How can toddlers expend seemingly boundless energy when they eat so little?

How can toddlers expend seemingly boundless energy when they eat so little?

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A toddler's food intake seems very little: only milk and water and some solid food. Therefore, from where does this energy come?

They don't eat little. Consider the volume of milk / food they consume as a ratio of their weight. Quite the contrary they are ravenous machines and their consumption is much higher than an average adult. All cellular energy comes from the hydrolysis of ATP, and the production of ATP comes from the breakdown of glucose. The glucose comes from a sugar found in breast milk, called lactose.

Just to add to the answer from @buzrw:

Using data from here and here I have estimated recommended calorie intake per kg for a 2 yr old and for an adult. I've used figures for males and assumed 70 kg for the adult weight which is the "international standard man":

toddler: 120 Cal kg-1

adult: 40 Cal kg-1

So yes, the energy intake of toddlers is higher than that of an adult.


Miguel is a typical, very mischievous little 6 year old with seemingly boundless energy. He is one of those kids that you need to watch constantly or he’ll get in trouble. However, his broad smile and sly grin, combined with his obvious need for someone to give him love and attention, makes it all worth it! Sure he can be bad and cause many problems, but if we can be of help to guide him towards a relationship with Jesus Christ, what does it matter the costs here on earth?

We don’t know much about Miguel’s early life, but we do know he was born into a family that rejected him. His mother left him when he was young, upon which his aunt took upon herself the responsibility to care for him. His aunt had another child by birth, who is essentially a younger brother to Miguel, although not by blood. This is pretty much the extent of his family–his birth mom, as far as we know, has no contact with him whatsoever. He probably wouldn’t even recognize her on sight. The place where Miguel lives with his aunt isn’t what you would call an ideal home. The house is next door to a little comedor (restaurant) where lots of men come to eat and drink beer. Somehow Miguel developed a taste for the vile stuff and he has told us already that it’s his favorite! He has come to school already acting a bit woozy, most likely from an alcohol hangover.

Miguel started school here at CICS in May of 2013. He was very intelligent with lots of energy. A (then) 5 year old little boy, it took some time for him to adapt to life here. The first week he would cry himself to sleep each night, because of homesickness and the strange new environment.

Miguel has learned a lot since he first started school, however, he still needs frequent reminders about different conduct issues. He struggles a lot with respecting authority and doing what he is told. His boundless energy and rambunctiousness also creates problems in his relationships with the other children. But when he is in a good mood, he is a joy to be around. He likes to show off make other people laugh. He achieves his goal quite often with his outlandish facial expressions and toothless grin. We try not to laugh at him too much, but sometimes it’s a little hard to restrain our mirth.

Since he lives so far away, Miguel stays here at CICS all week, until the weekend, when he goes home to be with his aunt. He is fairly young yet, so he doesn’t have a lot of responsibilities, but he has learned how to care for various animals and doing small things like washing dishes. Doing the dishes with him means you’ll probably have some water splashed around at some point. He also helps Elmer, his dorm dad, with any other projects that he can do. Miguel likes to tag along after anyone who will let him. In the afternoon, one of his favorite pastimes is riding bike. It’s quite amusing to see this small, skinny kid, with pants not reaching down to his ankles, riding this bicycle about as tall as he is.

Pray for Miguel as you think about him. Pray that he could grow up to know Jesus as his personal Savior. Pray that he could be an example to others who look up to him when he grows up. Pray for his teacher, Melody, and his dorm dad, Elmer, as they try to teach him practical things and also about God. Pray that he could use his difficult early life as a platform to demonstrate God’s power of healing and restoration. Pray for Miguel…

Allowing our children time

Anyone else struggling to get everything done in a day? There’s kids to dress and feed, educate, have fun, go to the park, run errands, work, and all the rest.

It can all seem overwhelming. But we all get the same 24 hours in a day, even the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the world. And we can choose how we spend them.

For our children, allowing more time is of such great benefit. Here is a list of things, most children could have more time for:

1. for movement
2. for conversation/language/books
3. for meals together
4. for sleep/rest
5. for independence
6. for exploration/discovery
7. for nature and outdoors

1. For movement

From birth, babies may spend a lot of time in car seats, carriers, and baby chairs.

Give them as much time on the movement mat as possible – they can reach for their feet, practice rolling, or just watch the world around them. I even took a little blanket for when we ended up at the playground – trees make the most beautiful mobiles for babies to observe.

Most toddlers have seemingly boundless energy and need many opportunities to move. Telling them to sit quietly in a cafe for an hour while you have lunch is not an option for most toddlers.

When planning my day with a toddler, I would try to balance things out with maybe a trip to the supermarket followed by a playground visit. I’d say, “First we are going to the supermarket, and then we are going to run around at the playground.” I would never withhold it or bribe them with the playground visit. It’s just part of being a family: we do some things for mum, and some things for the kids.

As kids start school, movement remains very important. It is easy to keep kids quiet inside with an iPad or another screen.

Try spending some extra time at the school playground at pick up time before heading home, install a climbing wall in the backyard or on a bedroom wall, or hang some swinging hoops for kids to practice monkeying about. Living here in the Netherlands, I think their general good health here has a lot to do with most kids (and adults) cycling every day to school (and work).

2. For conversation/language/books

It’s easy to get so caught up with everything we need to do, that a lot of our conversation is about getting places, organising and cajoling children. Sometimes we forget to just sit on the steps and watch the street activity together. To look out the window and count the trucks. To look out for birds and other nature in our neighbourhood together. There are conversations to be had right under our noses.

The only thing often stopping these conversations is time.

If you work full time, you can have a special part of the bedtime ritual to talk about your day together. Ask open questions like “what animals did you see at the zoo today?”, even with young children. There’s time over breakfast and dinner to share conversation. And at bath time there are fun conversations to be had during water explorations.

Some of us love books and we read a lot. Other children take longer to get into story time. Mem Fox is an Australian children’s author who also promotes children’s literacy. Her advice is to read 3 books a day from birth. This wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and was always my favourite part of bed time with my kids right up through primary school.

And, I know I struggle with my mobile phone being a distraction to this one too. You cannot have a real conversation and answer email, check Instagram or post to social media at the same time. I have started hiding my phone from myself, and switching it off when it is time for the family.

3. For meals together

There is strong research showing the long term benefits of eating meals together as a family (for example,

Eating at least breakfast and dinner together as a family starts and ends the day checking in with each other. Let’s replace lots of the snacks with fruit, and keep meal times as occasions to eat together. You model eating together, children can help prepare food and set the table (even toddlers), and it provides increased opportunities for conversation (see 2 above).

4. For sleep/rest

Parents can play protector to their kids’ rest. Young babies and children thrive on a regular routine. It doesn’t have to be a fixed schedule but a consistent routine of Eating, Playing, Sleeping helps them know what is coming next.

Give them just-as-much-help-as-they-need to rest. This might be sitting next to them while you read without engaging with them. This might be moving your chair to the door. This might be sitting outside their room while they fall asleep. Or perhaps popping in to keep reassuring them. Or your child may like to look at their books in bed until they sleep. Whatever works for you.

5. For independence

When children are learning new skills like getting dressed, allowing enough time is important. Practising getting shoes and socks on and off may be better for a rainy indoor day when you aren’t even planning to leave the house, rather than a day when you need to rush to get older children to school.

Allowing time for your child is critical as they struggle to master other skills of independence like unscrewing a lid for themselves or pegging up their painting.

Of course it is quicker for the adult to do it for the child. But in the long term, when a child is able to take the time to master these skills, they are so pleased with themselves, and they will (mostly) then be able to do it all by themselves.

For those of you who have not seen how to put on a child’s coat the Montessori way, you have to watch this clip:

6. For exploration/discovery

I hope children never stop playing and discovering with their hands. They are born to explore and learn so naturally with their hands.

Dr Montessori said, “Never give more to the brain than we give to the hand.”

It is a concrete way for children to learn. And for making discoveries for themselves.

Children don’t need to be filled with answers provided by adults. Rather than asking children, “what colour is this?”, there are many other ways for children to explore colour. This could be through arts and crafts with various colour paints, crayons, paper. Or matching colours, finding shades of the same colours, and grading colours from light to dark.

Provide opportunities for your child to explore, at home, or outside, with friends, or just the two of you.

7. For nature/outdoors

I love to watch children at the beach, in the sand dunes, at the mountains, in the forest. A day in nature is like refuelling the soul. So if you have had a difficult period with your child, consider getting at least a day out in nature to reset yourselves.
I hope you see the value in these activities and can allow more time for them.

And if you are too busy, here are a few last tips for making some more time:

* switch off technology and consider having a 24 hour technology-free day in the family
* schedule less activities – allowing children more unplanned, unscheduled time
* live consciously and only include things that you value – sometimes this may mean saying no to “nice” things, but that have lower priority right now
* include your children in the daily activities around the home – they can help do the washing, prepare for visitors, set the table rather than feeling like you have to entertain them all day
* simplify and live with less – this isn’t for everyone, but less things can mean it is easier to tidy up, to clean and to not spend as much money on “stuff”
* look at why we hurry and how we can change to a slower pace most of the time – children are also more accommodating if we need to rush only now and then, rather than every time we leave the house

I’m curious to hear from you. Do you think you could allow some more time in any of these areas? Are there any tips you would like to share? I am sure you all have some wisdom to share.

I don’t know if this is true but a friend sent me this today and it really moved me:

From Tyler Perry: Writer and Actor

This morning I awoke and was so frustrated about all of the stuff that I’m dealing with in trying to get this studio open. I was about to open my mouth & start complaining when I remembered something that happened to me a year ago.

I was walking to my car when this woman who appeared to be homeless started walking towards me. I’m ashamed to say this but I thought, “I don’t feel like being hustled today.” Then I got quickly convicted. I felt guilty so I started digging in my pocket for some money. As she got closer I noticed that she had the kindest eyes that I had ever seen.

As I was reaching into my pocket she started to speak. I thought, “Here goes the sales pitch”. She said “Excuse me sir, I need some shoes. Can you help me?” My eyes filled with water because I remember being out on the streets and having only one pair of run over shoes. I was taken aback for a second.

I took her inside the studio and had my wardrobe people find shoes in her size. As she put the shoes on she started crying, praising God and thanking Jesus, and saying, “My feet are off the ground! My feet are off the  ground!”    

Several of the wardrobe people started crying. I was crying. But I never forgot those words. “My feet are off the ground!” I thought, “Wow! All she wanted was some shoes.”

She quickly disappeared and never asked me for a dime. I realized that I still had the money in my hand so I went out looking for her. She was gone just that quick so I looked all around the neighborhood for her. I found her standing on a corner looking down at her shoes, still crying. I was so touched.

I asked her how she had gotten homeless. She told me that she had AIDS and that she was waiting to get into a shelter.. She said that her family had turned their backs on her and that she had no place to go, but she knew that God would make a way for her. I said to myself, “He just did.”

Her faith and her praise moved me. I took her to a nearby hotel and put her up until she was able to get on her feet I had someone that worked for me to check on her from time to time and to make sure that she had food and clothes. After about a month or so we lost touch, but I never forgot her.

This past summer I was shooting ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’ and this woman walks up to me smiling. I didn’t recognize her face, but her eyes were familiar. She had on a really nice dress and her hair was done. It was her!

She told me that the little help that I had given her had changed her life. She was in a house now and doing very well.

I said all of that to say this. After I met this woman, every time I think about complaining and mumbling I remember, “My feet are off the ground!”
I wanted to share this with you just to let you know that when I say that I am thankful for you, I mean it. And when I say that you are a blessing to me, I mean it.

We take so much for granted sometimes that I just wanted all of you to know that I am grateful to God for you every day. Thank you for being in my life.

When God takes something from your grasp. He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better… "When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others"

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How to get rid of Prednisone at earliest

If you want to make sure that Prednisone leaves your system as early as possible, there are some ways you can facilitate this process. Make sure that you discontinue this medicine under observation of your doctor. You can also acidify your urine by having drinks that are slightly acidic in nature or simply staying hydrated. Staying hydrated increases the number of times you urinate in a day.

The clearance time of Prednisone may vary from one person to another depending upon the factors explained above. However, it will leave your system within 16-24 hours . It is usually excreted from your body through urine, sweat, and breast milk for lactating mothers. Try to follow the instructions of your health practitioners, so you can treat the problem first for which the medicine is prescribed and then move towards excretion of its after effects.

Rottsky Temperament

A Rottsky’s personality is largely shaped by three traits: its high intelligence, its need for activity, and its desire for affection. If you provide your pet with mental stimulation and attention and make sure it gets a chance to expend its seemingly boundless energy in a constructive way, your dog will become a terrific family pet. If you don’t, your dog may begin to develop negative behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking.

Even puppies who are loving and affectionate may undergo a behavioral transformation when they hit nine months, which is the equivalent of doggie adolescence. Traits like stubbornness, assertiveness, and the need to dominate may begin to manifest. This is the reason why it’s extremely important to begin socialization and training with Rottskies while they are still young puppies.

Borkie: The Athletic Wingman Of Designer Dogs

The Borkie is an energetic and dutiful designer dog that is a crossbreed between the Beagle and the Yorkshire Terrier. This breed is immediately known for its wiry, Terrier-like face placed on the lanky and elongated body of a Beagle. As the mix between two worker breeds, the Borkie is ideal for families with a rather active lifestyle and don’t find the constant barking to be a problem.

The Borkie takes the best traits of the Beagle and the Yorkie and puts them all together in one package. Smart, courageous, and loyal, Borkies are dogs that can easily find a place for themselves in any family and loves to be in the presence of their loved ones for all times of the day.

However, they can also be quite pushy, vocal, and high-strung. This dog needs constant exercise so as not to get bored, and requires regular grooming. Due to their parent breeds, Borkies are also easy to train and can recognize authority when they see it.

Borkie Origins

As was previously mentioned, the Borkie is the offspring between the Beagle and the Yorkshire Terrier. That is the only tidbit of information known so far as to the Borkie’s origins as no other records have shown exactly where in the United States the breed was designed and for what specific reason.

But what is certain is the Borkies are a fairly new breed even compared to other designer dog breed. As such, the Borkies seen today are from first and second generation pools which means that they either have Beagle and Yorkshire parents or first-gen Borkie parents.

The Beagle

This dog is an ancient breed and is perhaps one of the first dog breeds to ever rise from the Canine family. Records dating back to 55 BC depict the Beagle being a companion to Roman legionnaires as they hunt for small game like birds and rabbits in the English provinces.

Once known as the Foot Hound, Beagles were a status symbol for English nobles and hunters alike. They remained particularly reliable hunting partners for several centuries and until they were registered as official breeds by several kennel clubs in the 19 th century.

And to this day the Beagle remains a favorite among hunters and outdoorsmen. Their keen sense of smell, distinct howl, and ability to cooperate with other humans and hounds has made the dog breed stand out from other working-class dogs.

The Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie terrier, on the other hand, is a relatively new working dog breed that traces its origins to the English province of Yorkshire. The descendant of long-gone terrier breeds, the Yorkie was bred to be a digger and made a name for exterminating mice and other vermin in the rocky plains of the English countryside.

The Yorkie maintained a small but tough reputation among commoners for years but the dog eventually found its way into the homes of more affluent folk by the 19t h century. Here, the dog became pampered and was even a fashion symbol for English noblewomen.

To this day, the Yorkshire Terrier remains a popular dog breed for families living in the city although the dog has never forgotten its countryside roots.

Borkie Appearance

As the mix between the Beagle and the Yorkie, the Borkie’s appearance will be a combination of its parent breeds. As such, Borkies tend to have a long body, floppy bears, big eyes that are usually brown, and a long tail which it gets from its Beagle heritage.

The Yorkie heritage manifests in the dog through a long, wiry coat that comes in both black and dirty brown and Terrier-like facial features. In fact, most Borkies tend to look more like terriers on the front than they do as beagles. Also, Borkies have a fairly short stature due to their terrier lineage.

Due to the dog’s curly and long coat, regular grooming i s necessary to maintain their appearance. Trimming the dog’s coat once every two months is also necessary so as to get rid of excess clumps and dirt which may have accumulated from their play sessions.

Life Expectancy

The Borkie is expected to live in between 10 to 13 years. However, there is a chance that a dog of this breed might live longer than that through proper exercise, diet, and living a generally stress-free lifestyle.


Borkies are known to be extremely fun to be around with. They love nothing more to play around and sprint across the room and backyard to their heart’s content. However, due to their seemingly boundless energy, Borkies can also get high-strung and pushy. All of that energy must be released in positive ways so exposure to toys, exercise, and the outdoors is necessary.

When the Borkie is not trying to be mischievous, it would accompany its owner throughout the day. It will follow the person they are most attached with, sleep at their side, and try to get their attention through snuggling and cuddling. However, that does not mean that they won’t interact with other dogs and people as the Borkie is known for being an extremely social dog.

Due to their Beagle heritage, Borkies are very vocal. They will not hesitate to belt out their Beagle-like howl when they are happy, sad, hungry, sleepy, or angry. If you live in a place where everyone yearns for every second of silence that they can get, this breed might not be the best option.

Fortunately, most of the Borkie’s undesirable traits can be curbed or channeled through more positive means with early training.

Ideal Environment

The Borkie might be suited for cities and countryside. However it is generally preferred that they live in a home with a secure fence and children that are older and strong enough to deal with all their roughhousing.

The dog also works well with other animals and, as such, is fit for families with existing dog packs or other animals as pets. In essence, the dog is ideal in places where they can let out all of that energy on a regular basis.


Borkies thrive on a high-energy diet. As such, it is necessary to give them food rich in carbohydrates. Protein is also necessary to tone their muscles and help them maintain a strong physique.

Typically, Borkies can eat 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of food per day divided into two meals. This should be enough to give the dog the strength and energy that they need without making them overweight.

However, that being said, it is necessary to regulate the dog’s intake according to the level of physical activity they engage in daily. Borkies that rest more should not eat more than what is required and those that do work more should at least eat half a cup more of food per day.

Training and Exercise

One of the key traits of a Borkie is their desire to learn or try out something new. As such, Borkies make for one of the more trainable designer dog breeds right now and their Beagle heritage means that they can master commands and tricks at a rate faster than most dogs.

However, the dog can easily get distracted. Patience and a firm yet assertive voice when training the dog is a must. Also keep training sessions short so as not to bore the dog and always use positive reinforcement to get the best results.

As for exercise, the Borkie requires it constantly and consistently. You must find a time of the time to play with the dog to encourage them to be as active as possible. Walks through the park (or forest) are a must and toys will prevent them from getting bored if they have to stay indoors.

Lastly, it is important to get the Borkie socializing with other dogs. By being part of an actual pack, the Borkie’s immaturity and tendency to get distracted easily might be curbed.

Health Concerns

As a crossbreed between two different dogs, it would be expected for the Borkie to inherit some of the medical problems that its parents would face. Borkies are known to suffer from minor conditions like eye irritations and ear infections but also inherited the Beagle’s genetic dwarfism and hip dysplasia.

In some instances, Borkies can also suffer from Terrier-specific conditions such as patellar luxation, hyperthyroidism, and portosystemic shunt.

Either way, there is no assurance that a particular Borkie will suffer any of these diseases in its lifetime. It all depends greatly on the overall health of its parents as well as the conditions it is currently living in. As such, a good diet, plenty of exercise, and avoidance of stress can greatly help in preventing the Borkie from suffering from any debilitating condition.

Where to Find Borkie Puppies?

Fortunately, Borkies are a recent fad which means that there will be more than enough breeders in any area trying to offer Borkie pups to would-be owners. A typical pup can go in between $500.00 to $1000.00 depending on the breeder.

However, it is necessary to make sure that all pups that you would choose from are properly screened for their health and that the breeder itself has certifications from local veterinarians and pet care organizations. An advantage of getting a Borkie from a breeder is that the breeder knows the overall temperament for each particular puppy which should help you when training the dog.

Another, and far more cheaper, alternative is to get a Borkie from a shelter. Adopting a rescued Borkie will cost you in between $50.00 to $100.00 which is generally cheaper than from breeder-sourced Borkies. Aside from the price, there is also the fact that you are giving the dog the family that it deserves.


Regardless of where you live and how big a space you have available, a Borkie can make for a suitable companion for you and your family. Its loyalty and need to belong makes the Borkie great for families especially those that love to get up and exercise on a regular basis.

However, as with other dog breeds, utmost care and attention to its needs is a necessity to keep the Borkie healthy. So as long as you provide the security and constant action the dog needs, it is more than willing to return the love and attention with its companionship.

Comments 2

Maybe I’m coming at this from an unusual direction, but my own experience with mind and body duality is this:

My body wants exercise and sunlight and to eat a lot of vegetables. It feels good and rewards me with an excess of energy when i do or have these things.

It is my soul that wants to eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast. My body wants no part of that, but sometimes, your inner self needs comfort from an unusual or seemingly unhealthy direction. I think there’s no harm in listening to those impulses from time to time, as long as a balance is struck.

“Georg posits that our bodies are intrinsically lazy ”creatures of comfort and routine” that ”betray us (think sneezes and gas),” and ”can only be mastered through discipline.””

Well what about little children, most of whom are all over the place, all the time, with seemingly boundless energy? Are THEY naturally lazy? NO! … What kind of a “routine” are they on? NONE! Do they need to be disciplined to exercise? NO! …

They spontaneously do what ever, when ever, most of the time, until they fall asleep. Many, if not most, are born with a natural proclivity to be very active & spontaneous. But it gets conditioned out of us early on. Especially when the put us in front of a TeeVee set or more recently, a computer game.

Now, it’s true that if you get conditioned into liking ice cream, you’ll probably prefer that to real food. But you’ve probably taught yourself to like ice cream by repetition. You sometimes have to change your conditioning before the quality of your messages improves.

The “listen to your body” element comes in when you try something “new,” such as, commit to trying NO ice cream and lots of something good for you for one month. Then see how it feels. Compare the results. Which do you like better? See if you’re not drawn to better foods because of how you feel afterwards.

The process of yoga is, in my mind, not about imposing rules on one-self. It’s about using physical/mental yoga to improve your ability to truly feel what’s really going on underneath the superficial messages. To be able to listen to, or in some cases even hear, the more subtle messages.

Will you be tempted to eat ice cream? Maybe, maybe not. But when you feel the results of the ice cream, you might not. I’m not saying this works perfect every time, or there are any guarantees. But it works a LOT of the time for a LOT of people.

In my case, I cheated. I used Tofuti, then Rice Dream, then unsweetened carob-covered almonds, to gradually, step-by-step, wean myself then break my Haagen Daaz addiction. It took about two months, but it worked. … Those replacement items were not exactly “good” for me. But they were enough to clear my need for whatever was in the ice cream my body wanted. And, occasionally I’ll have some ice cream made from coconut milk, or a bag of carob covered almonds. But I very rarely have “bad” deserts now.

The point is, my entire life of dealing with the food thing, if I used some discipline initially, then just “let-go,” I usually found I preferred the feeling in my body of the better stuff. (Except wine & beer, in small to moderate dosage. And I probably eat WAY too many raw cashews lately. But other than that I’m pretty sane in my eating.)

So, just like in a hatha yoga posture, where you exert in with some will power for a while (discipline), then let go to relax into the posture and see what happens, so too, much or most of life is like that. Yoga can be more like a dance, not a contest of willpower versus evil.

In the early 1980s, when I was suffering severe back pain, every time I did yoga, I was even worse afterwards, often near paralyzed. I stopped doing yoga all together for a couple of years as a result.

When, after looking at an X-ray, I realized I had been stretching all the wrong muscles, I re-designed my yoga approach, and got way better pretty fast.

But before, I had been stretching the muscles that “felt right” because they were achy & sore and “needed” the stretch & relief. But they were on the Opposite Side from the Real Sources of my pain. But the real trouble makers felt fine. So I thought I was “listening to my body,” but was stretching the wrong muscles as a result.

So, I learned, “If it feels Good, be VERY Careful if You Do It,” and sometimes what your body is “telling you” has a hidden message, or is showing you the message in mirror image.

That’s why I was stretching the “wrong muscles.” I had not yet learned what my body was REALLY telling me, only what I thought was feeling.

The Neediest Cases No Bounds to the Love of an 85-Year-Old Mother

After a few minutes with Adele Walker, you can easily see how she earned her nickname. ''They used to call me Grandma Love,'' said Mrs. Walker, 85, drawing out the word ''love'' and chuckling.

When she retired from her job as a mental health therapist in 1979, after raising two children, she still had plenty to give, so she volunteered as a foster grandparent at the New York Foundling Hospital. There, 11 years ago, she met 2-week-old Sheena, who had been abandoned at the hospital by her mother after she was born with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, severe asthma and eczema.

''Oh, she was a little sick something,'' recalled Mrs. Walker, a tall, sinewy woman with seemingly boundless energy. ''The nurse handed me this little thing and said, 'Grandma Walker, you're so good, I know you can handle this.' I looked at that little baby and I said, 'Oh, my God!' ''

Mrs. Walker devoted herself to Sheena, going to the hospital almost every day to play her music, hold her and read to her. But when the girl was 6, Mrs. Walker, weary of the trip downtown, decided to stop working at the hospital. She realized, however, that she could not bear to part with her beloved Sheena, and when hospital workers urged her to become the girl's full-time foster mother, she took Sheena to live in her warm, elegant Harlem apartment, which is filled with books, photographs and mementos of a life lived well.

'ɻut I kept on saying: 'I don't want to be a foster parent. I want to adopt this child,' '' Mrs. Walker said.

Because of her age, some people doubted that Mrs. Walker could go through with it. ''They said, 'You'll never adopt Sheena,' '' she said. 'ɻut I said, 'I've got a lawyer and it's going to happen.' '' Sure enough, last April 16, after Sheena's mother had been located and she consented, the adoption was completed.

Sheena, who is now 11, relies on a wheelchair and needs assistance for every task. She cannot talk, but Ms. Walker easily interprets her every utterance, clapping her hands with joy at the slightest gurgle or groan. ''Oh, she can say 'mama,' and if she's hungry she says ⟪t,' and she used to say 'no,' but we don't hear much of that anymore,'' Mrs. Walker said with satisfaction.

A trained attendant comes to the house for four hours every weekday, and Sheena attends a special-education school nearby. But when it comes to talking about her daughter's disabilities, Mrs. Walker becomes impatient, preferring to dwell only on the joy in their relationship.

''I know that she has cerebral palsy,'' she said, 'ɻut I can't see all of that -- maybe because I'm denying it, but I just can't see it.''

To hear Mrs. Walker tell it, the last thing she needs is time apart from Sheena. But when she heard about Wagon Road Camp, she realized how good it would be for her daughter to swim, ride a horse, play games in the fresh air and learn arts and crafts and cooking. Several times a year, Sheena attends the camp in Chappaqua, N.Y., and she returns home excited and invigorated, Mrs. Walker said. The camp is run by the Children's Aid Society, one of seven charities sponsored by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

''She loves it,'' a beaming Mrs. Walker said, shaking a fist in the air for emphasis. ''When she comes back, I just know she's trying to tell me something. She can't talk, but I know she's saying: 'These are my peers. I'm glad to see them.' ''

Sheena's stays at Wagon Road are also a time for Mrs. Walker to do 'ɺll the things I've ever wanted to do'' -- catch up on her reading, clean out closets or just sleep later than Sheena, who wakes at 5 A.M. Although she misses her daughter, Mrs. Walker knows that the camp is invaluable. ''I'm glad she goes,'' she said. ''It's good for her, and I want the best for her. I know she's going to make it -- somehow or other, she's going to do something in life.''

Mrs. Walker's words were drowned out as Sheena banged enthusiastically on her purple wheelchair, reacting to the conversation by groaning and swaying, her brown eyes exploring the room. Unperturbed, Mrs. Walker leaned forward. ''She knows about love,'' she continued.

''I hold her and I caress her and I say, 'I love you, Sheena,' '' she said, lingering over the words. ''Love can heal things, you know. She's a happy child. I tell her, 'Happy, happy. I love you.' ''

Checks payable to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund should be sent to P.O. Box 5193, General Post Office, New York, N.Y. 10087, or any of these


285 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217.


1011 First Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022.


191 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.

105 East 22d Street, New York, N.Y. 10010.


105 East 22d Street, New York, N.Y. 10010.


281 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10010.


Church Street Station, P.O. Box 4100, New York, N.Y. 10261-4100

No agents or solicitors are authorized to seek contributions for The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

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6 Answers 6

I try to timebox my oldest into this, he has started doing the same. Often coming home now without all his school lunch, or snack eaten. When we sit down for dinner he is all over the place by squirming in his seat, eats slow and talks constantly - so its a battle to figure out what is appropriate for him to do. Mine doesn't get bored, but his mind is on other things, although on occasion when it's something he REALLY likes he will sit and eat. So we did two things:

  1. Lot's of praise for eating dinner in the timebox we set, my wife and I will put on the Oven Timer if he takes too long, he really doesn't like it
  2. Make him more of the things he enjoys, which works well, and I often sneak new things into his favorites. Since one of them is pasta with tomato sauce it's easy to throw other stuff in there

After meals he can have specific snacks, and he does have healthy habits there but I don't like to encourage him to snack too much. I often note to him that he should have eaten all his meal, if he hadn't, and then he wouldn't need the snack - and then I will give him a choice between two things I think he should have. Richer food is ok, but often the richer food is not as nutritious, I have started to talk more before dinner hoping this talks him out before then, but the boundless energy of kids is hard to suppress.

I suggest would hesitate to be concerned because he has dropped from the 91st percentile in height to 49. He is still well within the normal range, and no two children grow with similar patterns. Discuss your concerns with your pediatrician, and if advised that there is nothing to worry about, accept that advice.

  • He appears to have plenty of energy, which means he is getting enough calories.
  • You mentioned no other indicators of development issues or health problems.
  • What is his weight percentile, and what was it when his height was 91?
  • Is unusual height likely based on his family?
  • Ask the grandparents about how the parents developed with respect to height, weight, and activity.
  1. Examine how many calories he is getting in a day, and research whether that is enough for a child his age and weight.
  2. Discuss your concerns and findings with your pediatrician.
  3. Don't heavily push food beyond the child's desires unless advised to do so by the pediatrician.

Do continue to enforce mealtime rules around healthy eating, courtesy and respect. Those should include eating what is served regardless of whether it is a favorite, honestly trying every dish served, not rushing the meal, using good table manners, and remaining at the table until excused by a parent.

We use the snacks ours like as a reward for eating their food, so if they don't eat their school lunches or mess around at dinner time they don't get a favourite snack after dinner. The better they do with their food the better options they get as a reward.

If they eat all their dinner, have their fruit and get dressed for bed they get a good chunk of discovery channel or a book read to them. If not, they go straight to bed. The fact there are three of them helps with this, as invariably, the one who has behaved gloats a little :-/

Admittedly they go through phases, so you need to be aware that sometimes they will need twice as much food, and other times they may have a few days of eating almost nothing. At the low intake times we just ensure they at least get cereal in the morning.

Depending on your house rules, you can tie in quick eating with a favorite after-meal activity. In our case, we ONLY let the kids watch cartoons after dinner before sleep, so the rule is "you can watch TV from end of food till 8pm". If they eat slowly, they don't have time left for TV.

Doesn't work perfectly but works well enough most of the time.

As far as nutrition - make sure they get "heavy" nutritious snacks (e.g. nuts, yogurt).

Oh, and if you have >1 kid, competition (who will finish the food first) may work, but it's not guaranteed. The caveat here is to be careful to stop 5-minute-long "I will win - no I will win" chats :)

We all stay at the table together until everyone is finished. No one gets up - except to go potty and wash hands again if needed. This means that whether finished or not there is not popping up to go play. Nothing else happens at meal times, just eating and sharing conversation about our day, the news or whatever it is that is going on.

Stress that sometimes it is mommy's turn or daddy's turn to share something about the day and that he should be eating when it is someone else's turn to speak. Make time to do this for at least one meal per day. 45 minutes to about an hour tends to be a healthy amount of time for eating and conversation. You can't do a lot more than already suggested about school - etc. He will get distracted. It is an unfortunate part of growth. However, they also won't starve.

You might also speak with the pediatrician about your concerns. It seems strange that you mention a change in percentiles in height and not in weight. Normally, the first thing effected would be weight. He may just grow at a slower pace than his peers, but if there is something else going on (even nutritionally) a pediatrician is the one that will have the best ability to diagnose and make recommendations.


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