Nov 23, 2014

VISIT ELLAINSTITUTE.COM

Water or leche?

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As I walk into the Latino hair salon/barbershop where I get my hair done, I observe a sweet scene: a young Latino dad feeding his son a biberón of milk while he talks to his buddies and waits for his turn to get his hair cut. When I take a second look at the scene, I notice that the child looks too old for being fed with a biberón and is quite overweight. After finishing his bottle, Sammy is happy running around and playing with other kids. Upon noticing Sammy, a few incoming customers comment:“¡Qué gordito chulo!”  Papá acknowledges the compliment by proudly saying, “Gracias.” No more than one hour later, Sammy starts crying and begs for more milk. Papá complies, and fills up another biberón. The Latino childhood obesity prevention researcher in me mediates: “Does he want more leche?  Try giving him agua instead.”  The kid does not like my suggestion and screams,“LECHE!!!!” while dad stares blankly at me. Papá and kid walk away holding hands with biberón in hand. Sammy stops for a second, turns to me and yells: “LECHE!” Some hair salon customers laugh and the sweet scene I witnessed an hour earlier repeats itself.  That is when I said to myself: “amores que matan.”

 

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Dharma Cortés

Dharma Cortés

Dharma E. Cortés, Ph.D. moved to the United States from her native Puerto Rico more than 25 years ago. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and Frida Flor del Rosario, their locally rescued Puerto Rican mini-dachshund with a hint of sato pedigree. At home, they communicate in español. When she is not observing the trivial or not-so-trivial, Dharma is conducting public health research.

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Comments

  1. OMG! Last night my son (at around 9pm) walked to his highchair and started screaming. I looked at him and said, “Just because you want food right now doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. And that’s that!” Some people give their children whatever they want, especially food, but I don’t want my son to get in the habit of becoming a glutton!! Starting them at a young age is key.

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