March 15, 2004

Mom is Me
Sarah Bernard’s “Baby Fat” [February 23] is a perfect mirror for parents who equate self-worth with a skinny body. Kids learn to share their parents’ anxieties about weight and food. The best way for a mom or dad to combat weight concerns is to develop his or her own body confidence. Instead of fat- and carb-free foods, parents must learn to feed their children a healthy diet of self-esteem.
Wendy Shanker, Manhattan

Step in Time
If today’s young parents are so obsessively concerned about their progenies’ weight, then why are so many children at ages 4 and 5 still being pushed along city streets in strollers? New York City kids seem to have forgotten how to walk.
Mary Ramniceanu, Manhattan

I am Beautiful
While we are trying to get our children to eat right, be more active, and live healthier lifestyles, we also have to teach them to accept themselves for who they are, and that there is more to them than what they look like. We all come in different shapes and sizes, with our own special talents and gifts to offer. Parents have to first believe this about themselves, and then they can pass it on to their children. Otherwise, no matter how good your children may be, they may end up never feeling good enough.
Joseph A. Donnellan, Somerville, N.J.

Fair Sharecrops
Only a small segment of the city’s population can actually afford the latest pediatrician-approved diet. Obesity is an epidemic that affects children from low-income families, too. We need to make fundamental changes in our society to ensure equal access to inexpensive, nutritious foods for all New Yorkers, not only the small group that can afford a kid-friendly nutritionist.
Katrina T. Monzon, Manhattan

Sandbox Lunch
If mothers and fathers would spend more time with their children doing activities like going to the playground or taking them on nature walks rather than spending so much money, time, and effort shopping for designer clothes and finding the right nutritionists, they wouldn’t have these fat issues. Stop rewarding kids with food. Instead, give your kids a hug and a kiss and spend some quality time reading or watching a movie together.
Dorene Oakley-Yeich, Verona, N.J.

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March 15, 2004