Slimming down at 9 months

My nine month old daughter is weighing in at a whopping 24 lbs 10 oz. She is above the 95th percentile for both weight and height.

My doctor said not to be overly concerned, but to start cutting back on giving her fruits and juice. She really doesn't drink that much juice, but I have started watering it down anyway. She usually eats a jar of fruit with all meals and I have now cut that in half.

She currently drinks about 20 - 24 oz of formula daily. Do you have any advice on how much formula she should be consuming? And - do you have any other suggestions on how I can slim her down without depriving her of everything?



Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Dear Sandy,

I am wondering why you want to slim her down when her height and weight are in perfect proportion. Babies are generally the best ones to know how much they need to eat. Assuming you are presenting her with only healthy food choices, then I would continue to allow her to decide how much to eat.

Juice is always the best thing to cut our first because it sometimes will fill babies up for other foods they should be eating. Four ounces of full strength juice a day is sufficient. Diluting it down is a good way to make it go further.

Unless your daughter is eating a full spectrum of vegetables, than do not cut back too much on the fruit. Fruit is a wonderful food that you should be pleased she has a taste for, and which will serve her well throughout life. Fruit contains many important vitamins and minerals. A better way to serve the fruit to a nine month old, may be fresh, fully ripe fruits in the finger form. It may be that she is eating more fruit than she really needs because she can consume pureed fruits quickly, perhaps before the "I'm full" message has had a chance to travel from stomach to brain. Rather than jarred fruits, switch to soft ripe banana, peeled soft ripe papaya, soft cooked apple chunks, etc.

You can begin to do the same with vegetables. Soft cooked broccoli florettes, soft cooked green beans, etc. are good finger foods, that will take her a little more time to eat, perhaps cutting back some, but not too drastically on her intake. Again, I think you need to move cautiously on holding back on what she eats, particularly in light of the fact she is not a fat baby. Some kids are meant to be big, and also, some grow faster than others, to only slow down later on. You do not want to fool around too much with the natural order of things.

A 10 to 12 month old baby should be eating anywhere from 24 to 36 ounces of formula, depending on their solids intake. Other foods to include daily are 1/2 cup iron fortified baby cereal, 4-5 tbs. twice daily of a variety of vegetables, 3-4tbsp. twice daily of fruit, along with small pieces of raw ripe peeled fruits, 1 to 3 tbs. of finely chopped meat, fish, etc twice daily. Beyond that, you can add complex carbohydrates to satisfy any additional hunger. This would include such things as teething biscuits, toast, crackers, ready to eat dry cereal, muffins, rice, and pasta.

A healthy habit you can begin now with your daughter, which will serve her over her lifetime, is to support and encourage an active lifestyle. This means now engaging her in any sort of fun play that encourages movement, like turning on the music and getting down on the floor with her to wiggle and kick, taking her to a baby swim program at your local YMCA, having crawling races with her down the hall, chasing balls across the floor, etc. Then, as she gets older, continue to encourage age appropriate fun physical activity. Be sure she sees you engaging in daily exercise. Exercise and physical activity is by far the most successful way to keep a healthy weight.

Thank you for writing.

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