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To ask what do your healthy 9 yr olds eat?

(75 Posts)
beautifulswan Mon 11-Jul-11 11:28:01

Wasn't sure where to put this, but as this forum rather busy thought here would be good.

My 9 year old daughter is overweight. She really, really needs to lose some weight. I don't know how much she weighs but I know she's the biggest (girl) in her class and is in clothes 4 years older than her, mainly.

She is a vegetarian so will only eat Quorn products, but I struggle to know what to give her, often whipping up a macaroni cheese or cauli cheese. I have started to cut back on this and also stopped sweets/crisps/cereal bars.

I have also stopped putting crap in her lunch box like Frubes etc. I must admit I really need some inspiration, for her lunch box and dinners. She is always SO hungry! But this has to stop.

So what does your healthy 9 yr old eat on a normal day??

squeakytoy Mon 11-Jul-11 11:33:24

Cut out the cheese.. that is where the problem is going to be.

Make spag bol or shepherds pie with quorn mince, and lots of veg.

Make sure she is getting more exercise. Even if she has lots at the moment, she probably needs more.

Portion size is probably a factor too, so cut down on that, and bulk it up with salad or veg.

Swap white processed things for wholegrain.

Make her drink lots of water.

Once you cut down on the sugar her appetite will change. When she says she is hungry give her water.. that will be all she needs if she has eaten her normal meals.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Jul-11 11:36:08

For a just turned 11 yo boy breakfast is cereal with milk. Lunch is a brown bread roll or two with ham, a cereal bar and a yoghurt. Supper last night was chicken & vegetable kebabs, some brown rice and veggies with a slice of cherry pie and custard for dessert.

Glad you're cutting back on the cheese because many veggies get fat overdoing it on cheese and fatty dairy products. To fill up a vegetarian without piling on the calories look at things like beans and other pulses, eggs and skimmed dairy products... the protein is filling. Pack the plate out with LOTS of steamed veggies and salads.... low cal but bulky. For starchy vegetables and other carbohydrates choose the wholegrain version and keep the portions relatively small. This is more sustaining than refined carbohydrates meaning she should last longer before needing food again. BTW.. Watch her fruit intake as well. Fruit is healthy in moderation but can be fattening in large amounts.

As she eats less her appetite will curb a little. Make sure she's active for a good 2 - 3 hours a day as well. Limit TV and computer/gaming time to one hour max per day. Good luck

EuphemiaMcGonagall Mon 11-Jul-11 11:37:10

DD is a slim 9 year old (she has her dad's frame, not mine!) and she will typically eat:

Breakfast - toast
Playtime snack - an apple or a banana
Lunch - sandwich made with one slice of brown bread, filling cheese or ham or tuna; soft fruit like strawberries; biscuit
Dinner - a dish based around rice or pasta, with lots of veg or salad

She would eat sweets and chocolate for the rest of the day if we let her, but we encourage her to choose something healthy like fruit, a yoghurt or a sandwich instead.

CurrySpice Mon 11-Jul-11 11:39:23

I think I read somewhere that one of the problems with childhood obesity is that they are given adult sized portions when in reality, they need much less than an adult. Could that be a factor?

Good luck to you and your DD grin

pinkthechaffinch Mon 11-Jul-11 11:41:58

DS is slim 9.5 year old, v healthy, not a spare ounce of fat on him.

Breakfast is normally a cheese toastie with mayo that he makes himself envy

Morning snack of some kind of fruit, strawberries at the moment

Lunch- sandwich, with some salad sneaked into it if I can, yoghurt, cereal bar and drink

Dinner-nearly adult size portion of whatever we are having i.e 2 pork chops, veg and 2 or 3 potatoes.

If he eats his tea he then can have 2 biscuits or an ice cream

Glass of milk before bed.

hannahsaunt Mon 11-Jul-11 11:43:13

Breakfast - good, wholegrain cereal with milk or water to drink.

Fruit for snack at playtime.

Sandwiches on good wholegrain bread (olive spread) with a protein filling (I guess not ham for your dd but peanut butter, maybe?); organic yogurt.

Good cereal bar for snack - one with nuts and seeds, honey rather than sugar, dried fruit etc so e.g. an apricot geobar rather than a Kellogs rice crispie thing.

Spaghetti bolognese, chilli, shepherd's pie etc for dinner - we have meat with almost all meals but in a v small quantity and bulked out with loads of vegetables. And more vegetables on the side.

Fruit based pudding - either something like melon/mango/strawberries or (less often) a fruit sponge or crumble.

Small biscuit or chocolate treat for supper.
Open access to fruit bowl and he eats loads of fruit.
Also does masses of sport. He's a skinny bottomless pit envy.

HTH

biddysmama Mon 11-Jul-11 11:47:03

ive got a 9 year old boy hes the right weight for his height..

breakfast-bowl of museli/porridge/cornflakes or 2 pieces of toast/crumpets

packed lunch-2x ham and low fat cheese wraps,cherry tomatoes,cucumber sticks,celery, frube,slice of home made tea loaf, apple,4 crab sticks, bottle of water

snack when he gets home-usually fruit or a yoghurt

tea- tonight its spag bol with mince,celery,courgettes,loads of tomatoe in sauce,mushrooms and spaghetti (obviously) then a yoghurt

supper-depends what he fancies, i make cakes, sugar free banana muffins or tea loaf atm so he usually has one of those

he has a big plate but i could probably fit it on a large baby plate?

biddysmama Mon 11-Jul-11 11:48:45

oh, theres a choice of full fat milk or water and as much fruit as he can eat

Insomnia11 Mon 11-Jul-11 11:48:58

Depends how much the adult eats...

I read six year olds need up to 1600 calories a day, and I'm not eating much more than that, or at least I try not to on the days I'm at work and sitting down a lot. DD1 does tend to have smaller portions of meals and more snacks than me but I only give myself slightly more at meals and have fewer snacks, so there's not much in it.

LadyThumb Mon 11-Jul-11 11:52:00

My son is vegetarian and, yes, it can be tempting to use too much cheese. We use Quorn Fillets and the Pieces, Morrisons Veggie Mince (don't like the Quorn mince), veggie burgers, etc. We just eat normal meals but made with the meat substitute. But I do do a mean Macaroni Cheese (one tip to make it more tasty is to put vegetable stock cubes in with the macaroni when cooking).

Cut down by a quarter on portion sizes, switch to wholemeal bread. Good luck.

beautifulswan Mon 11-Jul-11 12:02:40

Thank you so much for the replies, great advice. It's really good to see how much other peoples children eat.

I think one of our main problems is too much cheese and too big portions and simply too much food! She eats constantly when at home, she comes out of school "starving" (her words!!) and needs something as soon as she enters the door. Straight to the fridge. She'll have anything she can lay her hands on and I tell her I'll put dinner on ASAP. Trouble is if she has a bath that evening she'll come out "starving"!! and will need a hefty supper before bed. This often consists of sarnie and fruit so may have to stop this and switch to wholegrain. (Hadn't thought of this before)

Yesterday (sunday) I'd done a roast and she had 1 Quorn chicken fillet, 4 tiny roasts pots (a whole pot quartered) a bit of cauli cheese, peas and carrots, 2 small yorkshire puds, she finished it all and asked if next time she could have 2 chicken fillets shocked I asked if she was still hungry and she said no but could've eaten 2!

Without getting cross with her and sounding horrible (and making her cry) I find it hard to know how to respond to this sort of thing. (my instant reaction is anger which I know isn't helpful, I just can't bear to see her fat any more)

I can see her lose weight and put it on overnight, today she looked bigger so must've been the cauli cheese.

DP has recently bought muller rices, I told him off but he said they are low fat, I know these will be full of sugar so might even bin them.

Thanks again I really appreciate your help

snailoon Mon 11-Jul-11 12:04:59

We are all vegetarian. I think it is good to eat more simple foods, not "meat substitutes". Have you tried eating lots of pulses, whole grains, and vegetables, and using a little bit of grated parmesan (for instance) for extra flavour. I think vegetarians have to make the effort to cook tasty bean and whole grain dishes. There are lots of great cookbooks, but try going more in the direction of whole foods and macrobiotic cooking.
We eat lots of bean soups, stir fries (with tofu or seitan), Indian lentil dishes, Mexican bean dishes etc. These things are very filling and satisfying.
For snacks, what about vegetables dipped in hummus and things like that.
Salted air-popped popcorn is great for someone who just wants to chew on something, nice and crunchy without all the calories.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Mon 11-Jul-11 12:12:57

Not what you asked, but 'She is a vegetarian so will only eat Quorn products, but I struggle to know what to give her, often whipping up a macaroni cheese or cauli cheese'

Is there a reason you're sticking to meat substitutes and cheesy food? Will she eat her veg? As you're cooking for non veggies it might be easier to batch cook for her, things like veggie curry/chilli (with quorn or with vegetables, lentils and beans). If you do tortillas, you could make hers up with quorn strips, peppers and onion or use beans, courgette, peppers and onion. You can make up a 'shepherd's pie' with quorn type mince or lentils and veg and top it with a mash that's a mixture of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Baked sweet potatoes are popular in my house, with a squeeze of lemon, a drop of oil and filled with a little mozzarella for the dairy fiends (thank you St Jamie). She can help you do the cooking.

If she's having eg macaroni cheese is it taking up most of the plate? Whatever veg or salad goes with it should be taking up a third to half of it.

Plenty of water, keeping moving (because sitting around bored/watching tv makes people eat more) and having snacks that have to be well chewed to eat eg carrot sticks or apples will help her. Her stomach will be used to the amount of food she has been having and will take time to adjust to smaller portions.

This is the perfect time to start helping her to slowly lose weight by upping activity and making some changes to her diet.

northerngirl41 Mon 11-Jul-11 12:14:52

Agree with Snailoon - there is so much added crap in veggie substitute foods, she needs to be cooking stuff from scratch.

The snacking is definitely a problem. I'd focus on only having healthy snacks in the fridge or stuff she needs to actually cook (and therefore I'm willing to bet would skip if not genuinely hungry!). If you really want to make a difference you all as a family need to cut out the processed foods, not just her.

I suspect she's eating because she's bored - can you add in some more active activities after school?

squeakytoy Mon 11-Jul-11 12:15:19

If you have a wii, put her on the wii fit and encourage her to lose weight. You need to stress she is not on a starvation diet, she is on a healthy eating diet. You have a fine line between her developing an eating disorder and getting teased mercilessly at school but it is no good pretending there isnt a problem with her weight when there clearly is. Better to get rid of that weight now before she goes to secondary school where the kids will be much more cruel.

Stop buying snacks that she can just pig out on. Stop allowing her to help herself from the fridge.

I am sorry to say, yes it is your fault, but at least you have realised it now while there is still time to get it sorted out and before it does have a real impact on her life.

Cut that bedtime supper out right now, she does not need that. Her body needs to rest, not have her digestive system working overtime. We need food to give us energy, and we dont need that for sleeping. A milky drink is all she needs at bedtime.

Fruit at night is also not good.. too acidic and too much sugar which again isnt needed at bedtime.

beautifulswan Mon 11-Jul-11 12:28:35

The only reason I buy the substitute meat is because she had it at a friends and loved it! I'm not really happy cooking it and never have been as I don't fully understand what it is! But, it says it's high fibre and low fat so thought it must be ok. I guess the cauli cheese etc is just as it's quick and easy but I know I'm stuck in a rut and really need to discover pulses and beans.

Squeaky, you're dead right, I'm terrified of her starting secondary school like this, she has already been bullied at school about this by 2 children, I had a chat to both parents and it stopped. I know it wont be as easy in secondary school.

I'm lucky really, she eats most things, she loves veg and hummus and well, everything really!

I know full well it's my own fault, it's grown into a habit that needs breaking, especially the supper

beautifulswan Mon 11-Jul-11 12:31:47

Sorry forgot to say she is active, she does a lot of walking and loves swimming, she does probably spend too long watching TV though and on the Wii (don't have a Wii fit though!)

Good tip i've picked up is to swap burger buns for wholemeal wraps or pitta breads, so she could have spicy bean burgers in a wrap with salad/salsa, baked sweet potato wedges with a small spray of oil (tho they don't really need it ) dollop of sour cream for dipping. Very tasty and not too bad calorie wise either

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Mon 11-Jul-11 12:43:28

Excellent. As she loves her veg and as you need to keep her busy why not learn some new recipes together? If she's involved with making her food it should help her to appreciate the new healthier regime. Have a hunt for a recipe book that works for you and make sure you have a knife you're happy for her to use and a spare chopping board! There's nothing nutritionally wrong with Quorn BTW. It's just that it's only one way of doing veggie food, and as she's happy to eat veg, you might as well have some fun exploring the others. And veggie chilli/curry with loads of veg, beans and lentils and brown rice is freakishly healthy, full of nutrients and has feck all calories in it. Whilst she is adjusting to eating less, it's something that she can eat in volume.

Do have a word with your DP though. Things that say 'low fat' are, as you already know, full of sugar, and buying processed food that hardly needs chewing isn't going to help your DD.

worraliberty Mon 11-Jul-11 12:56:46

Is she encouraged to play out in the street?

I really think this is one of the main reasons so many children are overweight compared to years ago.

It's not just food and portion size but lack of being able to run around for hours after school/at weekends.

Kids have an amazing amount of energy and if they're not allowed to burn it off, they can often gain too much weight/have behavioral issues.

Mine tend to want to snack way more when they're indoors. If they're out on their bikes/playing in the street, they tend not to even think about it (til the ice cream van pulls up!)

HattiFattner Mon 11-Jul-11 12:58:10

www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/recipes/healthy/200-400-cal/

lots of good ideas here.

Maybe start planning your meals in advance, so there is not the temptation to make high fat cheesy stuff.

Also plan snacks - maybe a nice fruit smoothy after school to keep her going. frozen fruit and 0% greek yogurt.

Portion sizes are difficult - when a child likes heir food, its hard not to pile their plate. as a rule, half plate veg. QUarter plate protein. Quarter plate carb.

Make sure she drinks a glass of water with every meal - and also when she gets home from school.

think about choices.....you give her a choice of something healthy vs something delicious but high in fat, guess which one she will choose?

Rather give her the option between 2 healthy snacks.

Finally, you have to harden yourself to the whine of "but im hungry!". You can see your child is not starving, so having given her a healthy dinner, offer nothing else but a drink before bedtime.

ANd finally....lots of pools are offering free swimming in the holidays - maybe get one of the passes and takee her for a swim every afternoon. Plus a nice adventure in the park. Plus getting on your bikes for a picnic. Or a long walk out with the dog.

I can tell you that at a size 20, I hate being large, and you are doing her no favours by indulging her with food.

As I fellow cheese fan can I also say I feel the girls pain, t'is a terrible, cruel addiction sad

Will say tho when she does have cheese, use the fine side of the grater, it looks like you have loads when there is only a tiny bit compared to using the big chunky side.

Veggie fritata with a big pile of salad is another good one and replacing the qourn with beans and lentils can only be a good thing. Just save qourn for lazy nights only.

mrsmollie Mon 11-Jul-11 13:08:42

I have a 10 year old.
He loves pitta bread filled with salad/veg and rice.
Also natural yoghurt with nuts and fruit chopped up in it.

Already sweetened food can really make them crave more and more sugar. Also, in low fat food, the fat is reduced, but the sugar is increased.

So, most importantly they can mistake hunger for thirst. When your DD rushes in starving from school - give her a huge drink of water. It's so easy for them to think they are hungry when they are thirsty.

Agree with the poster who said once her sugar levels get evened out a bit, the appetite is more controllable.

In the evenings, I announce that 'The kitchen is closed' and no one is allowed toast, biscuits, only a cup of tea! (But then I am a bossy boots.)

mrsmollie Mon 11-Jul-11 13:09:38

PS A lot of hard cheese is very salty...blander cheese might reduce the salt craving too

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