5 year old over-eating

(9 Posts)
PurpleBucket Wed 05-Oct-11 01:04:17

I am getting really worried about DD1. Every since she has been a baby she just cannot resist food and would eat all day if I let her. I offer her healthy food at home. Lots of fruit and veg which she eats happily and we usually all eat meals together. We don't have cakes, biscuits etc on a daily basis but once in a while (eg parties, special occasions or if I'm cookIng etc) as don't believe in banning these completely. DD1 does ballet twice a week and tennis at weekends and they do PE at school and is generally an active child.

Right now DD1 is a good healthy weight but I believe she might be overweight in a different family.

I know people will want to tell me just to let her eat what she wants as long as it's healthy but I cannot do this as DD1 is completely unable to set limits for herself when it comes to food and will eat to the point of being sick. DS (who is a year younger and is also a good eater is not like this and stops when he's had enough).

This all got too much for me yesterday when DD1 had a playdate. I had kind of mentioned briefly that DD1 will eat and eat so don't feel bad about saying she has had enough (didn't want to go on about it a was first time DD1 ha gone there - I would have gone too but am not very well myself these days and needed to rest). But, when I went to pick her up I was horrified by the amount they told me DD1 had eaten (in fact cannot understand anyone who would let a little girl eat so much). And indeed when we got home poor DD1 said she felt sick and was over the toilet for 10 minutes retching and I had to walk her outside for 20 minutes (with a bucket) until she felt a bit better.

Can anyone give me any ideas on how I can help DD1? I don't like being the "food police" and saying "no, you've had enough" so often but perhaps this is my "job" even if DD1 doesn't always like me for it.

The other problem I have is that people think it's so great that I have a child who eats well (as most people I know have children who refuse to eat) that they don't recognise I have a problem. But, for me, a child who over-eats and cannot set limits for herself is also a problem. In fact I am wondering if a child psychologist could possibly help me as I don't want to end up with a child who has an "issue" with food/her weight and want to handle this im the best way for DD1.

Thank you for the help and I hope i won't get replies telling me she can eat all she wants as long as it's healthy as this does not work for us in this situation.

nooka Wed 05-Oct-11 01:13:21

I think if she is regularly eating so much that she is ill then a visit to the doctor/conversation with your HV probably should be the next step.

PurpleBucket Wed 05-Oct-11 01:19:37

Thanks for the reply and so late too. Yes I had thought about that and I have mentioned it to doctor before. They just tell me that I have to be stricter and not tell her things like "you'll get fat" (which I have never said anyway) but think it is getting worse so perhaps do need to go back and insist more.

She isn't regularly eating to the point of being sick as I don't allow it to get that far but I am now paranoid about letting her be with other people unless I completely trust them. Even MIL is a problem as she completely spoils her, has no sense of discipline and lets DD1 eat whatever she wants when she's at MIL's house.

anthonytrollopesrevenge Wed 05-Oct-11 21:49:49

My DD will eat herself sick too and is a little on the plump side. She has just noticed that she gets smaller portions than her brother, he is older so I justified it that way and she accepted it reluctantly. Doesn't help that she isn't particularly active, take her to the park and she sits under the slide! My main concern has been the sheer number of kids parties she went to in yr r and now in yr 1. She stuffs crisps, biscuits and anything she can get her hands on and stays at the table for ages after all the other kids have left. We do have treats at home regularly but I would never, for example, give her a whole pack of crisps - she gets a handful, as does everyone else. I do feel it's my job to ensure she doesn't get overweight and I also find others love over feeding her. Her school is a healthy school yet the dinner lady gives her stickers for eating everything up, friends love to see her eat all the things their kids won't and they praise her for it. I think DD already sees me as a kill joy, but the alternative is worse, I'm not going to let her get overweight. DD's diet is fine and she eats loads of fruit and veggies, it's simply that she has a big appetite and doesn't want to stop eating.

DD had bad reflux as a baby and I wonder if this has messed up her whole appetite control. Sorry for the length of this post but it is something that worries me.

I have spoken to doctors and health visitors but frankly unless your child is extremely overweight they aren't interested. Would like to know how you get on purplebucket.

some children just get messed up with their appetite control. one of the reasons that formula fed babies are more likely to suffer from obesity is because their natural ability to realise when they are full and stop eating has been over-ridden. I would imagine there are other ways this can happen to

I would suggest rather than limiting her food you allow her to eat, but try and get her to eat more slowly.
give her time to recognise that she is full-up rather than eating a lot very quickly iyswim?

so at dinner time give her a little portion. if she wants more then maybe suggest that she has a small glass of water. then wait until others have finished in case they want more THEN ask her if she is really hungry for more?

i mean, it's possible too that she just is very hungry and is burning off a lot of energy?

ppeatfruit Thu 06-Oct-11 10:01:47

Yes I agree with thisis you say you give her lots of fruit and veg. have you tried having the fruit raw and cut up prettily, if it helps, BEFORE a meal (it's much better for the digestion) Also it fills you up first making over eating less likely.

Serving raw carrots, lettuce cucumber etc. with the meal would also help her chew properly.

Does she eat for emotional reasons? maybe she's upset about something. It's difficult for you I can sympathise because food is so much a part of our culture we get so many mixed messages don't we?

PurpleBucket Thu 06-Oct-11 15:16:10

Anthony Trollope- oh I completely agree that other people LOVE feeding DD as they think it's great that she eats!! DD was breastfed (but expressed breastmilk - don't know if the bottles make a difference to her appetite issues) as had HUGE problems with latching on (but that's a whole other story...). She never had reflux though. DS had reflux (but eats normally now).

I will let you know when speak to doctor again.

Thank you also to other two posters (sorry can't remember names as on my phone and can't look at posts while type this). Good ideas re fruit and things but I have been thinking and, to be honest, at home DD is so much better now. The over-eating seems to happen much more out of the house (particularly when I'm not around -as though she feels she has "free rein" to eat whatever she wants and knows she can). Do you find this Anthony trollope?

I have also thought about DD wanting to eat as something is bothering her. For a while I tried to give her a hug everytime she seemed to go crazy for food. Didn't really work. Plus she's been like this since she was tiny and I can't believe she's had issues for that long.

I think I just had a real fright the other day when the "incident" on the playdate happened. Tried to explain to DD that er stomach is like a bag and only so much fits in before it all comes out again. We got out one of her handbags and filled it up to show her. Not sure if it just went in one ear and out the other though...

PurpleBucket Thu 06-Oct-11 15:20:43

This is yesterday- your point about teaching them to eat slowly is soooo true. DD really has a tendency to gobble and put loads in her mouth at once. Sometimes she ends up spitting out food as she can't swallow it all. Again she's done this from a young age. But this morning when she asked for another bowl of cereal at breakfast, I gave her some juice instead and she was fine with that.

Of course I realise that she is an active child and get hungry but, for me, that is completely different to over-eating.

ppeatfruit Fri 07-Oct-11 09:15:24

I remember a mindee of mine eating pieces of banana; he put so many in his mouth he was nearly retching so i had to sit with him and make sure his mouth was empty before eating the next piece.It didn't feel right TBH but at least it calmed him down he was 10 months or so and as you say with yr DD it was his personality.

The problem at parties is probably because she 's not used to the high sugar and salt stuff that is usually served at them. IMO and E they are addictive parents often get like that too don't they!! smile

Another thought purple wheat can create an addiction IMO and E maybe try her on porridge with fructose or honey and cinnamon (the goldilocks breakfast) instead of wheat cereals.

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