Overweight DD - lunchbox help please?

(49 Posts)
hillyhilly Tue 03-May-16 22:17:12

Despite my very best efforts, the Y6 measuring programme has confirmed that my dd is overweight - she always has been, I manage to keep her within the overweight category rather than obese but have never got below that.
For background, I am a slim sahm who occasionally attends slimming world to keep my weight within my control. I was a skinny, small child but was overweight when I graduated and married. Dh is obese (possibly morbidly) always has been overweight but has excellent self esteem about it, he weighs less now than ever before but still is over 20 stone and has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. He was a sturdy child which is pretty much how I would describe dd, she's not very fat but is solidly built.
I cook everything from scratch, there is not a huge amount wrong with her diet though she could eat less sweets. (She eats some each week not each day), getting her to eat veg has always been a battle and she has a big appetite - she prefers wholemeal everything but would prefer to read a book than run around the garden. She plays badminton once a week for 90 mins and does drama school which includes 1 hour dance, her other hobbies are less active - guides, singing, flute choir.
I know that I can up her fruit and veg a little but a regular source of conflict between us is the fact that all her friends (supposedly) are bringing crisps and chocolate or biscuits daily to school (they all take packed lunches) she claims that they all feel sorry for her already as her lunches are so mean and she has nothing worth sharing.
I'm sorry this is turning out so long, I got a battering last time I posted about her weight, please don't do that to me again, I'm wondering if there any packaged snacks I can send that fit the girls' sharing bill whilst not being too unhealthy.
Her lunch usually consists of a wholemeal snadwich, some nice fruit (mango/ strawberries/ grapes - so embarrassing) or carrot -and a few cheesey biscuits or s&v rice thins or a chocolate rice cake or fruit flakes, I try to put one savoury and one sweet with the sandwich. She claims there's not enough and she needs more treats.
She stopped swimming when she reached the end of the levels and it clashed with guides which she prefers, I could take her swimming but that tends to consist of going up and down the slides and hanging out waiting for the wave machine.
Sorry it's so long, i am aware that I've been trying to justify myself as I do feel so bad and am dreading discussing it with her.

lamusic Wed 04-May-16 08:47:29

. She claims there's not enough and she needs more treats.

That is quite a small lunch however could you give her something that would fill her up for longer? Pasta, perhaps a banana? Also what does she eat for breakfast? Could you suggest going on a walk/bike ride etc with her a few times a week?

CMOTDibbler Wed 04-May-16 08:57:05

I think her lunch sounds like plenty tbh, and there are always complaints about others getting more interesting things whatever you gave her.
My 9, nearly 10 yr old gets a sandwich (turkey, chicken or ham), fruit, and veg (celery, carrot and a mini cucumber today) plus one treat thing which was goldfish crackers today. The goldfish get him a lot of kudos as they aren't easy to get in the UK.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Wed 04-May-16 08:57:36

What about popcorn? You can make it at home v cheaply (bonus) and then she can eat it plain - v low calorie. If peer pressure is an issue you can buy plain popcorn in ready made bags (like crisps), this might be more "acceptable"

FauxFox Wed 04-May-16 09:04:56

You could make little pots of Jelly up to put in...or yoghurts/mousses etc are often low in cals and a bit 'fun'...popcorn is good too - it takes a lot longer to eat a couple of handfuls of popcorn than a chocolate biscuit.

lavendersun Wed 04-May-16 09:11:30

Sounds really tough OP. I didn't realise that sharing a lunch was a thing!

Yr5 here gets a sandwich of some sort, bag of crisps, apple or pear, carrots or tomatoes, piece of homemade cake and a drink generally.

Could you get her to incorporate more exercise into her daily life? We walk or cycle to school, mile each way so nothing major but you have to be able to make the time for that which isn't easy if you are rushing to work or sorting other children out.

Do naked bars do little drop things, maybe I am making that up and perhaps they are not cool, I have never been cool so I wouldn't know! smile

We have a popcorn maker for our weekly film night - good fun.

hillyhilly Wed 04-May-16 09:44:57

Popcorn a a great idea thanks. We already walk to and from school everyday which is almost a mile but I am trying to see how we can incorporate further exercise as she is not naturally inclined to be active.
The sharing thing is a huge issue, her best friend is a terrible eater and underweight and half her lunchbox (the heathy half) goes in the bin I suspect my DD is eating the other half

BabyGanoush Wed 04-May-16 09:45:52

Plain popcorn (or slightly salted) is great.

It is tough, I know my DS shares lunches sometimes, with a friend who is put on a diet by his mum.

This means my DS may order chips and sausages, and gets a massive portion (the dinner ladies are generous) and shares it with his best friend, who gets a "measly" salad wrap from home.

DS says he can't eat lunch without sharing, when his friend stares at his food longingly.

It's a dilemma though, as I know his mum won't be pleased.

At 13, I am not sure I can make DS not share his food, as basically it's a nice and social thing to do.

Basically your dilemma, seen from the other side. It is hard to control what your kids eat at school!

But popcorn is great, how about (sugar free) jellies? Not exactly sharing food but it is a treat?

And getting more active as a family, go for walks, go to the park with friends, join more clubs, etc?

It seems random how some kids can eatanything and put no weight on and others do! But you'll have to get more active, and for her and your DH to eat smaller portions.

Micah Wed 04-May-16 09:54:59

If your DH is obese, and you need slimming world regularly to keep your weight under control, may I gently suggest you need to look at the whole family's eating?

Why don't you apply the slimming world principles to your DH and DD full time, and not just yourself, sporadically.

Going up and down the stairs to the slides in a pool is a fairly tough workout, so encourage that. It also take core muscles to stay stable in waves.

Or find a swimming club, it's not always about reaching the end of levels, swimming with a club is very social.

Otherwise more exercise- what about martial arts? Something she can progress and work at.

Packed lunch I have no idea. Mine have school dinners I'm so useless at them.

BirthdayBetty Wed 04-May-16 09:55:24

What about putting something with more protein in her lunch box to help fill her up? Chicken leg, slices of home cooked gammon ham, boiled egg, salmon.

Enb76 Wed 04-May-16 09:59:25

I actually think your main problem is that you have a very overweight adult in the house and therefore being overweight is something normal in your household - I'll probably get flamed for this.

Have you spoken to your daughter about the issues her father has in being so overweight, the Diabetes, the high blood-pressure etc... does she see him eating large amounts of treats and therefore feels it unfair that she can't and he can? Does she think it's perfectly ok to be like her father (what child wouldn't)? Does she feel that by you tackling her weight are denigrating her father's lifestyle? Are her portions (no matter how healthy) too large for her age as her father's are likely to be?

I do feel for you - it must be extremely difficult to try and control the weight of a child in a house where another adult is not in control of theirs. It won't be long before your daughter is the one in control of what she eats so any headway made now will help.

For sharing snack ideas, it's really easy to make vegetable crisps, paprika is a good alternative spice for a sweet taste. I'd cut out as much processed and pre-packaged stuff as I reasonably could and get her involved in making her snacks, like fruit and oat cookies or seedy flapjacks (very sugary and tasty but also actually filling).

FeralBeryl Wed 04-May-16 10:01:07

Are you friendly enough with her friend's mum to ask her to speak to her child about not sharing lunch with 'anyone'?

GeorgeTheThird Wed 04-May-16 10:01:46

I think to a large extent you have to ignore the complaints, to be honest. And if she's in year six there is worse to some in September when presumably she will be able to make her own bad choices in the canteen. How does your husband maintain such a high weight - do you need to cut down on portion size and unhealthy calories as a family? Most excess weight is down to over eating, not under exercising.

GeorgeTheThird Wed 04-May-16 10:02:07

Empty calories. Not unhealthy calories!

PigWhisperer Wed 04-May-16 10:17:10

I just wanted to lend my support. I am in exactly the same situation and it is a real struggle. Especially as DD2 is skinny as a whippet and probably needs a few more calories!

PigWhisperer Wed 04-May-16 10:19:34

I wanted to add that we have reduced sugary cereal by mixing it with puffed rice (3/4 rice 1/4 cereal) and afternoon snacks are now a pretty plate of mixed fruit, oatcakes and small cheddar blocks . I am also reducing portion size a little, but when I do this I worry I am affecting her growth.

As for buying clothes.....!

paap1975 Wed 04-May-16 10:26:25

She is old enough to be taught about healthy lifestyle choices. I am someone who loves to eat, but as a result I know I need to exercise lots. So yes to healthy food and smaller portions (she won't starve) but I would also strongly encourage her to be more physically active.

TheTartOfAsgard Wed 04-May-16 10:32:57

Take your dd to slimming world with you (can go from 11 at mine) and get her involved with shopping/cooking. Slimming world will teach her about healthy eating and moderation and hopefully help her to choose other options that are good for her.

TheTartOfAsgard Wed 04-May-16 10:36:39

Meant to say if you're a swarm bet then it will be free for your dd to go too.

TheTartOfAsgard Wed 04-May-16 10:37:08

*swarm bet meant slimming world ffs

VimFuego101 Wed 04-May-16 10:46:06

What is your husband's diet like? I agree you all need to support her by eating healthily and making exercise part of your routine. i'm not sure that taking her to SW meetings will help her self esteem, but the structure of their diet (with the healthy extra things and free foods) is generally good and (I think) is an eating plan you could stick with permanently rather than a fad diet.

I think you need to discourage the food sharing too, tbh - I'm surprised school allow it anyway. Her packed lunch sounds fine as it is assuming the cracker/ fruit flake portions are reasonable.

lavendersun Wed 04-May-16 10:47:47

I wouldn't introduce a child to a slimming group personally having had a good friend with severe eating issues who was made very aware of her weight from an early age.

Can you just make healthier choices for the whole family, buy a couple of used bikes and find somewhere nice to cycle three evenings a week.

BreakfastMuffin Wed 04-May-16 10:57:41

Hi, I think if the sharing is an issue if I were you I'd 'swap' lunch and dinner as in giving your daughter a bigger lunch and eating a smaller meal in the evening. Also portion control is an excellent way of making sure that they are not putting on weight. You can use smaller plates for instance and start gradually reducing the amount of food on a plate. Just an idea. In terms of healthy snacks, we use sesame bars, dried fruit, innocent smoothies (or any other kind), homemade sushi, Apple with peanut butter dip, low fat Greek yogurt with fruit (you can make ice lollies with it too).

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 04-May-16 10:58:43

I would also say add more protein and/or fat and cut the carbs a bit. Maybe cheese cubes, cocktail sausages, hummus and carrots, chicken bites, hard boiled egg, full fat yoghurt, nuts (if allowed). I think I would allow one or two treats too but small ones (e.g. small cake bar or a couple of squares of dark chocolate). Veg is better than fruit weight-wise so if you can switch out some of the mango/grapes for carrot/cucumber/peppers that would help.

SavoyCabbage Wed 04-May-16 11:02:08

I can't believe they are allowed to share food at school!

Popcorn is a great idea. I've got a thermos funtainer that my dd takes hot food to school in. Pasta mostly. If dd takes that she will only have one other thing in her lunchbox. Fruit or a yoghurt.

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