Food becoming an issue(8 Posts)
I may be reading too much in to this but my 13 year old Daughter may be on the verge of having some food 'issues' she has become Vegan and watches what she eats - no issue there - however I saw a picture on her phone the other day and it is of a very 'skinny' girl (Off google I would imagine) wearing short shorts and a crop top with a concave tummy, hips sticking out, very skinny legs etc and I asked if that what she was aiming for and she said yes. I explained that everyone has different bone structure and different builds etc and that not everyone could look like that and that also if she did look like that she may well get pretty ill. She stomped off at that point.
At home I would say she eats 'normal' healthy meals but all she takes to school for lunch/snacks etc most days is about 1/4 of a cucumber, some lettuce and some melon - then when she gets home she ends up making herself a sandwich (or two! as in 4 slices of bread). I am treading very carefully as I really don't want to over react or make her feel like I am having a go or making an issue out of nothing but if I ever say it might be better to take a sandwich to school then she wouldn't need one when she gets home she gets in a huff and says she doesn't want to.
All my life I have been on various diets and have always been overweight and I am more than aware her issue - if there is one - could be down to me but I have also been very careful not to put my food issues on to her.
Has anyone else dealt with this before? any advice? or do you think I am just over reacting?
You can't force her to eat anything, or follow any particular diet.
However, if she's genuine about being vegan, I'd hook her up with the local Vegan society chapter so she can at least follow the diet healthily, and maybe do some good helping out at local animal shelters. You might also want to do some research into what supplements she might need.
Whatever she decided you can't change it, but you can make sure she's as healthy as possible.
Hi, thanks for your reply. I have no issue whatsoever with her being Vegan and I cook healthily for her all the time, I've also joined her up to local and online vegan groups however it is the not taking food to school that I am worried about.....She used to take a roll or sandwich, pitta bread etc and she also used to either make or take bought vegan fruit/nut bars etc but all that has stopped and she basically eats water all day, she is very active and does lunch and after school physical clubs, however last week she had to sit out because of severe stomach cramps (not monthly ones) and I tried to explain that they could have been hunger pains but she just ignored it.....
I've looked into and bought supplements but she refuses to take them too
Is there any possibility she can see a counsellor, or at least a school counsellor? It sounds as though there may be genuine issues here, and talking to someone (who knows more than me!) may help.
There's so much pressure on kids - girls especially - to be skinny. I remember what it was like when I was young, and I worry about my girls who are too young for the pressure yet but it is only a matter of time. I do think you're doing the right thing by the sound of things by not loading her with your own issues, but at least talking with someone else outside the family who isn't a parent might help.
And yes, talking with people face to face in the vegan community won't be a bad thing I'm an ex-vegan and there absolutely are a lot of girls who use vegetarianism and veganism as a cover for eating disorders or to try to lose weight (I did), but there are also some sensible people who will be able to suggest good foods to eat that she should be consuming.
Thank you again
There is no way that I will get her to talk to anyone as she doesn't see any issue with it, I did talk with her today though as she wants to join a gym but I've said unless she is having a more substantial lunch it will be too dangerous for her to go after school on the machines and weights etc and she has said she will take more...... Fingers crossed....
Could you look at her instagram messages or whatever social media she's on?
The not taking food to school but eating when she gets home suggests the crowd she's in are doing competitive who can eat the least at lunch time to me
It's a good sign she's eating when she gets home, does she eat a meal in the evening too?
Yes, watch out, some of the vegan bloggers are very persuasive but also not a very good guide to a balanced diet - and imho you possibly should be concerned about such a young person being vegan due to the importance of bone building and the total faff involved in getting what she needs from a plant based diet. You could try to see a state registered dietitian to get a good idea of what her daily intakes need to be. I know you are on board with it, but proceed with caution (though not always worth a battle, as it may pass anyway, just let it if it does).
At this point, I would just keep an eye on it, don't comment on the extra sandwiches at home - that's a good thing. Encourage lunches and bits to take to school, as you would as a parent, plus a filling breakfast and insist on a family meal in the evening. Try to find out what others do for lunch - maybe there is a bit of competetive undereating going on? In the meantime, try to keep her involved in activities that boost her confidence, avoid diet and weight talk yourself, and do stuff with her as much as poss. And try to be an antidote to all the online stuff which is utterly corrosive to self-esteem . If you notice further signs of an eating problem, don't wait before seeking advice from school nurse. You won't make it worse.
I asked if that what she was aiming for and she said yes
Can you repost the picture here or something very similar? Tbh, it sounds like full fledged panic time to me, but I need to understand the picture.
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