A friend of mine called me today and told me that her super cute 15-month-old just had a doctor's appointment and his height and head circumference are off the charts with regards to percentiles (greater than 100%) and his weight is at 95% and her pediatrician is worried about it.
Now my friend is contemplating switching him to low fat milk (per the pediatrician's suggestion). I suggested that low-fat is definitely not a good idea.
Can you point me to information about Paleo diet for infants (and whole milk vs. low-fat milk in particular) that I can provide her?
Tell her to ask the pediatrician if low fat milk is so good for the kid how come human breast milk has 54% saturated fat? Is it because God or evolution are not that smart and dont follow the opinions of narrow minded "experts"
The kids head may be growing because of a growth spurt. Of maybe from the use of products that contain toxins for the developing child.......or maybe even undiagnosed hydrocephalus ( seriously doubt this) but a doctor needs to think before jumping straight to the Ancel Keys CW responses. After you discuss this with the doc.......Then fire the doctor. Total epic fail.
Here's a link to a great article about low fat diets in childhood being a set up for heart disease later in life. http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/dietary-recommendations-for-children-recipe-for-future-heart-disease
My pediatrician recommended the same thing, though my girls are off the charts tall and only 70-80% on the weight (they are tall and lean, and have only whole milk and whole yogurt for dairy). I told her I disagreed and I thought her assessment of the science was false. Then I started spouting studies. Medicine in Massachusetts is practiced extremely conservatively so I doubt I will find a more erudite pediatrician accepting new patients. She's good for what I need her for - I'll handle the nutrition, thank you.
OMG, OMG, this question made me flinch! As the mother of five kids, NONE of whom were under 9lbs at birth (smallest 9lbs even, largest 10lbs 8oz), i have gone thru this EXACT same thing! ALL of my boys were - at this age - off the charts for head circ / height / weight (pick two or three). My oldest daughter was over %100 for height at one point but under %50 for weight.
Mine self weaned from breastmilk between 6 months and 1 year. I fed them meat, eggs, veggies, and a small amount of fresh fruit and NO COW's MILK. Their doctor predicted horrible things.
End result: these kids (now ages 4 to 9) are all now slender, active, well-within-range children. They are not Paleo but are low-carb, low-processed-crap.
My advice would be to not feed the child any milk at all. A 15 m/o can eat exactly what mom and dad eat chopped into small bits. If your friend insists on milk I'd recommend full fat whole milk - organic if possible.
I'd also recommend that your friend just not bloody worry about it. Seriously. Kids wax and wane all over the 'official' charts. Unless the kid is becoming overweight (and it doesn't sound like it), then I'd just blow it off.
To give you some perspective: my oldest, whose head circ and height measured off the charts for his first two years is now a SHORT-ish 4th grader but he's just been awarded a certificate for making the highest score possible on his standardised reading test.
Tell your friend that that big head is there for a reason, LOL. It probably houses a big brain and that brain needs FAT! ;)
Best of luck to your friend and his baby!
Congratulate your friend on having a happy, healthy baby -- and remind her that the milk nature provided for human babies is more than 50% SATURATED FAT and high in cholesterol as well -- Check out these studies as references
Hornstra, G., (2000). Essential fatty acids in mothers and their neonates. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71, (Supplement). S1262-S1269.
Salvati, S., Attorri,L., Avellino, C., Di Biase, A., and Sanchez, M. (2000). Diet, lipids and brain development. Developmental Neuroscience, 22, 481-487.
Margaret Lahey LIPIDS: THEIR POSSIBLE ROLE IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Bamford-Lahey Children
The advice to give infants and toddlers low-fat milk products was shot down years ago -- and I wouldn't trust a pediatrician who still gave such outdated and useless advice.
That sounds idiotic in so many ways, but most especially, as Ed points out, because if the child is off the charts for height and only 95th %ile for weight, then that implies he is leaner than average. So even if low fat milk would help with fatness, which it doesn't, the boy isn't fat, he's tall. (Gee, maybe we should lower his nutrition, so he stops growing so much?)
About the point of what it means to be "off the charts", it's true that a percentile can never be more than 100, because what it indicates is that the child is taller/heavier than 100% of age peers. But you can still be off the charts in the sense that the chart doesn't list infinitely many values. So they cut it off at some point, but everyone above that is still at the 100th %ile.
My kids have always been 98 percentile or higher on all the height, weight, and head circumference charts. My 3 yr old is 45lbs but is so lean you can count his vertebrae. My 12 yr old daughter is now 5'11", 200lbs, wears a size 8 and looks fantastic.
Your friend needs to find a different pediatrician. Kids need saturated fat.
Luke, my co-author, thought the doctor's advice was ridiculous enough to do a short skit as follows:
Dr: I see here that you're child seems to be growing extraordinarily well. Let's put a stop to this!
Responsible, bemused mother: Um, what's wrong, again?
my 2 cents is about the difference between conventional and organic. The only conceivable benefit of conventional, non-organic skim milk over conventional, non-organic whole mild comes from the fact that many of the petrochemical toxins are fat soluble and of course with skim milk having no fat you don't drink them.
On a relatec note, the bovine growth hormone (bst) and the 10x over normal elevated insulin-like growth factor levels that milk from bst-treated cows contains could cause unusual growhth in children. And that would be present in the skim portion of the milk.
I posted a piece on raw milk's unique benefits here: http://drcate.com/raw-milk-why-mess-with-udder-perfection/
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