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The sedentarism imposed by COVID-19 restrictions has reduced (a lot) my nine-year-old's physical activity. That explains, to me, why his appetite has been reduced a lot over the last few months.

However, he also has been growing in height pretty quickly. OK, this seems good, it seems he's getting enough food to grow.

But he's not gaining weight. He weighs the same now as 4 months ago, though he has gained more than 2 inches.

He's only hungry once a day, we provide 3 meals but he protests being made to come sit down when he's not hungry. And usually only takes a very small number of bites before he's done.

Is that a normal growth spurt pattern for this age - getting taller but not heavier, and not being hungry?

  • Hi - welcome to Parenting! Just so you know, we don't permit medical questions here, so I'm going to answer your question in a non-medical nature but ignore the medical side other than to tell you to go see your pediatrician. I think this question has sufficient non-medical element to it to be answerable. However, please remember we are not a medical site and are not generally doctors - and so can't speak to medical or health issues, and encourage you to see your doctor about those. Thanks, and welcome! – Joe Jul 12 at 17:35
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Speaking for averages, According to the CDC growth charts, a 50th percentile 9 year old will weigh about 63 pounds (28.5 kilograms). A 50th percentile 9.5 year old will weigh about 66 pounds (around 30 kilograms). So the average growth for a 50th percentile 9 year old is about 3 pounds in that timeframe (6 months). Over a similar timeframe, a 50th percentile 9 year old grows about 1-1.5 inches - from a bit under 52.5 inches to a bit over 53.5 inches. These are averages, and don't represent a single child.

If you still have concerns based on your son's eating behavior, your first consideration should be discussing this with your pediatrician. They can ask questions that will elicit information as to whether there are other potential sources of concern. Lack of appetite can be a medical concern, beyond just the growth element.

If it were me, I'd pay close attention to his eating patterns outside of meals; I'd also find ways to encourage more physical activity. My children run outside with me regularly, and go to the park to play active games when there aren't others there, for example. It's challenging, but it's doable, to get a reasonable level of activity even in these times!

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