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Fat-Bottomed Kids

Bean and Buddy, working off some of that extra weight

According to the pediatrician at Bean and Buddy's three-year checkup, these two are gluttons for food. In more technical terms, Bean's BMI puts her in the "at risk" category and Buddy's makes him "overweight." He is approximately one-visit-to-The-Wiener's-Circle away from "obese." (We believe his very large cranium accounts for 50 percent of his weight, but I guess we're living in a fool's paradise.)

According to the pediatrician, if they continue gaining weight at a rate so medically disproportionate to their height, we are going to have some concerns at their next visit.

To be honest, G and I are a little bit surprised. I mean, I know that, being our kids, Buddy and Bean seem the most perfect specimens of little boy and little girl to us, but...really? They're 3. Do they need to have their BMI scrutinized already?

When the pediatrician asked us if we gave the kids juice, soda, potato chips, or candy, I shook my head and quickly — defensively — replied, "No, no, no, no." Then he asked if we made healthy food choices like fruit, vegetables, chicken, and fish, and I replied, quickly again, "Yes, yes, yes, yes."

"Overweight" — or oh-so-cute?

What I wanted to say was, "Oh yeah, we shove a carrot or two into their mouths while they're crying for more sugar, candy, soda. We sandwich it between two potato chips and cover it with Fluff — the kid is none the wiser." (That tip is brought to you by The Asinine-Diagnoses-to-Send-Parents-Into-a-Panic Association.)

I know, I know — I shouldn't take the pediatrician's words lightly. And I admit I'm not all that innocent in my duties as chef around here. I waffle between giving them something healthy to eat and giving them something I know they will eat (namely, pb&j). I have to remind myself that if they don't eat a meal, they won't disappear into wisps of nothingness (especially now, since they can apparently dip into their fat repositories).

Also, quite often, the twins like to eat different things. Great for them — I try to encourage their differences/opinions — but let there be no mistake: When they ask for two different things, I turn my back on them, roll my eyes, and think, "PERFECT." To avoid taking orders, I often preempt them and serve up our LCD (Least Common Denominator) entrée; that would be the pb&j. The whole mantra of "I'm not a short-order cook" pops into my head because 1) I'm spiteful like that, 2)I'm exceptional at using excuses, and 3) I'm lazy.

"At risk" on the jungle gym

However, we are finally getting to the point where there are less orders. The rule is they eat (or they at least try) whatever is served.

At camp last week, their teacher told me they're the only kids in the class who will try everything on their plate and ask for seconds. My first reaction was surprise, then pride...and then panic. Are they eating TOO much at lunch — these unmonitored, gluttonous, calories-unknown lunches?

See what The Asinine-Diagnoses-to-Send-Parents-Into-a-Panic Association has done to me? ASININE.

One of the kids' favorite meals is a "light" pesto I occasionally make (and freeze in batches). Bean comes into the kitchen while I'm washing the piles of basil leaves and says, "Mmmm...that smells delicious, Mom!"

What are some of your easy, healthy, child-approved recipes? Because I need some help getting my short, stocky little kids into a better weight class.


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