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Just gave dd a weighed out bowl of pasta -she's not impressed!

(59 Posts)
17leftfeet Mon 01-Sep-14 13:18:48

Dd is 13 and has put weight on over the last 6 months -she's still in the healthy BMI range but pushing towards the top end

She approached me and said she wanted to go on a diet which I've said is not really appropriate but if she wants to look at ways of making healthier choices I was more than happy to support that

We do have a healthy diet but portions are done by eye so I suspected portions might be an issue, plus she is a carb junkie and eats a lot of pasta and rice -so I weighed out a portion of pasta and she's not impressed -its about half what she would normally eat!

Am I doing this right?
I can remember telling my parents I wanted to go on a diet at the same age (I was much bigger than dd) I was told I didn't need to while they carried on dishing up egg and chips then periodically telling me I'd eaten too much cake!

WipsGlitter Mon 01-Sep-14 13:19:56

What is her diet like generally?

I think using the approach of healthy eating not dieting is the right way to go. I don't believe diets work long term, I am of the thinking that only proper lifestyle changes actually make any difference. Diets can become a thing of obsession and misery which is not what we should be teaching children, or anyone else for that matter. Sensible, healthy eating combined with activities they enjoy is definitely a better approach

nicename Mon 01-Sep-14 13:22:13

How much was the weight? If you bulk out the carbs with veggies and salads she might not notice so much.

BramwellBrown Mon 01-Sep-14 13:24:36

I think that's exactly the right approach, I'm trying the same thing to lose weight and i have to say I'm not impressed by how small a healthy portion is either

fatlazymummy Mon 01-Sep-14 13:24:38

I think you are right to weigh out the pasta. That's what I started to do when I wanted to lose weight and it was a shock at first ,but now I'm used to it and realise I was just eating far too much before.
I don't go along with pasta and bread being intrinsically bad but I do believe in portion control.

FernMitten Mon 01-Sep-14 13:24:44

I'm interested to know the weight and amount too, ds is a similar age to your dd and we're cutting down too.

My portion sizes are terrible, I've realised I habitually give him twice as much as I have.

LIZS Mon 01-Sep-14 13:25:56

Offer her salad if the portion looks too small or use a smaller plate

ToysRLuv Mon 01-Sep-14 13:28:08

I would then have more sauce (if veggie based) and salad to make up for smaller amount of pasta. Pasta salads are great, as well.

fatlazymummy Mon 01-Sep-14 13:29:59

I agree with using a smaller plate as well. I've done that for 3 years now and I believe it's the main reason I haven't regained the weight I lost.

how much dry pasta did you weigh out?

nicename Mon 01-Sep-14 13:32:12

I use smaller plates too. Having a starter helps - a big bowl of salad or crudités/soup fills you up nicely.

We bought a new dinner set online and when they arrived, I swear the plates are about a foot wide! A normal portion looks like nouvelle cuisine, and 'pasta dishes' are also pretty huge. I use the pasta dishes for salad and the soup bowls for pasta. Side dishes are around 8 inches, so I usually use them for main meals.

I got some of those fancy schmansy pasta plates (so basically a shallow bowl with the huge lip) - and they are so large they wont fit in the cupboard (around 14 inches wide).

Oddly the 'bread' plates are teensy!

Thenapoleonofcrime Mon 01-Sep-14 13:32:51

Could you think about swapping to brown rice (basmati supposed to be best) and wholemeal /rye/heavier breads?

Mind you, if anyone has discovered a nice tasting edible wholemeal/wheat pasta, please let me know. I'm looking to swap to brown rice, wholemeal pasta etc as part of a healthy eating drive in my house (children also shovel in huge white pasta portions) and we all like brown rice but find wholewheat pasta so grim.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Mon 01-Sep-14 13:35:00

We have the Tshirt. DD hit 17 stone due to poor portion judgement and love of cooking. You may think we were neglectful, but I become very stabby if you nick a chip have issues around food control due to boarding school.

DD is down to 11st dead at 5'10", most of which is dancer's muscle. She never gave up her activities even at her heaviest. The weight drop took just over a year when she finished counselling and stopped comfort eating.

If you can get your DD into any form of exercise, she'll stay fit despite weight gain and when she's ready to cut down it'll melt off.

Good luck.

MammaTJ Mon 01-Sep-14 13:36:16

I would say look at slimming world and their special plan for teens. They have something called smart swaps, which is not very restrictive but teaches healthy eating.

What did she have on the pasta? On SW they have a rule that free foods (pasta, rice, potatoes, meat and fish) have to have at least one third super free (fruit and veg) to accompany it. So it is not about how much pasta she would have, so not making her feel deprived, but making her eat other things with it.

17leftfeet Mon 01-Sep-14 13:36:59

A typical day's menu on non school days is poached egg on toast for breakfast, lunch would be pasta and salad, evening meal chicken cooked in a tomato based sauce with some cheese on top served with rice or potatoes and veg

She will sometimes have some cereal or toast around 9pm and has open access to fruit which she will eat occasionally and raw veg which she eats more frequently

She drinks cranberry or water

On school days she has cereal for breakfast, a panini for lunch and evening meal at home

We eat veggie twice a week, red meat once a week and turkey or chicken the other nights

Sweets are just at weekends

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 01-Sep-14 13:40:30

Please don't put a healthy child on Slimming World.

Do what you are doing, bulk up with veg, salad and fruit.

Encourage exercise but remember lots of teens go through a stage where they are a bit round and then they shoot up with a growth spurt.

17leftfeet Mon 01-Sep-14 13:40:52

Sorry missed a couple of questions

Pasta portion was 75g with pasata and red peppers
Side salad and a small piece of cheese

chinamoon Mon 01-Sep-14 13:43:56

That's a pretty healthy diet. She must be having big portions to get overweight on such a balanced menu.

I agree with others - use smaller plates (hard to find these days!) At lunch use large side plates and at dinner small dinner plates max 10". Put pasta on one side and steamed veg or undressed salad on the other to fill up the plate.

Cut back on cranberry - it's sugary. Just drink water for now, and encourage daily exercise.

Also chat to her about small daily non-food treats she can give herself straight after she's eaten - go and play favourite tunes on Spotify or paint toenails or whatever appeals to her - things she can have while losing weight that make her feel good.

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 01-Sep-14 13:45:15

I don't believe in step changes. I think if you 1/2 portions overnight she is going to think diets suck, feel hungry and long for snacks.

I'd cut carb portions a bit, up veg and check on plate size, but I'd be subtle.

I have the same problem with DD(16) putting on weight. Her major problem is not doing anything active most of the time and senior schools awful food choices.

Society could do a massive amount about obesity by encouraging all schools and local sports centres to offer non competitive fun 11-18 physical activities and investing in decent short queue sandwich and salad bars for all senior schools.

TheHoundsBitch Mon 01-Sep-14 13:45:33

I think it's absolutely right to teach her what portion sizes should look like.
Smaller plates are good too.

Courgettes sliced up with a vegetable peeler or thinly sliced savoy cabbage are nice alternatives to pasta, you could mix a portion of spaghetti with a portion of cabbage and add the sauce on top if she really wants more food, or do a half portion of each.

Lally112 Mon 01-Sep-14 13:45:34

You put so much emphasis on diet and eating but what else does she do? does she sit indoors all day in front of a screen? is she quite active? does she do any sports? go out with friends and do things? I don't police any of my kids diets but they have played out all the time in the street since they were 5 and as they have grown up have went to dance class and pony club and gymnastics for DD, DS does young farmers, dog handlers classes and rugby.

RiverTam Mon 01-Sep-14 13:46:16

75g (that's 3oz, right?) is what DH and I would have each, it's what I was brought up with, my mum always weighed out pasta and rice. So I think that's perfectly ample for a 13 year old (and yourselves!). Maybe stick some red lentils or beans into the pasta sauce to add some protein?

SanityClause Mon 01-Sep-14 13:46:36

The diet industry is not called an industry for nothing.

Be very wary of introducing her to Slimming World, and the like. They make their money by people using them over and over again, every time they put on a few extra pounds.

She is still growing, and often people put on bulk before they put on height. If she is in the healthy BMI range, that is fine.

She knows what healthy eating is. Perhaps her carb intake is a bit high, and maybe you could suggest some whole grains rather than the refined grains in the cereal and Panini she has on school days.

17leftfeet Mon 01-Sep-14 13:47:19

She's prone to UTIs so I don't really want to stop the cranberry -it used to be a battle to get her to drink anything!

She is like a bottomless pit sometimes though, especially if she's made her own

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