DD is overweight(60 Posts)
I know DD (4) is overweight. Her diet is ok but she is fond of sweet treats. The main thing she does is always finishes absolutely everything she is ever given and she LOVES food. f I ask her how her day in preschool was she'll just tell me what she ate. 2 minutes after lunch she asks when she can have a snack.
I've been trying to get a grip on this for 2 years without becoming too draconian about it/making it in to a big issue.
So is stretching out a bit but definitely looks overweight. HOW do I get a grip on this?
Advice on normal meals would be good but what I really need is advice on how to handle the ensuing sh*tstorm from her. She is a creature of habit and if we no longer get an icecream when we go to the park or no longer offer macaroni cheese at teatime she's going to go nuts and be very very upset. At the moment she also has one 'special treat' per day (85 cal pack of buttons/mini size ice lolly) this will have to go too, she'll be heartbroken.
She is very active I don't drive so she scoots/walks everywhere 5 days a week, we might do a trip out in the car on the weekend.
We have just got out of 2 very difficult years of horrendous tantruming from her and I'm much happier as a parent than I used to be as a result but I know I have to tackle this. Help.
Have you seen your gp to confirm she is overweight?
Not recently but I'd be amazed if anything has changed. We self referred to the health visitor about 2 years ago and she was 75th centile for height but 95th for weight - proportionally she looks about the same.
That's only a bit over what she should be. I'd just try and cut the sugar. Would a visit to the dentist help? Could you get the dentist to suggest that sugary treats should be only occasional?
I would also try and keep her busy at one snack time per day and then serve large enough, filling meals. I don't think macaroni cheese needs to be banned. I'd just suggest she doesn't eat when not hungry, therefore removing some of the 'fun' stuff.
Cut down on carbs and sugar. How about natural yoghurt and granola/ fruit as a breakfast rather than cereal? Also, cut the sweet treats, as you know. Reduce fried foods. Obviously you can't have them either! I don't think macaroni cheese would be bad, but serve with an equal sized portion of vegetables. No biscuits is a biggie. Chopped veg as snacks. Other snacks could be rice cakes and nuts. Cut out bread if possible. Dessert on Sunday.
And let her get upset.
Nothing wrong with that.
Those proportions don't sound awful, far from it. I'd just swap some of the high cal options for healthier alternatives and maybe have things like mac cheese once a fortnight instead of weekly. Doesn't sound like you need to do anything ultra urgent so I'd just make some positive changes slowly so she hardly notices.
I would change things slowly. At this age you really don't want her to have issues around food. Why not go shopping at one of the cheap shops and get a bag of hair bobbles/stickers/pencils/erasers. A 10p treat every day for a while won't cost ou any more than the food treats she gets now.
Let her have the treat at the park for now. Look at ways to make the things she likes healthier but remember she is a growing child so don't do anything like cutting out whole food groups.
If ou make huge drastic changes all at once you may end up in a battle with her, I would work on a plan of changing her diet and increasing her activity over 6 months.
She doesn't like fried food/chips/burgers so that one less thing to worry about.
She's in nursery/preschool 3 days a week and TBH I wonder whether that is exacerbating things but need to lay blame at my own doorstep first.
A typical day at home would be as follows:
1 Weetabix or rice krispies or porridge made will semi skim milk.
1 slice of toast with jam or 1 slice fruit toast
(no morning snack if she's had toast + cereal at breakfast if no toast then raisins or organix crisps for snack)
1/2 tin tomato soup and sandwich (1 slice bread folded over with ham) 1 Rachels kids yogurt (no added sugar)
special treat serves as afternoon snack (small bag buttons/mini ice lolly)
Tea is fish pie/spag bol something like that. I make sure her portion is less than half adult size (honestly) it fits into a childs plastic bowl and she'll have veg with it (loves broccoli, peas sweetcorn) in fact she eats frozen sweetcorn as a snack whilst waiting for her tea. Another yogurt or pot of fruit puree for pudding.
Cup of warm milk before we start bedtime routine with 1 organix gingerbread man.
She loves berries so sometimes strawberries/raspberries/blackberries for snack or pudding but they're expensive and don't last so not all the time. She doesn't like bananas, apples or pears.
What I haven't listed is the digressions for 'special' occasions so chocolate in the house after a kids party or for Easter/ christmas/ whatever. You can probably add one item of that one day a week on average.
The meals look fine to me, same as my boys get, but IMO the gingerbread man and afternoon sweet treat needs to be dropped as this is the issue. As a one off they are not an issue, but the calories in them daily will add up really fast.
I would drop the afternoon treat snack. Replace it with a healthy snack.
Tbh your dd eats considerably less than my almost 5 year old and I know he is not overweight!
Okay just thought of another thing. She eats all 3 meals in school on her days there (I work). Their last meal of the day 'tea' is at 3.30pm and is usually soup and a sandwich or beans on toast, something like that. She's hungry by the time I pick her up at 6pm and would usually just have her special treat ice-lolly plus milk and a biscuit. What can I replace that with? Although they're sugary crap -I know- they're actually not that calorific.
it looks a bit carb heavy is all i would say
so instead of cereal AND toast i would give boiled egg maybe?
soup AND a sandwich-again i would go with the just the soup or just the sandwich
and i don't see much fruit or veg
instead of sweets in the afternoon, how about some nice fruit? a bit of mango or melon or a ripe juicy nectarine or something?
exercise wise, apparently they need to do an hour a day
Is the "tea" she gets at school/nursery intended as a main meal?
Most nurseries do "afternoon tea" with the intention that children also eat a meal with parents? Even if it's sandwiches it might only be a small one and not enough for an evening meal
Her diet sounds ok - as others have said, maybe focus on the sugary treats rather than a big overhaul - but I must say I'm surprised that a 4 year old is still eating from a plastic bowl. I wonder if transition to a more "grown up" way of eating (normal plate, cutlery, glass) might help her take control of her eating, get in touch with her own appetite and sense of when she's full etc.?
Some of the food is quite babyish too - kiddy yoghurts, purees, organix etc. - what about phasing these out - and trying things like plain yoghurt with berries, oatcakes, upping the vegetable snacks? Sugar-free but fructose-sweetened snacks and yoghurts and purees will all be contributing to her calorie intake and her sweet tooth just as much as sucrose would.
I watched this thread from the first post and I've found it very helpful for my 2 year old DD, who I think may end up being similar to OP's DD when she is older. DD loves her food, she doesn't get treats and her diet is OK with appropriate portion sizes, but this has helped me think about where the tweaks maybe need to come in.
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for being nice on this thread as I was reading the other thread going about weight and I felt some people were being a bit mean about parents who end up with overweight kids, I was starting to feel a little fragile. I am so careful about what my DD eats (the no treats etc) as she loves her food so much, and all my friends think I am crazy and laugh at me, and their kids seem to be allowed to eat anything, they just seem to stop themselves at appropriate portion sizes and remain like little beanpoles! My DD is not like that.
Thanks also to the OP for being braver than I am and starting this thread. I also wanted to suggest the website 'Little People's Plates' which I found really helpful and evidence based, for checking portion sizes for my DD.
3yo dd2 is probably a bit overweight
she eats the same kinds of foods as the rest of us, and we're all healthy weights.
I would not cut down on ANY food group without seeing a GP or dietitian.
we keep an eye on portion sizes, and limit treats to 2 x weekly. you only need tiny changes, as they are still growing, so can reach a more healthy weight by stabilising their weight as they increase their height.
On the kiddie food front, she has a 2 year old sister who is totally the opposite (not overweight, weaned late as no interest in food at all, goes on hunger strike with every bout of teething and illness. For 2 months last year she ate almost nothing but yogurt. That has been a LONG road in the other direction).
I'm reluctant to change too much as DD2 eats what DD1 eats. If I change it DD2 will eat nothing again. I don't see a problem with the yogurts as they are full sized and made of decent ingredients. I do think I need to introduce more variety and encourage the fruit and veg - bring in the transition to 'adult' more gradually so neither can rebuke the change too easily.
I'm so conscious of portion size I daren't move away from that plastic bowl in case I give more and don't notice!
I really don't think the suggestion of soup and no sandwich would be filling enough - perhaps different if homemade - but the canned soup is 118 cal per portion. She'd be ravenous 1/2 hour later. And my homemade soup ends up down the drain as no-one likes it.
Op do you know if the school/nursery "tea" is a full meal or a snack
It's a full meal. Beans on toast/ soup and a sandwich/pizza and salad. It's a full sized portion though served really early (IMO).
I agree it is early
Our nursery do a light tea at 430 and even that isn't meant to be the evening meal
We had the same problem with DD. Hoovered her own food up and then asked for other people's before they were even finished.
We eat super healthy. But it was the sheer amount of food.
We stopped letting her eat other people's food (made it a rule everyone only gets their own food). Also massively increased exercise. She does children's crossfit, 30 mins on the trampoline everyday, we now always walk if a journey is under a mile. We actually stopped the scooters because exercise worth they aren't really that great. DD is now a normal weight. It took about 3 months.
Your DD's diet is very similar to my DS2's. Are you sure she is overweight - ie if you put her height and weight into the NHS's bmi calculator, does it come out as an 'overweight' bmi?
I ask because I think DS2's weight is on a higher centile than his height, but on the bmi thingy, he is in the normal range.
I have some of the same concerns as you as my middle DC has extreme food resistance and is superskinny, so I have to have sweet things in the house. This means my youngest sees and is tempted by sugary snacks which my oldest DC would never have been exposed to as a pre-schooler.
All I can think of to change in what you list is slightly reducing portion size for tea, and upping the veg.
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