Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to feed your kids right?

No, this blog doesn’t contain tips and tricks on feeding your kid right, as I myself am a struggling mom here. I was discussing the same in an earlier blog. How can such a simple thing of getting some food into her daughter get so complicated for this mom?! About a week ago I received this call from the school nurse.  She told me that my daughter, the third triplet, is below 50 percentile in weight..
“Well, the other two are not at ideal weight too…but, this kid is below 50% weight. Just wanted to find out if she is being fed”, she asked me._DSC7137
Actually, I made that ending up. She didn’t ask me point blank, if I was feeding her or not but, she sure had that question in her tone.  Well, I had to clarify that accusation, especially to a mom, nothing more belittling. I had to clarify that she is being fed the same food and same AMOUNT of food as the other two, its just that the food intake doesn’t show on her body…!!
She was very nice. I explained to her that she takes a long time to eat her food and with just 20 minutes for lunch, I wondered what she was able to eat at school, and that formed a big part of her day! She asked me if I spoke to her teacher. That was enough to get me ranting…I told her about my discussions with her teachers in earlier grades. How they had helped K with finishing her lunch (she still hadn’t shown any signs of putting on weight!)..Now that she was in the third grade, I told her, I wasn’t sure if her teacher would consider my request. She offered to speak to K’s teacher and suggested that I use substitute drinks like Pediasure to compensate for her nutrition.  Back to providing K with Pediasure for Lunch!! That meant, back to where I was with her in pre-school.
We are a bunch of Vegetarians. But, being vegetarian isn’t the cause that my kids don’t put on weight. Either I am not a good cook, or they just aren’t interested in food or they just very active kids with a high metabolic rate. The first case could not be true too. I’ve seen them do the “ummmmm” while eating some of the food I cook. Sometimes, P takes the liberty to come and kiss me saying “You are the best cook, Maa”.  I’ve heard my mom remark at times..
“What kind of kids are these?!…Never interested in food, I need to call them so many times to come to the table!!!”
Indian cooking, if done properly would need some spice in it to taste decent.  I know, I’ve changed my cooking to suit the needs of the kids. Spices out..blandness in, had been the mantra because K can’t tolerate spicy food.
Whenever my in-laws or my parents are here is when we realize the blandness of our food. They need loads of Pickle to put some taste back into the food. My MiL’s favorite line..told in her language..and literally translated would sound like this
“This food is sans Mom or Dad..”. Salt being the Mom and Spicy hot being the Dad
I’d not taken K’s weight seriously until the words “below 50 percentile “ hit that eardrum of mine. Growing up, I myself had been skin and bones. I had been popular in my school for the wrong reason. I had been famous for being skinny. Feels so nice saying that now, when I’m struggling everyday to attain that ideal weight..battling to keep away every extra ounce of fat and that yummy snacks away from my sight. It really had been that difficult for me to put on weight at one point of my life, feels unbelievable!!. 
Even Hubby dear was known for the same. HE STILL IS!  Physically, he is a lanky guy and his mom always wondered where all that food went that he hogged. I remember, one time when he was coming to visit me at school, during our dating days, those beautiful days, when I couldn’t find any fault with him..,days when I couldn’t see the truth behind “why him?”!!  I had prepared 2 packs of Gits Gulab Jamun, about 40-50 of them. Most of you cooks, who cook this know how long it takes to get those balls looking round and staying like that, and how long it takes to prepare it. I wasn’t even an experienced cook then. He had driven 7 hours to meet me, the least I could do to impress him was make his favorite stuff. When he came, he had just taken 5 minutes to finish all of them…!!! It never showed on him.
Knowing the girls appetite at home, K’s appetite is not much different from her other 2 siblings. But, weight wise, she surely shows a considerable difference compared to her sisters. She is so light that a slight wind could blow her off her feet. Actually, I’ve even tried blowing from behind as she was walking and maybe I did see her loose her balance. I’ve seen her fall down with a slight inadvertent touch. That’s how light she is.
So, I’ve unwillingly taken up on the nurse’s advice of providing K with Pediasure again. Everybody has so many advices and the Mom is made to feel guilty. The Pediatrician says..”she needs to eat solid and exercise her jaws”, the nurse at school suggests that she be given Pediasure so, she can get all her meal in a drink. My Oh My!! mothering is not an easy task…So many decisions. Reminds me of the episode I watched with my youngest today of “Olivia”
Olivia’s Mom: “You had a hard day today, following those animals in the dark, you need to sleep now, you must be tired from all that.”
Olivia: “Being a Mother is not tiring right, You have a very easy job”
Olivia’s Mom: Laughs and Kisses Olivia goodnight!


Always Happy said...

hello Gayatriji, dont take the school nurse's words personally. I am sure you feed your girls very well.
My firend's 6 year old daughter has the same issue. she is considered underweight. My friend herself was underweight during her growing up years but later she managed to catch up. I am sure your girl will be fine when she grows up. For now, i think you are right - Pediasure may do the trick.

Rachna said...

I think you have an issue on hand. I understand your dilemma. I know you try your level best. How about giving her foods like pooris or parathas. I've seen that Sid and Gautam enjoy pooris, parathas, idlis etc. in their school tiffin. Eaten as a roll, it can be finished faster. Just a suggestion for you to try and see if it works. I also try to snuggle in fried snacks like mathris, mithais like kaju katlis because this is the time they can afford to feed on "calorie-rich" foods.

Btw, Pavan can eat loads, but I have seen him skip meals too. On a daily basis, he maintains a pretty decent diet. I think all that muscle mass keeps his metabolism high. What can you say, some men are lucky :).