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Guest Blogger Jennifer Hutcheson: Cachetona Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

 

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 Jennifer Hutcheson,  Latina mamí and founder of the blog Mami 2 Mommy, shares her experiences as a first time mamí in her latest Mocha Manual post, "Cachetona Doesn’t Live Here Anymore"

Cachetona Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

 

Throughout my childhood I remember being called cachetona (chubby cheeks) and mi familia always pinching them. But I can’t blame them.  They meant no harm.  In fact, it is so common-place in the Latino community to talk about que gordito (how fat) babies were or how round, como una pelota (like a ball), their bellies were that I had assumed that when I became pregnant I would embrace the comments as part of my culture.  I never stopped to think about what was being said and how that would affect the health of my son, Shaunsito, and the many other Latino children.

 

As of July 1st, 2007 it was estimated that Hispanics accounted for 15.1% of the national population, or around 45.4 million people, making us the largest and fastest growing minority group.

 

What wonderful news! But, unfortunately, the numbers of our children are also “growing” in more ways than we had bargained for.  They are now threatened with an obesity epidemic and because of that an increase in diabetes.

 

And according to the National Council of La Raza (http://www.nclr.org/section/diabetes_statistics) nearly half of Latino children born in the year 2000 are likely to develop diabetes in their lifetime (Thanks to my Twitter amiga @virtualparent (http://twitter.com/virtualparent) for that tidbit)

 

And a 2006 study by the Mathematica Policy Research Group, 25 percent of Latino children are obese by age 3, compared with 16 percent of black children and 14 percent of whites.

 

Those are frightening statistics for any mamí to have to think about.

 

Therefore, after much thought, I have decided that I will not accept my Latino family and friends to question why my son is not more cherub-like. Comments like, “Pobrecito. ¿Esta enfermo?” or “Give him some arroz con pollo and he’ll look less flaquito” will no longer be tolerated.

 

And should you find the urge to respond with “¿pero porque?” after you’ve asked if I am still breastfeeding, as opposed to giving him cereal in his formula to “put more meat on his bones”, you may get a tongue lashing.  But to be fair I’ll tell you porque.

 

Breastfeeding provided my son with just enough nutrients during the first 6 months before he began eating solids. And though he may have been viewed as skinny by Latino standards his pediatrician said he was in the top 95% percentile for his age.  My son is PERFECT, thank you very much!

 

So, when my family rolls up to my house this Thanksgiving to fatten us all up they will “feast” their eyes on a beautiful sign that says:

 

                                          Cachetona Doesn’t Live Here Anymore!

 

Do you listen to what your Latino family and friends tell you about how underfed your precious one is?  What comments have friends and/or loved ones made to you?  Or maybe you’re in agreement that a baby should look chubbier – whatever the case I would love to hear your stories and comments.

 

 

BIO

Jennifer Hutcheson is a Latina mamí of an adorable 10-month-old little peanut, Shaun (a.k.a Shaunsito). A native of New York she currently resides with her son and husband, also named Shaun, in the great state of Georgia. She writes at her public blog Mami 2 Mommy (http://www.mami2mommy.com/blog) where she shares her experiences as a first time mamí.  She also serves as Executive Director of BabySpot Atlanta (http://www.babyspotatlanta.com) and Director of the Atlanta Chapter of Latinos in Social Media (http://www.latism.org).  All while working her “side-hustle” as a Public Relations and Social Media Strategist and Freelance Writer

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