I have a skinny kid. He’s 2 and perfectly healthy, but skinny. Mothers of butterballs look at me with a superior air and look at him with pity. I can almost hear them thinking, “If he was MY child, I would feed him. I could fatten him right up. What kind of mother doesn’t feed her baby?” Doctors, too look at his perfectly visible ribs and request intake charts. Each has been to surprised to see that he routinely takes in more calories than necessary to support continued growth. “He’s just skinny!” I persist. I’m of course, also privy to the fact that his dad and grandfathers and both sets of uncles are all tall and most are thin. I also know that his daily routine includes climbing everything more than 12 inches off of the ground, swinging from anything stable and some things that aren’t, running circles around brothers and playmates, and jumping to and from most locations. The boy simply burns up the calories as soon as I can get them in his mouth. Thankfully, he is a good sleeper.
I did come up with a way to get him to eat a few more bites, though. We call it “Jumpstarting.” I give him his plate full of the best things about the meal. By best, I mean most nutritious and calorie-rich. When he indicates that he is all done eating, it’s time for the Jumpstart. I offer him one more thing that I know he totally loves and could never resist, like strawberries. Very often, he eats the strawberries and then goes back to the rest of his original food, as if he forgot that he was all done before. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it soothes the heart of the mother of the skinny baby.