” my whole adult life. When I had a daughter she dropped from the 80th percentile to the 30th at age 4. It turned out we both have Celiac Disease and had really damaged intestines that prohibited us from absorbing nutrients. We are both gluten-free and healthy now and for the first time ever I am not thin as I have gained 13 pounds, but we are doing so much better. Now I have to actually watch what I eat for the first time ever and it’s really hard! I thought I was just one of the lucky ones who could eat as much as I wanted, turns out I was sick. I just throw this out there so people are at least aware this condition exists.

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