to think my dd eats a lot and worry about her weight?

(162 Posts)
PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 22:57:11

My exH is morbidly obese. I had weight issues in my teens but have been a size 8-10 for the past nine years or so. Dd is 6, around 105cm tall and almost 4 stone. She looks fine from behind but has always had a big tummy that protrudes out of clothes. She does loads of exercise but her tummy seems to be growing bigger. We eat healthily but have McDonalds once per month, which we had at the weekend. She was sharing various things with her cousins and declared afterwards that she'd eaten ten chicken nuggets as well as a box of fries. That's more than I could eat! She's told me before that her dad has given her Pringles and she ate the entire tube confused

Today she had:

Two slices of brown toast with choc spread and banana and a yoghurt
Milk and Apple at snack time
Lunch consisting of three crackers, cheese, ham, peppers, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, melon, grapes, small cake
After school snacks of pineapple, cherries, popcorn and a bowl of cereal
Dinner of two Yorkshire puddings, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, five roast potatoes and four chipolata sausages
Pudding of jam sponge
An hour later was asking for yoghurt and fruit

If I reduce portion sizes she asks for more. She isn't eating due to boredom as she is always busy but she eats loads more than me and weighs almost half what I do. Aibu to worry about her eating and weight at this stage?

ILoveDHIDo Wed 05-Feb-14 23:05:09

YANBU. Does she do any form of exercise? Like trampolining etc or Swimming? The food she eats looks balanced so maybe you should look at portion sizes.

She's 6 so she doesn't really need to eat as much as she does.

Also, no disrespect at all but are you vocal with your concerns? Children do tend to notice a lot so it wouldn't be nice if she knew how you felt about her body. You obviously care about her health so that's good. Maybe cut out some of the cakes, McDonald's etc and give it as an occasional treat. Also, what do you eat.. maybe she's just copying your eating habits?

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Feb-14 23:11:26

Could you up her protein intake, lots of fruit and veg are great but not very filling for long same as the carbs tbh yorksires and roast potatoes could be replaced by boiled new potatoes or a baked potato.

Amandine29 Wed 05-Feb-14 23:12:13

I have to say I would be worried by this. I would struggle to eat what you've described. Do you think she has just got into the habit of eating a lot? Have you spoken to her father? If it's true the whole tube of Pringles thing is crazy.

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:12:55

No I eat far less than her. She walks three miles per day, does gymnastics, football, dance, swimming and trampolining and is constantly on the move. I'm not vocal about my concerns at all but she looks offended when I say I can't pick her up and throw her about like her toddler sister. Her dad constantly calls himself fat but has never said anything derogatory to dd afaic.

SeaSickSal Wed 05-Feb-14 23:16:17

Does she drink a lot of liquid too? I saw an article the other day which said a large appetite can be a sign of diabetes in children. Especially with excessive thirst. Might be worth getting a GP to check her out.

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:16:55

I agree the Pringles thing is worrying. I used to binge eat and that's the kind of thing I'd have done. If we go to the cinema and have popcorn to share she can't handle it and is shovelling it in in case someone else eats it first. Her dad thinks I make her eat too healthily and gives her loads of treats and no fruit/veg. He seems to treat eating like an achievement.

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:17:46

No she doesn't drink much, and only drinks water and then milk at school.

Huitre Wed 05-Feb-14 23:19:28

Five roast potatoes?! I couldn't eat that, nor would I want to. She weighs FOUR STONE. That is a lot, isn't it, for such a small child? My 7.5 yr old weighs a lot less than 3 stone (she is considered underweight, but weighs a bit more than me at the same age).

FredFredGeorge Wed 05-Feb-14 23:20:28

A large active 6 year old possibly does need as many calories as a sedentary small adult woman, so she may well be hungry. As is so common with diets though, it's lacking in protein, and the protein demands of a child are always more than an adult.

Thinking ultra simplisticly:
Carbs are for energy.
Protein is for building things.

As well as the energy to run around, children need to grow. Fruit only gives the energy stuff...

How is her actual tummy strength - are her muscles still weak there?

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Feb-14 23:22:00

Maybe just not filled up enough then, I would try more protein and see if it helps.
It sounds like her dads eating habits may be affecting her relationship with food, is there any chance of him being reasonable about not making food such a reward?

SaucyJack Wed 05-Feb-14 23:27:33

It doesn't sound like that much food to me. Maybe if you gave her more "solid" food instead of quite so much fruit and veg she might be fuller for longer.

Also, are you sure you have her height and weight accurately? My DD2 was 7 in Dec and is noticeably one of the shortest in her class at 119cm.

If they are correct tho, then that is a stonking BMI for a six year old. Sorry.

CouthyMow Wed 05-Feb-14 23:28:01

Very light on protein. My underweight 3yo (just turned 3yo, 23lb2oz) eats more protein in a day than that.

Amandine29 Wed 05-Feb-14 23:34:45

Is her dad fat? It seems like she is picking up on his behaviour.

What would she do if you served her a 'normal' portion of food? 2 Yorkshire puddings, 5 roast potatoes and 4 chipolatas is not normal (can I just ask why you cooked that amount of food in the first place?), as well as everything else she is eating. I know you said she asks for more but what if there isn't any more to give her?

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:35:02

She asks for the fruit and veg. She doesn't like many protein rich foods - doesn't like nuts, not overly keen on meat or cheese, doesn't like eggs etc. Had height wrong sorry, she's about 111cm.

pixiepotter Wed 05-Feb-14 23:35:36

I think she must be snacking from somewhere.If she really does the amount of exercise you say every day then I can't believe she would be so overweight

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:37:50

Yes her dad is obese. I cook more as dh often has seconds. If I gave her, for instance, one Yorkshire pudding, 3 potatoes and 2 sausages plus the veg she'd be asking for yoghurt, fruit, toast, porridge etc within half hour of finishing it

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:38:40

She's 6, pixie, she can't get food from anywhere else hmm

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Feb-14 23:41:39

What about chicken, mince in bolognase, lasanga, tuna if its all thats on offer and shes hungry.....
Kids are funny about eggs at that age ime.
Just dont make a massive deal out of it, your doing great with all the fruit and veg.

ikeaismylocal Wed 05-Feb-14 23:44:24

From the food you listed I would probably offer less sugary food. Chocolate spread toastx2, a small cake and jam sponge pudding is lots of treats, especially if she is getting that every day.

Could you limit sweet treats to once or twice a week?

The food sounds really yummy and moorish, could you give her less tempting food?

I read some research that said people are much more likely to over eat when given an option of foods, that feeling of wanting to try it all can be hard to ignore. Maybe if you offered one pot dishes like risotto and stew she'd be less tempted to take so much.

Is her bmi an issue? If so could you encourage your ex to attend an appointment with a nurse or Dr so he wakes up to the issue?

BrokenToeOuch Wed 05-Feb-14 23:44:57

That does sound like a lot to me, however a lot of what she is eating is what I would consider 'healthy'. But fruit, while essentially has lots of good vitamins and nutrition, is also very sugary (albeit natural) full of water, therefore not too filling. Her lunch for example, doesn't seem very 'filling' even though it looks substantial.
There seem to be a lot of other factors involved in your concerns though, including her father and his attitude to food.
It might be worth talking to her GP (maybe not in her presence though, so as not to pass on any insecurities to her iyswim) about a more positive approach to her diet, and a way to up the content of what she's eating gradually, but lesser the emptiness?
Sorry, that doesn't make a lot of sense probably, but basically it's good that you want to make positive changes for her benefit at a young age smile

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:45:00

She doesn't like chicken (other than nuggets which are once per month) or fish. She likes Bolognese and lasagna but it still doesn't seem to fill her up. She could eat an adult portion of bolognese and still find room afterwards for 2/3 of a garlic bread baguette and pudding

SaucyJack Wed 05-Feb-14 23:47:12

2 Yorkshire puddings, 5 roast potatoes and 4 chipolatas is not normal

Says who? Both of my primary school aged DDs would eat that for a Sunday dinner and they're both on the smaller side.

They wouldn't overeat at the next meal tho, and I think the problem your DD has is possibly not knowing when she's full if she's always eating like that.

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:48:24

Ikea compared to her friends she is deprived of treats. Her friends have sugary cereal for breakfast, chocolate in lunchbox, drink juice and fizzy drinks, have sweets after school and chocolate after dinner. Pudding isn't usually as stodgy as jam sponge, it's usually more like a chocolate moose or fruit sorbet.

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:48:44


Amandine29 Wed 05-Feb-14 23:49:56

In that case I would take her to the gp.

It's very easy to fall into the habit of eating when not hungry and once you're at that stage it's hard to recognise true hunger.

Regarding the extra helpings, I would serve dinner straight onto plates. If you only offered her plain toast (or some other boring food) if she's hungry after dinner do you think she would eat any less?

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:51:13

I agree with your idea of one pot dishes Ikea but she dislikes things mixed together, if that makes sense. Shewwon't eat risotto, stew, soup with bits in and so on.

ikeaismylocal Wed 05-Feb-14 23:52:16

I wouldn't worry what her friends are being given, you are ( for the next few years) in control you decide if she gets pudding.

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Feb-14 23:53:27

At the risk of pissing you off which is not my intention btw, she obviously does like chicken if she eats chicken nuggets.
What would happen if you plonked down a breast of chicken on the dinner plate (obviously not on its own) and there was no 'afters' if dinner wasn't eaten?

Notcontent Thu 06-Feb-14 00:04:24

I agree that there is too much sugar in each meal.

girliefriend Thu 06-Feb-14 00:14:04

I think it sounds like a lot of food from what you have described, my nearly 8yo doesn't have as much as that and is about 4 1/2 stone I think.

She eats is an average day

breakfast - slice of melon one piece of toast or a bowl of cereal

snack - fruit

lunch - a roll, crisps, piece of fruit and a yogurt.

after school - sometimes a cereal bar, sometime something like hummous and breadsticks.

Tea - if she was having a roast it would be one sausage, 2 yorkshires, veg and about 2 roasts (although tbf she doesn't really like spuds)

supper - yogurt and occasionally small piece of fruit or toast.

She also rarely finishes everything on her plate which is like me.

Do you struggle to say no to her?

I really not being sarky - I really struggle to say no to my dc over food, I find the only way to reduce them amount they eat/want is not to have it in the house, or cook so much in the first place.
So: "no you cant have any toast after you have already eaten your more than adequate dinner as then there will not be enough bread for lunches tomorrow" and show her so she understands a limited supply maybe?

MetroBoulotDodo Thu 06-Feb-14 00:29:29

I think an easy area to cut down would be the sugar if you are worried. My dcs are older (12, 10, 8) and very active/hungry and they would eat as much as your dd but less sugary stuff.

A typical day would be:
banana and oatcakes on way to school (they swim for 1.5 hours before school)
ham and cheese sandwich and small carton of milk after swimming
snack mid-morning - usually something like crackers/ pretzels and a hard-boiled egg, sometimes fruit
lunch at school - either cooked or a hot dog/sandwich with salad followed by yoghurt
after-school is when they eat something sugary - usually a homemade cake or biscuit
dinner - meat/carbs/veg
fruit and yoghurt afterwards if they are still hungry

Sweets and choc etc I try to keep to weekends only, just by not having them in the house so they can only eat what's there.

FootieOnTheTelly Thu 06-Feb-14 00:43:42

That does seem a lot of food and a lot of different types of food.

How about logging her food for a few days and getting some more solid information about her fat, protein, carb and calorie intake.

It might be that you just need to make some quite minor adjustments.

ICanTotallyDance Thu 06-Feb-14 01:10:10

Hmm. I would second (third?) the GP visit. It could be that there is nothing wrong but it's worth getting checked out and also getting some extra information about nutrition from the doctor.

Is it possible for her to have a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner? So that she eats more before she does all her exercise? I have also noticed that she has a very big afternoon tea (with fruit, popcorn and cereal, it's more like a fourth meal than a snack).

You said she isn't drinking much. Is it possible that she is actually thirsty not hungry. That could also partially explain why she is asking for fruit and cereal (so there will be juice or milk).

To me (I'm no expert here) her morning meals and lunch seem good but her after school meals seem too much.

I think part of the problem could be that once she has eaten more than she is "supposed to" she keeps eating. I know I have done this. For example, if you eat the correct portion size and then are offered more food 20 minutes later you are unlikely to accept the offer, but if you eat a bigger portion size and then you are offered food 20 minutes later you are quite likely to keep eating what's on offer. I learnt that from a tv show though so don't trust me!

Here's some websites though... this one here about dish size and this one about portion size. Apparently a child will eat 25% more if served a large entree than a small one (but not necessarily cleaning either plate).

But I would recommend seeing a GP if you're worried rather than listening to me.

MummyPig24 Thu 06-Feb-14 06:49:07

That does sound like a lot of food, and I think my 6yo eats a lot. He is about 106cm and weighs 3st ish. He eats:
2 weetabix or one slice of toast for breakfast. Piece of fruit.
Snack at school one piece of fruit.
Lunch of sandwich, veg sticks, fruit, yogurt.
Last nights dinner was roast pork, 1 slice, 3 roast potatoes (that's 3/4 a whole potato) cabbage and peas followed by a yogurt.

He is a very active child but I still worry about him eating too much as I am overweight, and he has a sweet tooth.

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:29:05

Why don't you give her less food? that's a massive amount and she will be obese.
If she asks for more try saying no, you've had enough.
A pint of water will help fill her up.
She and you need to learn portion control. because you've overfed her for so long she is used to overeating and needs to get back to normal amounts.

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:30:53

To those saying go to the GP ; she doesn't need a GP. She is just eating too much and being enabled. Do you ever wonder where the obesity crisis is coming from?

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:33:57

Oh, and that amount of exercise will make very little difference with that huge calorie intake.

Nerfmother Thu 06-Feb-14 07:37:53

I've just had a read through and estimated just over 2000 calories I the food listed. It doesn't read like consistently filling - lunch seems a bit light. I would try some swaps suggested and also say no.

Nerfmother Thu 06-Feb-14 07:38:57

Over 2000 calories is a lot btw for an average six year old. I eat that and I'm five seven , 8.5 stone and very busy.

Cat98 Thu 06-Feb-14 07:40:54

Yesterday my 5 year old ate:
2 bowls of cereal for breakfast
Apple at school snack time
Lunch was half a salmon and cream cheese bagel, a pepperami, some raspberries and some cucumber
After school he had a piece of toast, a satsuma, half a banana, a piece of Swiss roll, some raw carrots and some breadsticks
Dinner was a huge plate of spaghetti bolognese
Then he had a bowl of porridge before bed!

I think that's a lot. But he seems to eat at least this amount daily at the moment. So from that to compare, it doesn't sound like that excessive an amount of food to me.
However I would be changing the type of food as the others have said if she's overweight. Ds is 109 cm and 2 stone 10, I can't remember his bmi but think its about right.

giraffesCantMakeResolutions Thu 06-Feb-14 07:41:33

I often notice when they are bored they ask for more food - especially after dinner when they have "nothing to do". (despite mountains of toys)

jellyandcake Thu 06-Feb-14 07:45:54

I don't think a 6yo could/would drink a pint of water. It's hard to judge the amount there exactly because it depends on the size of the portions, but the positive is that she enjoys a great range of fruit and veg and is definitely eating the rainbow so you have good foundations for a healthy diet. I would agree with pps that fruit isn't very filling though and swapping in some protein may help fill her up for longer. Crackers in particular are really high GI (I think) so I might look at replacing them with oatcakes or wholemeal bread - complex carbs instead of simple anyway.

Eating a whole tube of Pringles in one go is definitely a problem and I think the situation you are in with her dadis the really tricky part. Would it be possible to talk to him about the health implications, avoiding focusing solely on weight? My dad feeds my toddler ds incredible amounts of 'treats' - if unchecked he would stuff him with cakes, chocolate, biscuits etc non stop. It's a misguided way of showing love. But it's not a problem for me because he doesn't look after him alone and it's not a regular thing so I don't have to challenge it directly. It sounds like unfortunately you do and I think that will be a really difficult message to get across.

OohMrDarcy Thu 06-Feb-14 07:46:57

Ok - Thats a lot of natural sugar based food.....

I would suggest that

a) she is thirsty
b) she needs protein at every meal

DD doesn't 'like' meat, but she manages to eat anything mince based (lasagne / shepherds pie / bolognaise etc), sausages, a small amount of proper meat with a roast...

Both my DC are hungry ALL DAY unless they have porridge or weetabix for breakfast.... seriously! DS who has just turned 4 managed 3 weetabix at the weekend (first time he's had more than 2) , we ALWAYS put fruit on top of either of these, normally a handful of raisins or blueberries or half a banana - sometimes a little honey with porridge, they get a 'sugary' cereal at the weekend if they want it sometimes.

Both DC have had phases of not drinking much and assuring me they were hungry... we've taught them that actually thirst is commonly mistaken with hunger (and explained how important water is) and we instilled the rule that if they thought they were hungry they had to have a drink of water and wait 10 mins ... if they ask again after that - then they get a snack

hope that helps

Sillysarah49 Thu 06-Feb-14 07:50:08

I would say given your exhus weight problem and yours previously, you do need to keep a very close eye on your daughters weight as she is much more likely to have a weight problem. Like others have said, try to up the protein intake as it is filling; save the cakes/puddings as weekend treats; and very very gradually reduce portion sizes so she does not notice. Making big changes all at once probably won't go down well. Also have you discussed your concerns with her dad or would this not be received very well?

Lovecat Thu 06-Feb-14 07:52:15

I have to say if I ate that lot, especially the breakfast, I'd be crashing and feeling hungry several times a day after the initial sugar high - that breakfast is very sugary and carby and not doing a lot to sustain her. Will she have scrambled eggs on toast? I always find DD is never as hungry if she has eggs for breakfast as when she has cereal/toast/yoghurt. A bowl of cereal for a "snack" is not a great idea.

She sounds very like DD at the same age in terms of food pickiness. DD also had a pot belly and couldn't fit trousers her age. At nearly 9, she now eats 'proper' chicken and has started to come around (slowly) to stews and casseroles, so there is hope! Still won't eat rice... (but has now lost her tummy)

You say she hardly drinks anything - quite often a feeling of thirst can be mistaken for hunger - perhaps try giving her a glass of water first when she comes asking for food, see if she's still thirsty afterwards?

Unfortunately it sounds like her father is not helping matters - a whole tube of pringles at that age is really quite shocking.

ElenorRigby Thu 06-Feb-14 07:54:03

DD is 6, she is 10cms taller than your DD but a 0.5 stone lighter. She eats well and is very active. She is smack bang in the middle of a healthy BMI. Although she loves food, she regulates what she eats well ie if shes full she stops and she never eats just for the sake of it.

What would concern me about your DD is that she keeps eating when she must be full, in short the greed, for example of stuffing herself with popcorn in case others get a look in. That is worrying.

Children learn from their parents, she is learning to over eat from her morbidly obese dad. Could her dad be teaching her bad habits on purpose to rile you?

My DSD different from DD and more like your DD. She does not have a stop button. She eats for fun as it where. DSD�s mum is morbidly obese too. Between meals she�s constantly looking for snacks and if offered food always says yes. She also hordes food that is hers and refuses to share eg Selection boxes at Christmas, whereas DD is perfectly happy to share chocolate gifts.

Shes OK for now but her way of eating is worrying.

So IME YANBU to worry too.

What the answer is I really don�t know. When child is getting mixed messages it�s very difficult to sort out as they gravitate to they like best.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 06-Feb-14 07:58:43

I would push more on the chicken thing to add some protein. DS used to insist he "didn't like chicken" (but would eat chicken nuggets) and I just refused to budge for him and would just stick chicken on the table and if he didn't eat it, no pudding and bath then bed. It only went on for a few days and he gave in, now he eats fahitas, enchilidas, KFC for treats and he even had roast chicken at Christmas. You do have to really stay firm! I think that weight is quite big though. You can see your GP though, hopefulyl they don't give them dreadful change4life things out though.

FredFredGeorge Thu 06-Feb-14 08:04:01

Over 2000 calories is a lot btw for an average six year old. I eat that and I'm five seven , 8.5 stone and very busy.

Comments like this are just wrong - you're an adult, they're a child, you're not growing any more, a child is, a child needs more, they also need different foods because of that. A "healthy diet" for an adult who doesn't do much activity is completely different to a child and different again to someone who does a lot.

callamia Thu 06-Feb-14 08:04:17

While your example diet seems fair, and could (as others have said) be a little lighter in fruit and heavier on protein, I'm curious about other things she might eat. I know you said that she's six and doesn't have access to more, but does all of her food come via you? Does her dad have 'opportunity' (I can't think of a better word) to give her food like Pringles?

I also wondered whether she is someone for whom having a clean plate and eating a lot is a source of pride - it is for most kids because we really praise eating all of your dinner and eating as much as daddy etc, but this isn't always helpful. Others here are right, children do learn from their parents. At an obesity clinic at a hospital I worked at, there wasn't one child who came who didn't have at least one similar parent. Does her dad have any motivation to look at his diet? I absolutely realise it's tough, but it might be important in the longer term.

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Feb-14 08:07:37

This does sound like an awful lot of food (but then we can't see how much fruit etc she gets). I would want to seriously reduce the sugar (choc spread and fruit). She says she is hungry. Is she thirsty or just fancying something to eat? Can you distract her from wanting food or only offer it at set times? What happens if you say no?

Fifyfomum Thu 06-Feb-14 08:09:07

She needs fat in her diet, milk and cheese and butter and yogurt.

She needs less sugar and more fat.

Custardo Thu 06-Feb-14 08:13:56

Two slices of brown toast with choc spread and banana and a yoghurt
Milk and Apple at snack time
Lunch consisting of three crackers, cheese, ham, peppers, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, melon, grapes,-- small cake--
After school snacks of pineapple, cherries, popcorn and a bowl of cereal
Dinner of two Yorkshire puddings, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, 2 roast potatoes and four chipolata sausages
Pudding of jam sponge
An hour later was asking for yoghurt and fruit - say no

have amended what I think a child that age should eat.

the problem is you are not saying no, she will ask for more food as sugar - even natural sugar is addictive, it burns quickly and your body craves more

spend one week saying no to sugary foods and she wont crave it

MarlenaGru Thu 06-Feb-14 08:14:01

I agree that her food is too light in actual filling food. Three crackers for lunch with fruit wouldn't fill me for a second, particularly doing all the activity.

My DD is nearly six, shorter and much lighter (no idea in stone but definitely less than 20kg) and yet could easily eat that dinner and pudding. But she would have meat rather than sausages. She loves proteins but rarely eats potatoes etc by choice.

Custardo Thu 06-Feb-14 08:14:24

the small cake was meant to be crossed out above

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 06-Feb-14 08:16:05

Yanbu to worry. That's an absolute ton if food. If ore posters who claim their children eat three times that and are "normal size" there's always a competition it seems in MN as to whos kids eat the most.

More protein , make sure she has some fat too and less sugar and carbs.

Limit puddings to once it twice a week.

Make your own stuff as well to avoid processed stuff full of sugar salt and fillers.

VelvetGecko Thu 06-Feb-14 08:16:23

Just say no OP.
This is how it goes in my house, ds has a 1 course dinner, approx half of the dinner you mentioned so 2 potatoes or some rice, 2 sausages and some veg. Never done puddings.
5 minutes after dinner, ds 'I'm still hungry, can I have xyz?'
Me, 'no you've had enough'.
End of conversation.'

Anniegoestotown Thu 06-Feb-14 08:27:47

Today's menu for dd 15
breakfast- 1 banana, 1 apple and small bowl of vanilla yoghurt.
Lunch- soup, small portion of French bread and water melon
Dinner - quorn chicken style pieces with pesto sauce, large portion of veg, 3 croquet potatoes followed by bowl of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Her school day today consists of 2 hours tap dancing, 2 hours high energy jazz, singing and drama lessons she will then come back home, for her dinner before heading off for further dance, drama singing lessons for another 3 hours.

You are her mother you are in charge of what she eats. If you are making 4 extra roasts that are available for her to eat then the next meal make 4 roast potatoes less.

I think that it is a bit worrying what you said about the popcorn in the cinema. Are you sure you are not putting your worries about her weight on to her. The reason I ask is because I have a friend who was morbidly obese before she had a gastric band fitted. Her dd is also overweight. The friend whenever she serves up food to her dd says the same thing every time I have been around.

"this is the last food you are getting, don't ask for any more." dd quickly polishes off everything on her plate and asks for more to which her mum feeds her more and says the same thing again. Her mum is really worried about her having the same issues with weight as she does and doesn't seem to see that it is her that is causing them.
Her dd came over for a sleepover one night. She ordered a Mcdonalds and whispered to me not to tell her mum. With no one saying it was the last food she was getting the girl had 1 nugget and a few fries then left the rest as she wasn't that hungry.

I think you are NBU to think what your dd is eating is a lot but it is you as the parent who is feeding her.
I would ask how much time dd spends with her df. If he is influencing her to eat more and more then surely this is a form of child abuse.

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 08:30:11

FredFredGeorge comments like that aren't actually wrong. Yes children need a different diet one denser in fats and protein but due to smaller body mass don't actually need as many calories as an adult. The reason for needing fat denser foods is that portion size should be much smaller, I'm not the slimest of people but I would struggle with that quantity of food.

absentmindeddooooodles Thu 06-Feb-14 08:39:10

I think you just have to judge wether you think she is overweight yourself. I recently had some very harsh comments from my hv about my ds being " too heavy"

He is 2.9 is v v tall, taller than his 4 year old auntie. He also weights nigh on 3 stone. There is not an ounce of fat on him. Yesterday he ate:

A crumpet, handful blueberries, cut up apple and biwl natural yoghurt.

Carrot sticks and homous

Cheese sandwich on granary with 2 slices of ham, few cherey toms, olives and a handful of rocket.


Spag bol. From scratch with courgette, mushrooms, leek, onion, garlic, lean steak mince and pasta. Half handful raw spinach and 3 tablespoons of sweetcorn.

Also drank 4 cups of water throught the day. Plus a small helping of diluted grapefruit juice.

He is v v active. Currwntly being tested for adhd amongst other things and literslly does not stop moving.
Other than that he is healthy. No issues. He has been checked out. He is growing and active so I dont see the problem.. He does not eat when he is not hungry. We have bought him up with a healthy attitude to food. Im about 5./10 and 9.st6. I eat a similar amount to ds. Dp will eat morw but is in a very physical job and is slim and healthy too.

Use your judgement. If you think she looks overweight and is not healthy then reduce portions. Of course the odd treat is fine. Ds will have the odd bit of xhocolate or cake etc.

I come feom a massive medditteranian is plentiful and healthy. Not one child in my family ( and theres approx 40) is overweight. They all eat a similar thing to ds.

By all means rule out health problems though.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 06-Feb-14 08:47:54

Try makung fake nuggets. Chicket breast fillets cut into pieces and rolled in egg and crushed cornflakes. Or even breadcrumbs, still pretty healthy.

Crowler Thu 06-Feb-14 08:51:20

My kids are big eaters and my 8 year old would eat more than you've noted above.

I would most definitely swap the toast with chocolate spread to toast w smoked salmon or a scrambled egg, and I would just drop the yorkshire puddings entirely.

I don't think 5 roast potatoes is too much - the way I make roast potatoes that would equal probably 5/6th of one potato, I think.

differentnameforthis Thu 06-Feb-14 09:43:12

no, you are not unreasonable, but you are in control of her diet & she is eating rather a lot!

Two slices of brown toast with choc spread and banana and a yoghurt * I would lose one slice of toast & either the fruit or yoghurt*

After school snacks of pineapple, cherries, popcorn and a bowl of cereal she doesn't need popcorn & cereal, seems a lot for after school

Dinner of two Yorkshire puddings, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, five roast potatoes and four chipolata sausages my 10yr old doesn't eat 5 roasties, neither do I for that matter! Way too much! As is, I feel, 2 yorkies & 4 chipolatas!!

Pudding of jam sponge
An hour later was asking for yoghurt and fruit would be either jam sponge OR fruit OR yoghurt in my house

She is used to eating so much, which is why she can. I once read that kids stomach were the size of their fists...

You do know that it is OK to be hungry, right? You say she is constantly asking for food? Do you allow her to eat when she wants to or do you say no?

she'd be asking for yoghurt, fruit, toast, porridge etc within half hour of finishing it Say no. Give her a suitable portion, a pudding & that's it.

Also, thirst can be mistaken for hunger too. You said she doesn't drink much..

SomethingkindaOod Thu 06-Feb-14 10:55:42

I notice you say up thread she does gymnastics, I know a couple of girls round about the same age as your Dd who do gymnastics quite seriously and have far far more calories per day than my DD1 who plays cricket. Could you ask her gym instructor or dance teacher for advice on this?
A trip to the GP couldn't hurt, if only to possibly get some advice and possibly a chance to talk to a dietician.

Osmiornica Thu 06-Feb-14 11:41:04

Read up on insulin response. Sounds like she's getting far too much sugar all through the day and is then getting sugar rushes/crashes and cravings for more carby/sugary food. It's not greed. She needs more fat and protein to keep her full for longer.

If I have 2 fried eggs for breakfast they fill me up for longer than if I have 2 fried eggs and 1 piece of toast and it's because of the insulin response to the carby toast.

capsium Thu 06-Feb-14 11:55:26

I too think upping her protein intake and lowering the carbs especially simple ones and sugars, will help keep her fuller for longer. Her meals do not actually have to look much different.


1 slice of wholemeal seeded toast
A boiled or poached egg
Plain yoghurt with full fat cottage cheese and fresh strawberries blended together (the cottage cheese raises the protein level and does effect the flavour detrimentally)

Cheese cubes

Same except bake the cake and reduce sugar or instead of cake have a small biscuit (check carb content) and use crackers that contain whole grains. Berry fruits contain less sugars than melons.

Same except 1 small Yorkshire 3 small potatoes and more meat

1-2 squares dark chocolate / berries and cream

She probably won't need an extra snack but you could give her more of the blended strawberry, cottage cheese, yoghurt mixture.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Thu 06-Feb-14 12:40:40

she wasn't overweight, i wouldn't worry. My bro, sis and I used to eat like horses. Shocking quantity, but we were skinny as rakes and constantly doing sport. The fact that she is overweight means that the quantity of food IS an issue, and needs to be moderated.

An awful lot of fruit, which is great on the one hand, but a lot of sugar on the other. I think replace with some slices of chicken. Build up her protein and that should fill her up a little more, and make sure she is drinking lots of water.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Thu 06-Feb-14 12:43:05

annie, for all the exercise, (which is incredible, 7 hours!!), i honestly think your dd should be encouraged to be eating a lot more. That breakfast and lunch seems tiny. She will be losing weight, and fast,

Lifeisaboxofchocs Thu 06-Feb-14 12:44:35

and if she isn't, then I would be worried she is binge eating in secret.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:47:45

Thanks for all your replies. She sees her dad for one or two weekends p/m and is allowed to eat as much of whatever she wants. They went to pizza hut last time and he bought a large and medium pizza and they ate itall bbetween them, as well as icecream. He hates his weight and constantly talks about it and is on diets, dietpills etc but when iI've mentioned that I feel dd is mirroring his habits he is defensive and has even accused me of having munchausens syndrome as I'm 'desperate to find something wrong with her.'

I do say no to her regarding food, often. She is greedy with savoury food, but not sweet - she'd stop after a few sweets or couple of bits of chocolate. With me anyway, her dad would encourage her to finish it. He is part of the problem, undoubtedly, but obviously I'm limited in what I can do.

Dd doesn't like eggs and won't eat them in any form. Going to have porridge for breakfast from next week. She likes roast chicken but the problem is she would happily eat the entire chicken skin too which is obviously not healthy. Going to reduce additions to meals like garlic bread and pudding in the week and reduce snacks too. It's difficult though as she's conscious of weight because of her dad's attitude and I don't want to realise its being reduced for that reason.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:49:48

Something - she's great at gymnastics, very strong and much fitter than everyone else in the class. She just looks like she has a tummy stuck on to an otherwise in proportion frame

BarbarianMum Thu 06-Feb-14 12:54:49

<<Children learn from their parents, she is learning to over eat from her morbidly obese dad. >>

That's rather unfair. The eating/not eating once you are full thing has shown to be genetic. So she may have inherited the 'keep eating' gene from her dad but that's hardly his fault.

Having said that, though, everyone with the gene needs to learn good eating/exercise habits or risk obesity. Please don't diet her OP, change her diet - more protein and complex carbs and up the exercise. A 6 year old needs lots and lots of exercise.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:56:38

The BMI calculator says she's on the 96th centile. Ironic that she was really fussy as a toddler and barely ate! Going to email her dad my concerns and ask him to try and change things when she's there.

Mim78 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:58:41

What about more health carbs like brown bread or pasta or rice rather than the cakes and food containing sugar?

This would fill her up more but wouldn't cause as much weight gain.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:59:57

Barbarian - she can't possibly fit anymore exercise in. She walks miles to/from school, does a total of 8 hours physical exercise clubs per week, at least three hours of swimming over a weekend, walks the dog for miles and never sits stil here. At her dad's she eats and watches tv only.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 13:01:46

She doesn't like rice or brown bed. She likes pasta but it isn't her favourite so could be a good option to discourage her from eating too much.

Dahlen Thu 06-Feb-14 13:03:10

I'd agree with everyone about upping her protein and reducing her carbs or replacing them where possible with more complex forms.

I'd also reduce her portion size. If she asks for more, say no and tell her to fill up on water. You know that she's not being underfed. The thing with portion size is that it's what you're used to and it only takes a few days to adapt. Looking at the diets of many people who are a bit overweight but not hugely so, I'd say that what they're eating is absolutely fine; it's just that there's too much of it. Teaching your DD sensible portion control now is a life skill that will serve her well.

If it helps with the guilt (which I'm sure you'll feel when she says "I'm hungry wink) think of comparisons - I am a marathon runner with very active DC and none of us - me included - would eat as much as your DD in one day for example, despite the fact that we don't deprive ourselves either and treats are regularly enjoyed.

Good luck. You're a great mum for addressing this now and hopefully educating your DD with a healthy approach to food.

PS, you may also want to consider some food intolerance testing (not the same as allergies), as a bloated stomach on an otherwise slender frame can be a classic sign of that.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 13:09:18

Dahlen I have wondered about intolerances as she often has tummy ache, particularly after visiting her dad's. Her tummy is massive at the end of the day compared to the beginning.

Dahlen Thu 06-Feb-14 13:10:55

It may be worth keeping a food diary then.

(It might also help your X realise how much food he is shovelling down your DD when he has to write it down, even if he chooses to be economical with the truth it will still make him think).

capsium Thu 06-Feb-14 13:11:35

I would not worry too much about her having the odd 'blow out' at her Dad's if you can ensure she eats sensibly when she is staying with you.

Yes brown pasta and wild rice is better. You might want to make her dishes consist more of the meat and sauce though, if you want her to lose a bit of tummy. Don't need to mention you have reduced the rice / past amount if it is mixed in or if served round the sauce (in a circle)it often looks like more and she probably will not notice. You could mix grated courgette (that has been microwaved for a minute) to make vegetable rice and reduce the carbohydrate content more. Again you would be just trying out 'healthy dishes' more of the'5 a day' they get told about a school.

I would not worry about her eating chicken skin as growing children need that for their growth and development.

capsium Thu 06-Feb-14 13:15:00

^that should be growing children need fat as for their growth and development.

Artandco Thu 06-Feb-14 13:16:21

I would ditch all the deserts tbh. Cake at each meal or mousse plus choc breakfast is more than mine have in a month

Virtually Everything is high carb and sugar which leaves her hungry an hr later. Are the only meats she likes processed ie ham/ sausages?

Can you try porridge with ground nuts and banana for breakfast. Rye bread with cream cheese/ ham/ avocado for lunch, with some fruit/ veg. Mayr some kind of protein smoothie as a snack, and half the amount of dinner.

Why do you cook extra at dinner? Surely your dh doesn't need seconds if overweight too. Cooking what you need will help everyone

It does seem high weight for height. In comparison my 4 year old (115cm), weighs 2.5 stone

carabos Thu 06-Feb-14 13:21:06

"Hungry" isn't the same as "under-nourished". Feed your daughter three balanced meals a day (and btw that menu you have posted isn't balanced - nowhere near enough protein) and once its gone, its gone.

If she doesn't learn restraint and portion control now, when someone else is dishing it out, she never will.

just say no.

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 13:23:14

Download and read the bit for 5-11 year olds it'll give you really good idea of the actual balance between carbs, proteins fruit and veg etc and portion control. My dd gets bloated if she eats too many carbs.

Oblomov Thu 06-Feb-14 13:24:19

It's too much. It's too much for HER.

Some of us are able to eat more than others, without putting on weight.

Unfortunately your dd isn't one of those. So you MUST address it.
So what if you cut back and she's a bit hungry and you deny her that Youghurt or snack. She'll be hungry. So? For a few weeks. Then her stomach will adjust.

Do this. It will be painful for a few weeks. But will save a lifetime of misery.

The food you listed is a mad amount. Toast, Nutella and a Youghurt and banana. All Taft fruit, as a snack. Then a huge dinner. And pudding.
Just too much.

My 2 eat a lot. But not those foods.

Saying that my 2 ds's have insatiable appetites and are on the skinny side.

But the Pringles, the eating 2/3 of a baguette after pasta. That's not normal.

Both my ds's eat

Ubik1 Thu 06-Feb-14 13:24:37


If it helps, my seven year old has:

A bowl of cornflakes and milk for breakfast, slice toast with peanut butter, water

Apple or cereal bar

School lunch - usually something like fish fingers and chips and veg plus yoghurt, water

mini pepperami on way to swimming lesson

Dinner was home made chicken curry and rice and water.

She is not overweight, her tummy does stick out though, almost like a toddler's but that is normal for her age.

manicinsomniac Thu 06-Feb-14 13:31:36

It does seem like an awful lot, YANBU to want to address it.

But Anniegoestotown your 15 year old is surely undereating massively?! I estimate that menu to be between 1100 and 1400 calories depending on size of serving. Nowhere near enough for a teenager doing hours and hours of dance a day. I eat a similar amount myself and I'm very underweight with an eating disorder.

Anniegoestotown Thu 06-Feb-14 13:33:03

Lifeisaboxofchocs, dd does this type school day twice per week and similar evening activities 3 nights per week, works 9-6 Saturday and is in rehearsals 1-6 on Sunday. She is not loosing weight but she is very slim and very tall. American size 00. Try buying a pair of size 2 jeans with a 35" inside leg in the uk.

I eat less than dd, I do an hours route march on the running machine each day and I can only be described as short and dumpy, df is same.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 06-Feb-14 13:41:37

She likes roast chicken but the problem is she would happily eat the entire chicken skin too which is obviously not healthy

Let her have some, but not all of it. Fat is more filling and satisfying, plusd not as unhealthy as advertised provided that the diet is not high in fat and refined carbs.

There is nothing wrong with full fat yoghurt or milk either. In fact Greek yoghurt with a small amount of honey or fruit compote is probably a better bet for her than bought fruit yoghurts that are too high in sugar.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Thu 06-Feb-14 13:45:17

annie, i totally agree with your point about fat, but honestly...i think you need to look carefully at your dd's diet. fruit and yoghurt for brekkie, soup for lunch, no snacks between, and an astonishing exercise schedule... that is worrying.

Anniegoestotown Thu 06-Feb-14 14:05:25

Some times she has 3 hard boiled eggs and tomatoes for breakfast and the soup is a thick thing that is her school dinners. She does have the odd bar of chocolate or packet of crisps she certainly does not have an eating disorder.

manicinsomniac Thu 06-Feb-14 14:19:33

sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that she does - I was just saying that she doesn't eat a massive amount more than I do and I do have one. I was just concerned that it was such a low caloric intake. Fair enough if you know she is healthy and happy though. But I wouldn't recommend that diet to another child, I think she is unusual in coping on it.

Lots of emphasis here on the DF but a lot of your posts have 'she doesn't like' and 'she won't eat' in them. If my DD refused all lean proteins I wouldn't give her chocolate spread and cake instead. Not hungry for chicken, you are certainly not hungry for garlic bread.

If someone served all my favorites at every meal, I would probably eat lots of it. There are a couple of things DD hates and I don't serve them as a rule. However, she eats what we eat. Do you think your way of feeding her is because of her fussiness as a toddler? Do you think you need to be a little less indulgent about what she eats?

For example, dinner last night was chicken, green beans and cous cous. DD, who is a massive eater, can have three portions of that (with skin) and no issues at all. If I added cake, sausages and jam sponge, there would be an issue.

FootieOnTheTelly Thu 06-Feb-14 15:32:13

I think she is old enough to be a 'bit' responsible for her own diet when she is at her Dads. I would tell her that she needs to make sensible choices - even at 6 she must know that a whole pack of Pringles is crazy. You needn't link it to weight. You can say its to do with dental hygiene.

My kids were happy to turn down sweets from their very, very pushy Aunties because they knew it was too much sugar. Even now they are practically adults they stick to a rule of one treat a day and coke and crisps once a week (more or less!). When the older ones come home from Uni they will still order water if we go out for a meal if they have had come the day before.

It never bothered me that I simply said no to my kids when they asked for snacks. I would let them have something if there was a reason (ie swimming made them really hungry) but otherwise I just said that they have to wait for the next meal.

Anniegoestotown Thu 06-Feb-14 15:46:33

I think her stomach could be down to the amount of carbs she is eating. Strictly speaking fruit is also considered a carbohydrate because of sugar content and yoghurt is made of milk also considered a carb then the only none carb foods she is eating all day is the cheese, ham and cucumber she has on the 3 crackers and the broccoli and cauliflower she has in the evening.

The sausages are not pure meat as they are packed with other stuff.

BarbarianMum Thu 06-Feb-14 15:50:44

Yogurt is not a carboyhydrate! It contains protein, some fat and a variable amount of sugar depending on the type.

Anniegoestotown Thu 06-Feb-14 15:55:55

Plain yoghurt is about 6g of carbs per 100g it is not carb free. I doubt ops dd is eating plain unsweetened yoghurt.

EasterHoliday Thu 06-Feb-14 16:04:01

I wonder whether the fact that she's eating the vast majority of her calories at the end of the day makes a difference? my 7yr old eats a far larger breakfast (on ONE day, it'll be sthing like 2x weetabix, scrambled egg on toast, yoghurt, scotch pancake, water. Vast) but much less later on - tiny after school snack, much smaller dinner (no dessert other than yog / fruit) and smaller snack before bed. That said, she's also doing much less activity.

If it's really only the size of her tummy that worries you, perhaps it is the carb that's bloating her a lot and switching to brown rice / pasta / fewer potatoes will take care of it (you will of course all have to switch and give no options)

Oblomov Thu 06-Feb-14 16:14:22

Yes youghurt is a carb.
40 years of diabetic carb counting, and I KNOW that it is.

Oblomov Thu 06-Feb-14 16:17:19

I agree with others. e.g chicken skin. etc.
OP do you know the word "NO".
You do know that discipline and not allowing our chidlren to do what they want when they want, is called 'good parenting'.

Ubik1 Thu 06-Feb-14 16:28:17

Surely we aren't suggesting she low carbs a six year old, are we?

It seems like a case of giving her smaller portions of simple food ie: boiled potatoes instead of roast. no yorkshires. Chipolatas and boiled potatoes and veg seems like a reasonable meal and a yoghurt or a couple of squares of chock afterward.

EasterHoliday Thu 06-Feb-14 16:30:17

no, nobody is suggesting low carbs. They are suggesting a readjustment of the balance of protein to carbs and a shift in the balance of complex: simple carbs.

That sounds a lot for a 6 year old in one day.

Dd is 7 typical day would be cereal such as shreddies or wetabix with milk or toast with peanut butter (50/50 bread) and a banana.

Packed lunch at school is either a sandwich made with one piece of bread and a filling of chicken or ham with cucumber and tomato or cheese. Sometime hummus with grated carrot. Or will do pot of pasta salad or couscous. Along with that raisins or dried fruit, yogurt.

She's usually complaining she's starving when in from school so we've stopped having crisps and chocolates or more bread and have cheese and crackers or veggie sticks and a dip or a yogurt.

Dinner is mainly things like stew, casserole, bolognaise etc but we do have oven chips and nuggets/fish fingers.

For a roast she'd have 2 roast potatoes, 1 Yorkshire, 2-3 slices of meat. Sausages she'd have a maximum of 2.

Younger dc is 4 and eats less than that but if I let her she'd eat and eat. She doesn't seem to have an off switch. Her breakfast and lunch are eaten at nursery though.

Smaller plates? I'd moved the dd's up to normal dinner plates and noticed that there portions were much bigger so back to child plates and no complaints of not enough at meal times.

They both snack on fruit and veg and the odd biscuit.

Shakshuka Thu 06-Feb-14 17:24:26

I really get where you're coming from pink.

My 7 year old is overweight (down from obese which she was a couple of years ago so moving in the right direction). She has a healthy diet and is active but does not have a 'stop' switch. She'll eat what's put in front of her and nearly always clears her plate. If there's junk food around, like at parties, she'll eat it. I could see her easily finishing a tub of pringles or ten nuggets if I let her.

And I know the frustration with other children who are skinny and eat loads of junk. But if you look at how much they eat, you'll see that they often don't eat all that much (not to say their diets are healthy, they eat far less good stuff but also fewer calories). I remember getting a lift home once with another mum and her kids and she had bags of sweets and crisps to hand out as an afterschool snack! My kids were delighted!! But if my two, especially the 7 year old, ate like that, they'd both be hugely overweight. Some kids can get away with it, some can't.

But you are feeding her a lot. My daughter can eat for Britain and I have to say no to her sometimes and tell her that it's enough - her body doesn't do it for her so she has to learn. The diet is mostly healthy but the calories can and do add up. I agree that there's places you could easily cut or make swaps to reduce calories and make it healthier. I'd definitely get rid of chocolate spread and keep cakes and desserts for weekends. Also, it's not clear if the yoghurt and the popcorn are just plain or with sugar/flavoured (yoghurt) and microwave/flavoured (popcorn). Microwave popcorn is full of bad fats, I airpop popcorn and add a tiny bit of butter and salt and my kids still love it. I'd also cut back on the afterschool snack and maybe give a little protein (so give her an apple and some cubed cheese for eg) if she's hungry.

Also, try giving meals on small side plates. So when she has her main meal, give her a couple of sausages, a couple of potatoes, one yorkie and try and fill half the plate with the veggies. If she finishes all of that and then ASKS for more, give her a little more plus veggies. Then say no after seconds of the smaller portion. That way you're giving her a signal about appropriate portion size. You can reduce portion sizes slowly so her tummy adjusts and she'll feel fuller.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you're going to have to be extra careful at home if she's having junk with her Dad. That's frustrating for you because it's nice to share treats but if he won't listen, you'll have to try to account for the food she's having there.

CaramelisedOnion Thu 06-Feb-14 18:01:46

I inputted the food in the OP and that comes to nearly 3000 calories...which is obviously far far too much for anyone (with the possible exception of serious endurance athletes) let alone a child..
.I also inputted conservatively (skinny popcorn not toffee, low fat yoghurts etc). I agree with others that more protein is the way forward...cut out puddings ...fruit can be pudding etc.

While obviously it's important not to give her a complex....I think you are right to want to change things. Good sounds tough thanks

CaramelisedOnion Thu 06-Feb-14 18:02:19

Sorry should read inputted into myfitnesspal

MrsBungle Thu 06-Feb-14 18:23:18

I think the sweet things are problematic. Chocolate spread, a cake, popcorn and jam sponge pudding really is a lot for one day.

I also think portion size is an issue, 4 chipolatas and 5 roast potatoes also seems a lot for a small child.

It sounds like she gets a lot of good exercise, I would just ensure child-sized portions and far fewer sweet foods/puddings.

sherazade Thu 06-Feb-14 18:59:54

My dd who has just turned seven weighs four stones and is skinny but about twenty cm taller than yours. I would omit the two slices of toast , cake, yorkshire puds, popcorn and pudding. Healthy alternatives to those could be carrot, hummus, sliced roast meat, avocado, cheeses, think food that is lower in sugar but still filling,

frogwatcher42 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:15:09

I don't think that seems a lot as it is so heavy on fruit. Fruit is not filling at all and you are hungry very quickly after eating (to be honest if I am due to eat yet feel full, I eat some fruit and it makes me hungry by the meal time).

I think the lunch seems very little to be honest - nothing substantial and filling. That probably makes her hungrier later.

frogwatcher42 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:23:53

Why don't you just do three decent meals a day with less fruit and more substantial meals with more protein to fill her up. With one snack of fruit somewhere.

Do you think you are over-thinking it. For example, are you assuming she ate a large tube of pringles. It may have been a snack tube. And most kids, if let loose, will once in a while binge on Maccy Ds and 10 chicken nuggets wouldn't be beyond the intake of a lot of kids (if you think about it 10 chicken nuggets and a small box of fries as a pulped mass of food is probably well less than a burger).

FloozeyLoozey Thu 06-Feb-14 19:38:59

That does sound an awful lot. My very active average sized 8 yo ds today had:
Breakfast bowl of cereal
Lunch quarter of a slice ham sandwich, Apple
Snack 4 crackers
Tea sausage, about 6 chips

Not the most balanced I know, but amount is right.

I have the completely opposite problem with ds, who is nearly 8. He's 125cm and weighs 3 stone. He eats like a sparrow, even when it's one of the few things he actually enjoys! Today he's had:

Breakfast - 1 weetabix with full fat milk, glass of orange juice (won't eat more than one, and that's under duress!)

Lunch - half a slice of bread and the ham out of the middle (gave him 2 slices), 1 bite from an apple, 2 carrot batons, babybel. Rest of packed lunch came home unbeaten.

Snack - 2 finger kitkat he got from school as it was someone's birthday.

Tea - about 3 forkfuls of tomato pasta bake, plus 1/4 of a chicken breast and some carrot and cucumber batons. Didn't ask for pudding, rarely does.

Today was a good day, he just generally has no interest in food!!

frogwatcher42 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:53:16

Floozey - am I reading it right that you think your 8 year old ds had enough food on a bowl of cereal, a sandwich with a quarter of a slice of ham in, an apple, 4 crackers, one sausage and 6 chips. For a whole day?

I must be over feeding my 8 year old dd. Or maybe this proves that different children need way more and less food than each other. Therefore it is useless to comment on each others childrens food intake as it is such an individual thing.

brettgirl2 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:54:15

Why is the amount right loozy? My very slim four year old eats much more than that.

I agree with everyone else, protein is the way forward. Ditch the sweet stuff and be careful with fruit (2 or 3 of the 5 a day should really be veg).

It isn't true that other kids have sweets etc after school. The only time dd gets them is in party bags.

BarbarianMum Thu 06-Feb-14 20:00:44

Loozy my children would starve on that amount of food. Ds2 is the same age as the Op's dd and eats equivalent calories (but more complex carbs and protein) but is tall and slim. He's no way as active as the OP's dd either.

What suits 1 child isn't right for another. The OP needs to work out what her dd needs. If there was 1 correct no of calories for a 6 year old that would be easy but there isn't and it isn't.

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 20:04:20

Will admit my 2 year old eats more than floozy. She's odd though she raids the veg for carrots and tomatoes for snacks rather than fruit.

FloozeyLoozey Thu 06-Feb-14 20:46:52

I missed off his supper! he has more cereal or toast before bed. I'm the opposite I could eat all day so I certainly don't limit what he eats. he doesn't like big portions or a lot of bread or other very filling carbs. he does get hungry and asks for food when he's hungry but stops eating when he's full. he's never still and doesn't find food very interesting. he isn't underweight and is very sporty.

My 3 yo, 40% on the BMI, eats about triple double what Floozy's does. However, there is no shit in my house. If DD is hungry (all the time) she opens the fridge and gets an apple, a tomato, possibly a yogurt (no sugar or aspartame, some fruit and only one a day). She might get a cookie once a week. Ice cream about the same after a walk with DH. There is unlimited food, just not unlimited sugar and carbs. If I offer a tomato or eggs and she says 'no' she isn't hungry.

thenamestheyareachanging Thu 06-Feb-14 21:34:11

I think the lunch is too light, not enough complex carbs, fat and protein, which probably leads to her becoming hungry later and overeating?

My 6 year old weighs around 3st, I think (no idea where this is on the BMI charts but he's 3ft 12 and looks pretty skinny - you can see his ribs!). He's active. My 4 year old is about the same height as your dd I think (3ft 6) and weighs about the same as her brother, possibly about 4lb less?

They eat a lot compared to other children I think - but comparing it to your dd's meals, their snacks are much smaller (one piece of fruit, a small cereal bar, a plain biscuit, a couple of breadsticks - so one of those mid morning and one mid afternoon)...but their lunch is much more substantial. I never limit how much they eat at mealtimes. Breakfast they can have cereal, toast and fruit if they like. Lunchtime they will have a sandwich on wholemeal bread - peanut butter, cheese, ham and cucumber, hummus and carrot - sometimes my 6 year old will eat a second sandwich. They'll have rice cakes with that, or sometimes mini cheddars or a handful of crisps, vegetable sticks, then yogurt and fruit. Your dd's lunch of crackers sounds like a snack to me.

If you think of dividing her daily requirements into 3 roughly equal meals, with 3 small snacks, that might help?

I do have one child who says she's hungry when she's actually just bored, and I do say no if I know she's had plenty to eat. I also only give one snack mid morning and one mid afternoon, plus a milky drink at bedtime if they want it.

StrawColoured Thu 06-Feb-14 22:55:34

Everyone's talking about snacks? Just have 3 meals per day. Then kids will recognise real hunger and eat what they're given.

PinkHardHat Thu 06-Feb-14 23:14:46

I appreciate the suggestion of more lunch but she only gets half an hour to eat at school and so can't eat more than that. She has a bigger lunch at weekends and it does mean she eats less later on.

Straw - her mid-morning fruit snack is provided by school. She has lunch at 12 and we don't eat dinner until 6/6.30 so she needs an after school snack with the amount of exercise she does.

Today she had:

Porridge and blueberries
Milk and an Orange
Ham sandwich, cucumber, pepper, carrots, snack a jacks, grapes and apple, biscuit
Popcorn (plain) and a banana
Bowl of homemade soup and two bread rolls
Yoghurt and two squares of choc

Need to go shopping for more protein rich foods. She was practically salivating over her sisters food once she'd eaten her snacks and asked for double the amount of bread she had.

For those who say: just say no - as I've said, I do. It's difficult though when she asks why she can't have more if she's hungry when the food she wants is healthy. It's frustrating that many of her friends seem to live off sweets and fish fingers/chicken dippers and are slim but she eats well and needs to change. She definitely doesn't look overweight, it's just the bloated tum which could well be the carbs which I'll reduce

defineme Thu 06-Feb-14 23:15:44

My kids eat what they're given straw-coloured , but I'd feel cruel if I made them wait from 12 (lunch time at school) to 630pm(time we can get tea on the table as some of their activities are at 5pm) with no food, their stomachs are smaller and they need to feed more often-I just see it as them moving from babies to adults. As breast fed babies they fed every 2-3 hours, now it's every 4 or 5 hours and when they're adults they'll be able to go longer! I'm not going to feel guilty about a homemade scone and a plum (todays after school snack) when they do 2-3 hours exercise a day and their BMI is fine.

Angloamerican Fri 07-Feb-14 00:18:54

OP, I really sympathize. My almost-6 yr old is a "normal" weight but I was concerned about her when she was around 4.

Anyway - I think part of the issue is that what you consider "healthy" really isn't, or at least not in the combinations they are being presented. For example, lunch (in your last post) has barely any protein. The ham in the sandwich. That's it - too many carbs. It's not a case of giving her additional food in the form of protein, but rather substituting some of the simpler carbs for protein. Again with dinner - two bread rolls, yogurt, chocolate. Bread - even wholegrain - really isn't a healthy choice. And 2 bread rolls? Say no. Give her protein instead. Is the yogurt unsweetened Greek? If not, there is likely more carbs than protein. Regular, fruit yogurt is not a health food.

I don't want you to feel like you're being picked on, but really, her diet isn't very healthy. Increase the protein and good fats, reduce the carbs. Even the "healthy" ones.

Good luck!

My tall 3 year old had

Buttered walnut bread toast with cheese and walnuts, full fat greek yogurt and Rice Krispies (a few spoonfuls)

2 apples and 3 ritz crackers

One sausage, oven chips and green beans

2 more apples and a Hob Nob

Lamb burger (home made: just minced lamb and herbs), sweet potato oven chips and buttered steamed broccoli

Drinks: water, ff milk and watered down apple juice with meat meals.

He doesn't sit down except to eat and did an hour jumping off things as well as a walk: does that sound about right? He's 3foot 2 and 36lb.

Sorry for hijack. It seems a compared to other people's older DC looking at thread....

jellyandcake Fri 07-Feb-14 07:14:09

It's really difficult reducing kids' carbs. My 3yo ds doesn't like much protein - he won't eat cheese, ham, eggs, much meat except chicken, sausages and bacon. He loves smoked fish and fishfingers but not a nice piece of fresh fish. He loves fruit but won't touch veg. So although I know the ideal would be plenty of fresh unprocessed protein and veg, I can't actually get that diet into him and do the best I can with the restrictions we have. I focus on the positives - a treat that he absolutely loves is ff plain Greek yoghurt with berries. I give him that when I can. He is happy to eat wholemeal carbs so that's what we buy.

don't believe in making meaIs a battlefield, I believe in giving the best diet possible whilst gently encouraging children to gradually expand the range of food they eat. You can't suddenly switch to a perfect diet for your daughter, it's not as easy as some people imply. Making small sustainable swaps is, imo, a better approach.

And I was restricted from snacking as a child by my mother who disapproved of eating between meals even if a meal was delayed by a couple of hours eg when eating out for dinner. I learned to sneak food in secret and it wasn't healthy choices! Kids have small stomachs and tend to be very active, three meals a day is an arbitrary constraint and there is nothing wrong with healthy snacks for small children.

CrohnicallyTingling Fri 07-Feb-14 07:23:45

If she can't eat more lunch, why not switch some of the items?

Ham sandwich, add a dip like hummus or sour cream for the vegetable sticks, yoghurt (plain full fat greek if possible- it's creamy and sweet tasting without adding sugar) instead of fruit and biscuit. She wouldn't need the snack a jacks with that lot! Maybe add a few cheese cubes, or maybe she could have cheese with her after school snack.

Purplepoodle Fri 07-Feb-14 07:32:12

My 5 year old has been going through a growth spurt and eating loads. I got to the point that he gets a snack (cereal/toast ect) then if he wants anymore its veg sticks, carrots, peppers, celery. I let him munch away, but that's all he gets until it's a mealtime. Pudding would be fruit and yogurt.

If your worried I would ditch any cakes/chocolate spread and stick to veg snacks.

brettgirl2 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:34:53

Jelly how does a young child get hold of unhealthy snacks? Snacking is the route of many children's eating problems. The number of people who panic and start shovelling cereal bars and bananas down the second kids say the 'hungry' word and then wonder why they won't eat dinner half an hour later.

Mine have 2 light snacks a day and that it is between meals, but there is a level of common sense with meal delays/ after school swimming lessons etc. If you give less carbs then ds will surely gradually eat more protein. They need to learn if they don't eat then they will be hungry.

The OP's child is overweight. My attitude would be if she didn't want protein then she isn't really hungry.

jellyandcake Fri 07-Feb-14 08:07:50

We had them in the house when I was little ie chocolate bars for lunches that I would find and eat - obviously that's avoidable! But I do remember being genuinely hungry between meals and I don't think a regulated snack for a child is a problem. (Later when I got pocket money I would spend it on chocolate at an older age.) I agree that they need to learn and mild hunger is fine, but it's not as easy as some people are suggesting to just make anyone's diet perfect immediately, especially a fussy child.

jellyandcake Fri 07-Feb-14 08:10:57

What I mean is - self control and weight management is hard for a lot of people and I think the OP can improve her daughter's diet in stages rather than all at once. So, reducing snacks and swapping food choices rather than suddenly cutting everything out all at once.

Sneepy Fri 07-Feb-14 08:18:48

Are the hot dinners any good at your school? If they are, they might be more filling than what you're giving her for lunch. If not, I'd leave out the crisps & biscuit and put in cheese cubes, yogurt, nuts(if allowed), cold sausages, instead of some of the fruit. My 5.5yo has a ham & salad wrap, cheese cubes, grapes or apple, and crisps or a cereal bar. It doesn't take that long to eat and fills her up till home time. My 7yo has hot dinners and they seem to agree with her.

Also, 6-6:30 seems really late for dinner, mine go to bed at 7!! If you can't make her lunch more filling or move dinner earlier (5pm for most kids I know) why not give her dinner right after school? She's clearly hungry at that time and could then have cereal or toast and a banana before bed.

2rebecca Fri 07-Feb-14 08:27:33

I'd cut out the crisps totally, stop buying them and reduce her portion sizes. If she complains she's hungry she has a drink of water and an apple or an orange which she has to peel etc. Her stomach size needs to shrink, she's got used to eating too much. If you always let her eat as much as she likes she'll continue to overeat.
In the short term it will be difficult but in the long term much better for her health. If my husband was overweight I'd be cooking less food all round and stopping buying sweet and snack stuff.
I only do puddings occasionally as well. She can have an apple or orange (not banana the calories are too accessible) if she wants something else. Steam puddings daily are OTT.
She has to get used to her stomach not being constantly full though.

ilikemysleep Fri 07-Feb-14 08:36:07

My DS is also 6, big for his age, he is 128cm and weighs exactly 4 stone. He isn't fat at all but neither is he skinny. He gets 3 chipolatas, 2 small new potatoes and some peas if we are eating that sort of dinner. I think if he were 10cm smaller and the same weight I would be watching things. One thing that I find is avoiding high GI foods at breakfast, something like toast and choc spread will send blood sugar soaring and crashing, making you 'hungry' again very soon. Brown toast and peanut butter (the wholenut stuff) or porridge would be better at avoiding that peak and crash that makes you feel hungry again very quickly.

frogwatcher42 Fri 07-Feb-14 08:44:28

Op - you are now saying she isn't overweight and just has a bloated tum. Then what are you worrying about? Lots of 6 year olds have bloated tums - partly because they stand with back arched and tummy sticking out!!! If your dd was overweight she would show it in other areas too - legs, arms, back etc.

I agree you need to up the protein and good fats - they will fill her up way better than the huge amount of fruit and veg she is eating (not saying fruit and veg are not good - of course they are but they don't fill up somebody who is very active and growing as your dd is). Give her tuna in her sandwich, or chicken (large chunks of it), or other proteins.

I think my dds would be hungry on your second list of food that she has had. Soup and two rolls, after quite a light lunch, isn't a lot and isn't very filling.

Ubik1 Fri 07-Feb-14 09:09:07

the thing about the round middle DD is 7 and still has a round tummy. It doesn't have much fat on it but it just sticks out, like a hangover from toddlerhood. Her friend who is all arms and legs, tall and slim, but also has a tummy that sticks out. Other girls do not have this.

Are you sure that this is not just a normal little girl tummy? Or is she preparing for a growth spurt - the other thing my DC do is gain weight before they grow.

Are hr trousers tight around the tops of her legs? Tops tight around the tops of her sleeves?

2rebecca Fri 07-Feb-14 09:37:41

For the height and weight given your daughter is on the 99th centile for her BMI and is very overweight. is the link to the BMI centile calculator. You can do it more accurately as you know her date of birth. It sounds like more than having a bit of a tummy though.

frogwatcher42 Fri 07-Feb-14 11:48:33

Rather than relying on a notoriously difficult way of truly assessing overweightedness (is that a word?)(meaning charts, paper based methods), just take her to the nurse/doc and ask them to assess her weight. If they say she is fine then relax.

If they say she is overweight then you know you have to do something.

PinkHardHat Fri 07-Feb-14 13:44:43

Frog I didn't say she isn't overweight. I said she doesn't look overweight, besides her solid poking out tummy. The charts say she is overweight.

It's all very well saying give her cheese/hummus etc but she just doesn't like it. It's cruel to give her food she hates so she'll eat less imo. Eggs and hummus make her physically gag. She likes mince, but it isn't her favourite - at least giving that I know it isn't impossible for her to eat it but she'll stop when full.

She doesn't want to have school dinners as her friends have packed lunch. Plus they have substantial puddings everyday so it's not an improvement. Her activities are from 4-6 usually so not enough time for a meal beforehand.

capsium Fri 07-Feb-14 13:46:04

Have you started with any of the smaller changes Pink?

How is it going?

brettgirl2 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:49:56

she is 105cm and 4 stone at 6. There is no way that isn't overweight, unless the measurements are wrong in fact surely its obese? It is not cruel to give her different food options, and limit the other stuff. It is this anxiety about kids being hungry which leads to most eating and weight problems.

brettgirl2 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:52:36

ok shes 111. That is a lot better but it's still a lot dd is 109 and is 2 stone 8/9 ish I think.

bicuriousgeorge Fri 07-Feb-14 13:58:02

Gosh that is a lot to weigh for a 6 year old who is on the shorter side too.

It's all very well saying she doesn't like cheese meat etc but you really need to reduce something because if she's overweight, clearly her current diet contains too many calories.

PinkHardHat Fri 07-Feb-14 14:00:38

She had porridge and grapefruit this morning. Asked for. A yoghurt and banana too and I said no. She had a wholemeal chicken pitta and salad in her lunchbox plusgrapes and two cold sausages.

Pooka Fri 07-Feb-14 14:03:27

My dd has never quite been in the overweight category, but relatively close at stages.

She's 10 now and her shape has started to change, but until about a year ago she had a noticeably round stomach - looked like she was sticking it out. But there's actually very little fat on it, it was kind of her 'shape' rather than fat. In the last 3 months she has grown about 8cm and looks more proportionate but definitely has a thicker middle than others in her year group still. It distresses me when I'm buying her clothes intended for significantly older children because of it, and guiding her away from certain clothes because they do make her look fat despite the fact that she is withing the healthy range weight/height.

Wht I keep going back to though are the photos of me at the same age. I had the same abdomen. All three of my dcs had broader abdomens right from the first scans in utero! If anything she is skinnier than me on her arms and legs. It's just the middle! But I am and have always since age of about 15/16 been an average 10/12 with broad shoulds and large wrists. Once was an 8 but chest went all sunken with bones visible from the front.

Dd eats healthily and exercises a decent amount. I think over the next couple of years as her body changes more, her stomach will shrink.

bicuriousgeorge Fri 07-Feb-14 14:06:11

Pink, is there any reason why you gave her a chicken pitta AND 2 sausages?
Would a chicken pitta have been enough?

capsium Fri 07-Feb-14 14:08:18

Sounds like an OK start. I take it she didn't kick up too much of a fuss with no yoghurt or banana. Well done. smile

When I posted earlier I meant to say, re. the yoghurt, cottage cheese, berry smoothie, that the cottage cheese does not affect the flavour badly. The extra protein from the cottage cheese really does make it more filling and it tastes just like regular flavoured yoghurt.

Adding ground almonds (if she can eat nuts) could make the porridge more filling if need be. I would make it with full fat milk as well (less sugars and the the fat will help satisfy her appetite).

capsium Fri 07-Feb-14 14:09:13

Under line fail. I meant not !

capsium Fri 07-Feb-14 14:10:45

I can see the reasoning behind cold sausages in addition. More fat and protein. Fuller for longer.

Pooka Fri 07-Feb-14 14:12:01

Ds1 is 7. He has in his packed lunch today:

2 mini subs (brown) with cheese.
Sme grapes.
Greek yoghurt with honey.
Carrot sticks.

georgeousgeorge Fri 07-Feb-14 14:13:18

Don't know i anyone has posted this before but.... form the details she comes out at "very overweight"

playing around with the calculator though an 3st6 would make her a healthy weight and 3st "average"

JerseySpud Fri 07-Feb-14 14:14:09

Flipping heck that list in the OP is more than my 7 and 2 year old eat together!

brettgirl2 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:14:09

I think her lunch sounds fine. Sausages are better than crisps. For dinner round mine she would be having something based around protein, mince pie for example if she likes that meat, or a casserole or lasagne (which is really more protein than carb).

I would also try giving her more porridge see how much it takes for her to say 'no more'.

georgeousgeorge Fri 07-Feb-14 14:16:22

....while some people seek to ridicule BMI, it is an indicator only, and shes not just indicated at overweight but very overweight.

capsium Fri 07-Feb-14 14:18:19

I think the changes you are beginning to make are great pink. It will save a lot of heartache in the future. smile As long as you can instigate the changes with the minimum of fuss, hopefully she will just forget about them.

I remember when my mother stopped allowing sugar on cereal and in tea when I was very young. I just accepted it my taste changed and it was thing I didn't have to give up when a habit was more established.

Bettercallsaul83 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:26:32

I get a bloated tummy and am ravenous if I eat too many carbs in a day.

Currently dieting and doing well with 50% or less of carbs per day, no idea if this is good for a child or not, but maybe use My Fitness Pal to track her food (unknown to her) and then you can see a breakdown of carbs/fat/protein.. You can then make better choices for her, or see what type of snack might be better?

High sugar foods make me bloat and make me hungry.

Also, is she bored in the evenings and wants food to cheer her up, have something to do? Are they any ways to distract her from that mindset?

All I will say is that you sound like a great mum, and she'll be happier in the long run if this gets sorted now as she's growing, rather than be stuck in a cycle of dieting when she's a teen/adult.

Bettercallsaul83 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:28:25

As for the exH, he should know better if he's overweight too! But try talking to him, or adding in more exercise to compensate for his lack of parenting ability.!

Have you got a Wii ? Wii Dance, Wii Fit etc is great fun.

MummyPig24 Sat 08-Feb-14 13:37:42

I hugely underestimated my 6yr olds height, having measured him today he is actually 114cm and 3st 2lb. He eats a lot but much less than ops dd. He is a naturally active child but I can see that he has potential to get a bit round if his sweet stuff intake isn't carefully monitored.

brokenhearted55a Sat 08-Feb-14 14:01:01

She's 6. She has money and is not able to buy het own food.

Cut her portions and tell her no to more food.
Toast chocolate spread and banana? That is loaded with sugar! She can only eat what you allow her to and bring into the house at that age.

brokenhearted55a Sat 08-Feb-14 14:01:21

*Has no money

BorcestshireBlue Sat 08-Feb-14 15:05:20

DS is 6, 128cm and around 4st. There is no way he could eat the volume of food your DD manages to eat.

There is nothing wrong with giving her the food she likes (although I would maybe try and get rid of the chocolate spread and educate your Ex), her overall diet looks ok, you just need to look cut down on the portion sizes.

DS will often want to snack if he is bored - distract with a game or book or a jogging on the spot competiton rather than giving the snacks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now