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How do you benchmark infant weight on Paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 14, 2011 at 12:46 AM

First question from newbie :)

So this source claims that infant weight charts 100 years ago were circa 10% lower (at 1 year of age). We've recently moved our kids to paleo (age 2 y, 2 y, 3 months) and are kind of lost on benchmarking. We benchmark because all 3 were preemie, and we watch weight as one indicator of any problems (along with behavior & poop, in case you were curious :).

Does anybody have a good source for weight charts from as far back as possible before neolethals worked their magic?

I suppose breastfeeders have dealt with something akin? (Unfortunately we stopped b/feeding before going Paleo)

Thanks for any ideas!

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Thank you for clarifying this!

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:09 AM

As best as I can tell, this is the case only for new, newborns. Human babies, as a continuous contact (rather than cache) species, are meant to eat nearly continuously and thus, get a nearly continuous supply of lactose. That's not to say ketosis isn't beneficial and neuroprotective because it is, but it does not appear that human babies are meant to be in ketosis continually aside from the first few days of life - before lact 2 sets in (mature milk).

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:07 AM

@ambimorph selectively quoted Emily, the rest is as follows "Update - looked more into this specifically and it seems that babies are in mild ketosis, but very young babies seem to utilize lactate as a fuel in lieu of glucose also - some of these were rat studies, though - and the utilization of lactate also promotes the same use of acetyl-CoA and gives the neonates some of the advantages of ketoadaptation without being in heavy ketosis."

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:04 AM

Make sure the thinner child is getting sufficient carbs from sweet potatoes, potatoes and other 'safe' starches. With lots of butter if needed to entice the child to eat. My 9 yo is very thin (50 lbs), very active and needs a lot of carbs and fat.

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 16, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Good point, Patrik. We're keeping some carbs (fruits, starches) just to play safe. We're staying conservative 'til they can talk (to better diagnose any kinks).

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 16, 2011
at 01:00 AM

That's funny, Tim. And encouraging.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on May 15, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I'd love to see some other parameters than weight/height. Our guy at 13 months is so attentive, active, and agile, that people think he is a teeny tiny 2 or 3 year old, so we get "worriers" that he is so small, when he's really very normal (breastfed/paleo) sized, just very active. Don't know if this is a "paleo" thing or not.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 15, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Disagree about low-carb diets for both adults & babies -- see this post on potential mucus deficiency caused by low carb diets. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:37 PM

The chubby one is losing, seems pretty clearly beneficial. Concerned about the skinnier one, who is steady. We'll keep an eye on her other vitals (energy, personality). Thanks for your concern!

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:34 PM

@ ambimorph, interesting on ketobabies

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Weight LOSS? Not gaining, and losing, are very different. Was your kid chubbier before? Did he/she have the extra to spare? My kid loses more than a half a pound and she looks emaciated, but she's barely above scrawny. You can see her abs (I wish I had a stomach like that...) when she's hungry, and has a little chub around her hips. If your child is losing weight, (and wasn't kinda chubby before), you should consider consulting a paleo-friendly doctor.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Sweet. I guess my toddler's "need" for carbs is her pancreas already acting out. I assumed that the carbohydrate content of breast milk was similar to cow's milk.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I agree with most of this advice. Charts are averages, and there are so many factors. Children don't "need" carbs any more than adults do, though, and in fact, infants are in ketosis most of the time. See, for example http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html "Let me put it this way. Breastmilk is high in fat. Newborns (should) spend a lot of time in ketosis, and are therefore ketoadapted. Being ketoadapted means that babies can more easily turn ketone bodies into acetyl-coA and into myelin. Ketosis helps babies construct and grow their brains."

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:28 PM

Thanks, Tim. Good to hear the pattern (faster gain first 3 months, after slower gain). Even knowing Paleo's better, it is indeed hard to ignore significant weight loss in a 2-year old :)

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Thanks for the advice on overalls, clicks with our thinking. Just a matter of building confidence with a bit of data. 'Course wife had mixed reaction to relactating (moments like that silence is a husband's best friend...).

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:12 AM

thanks, kamu. great source.

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4 Answers

best answer

1
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on May 14, 2011
at 03:32 AM

You can troll around Google, and there are different growth charts for Breastfed vs Formula fed. Some linkage here http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/ Have a look into the World Health Organization charts.

Our little guy is 13 months right now, and he's fully breastfed, doing fine, his Mom is an 80% paleo eater, best I can get out of her. But the little guy is very active, attentive, coordinated and just doing great among his peers. Never sick, always bright eyed and bushy tailed.

According to conventional charts our doc uses (well, ex-doc at this point), he is around 25%tile for weight, 50%tile for height and has the biggest head a baby his age can handle! He is learning and mimicking and communicating abundantly.

Edit: to add he gets egg yolk, mashed up yams, fruit, meats, pemmican, butter, cream and the like but it is difficult to gage just how much of this he ingests, vs smears in his hair. Most of his food is good old fashioned Mamma's Milk.

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:28 PM

Thanks, Tim. Good to hear the pattern (faster gain first 3 months, after slower gain). Even knowing Paleo's better, it is indeed hard to ignore significant weight loss in a 2-year old :)

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Weight LOSS? Not gaining, and losing, are very different. Was your kid chubbier before? Did he/she have the extra to spare? My kid loses more than a half a pound and she looks emaciated, but she's barely above scrawny. You can see her abs (I wish I had a stomach like that...) when she's hungry, and has a little chub around her hips. If your child is losing weight, (and wasn't kinda chubby before), you should consider consulting a paleo-friendly doctor.

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:37 PM

The chubby one is losing, seems pretty clearly beneficial. Concerned about the skinnier one, who is steady. We'll keep an eye on her other vitals (energy, personality). Thanks for your concern!

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on May 15, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I'd love to see some other parameters than weight/height. Our guy at 13 months is so attentive, active, and agile, that people think he is a teeny tiny 2 or 3 year old, so we get "worriers" that he is so small, when he's really very normal (breastfed/paleo) sized, just very active. Don't know if this is a "paleo" thing or not.

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 16, 2011
at 01:00 AM

That's funny, Tim. And encouraging.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:04 AM

Make sure the thinner child is getting sufficient carbs from sweet potatoes, potatoes and other 'safe' starches. With lots of butter if needed to entice the child to eat. My 9 yo is very thin (50 lbs), very active and needs a lot of carbs and fat.

2
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:22 AM

I breast feed. My first gained slowly, always small, because of latching problems at birth. My second is now 3 months, latched immediately, and is robust. My first will be 3 next week. My parenting advice: Don't stress about the weight. The percentages are crap. Parental instinct is HUGE. If you honestly believe that your children are growing up healthy, then they are. (Unless you're a moron, and given that you found this site, I'd say you aren't).

That said, remember that kids need carbs since they're very active. Just be choosy about where they get them. There are a lot of threads about kid snacks on here.

Also, at 3 months, if you're willing, you could get yourself lactating again. Even a little with supplementation is better than nothing. Best shot at preventing disease. I'm not perfect (or anywhere near) with my paleo eating. My toddler definitely is not. The only soapbox I can stand on is the one about nursing. It gets better as they get older, especially between 6 months to 1 year. Plus, it allows you to eat 500 extra calories of delicious food every day :D Stepping off the box.

As long as your child is growing, learning, smiling, and pooping, they're fine as far as weight goes. The charts are all a guideline. And when their pediatrician asks what they eat, just say plenty of meat and veggies, and they should be happy with that.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I agree with most of this advice. Charts are averages, and there are so many factors. Children don't "need" carbs any more than adults do, though, and in fact, infants are in ketosis most of the time. See, for example http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html "Let me put it this way. Breastmilk is high in fat. Newborns (should) spend a lot of time in ketosis, and are therefore ketoadapted. Being ketoadapted means that babies can more easily turn ketone bodies into acetyl-coA and into myelin. Ketosis helps babies construct and grow their brains."

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Thanks for the advice on overalls, clicks with our thinking. Just a matter of building confidence with a bit of data. 'Course wife had mixed reaction to relactating (moments like that silence is a husband's best friend...).

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:34 PM

@ ambimorph, interesting on ketobabies

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 14, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Sweet. I guess my toddler's "need" for carbs is her pancreas already acting out. I assumed that the carbohydrate content of breast milk was similar to cow's milk.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 15, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Disagree about low-carb diets for both adults & babies -- see this post on potential mucus deficiency caused by low carb diets. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 16, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Good point, Patrik. We're keeping some carbs (fruits, starches) just to play safe. We're staying conservative 'til they can talk (to better diagnose any kinks).

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:09 AM

As best as I can tell, this is the case only for new, newborns. Human babies, as a continuous contact (rather than cache) species, are meant to eat nearly continuously and thus, get a nearly continuous supply of lactose. That's not to say ketosis isn't beneficial and neuroprotective because it is, but it does not appear that human babies are meant to be in ketosis continually aside from the first few days of life - before lact 2 sets in (mature milk).

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Thank you for clarifying this!

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:07 AM

@ambimorph selectively quoted Emily, the rest is as follows "Update - looked more into this specifically and it seems that babies are in mild ketosis, but very young babies seem to utilize lactate as a fuel in lieu of glucose also - some of these were rat studies, though - and the utilization of lactate also promotes the same use of acetyl-CoA and gives the neonates some of the advantages of ketoadaptation without being in heavy ketosis."

0
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on January 11, 2013
at 11:29 PM

I wonder if Paleo babies are smarter lol. Just a thought, all that fat is good for their growing brain! Cholesterol too - I learned today that a quarter of your total cholesterol is in your brain.

0
261e7a60f3ad33e90102a389f0577af0

(0)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:05 AM

not sure if this guy can help you, but he put his wife on paleo as she when she was pregnant.link text

13db020c06c22c2f8b129034ddc013e4

(340)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:12 AM

thanks, kamu. great source.

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