Our son was allergic to milk as a baby. Soy formula resulted in weight gain. This caused delays in gross motor skills – he was thirteen months before he learned to crawl.
At thirty months of age, he left foster care and joined our family. His pediatrician was concerned about our son’s health – he was clinically obese. He was accustomed to eating whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, whining to get his way. It took “tough love” to teach him he needed to express his needs and wants in a positive way. We started by teaching the sign for milk. Then we told our son if he wanted milk on his cereal, he would have to sign “milk.” We also modeled healthy eating. Our son resisted eating whole grains and vegetables until he discovered he could get some of what he wanted by eating what we gave him.
Our son had a check-up when he was five. The pediatrician looked back and forth between him and his chart.
“I see your son is within the normal limits of weight and height for his age.”
I smiled. “Yes, he’s doing very well.”
“That’s amazing. Last time I saw him he was obese. Did you see a dietician?”
“No, I just believe in good, old fashioned, healthy eating.”
The pediatrician shook her head. “You know, if I hadn’t seen your son today, I would have a hard time believing what the chart says. Congratulations.”