12 year old son seems to be getting fat but hates sports(29 Posts)
My 12 year old son has always been slim. He is tall for his age (5'4") but since starting High school in the summer he seems to be piling on the weight all of a sudden - he now has love handles and pot belly.
He doesn't enjoy sport as such but he does have a swimming lesson every week, Judo once a week and his 2 periods of PE. He also goes to Scouts. We make him go out on his bike or scooter for a while on saturday and sunday and out to the swimming pool most weekends. I drive him to school and back as there is no other option, it is too far to walk and there is no safe cycle route. It's pretty much dark by the time we get home so other than his formal activities, he doesn't go out after school at the moment.
His preference would be to be on Computer all the time. When he runs out of screen time, his activity of choice would be drawing etc.
He doesn't overeat in the house. Cereal/Fruit Juice for breakfast, Pasta etc for dinner and usually a biscuit/cake & milk for supper. If he wants Crisps he has to have fruit first and he is limited to one small pack a day but doesn't always have it. When at school he can only have school lunch or packed lunch as he has a prepaid lunch card. If he has a packed lunch he is actually having less than he used to at primary. Only a sandwich (cheese or tuna) and a bag of apricots and a drink - anything else comes back uneaten. When he has school lunch he will sually have a baguette so he tells me. He doesn't like chips but then things like that are very limited on the school menu. I suspect he is maybe getting a waffle at morning break.
However, he is 12, when I was 12 I could eat exactly what I wanted and never put on a pound. I am overweight at the moment, but that is down to bad snacking and portion size - am currently on a healthy diet and exercise programme. Apart from when I was pregnant, this is the first time in my life I have been overweight and it seems to be menopause related. My OH and other son are normal/slim too.
I always thought he'd be the type that would come home and eat 12 slices of toast and be thin as a whip so it's sort of taken me aback. I have always been quite critical of people with overweight children as I felt that their parents should really have done something about it and not let it get out of hand and I am astonished to find myself in the same predicament.
Is it just his age and will it sort itself out or do I really need to get him into some other sort of activity/restrict his diet?
I just wondered if anyone else had been in the same boat and did they just stretch out of it or did they end up as an overweight teenager?
Please, please, please get his thyroid function tested! Full tsh, ft3 and ft4
I measured him today and he is now 5'5" so maybe the stretch has started
Now his boots are too small and he needs some for Scout camp at the weekend
Thanks again word (and everyone else) He definitely must be due a stretch I think, he has always been tall (mostly top of the class during primary - apart from one amazingly tall girl who was in his class for a while) but I think a lot of the boys have caught him up and in a couple of cases they seem to have overtaken him although we don't see many kids from his old class anymore. And as I said, his younger brother (13 months younger) is quickly catching him. We measure them on their birthdays and No2 son has always been a fraction shorter than No1 at the same age. I was always tall but my OH although he is 6'2" now, didn't really grow until he was 16. He left school Mr Average then shot up 5 or 6 inches when he started work.
I'll try with the small things rather than book him into Boot Camp, and stick hm in a grow bag at night and see if that helps
When my DD did gymnastics (those were the days. Lovely indoors warm gym. Cafe upstairs...) you could see the girls putting it on around their bellies and bums (because they wore leotards so very obvious) before a growth spurt.
word, that's what I was hoping for, his diet is certainly better than most and he does a fair bit of exercise - he swims to a good level - his lesson is about stroke rhythm so he is doing lengths for most of the 40 minutes and he is in a good sweat at Judo and is doing cross country for gym at the moment - one of his lessons is just before home time and he is in a proper sweat. so that is 4 good lots of exercise plus the bits he does at the weekend - not sports star amount, but not couch potato completely either.
I can remember eating for Britain at that age and being skinny as a rake and my brothers were the same as was my OH. I really hope he just shoots up soon.
I will up his protein and reduce his carbs a bit and see if I can ensure he goes for a swim every weekend and get him to do a bit more housework maybe see if that helps a bit.
I read in the paper this weekend that teenaged boys need more calories than at any other time in their lives when they're in full growing mode.
I do wonder if he's getting ready to shoot up, OP.
Lots of teenaged boys would eat what your son is eating x 3, and still be skinny whips! DS and all his friends from I can gauge!
I'd be tempted to do not a lot for now (up the sport maybe. DS and all his mates do tons of exercise) and see if the growth spurt happens. Maybe wait til half term? I'd also ask him to get on the scales so you can actually measure if he's increasing (don't need to make a deal of it. Just say you're weighing everyone in the house cos the doctor has asked).
If you do think he's an unhealthy weight and there's no growth, then you'll have to have a chat with him. It's hard because many of his peers will be wolfing down the junk and carbs to no ill effect, but that can't be got around
sounds good Queen - I've been cutting down and started the couch to 5k - but i'll definitely have a look at that for us all.
Not quite! Give him chicken drumsticks, eggs and plenty of veg. I've been following it for a couple of weeks and am feeling so much better. Not lost weight (but that's not my reason for doing it) and I have so much more energy and am sleeping really well.
It's a lot less rigid than the low carb bootcamp or 5:2 stuff on here. I also thought it might appeal to a(n almost) teenage boy. Think Grok (read the website)!
That looks an iteresting website Queen, I'll have a good look at it later. Does that mean that when he asks for crisps and I make him have a banana first, I should be leaving him to his own devices?
Thesecondcoming - he has his own money but doesn't spend it - he is a hoarder of cash and at the moment he is rarely out without us. In summer he will go up to the park and the shop with a couple of pound for a snack and drink but when he was doing that he was still slim. He doesn't go to school nearby due to bullying issues so most of his new friends live in another town and he socialises via Skype - it'll be better in the summer when he can get out and about more.
We have jokingly said to him that he is putting on weight but trying to not make it a big issue and affect his confidence which is greatly improved since he's gone to high school. I can honestly say that anyone looking at him clothed would not think of him as fat, a bit awkward looking maybe. He doesn't have a stocky build though so unclothed the extra fat really shows.
I'd say there's too much carbohydrate and sugar in his diet and nowhere near enough fat and protein. Have a look into the Primal Blueprint.
I think that is perfectly normal. Both my boys went 'out' a bit then shot up within a few months, and back to slim again.
- it's quite easy to remedy once you know what's going on!
Bonsoir - I agree - now that i've read back what I've written it seems so obvious. He loves tinned mackerel straight from the tin but I usually insist he at least puts it on a sandwich or has it in pasta or rice - he doesn't eat potatoes at all. he loves any kind of fish actually but I guess because he doesn't eat potatoes I give him way too much pasta or rice or noodles with his meal.
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He is eating way too much carbohydrate and not enough protein.
He's due a growth spurt at this age. My boys grew outward for a while and had a bit of a tummy and lovehandles at age 11. Over the last 2 years they've shot up and grown it out. My eldest became quite scrawny for a time.
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He has done some canoeing in the past and is keen to do a bit more windsurfing but there is nowhere that does that nearby and most things like that are off for the winter. I've been trying to get him to join an after school club, or even just to use the school gym but no joy so far......maybe if he started to show an interest in girls it would help
lol - he wont do soup!! But our bolognaise has as much carrot in it as mince and no-one has noticed. I have to blend the tomatoes as well as he has some food issues - borderline Aspergers, wont touch anything perceived to be damaged - and dislikes some things that have lumps. Grapes/cherries etc have to be examined for any signs of squishieness or ripping of the skin. Apples cannot be blemished at all - won't eat strawberries if you can see any of the white husk and bananas have to be a prefect consistency - which means buying them every couple of days or they are too yellow or too soft etc ....yet he will happily pick and eat brambles straight of the bush!
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Thanks HelpOneAnother, Some good ideas there - maybe a lot of small things will make a difference rather than making him take up another sport.
His access to fizzy juice is limited - we don't have it in the house except at Christmas and Birthdays and they don't sell it at school - he loves his fruitjuice and smoothie but again he has one cup with breakfast then it is squash or water and milk (semi skimmed) at supper. Sometimes he has hot chocolate but it's usually Options stuff.
vegetables are a bit of an issue but fruit is a bit better - how someone can actually chew on and happily swallow a paracetomol but gag on a pea I have no idea!
He is a carbs junky though so I guess we could up the protein and cut the carbs a bit too.
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Ha Ha - well, at least we care As you say, all his friends seem to eat more rubbish than him so I have been on his back to get out and move more - I really wanted to catch it before he ends up really overweight and then it will be more difficult to deal with given that he is not into football/rugby etc. He doesn't seem to bother thankfully, he looks like a sack of tatties in all his clothes at the moment - he has grown out of all his school trousers and I had to get him plus fit for the first time instead of standard or slim. a couple of months ago I got him some 30 waist/30 leg trousers and he had to wear a belt with them as they were really loose, now they fit! Fair enough he did a bit of lazing about over Christmas, but he didn't get a lot of sweet stuff and he hasn't eaten all what he did get - 2 tubes of chocolate things and a mini selection box.
He doesn't look fat dressed, but when he is in his underwear or swimming stuff you can see the belly and lovehandles. I guess he just looks like a soft squidgy boy and not a teenager yet - it's the fact that he is tall that makes it look a bit odd I guess. In fact strangely when he was getting his uniform, we inadvertantly bought a girls blazer and it was a shame when we went back to change it as the girls one fitted him a lot better! he needed an age 14 one and I guess he is not 14 year old boy shape - he is the right size but just not yet the right shape if that makes sense?
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