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To be thinking of how to help my 6 year old son lose weight?

(43 Posts)
mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 18:58:11

He's always been chubby/stocky but he's starting to look quite fat now....i don't want to make it an issue but when i try to cut back on what he consumes/make healthier food swaps etc...he moans and whines...i think he needs to be told that he is eating too much....but is this wrong?? don't want him to have low self esteem or poor body image.

BornToFolk Sun 26-Jun-11 19:00:23

How much excercise does he get? I think I'd be trying to increase the amoun of excercise rather than restrict food...unless he's eating loads of junk food all the time.

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:04:24

We walk to and from school every day (about 1 mile)

Today we went to the park then walked the coastpath (about 2.5 miles),park again in afternoon.

He does multisports on Saturday morning,that's an hour of running around,swimming lesson once a week at school.

That's about it,more dog walking and park etc...during the week.

orienteerer Sun 26-Jun-11 19:06:28

Could he not do some active after school clubs? How about tag rugby or football on a Sunday morning?

soverylucky Sun 26-Jun-11 19:06:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubblecoral Sun 26-Jun-11 19:06:58

You can't make a 6 yo lose weight, it's not healthy. You should be aiming for him to not put on weight as he gets older so that he grows into it.

I think you should talk to your GP who could let you talk to a nutritionist. You need to make sure that portion sizes are suitable for a 6 yo, you might be surprised at how little food they need.

Make excercise more fun for him, make the effort to find out what he likes doing and then give him the opportunity to do it.

If he moans and whines that he can't eat what he wants whan he wants, then you just have to put up with it. As a parent, it's your job to make sure he is healthy, whether he moans or not.

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:10:00 are right....will put up with the moaning.

My other children are very skinny,i have to encourage them to eat!!

FabbyChic Sun 26-Jun-11 19:12:32

dont allow him to snack on crisps or sweets, if you give him packed lunch put in healthy options rather than crisps/biscuits.

Selks Sun 26-Jun-11 19:12:58

I'd present it as a 'whole family' approach to him...don't make a big deal out of it but just say that all the family is going to eat less of the stuff that is bad for us and more of the stuff that is good for us. Don't make him go hungry but swap an unhealthy snack - say, crisps, for a healthy one such as an apple for example. You could introduce the idea of 'traffic light' food - red food is food that you all only have as an occasional treat, orange is ok in moderation and green for good foods etc.
The general approach as I understand it is not to aim for children to diet / lose weight as such but to eat healthier plus a bit less calories so that as they grow their weight becomes more appropriate to height.
You're right to want to avoid personalising it as an issue to him, as it is so easy for overweight children to end up with self esteem issues as a result of how people respond to their overweight.

CMOTdibbler Sun 26-Jun-11 19:13:36

I think you need to look seriously at his portion sizes, and implement seconds of veggies only, plus veggies to snack on - he'll still get plenty of food. Plus, what does he drink ? You can get an awful lot of calories through milk and juice

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:16:16

I am encouraging him to eat more slowly,he bolts his food,sometimes using his hands aswel as knife and fork,shovelling it in at an alarming rate,he's putting the next forkfull in before he's finished chewing/swallowing the one he's on...he will eat huge amounts (if he's allowed to) and will try to finish his brother's meals too.

pointydog Sun 26-Jun-11 19:16:48

Look at what the whole family eats and cut out any rubbishy extras.

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:20:39

To drink he has squash,the no added sugar ones (i am aware that there is still sugar in these though) so maybe water?

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 26-Jun-11 19:21:31

So basically he is greedy then. My DS age 7 yrs is exactly the same and I have had to rein him in as we do have a tendency to be over weight.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 26-Jun-11 19:23:54

Yes...water to drink. No added sugar usually means Aspartame and other nasty additives.

Three meals a day....penty of apples and a banana if he's starving.

Cut out youghurts and cheese snacks....he should get his dairy from hole milk and a little butter...not spread.

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:24:58

well,i was a bit worried to suggest this but it seems that may be the case.

He just can't get enough and if allowed he would eat and eat,of course i don't allow this but i'm sure he'd eat til he was sick if i let him sad

MumblingRagDoll Sun 26-Jun-11 19:25:20

I don't think 6 year old's can e greedy actually....Ithink they can have an imbalance of sugars which makes them feel starving....too many sugary foods cause a crash in energy which makes them want more crap food.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 26-Jun-11 19:26:09

What does he have for brekkie on a typical day Mellowbird?

mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:28:05

He doesn't have cheese snacks etc...too expensive...he does have fruit,there is literally nothing he doesn't like!!!

chocolatchaud Sun 26-Jun-11 19:30:32

Is he your youngest? I find my youngest eats similar portions to the older ones and eats things that they would never have been allowed at the same age. Not sure how to tackle that really, other than not having those unhealthy foods available to him, as others have said.

Also, it's often said that thirst is mistaken for hunger, so perhaps a few more glasses of water? Good luck - tough one.

manicinsomniac Sun 26-Jun-11 19:31:33

I don't think you are being unreasonable. My friend put her 6 year old on a diet a couple of years ago without telling the little girl she was doing it. SO the child ate more healthily/ate less without a) really knowing she was doing it or b) connecting it to her weight and weight loss at all. She is now a slim 8 year old.

niceguy2 Sun 26-Jun-11 19:33:04

You are going to have to be strict and this is one of those situations where you are going to have to be cruel to be kind. It goes against every parental instinct to watch your child go hungry.

But I agree with others that it's probably not just how much he's eating but what he's eating too.

I'd make sure more meals are homecooked to avoid the crap they put into packaged foods, cut out the sweet drinks, up the veg & fruit and over time I bet he'll get leaner.

But this isn't something you can just do for a few months. For this to be effective, this is going to have to be a lifestyle change for your entire family forever.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 26-Jun-11 19:35:06

Does he have mainly fresh foods? Or are lots processed?

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 26-Jun-11 19:36:22


mellowbird Sun 26-Jun-11 19:39:40

We have a mix of home cooked and ready prepared foods.

George is my 4th child but not the youngest.

For breakfast he either has toast or cereal.

I really appreciate all the ideas and suggestions thankyou.

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