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As a result of discriminatory cultural norms and prejudices, smaller children can be perceived as fragile, which often creates unnecessary concern. If Jimmy is lean, resist the impulse to fatten him up; this could create future psychological issues with food regulation, and it won’t make him eat more anyway. You may want to pull out your baby pictures. I bet one of you was lean as a child, as this trait runs in families. Doctors or parents sometimes introduce high-calorie foods such as peanut butter or shakes as bulking supplements, but these may interfere with the kid’s appetite for other, more nutritionally balanced foods.
A chubbier kid is also a healthy kid, as long as you’re positive that the weight represents baby fat rather than the early results of a junk-food diet. If Jimmy is on the chunky side, assess the amount of junk food in his diet: foods like cookies, candy, juice, pasta, bread, pizza, potato chips, and sugared cereals. If you’re supplying lots of these fattening foods and drinks, cut back. If not, God bless his big fat belly, and keep feeding him normally.
As kids grow up, their constitutions often change, sometimes in just a single year. Your pint-sized beanpole may turn into a very solid citizen, while a chubby kid who doesn’t eat junk food can shed that baby fat and grow lean.