Dear one tough muther,

My question is about my daughter. She is 9 1/2 and after school shopping we found out my daughter now comfortably wears a size 9/10 woman’s sneaker. Depending where we shop. My whole family is tall and matured early so I didn’t seem out of the norm until my mother said that I should watch her with eating food with preservatives , that she heard it make kids grow faster.. I didn’t think that had anything to do with feet. And the doctor has always said she was a little bigger than average but that goes with height too so they said it always evened out. She’s always mistaken for over 12. Just today we were charged for her being 13 at mini golf until I corrected the cashier and told her she’s only 9.. I feel as a parent that I’ve done something wrong, have I fed my daughter wrong? I’ve always tried to have good snacks and food around..I remember myself taller with big feet as a kid and always mistaken for older but Did I do something wrong as a parent?

Dear Jamie,

Absolutely not, you did nothing to make her foot grow. I was the biggest in my class until high school and so was my daughter. You said you come from tall stock and you are tall so that answers the question. I think your Mother is referring to all the hormones in meat and milk these days and I agree with her, it is unhealthy and children in general are much larger now than years ago. I have never heard anything about preservatives contributing to childhood growth, however I don’t hear everything so you should ask your Mother where she saw that or look it up on the internet.
If she is not over weight, is physically active and is tall don’t fret, however if she tall and getting heavy then you need to make some adjustments to her diet. Fast food, chips, pretzels, cookies, candy are all ok occasionally as a special treat, but only occasionally. You should have plenty of fruits and vegetables in the house for snacking and insist that is what she chooses.
No soda or sugar filled juices should be available and a lot of processed foods contain tons of salt and sugar so check the label. As a frame of reference, an adult should not consume more than 30 grams of total sugar a day and one tablespoon of ketchup has 4 grams of sugar, who uses just a tablespoon full.
If she is getting heavy or you are worried, check on the internet about how much sugar a 8-12 year old girl should have daily and try to stick to it. This is something everyone in the family must adhere to in order to not make her feel singled out or deprived. Other than that make sure everyone is moving, walking, bike riding or something just get up and get out.

Good Luck & Huge Muther hugs,

One Tough Muther

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