Have you ever been worried that your 7-year-old may be obese? That is a growing concern among parents these days. I know that when my boys were growing this was a huge doubt Hubby had. Our oldest was always much bigger than his peers after all. Except our other son was always so much smaller than his friends.
What is the average weight of a 7-year-old?
I always knew when Logan was going through a growth spurt. His belly would go out to the next size pants long before he needed new shirts. Hubby was always concerned the boy was obese. As his mom, I knew that based on experience with his past growth rate to be patient. The boy was always in the 95th percentile!
What about “normal” growing kids? This chart below shows the age in months down the side. Find your child's weight in the rows. Then go up to the top to find his percentile.
Pediatricians measure a child between the ages of 0 and 20 year in months. (Sometimes they sure do act like babies until that late age!) So, let's do the math – 7 x 12 = 84. A 7-year-old has been alive for 84 months on his birthday.
Oh! Also, there's a chart for boys and a chart for girls. Boys do grow in very contrasting ways than girls after all. I included the row above and below.
Weight Data Table for Boys ages 6 – 7 – 8 years old. This shows age in months and weight in kilograms.
How do you know if your child's weight is normal?
There's more to know about weight for a child at any age. The Body Mass Index indicates the ratio of fat to weight in a body. The categories are: underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese.
There's no way to know if the weight is from muscle or fat, though. Doctors still use it because it offers the most accurate way we know right now to determine the true health of a body. The adult BMI just uses your height and weight.
You can calculate your BMI using this handy calculator from the CDC.
A child's BMI takes their age and sex into consideration as well. Here's a
handy dandy calculator to quickly determine your child's BMI.
What's happening here? The child's BMI calculation is
Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5″ (65″)
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96
If you want to see what BMI percentile your child is at the CDC offers a free printable here.
Oh! By the way, to translate pounds to kilograms just divide the mass value by 2.205. Know what? Here's a calculator for that!
Didn't know that you would have to use math for this, did ya?
Does a high, or low, BMI mean my 7-year-old child is sick?
Now before you freak out over your child's results please keep in mind, the BMI test is not is a diagnostic test. Doing a quick BMI check on your child and getting an overweight, or underweight, result does not diagnose him or her with a disease.
While it is true that a high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues. Being underweight also raises health issues and concerns for a disease.
Think of this as a research tool only. Trust me, I had one big kid and one kid who was always scrawny. Today they are both the same way. I do feed them! My large grocery bill can attest to that.
They just grow at very different speeds.
Yes, the exact same father. Logan takes after Hubby's side of the family. Jordan takes after my side. Aren't genes fun?
What do you do if your child's BMI puts him in the obese category?
All moms know there is an obesity epidemic these days. The CDC has said that obesity affects over 13 million children in the United States.
However, overemphasizing weight can lead to body dysphoria. Studies have shown that parents who talk negatively about their child’s weight may do more harm than good. I can absolutely tell you that for all our good intentions, by Hubby and I talking about how much, or how little, our boys were eating only caused them to think about eating way more than they needed to growing up.
Please do not put that burden on your own child's shoulders. There is no way I can assure Logan he is healthy even though he is 22-years-old. Nothing I can say or do will make Jordan eat more than the little he does now.
I wished I had been a better role model for my boys. I would have made sure to eat breakfast instead of drinking two cups of coffee and calling it good. There would have been a lot more lunch salads, too. You don't have to serve bread with every single meal either. And please move the scale from the bathroom into your closet! Hubby had to weigh himself every single morning and then call out the number. Then he would get the boys to do the same. He wanted them to be healthy and aware.
What happened is that they were aware alright. Just not the good kind of aware. Hey, we weren't saints by any means! We did a lot more parenting right. It's just that society has us all paranoid about weight. We know the health implications.
Just don't bring your kids down because of your concerns. Please.
By the way, be sure to check out our article on what to feed your children for breakfast! There's even a free printable for your fridge. These breakfast ideas are especially great for kids with ADHD.