What am I doing wrong? Both my dc have wobbly tummies.

(91 Posts)
RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 07:09:55

Both are short for their age. They both have small (for lack of a better word) pot bellies. They aren't fat anywhere else although I have noticed a slight trace of double chin on them both too. They are averagely active but not excessively so (eg this morning they went to a children's museum - lots of interactive bits, this afternoon they have been out on their scooters). They are 9yrs and 11yrs.

An average day's food (in term time) would be:

Breakfast: Oat granola or Weetabix with semi skimmed milk, innocent smoothie

Lunch: ham sandwiches on whole meal bread, fruit, water, one homemade cupcake, with jam (no icing)

Dinner: pasta with tomato sauce and veg (sometimes with two sausages cut up - less pasta if there are sausages) or chicken stir fry with noodles, sometimes pizza with veg (half a thin based each) or chilli and rice. Things like that.

On the weekend there might be a piece of cake during the day too OR popcorn if we go to the cinema etc.

I don't think they are eating too much? It must be portion size I am getting wrong or do I need to help them be more active?

I am very overweight (I know exactly why, no delusions) dh is not. I am trying not to foist my own hang ups on them but I am concerned. Any ideas?

elspethmcgillicuddy Tue 12-Aug-14 07:18:39

I suspect portion sizes are a problem.

The best thing to do would lose weight as a family. Learn how to eat properly together.

Please do this. I was very overweight as a child/teenager and it was miserable.

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 07:29:44

Do you think they aren't eating properly then? Or just eating too much? What would make their diet better? Btw they aren't 'fat' they fit into normal sized clothes (because they are short they wear sizes smaller than their age and do fit into them) but they do have round tummies so could be slimmer.
My weight gain is from snacking rather than meals (terrible sweet tooth blush) and I intend to address that when we get back from holiday (I know, I know, always a delay).

PinkAndBlueBedtimeBears Tue 12-Aug-14 07:31:33

I think portion sizes will be the easiest place to start. Maybe have a look at the eat well plate


I've tried to find some guidance on how much they actually need but I can't find anything :/

There's a little bit at the bottom of that page..

I'd also be careful about the way you speak to your dc about this, I was overweight as a child (mainly due to inactivity) and my dad would tell me every time I exercised that I was obese and disgusting etc.. Hense why I never exercised and was so big! If your going to discuss it maybe aim for more of a 'we are going to be a healthier family' angle.. Also worth addressing your own weight issues (knowing there's a problem is half the battle!) so your all doing it together?

Timeforabiscuit Tue 12-Aug-14 07:39:13

I'd check the sugar in the innocent smoothie - I think having one of those routinely everyday rather than an occasional treat may be tipping the balance?

How about activity day to day, do they get twenty minutes uninterrupted walking or playground type activity?

It sounds like your at a point where you can make some small tweaks which is brilliant!

LadyCybilCrawley Tue 12-Aug-14 07:51:00

It think there are a few things you can do:

1. Have them drink more water and limit fruit juice

2. Have them eat more vegetables (you say they have veg but it's hard to tell if they have enough - fruit and veg should be the majority of their meal, followed by carbs which in general for kids is pasta or rice or potatoes, followed by protein which is you lean meats and fish and lentils)

3. The right amount of protein for a meal is what would fit in the palm of their hand excluding the fingers

Also I think regular organized sport is important for so many reasons so if you can, encourage they join a team of some sort - it's not just regular aerobic exercise that's important but also learning team work and a healthy outlook on life - setting good foundations at this age will help a lot with adolescence when hormones play with emotions

rednellie Tue 12-Aug-14 07:52:48

Definitely get rid of the smoothies. Opt for a glass of water and a piece of fruit.

MarshaBrady Tue 12-Aug-14 07:56:38

Ditch the innocent smoothie.

Smaller portion size and activity kicking a ball together, riding bikes, that kind of thing.

MarshaBrady Tue 12-Aug-14 07:58:03

And more vegetables and salad, no juice and lots of water.

jaynebxl Tue 12-Aug-14 07:58:48

More veg and more physical activity as a family to train them for life. Even just a long walk or bike ride in the evening would be good.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 12-Aug-14 07:59:52

Replace the Innocent smoothie with an egg.

Cupcake at lunchtime should not be a daily thing.

Portion sizes are probably also out of whack. How big is the thin-based pizza that they eat half of each? It sounds a lot.

I'd work on improving their diet and cutting down portion sizes first, as that is a lot easier to change than activity levels.

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:01:24

Crikey, there is a lot of sugar in the smoothies! I hadn't realised that blush. I think I will knock those on the head then and we'll stick to a small glass of apple or orange juice instead. Thanks!

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:03:49

You really think one cupcake a day - small homemade, no icing (no other sugary treats) is too much? shock

MarshaBrady Tue 12-Aug-14 08:10:29

How about fruit instead of the glass of juice and cupcake?

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:11:15

They have water with one meal, squash with the other usually. Drinks in the day are water, no fizzy drinks and now no smoothies so I think drinks are ok - sorry for all the separate replies, keep noticing things!

I will definitely up the veg, I think it isn't a bit enough portion of their meal. I think sausages only once a weeks as they are so crap and more lean meat. They don't like fish unfortunately.

Pizza is probably once a week, most weeks - this one www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317--47111-essential+Waitrose+thin+&+crispy+cheese+&+tomato+pizza

beccajoh Tue 12-Aug-14 08:12:23

How much sugar and calories are in that cupcake? Depending on size, whether it's home made or shop bought it could be 20-30% of a child's daily calorie needs. Children can have treats, but things you eat routinely every day aren't treats, they're just something you eat every day.

Do they do any exercise or playing where they get out of breath?

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:13:38

They do need to drink something at breakfast Marsha! Personally I hate water in the morning with breakfast. They have one portion of fruit in their lunch box so you think two fruit, no cake? Poor old dc grin

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:15:57

Becca - not sure on the calories, it's just a Victoria sponge mixture usually with a bit of jam, small fairy cake case sized. Do no-one else's dc have anything sweet in their lunch?! I am concerned this thread is getting rather obsessed with the one small cake. Or am I deluding myself?

KoalaDownUnder Tue 12-Aug-14 08:17:22

It's not that the cupcake is too much, taken alone - just that there seems to be quite a lot of refined carbs in there: Weetbix, smoothies, cupcake, pizza or pasta...

Just saying, maybe have a cupcake after lunch every second day, and in between days substitute with some cut up cheese, or peanut butter in celery sticks, or curried eggs, or a handful of almonds and sultanas, or plain Greek yoghurt with some blueberries stirred in. I don't think children need a sugary treat every day.

MarshaBrady Tue 12-Aug-14 08:18:08

Ha, hardcore here grin

I don't buy juice, or bake cakes unless they're really keen to help and ask to (so once every couple of weeks) and they really do only drink water. But have loads of milk in their cereal at breakfast, so not thirsty.

They do have ice cream more often in summer though.

BetsyBell Tue 12-Aug-14 08:19:51

As an additional thought to the good ideas here, mine seem to bulk up a bit just before a growth spurt. They sort of grow outwards first then shoot up and slim down again.

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:23:30

LOL! Koala! Chances of dc eating or finding acceptable curried eggs or celery with peanut butter as an alternative to a homemade cake or biscuit is NIL. I don't blame them either envy

I am going to cut down on the baking generally so there isn't stuff around at the weekends (for any of us).

doziedoozie Tue 12-Aug-14 08:24:49

I think part of the prob might be the pasta noodles and pizza.

When my DCs were young the major filler was potatoes which at least have some Vit C in it. Nowadays potatoes are always fried or covered in butter, mayo or something.

Just plain boiled potatoes sometimes might reduce the carbs, they are a bit boring so probably DCs only eat as much as they need.

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:24:56

Gawd betsy, I hope you are right, I'm thinking of putting them on the rack otherwise. Dh is very tall, I'm hoping his genes will kick in at some point grin

RitaDeleter Tue 12-Aug-14 08:26:38

Mine like miniature new potatoes - I don't give them chips/waffles etc. You are probably right about the pasta/noodles. Will try and limit those.

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