To feel like a failure!(181 Posts)
Basically my daughter - 6, is very overweight. She is in 10- 11 year clothes and carries the most weight on her tummy, but is visible overweight all over.
She was a very skinny toddler, but her weight crept up over the years from around the age of three. I honestly don't know how I've allowed it to get this way but I'm struggling to get her weight down. I eat a healthy diet in general. But I have a love for all things sweet too. I guess I've allowed my daughter to too.
She always seems to be hungry and over the past few weeks I have ensure that five days of the week she has no sweets/chocolate. at the weekends - I allow her some treats. She fills up in between meals on fruit.
Why haven't I seen a loss? I know these things are gradual, but she looks exactly the same size! I'm careful that she doesn't pick up on this, but she is already concious of her weight because she said 'I wan't a flat tummy like my friends at school" I am SO angry with myself for letting it get this bad. I know there are friends in her class that live on crap and fast foods. They are bean poles!
The types of food she eats are listed below. I never fry food or cook in grease and use healthy spread for toast.
low fat cream cheese
lots of fruit
fish fingers (yes I know!)
pasta with pesto
mcdonalds is the only fast food she would eat and that is on average a handful of times a year.
chocolate was most days until the last 6 weeks.
is anyone in asimilar position. I want her healthy, but not feeling her weight truly reflects what she consumes??
btw, she is not very active, but I think that's mainly due to her size...
Perhaps portion size?
Trying to get her to enjoy activities will help too. Take her swimming/biking/nice walks?
Activity and portion size are likely to be the biggest issues. And make sure she's not got a secret stash of food or getting extra from friends/family etc.
Can you do active things with her - go for a swim, walk to the park, walk to see friends/family or get off the bus a few stops early. If you've got a Wii or some such can you do the activity games with her?
Is she too young to get "points" for doing more steps on the pedometer? She's definately too young for the Shred [grins]
Well done for trying to take control.
OK well the most important thing is that you've recognised it and are prepared to do something.
It probably is much more about exercise now you're cutting out the sweet stuff.
Kids are incredibly energetic when they're allowed to be, but often the adult's lifestyle/working hours can limit this.
Can she play in the street after school?
When the clocks go forward, will you be able to take her to the park as often as possible?
Is she interested in video games? The Wii Fit is an excellent and fun tool for weight loss.
What does 'a few treats' at weekends actually mean? One fun size Crunchie? Half of the poundshop!
It's likely you're feeding her just slightly too large portions - it's dead easy to do with rice, pasta.
How about you both go for a walk after school?
I'd focus on reducing her portion sizes a little and crucially not mentioning you're doing it, or the word 'diet ' or fat.
And one treat size bar at weekends. If you need to scoff more, do it when she's in bed
she NEEDS to be active, that is the problem.. get her on a bike, walking, swimming... and the fat will go as long as she is eating a healthy balanced diet.. you arent a failure, but you do have to make sure you sort this out..
I'm not an expert but a lot of the foods above are heavy on carbohydrate and fruit is high in sugar. Could you maybe get some advice via your GP surgery as to what is good at that age?
It would be good if you could get to grips with this before she is old enough for it to affect her self-image.
This is a personal question so feel free to ignore it...are you overweight yourself?
I only ask because I wonder if you have a skewed vision when it comes to portion size?
Also do you own a car and if you do, do you drive her everywhere?
Sack off the rice cakes and breadsticks stat!
Reduce the potatoes.
Seriously....rice cakes and breadsticks are, in terms of the effect on blood sugar and insulin, almost the same as sugar. You're saying most of the weight is on her abdomen? That's typically carb-heavy diet fat deposits.
She's only 6 so do not cut out carbs she needs them and full fat stuff like yoghurt and milk is better then low fat full of sugar alternatives. Have a look on here www.nhs.uk/Livewell/childhealth6-15/Pages/Childrenandweight.aspx and get as active as possible.
I'd be limiting the fruit especially if she's eating 'loads'.
Exercise. She should be running around like a little maniac at that age.
I think, though, looking at that list - rice cakes and breadsticks can go...there's some complex carbs there - granary bread, weetabix, for example. Just sack off the puffed-up rice and bread.
DD1 was plump between 8 and 11 and then she shot up in hight and at 14 was a perfect adult 10-12. Not skinny by MN standards and certainly not the size 8 her eat like a mouse never stop joining sports clubs, younger sister is likely to be. But she is a icily proportioned young woman.
Yes you need to watch portion sizes and activity levels, but you also don't need be paranoid.
Thank you all for your helpful replies!
I still use those Ikea side plates for her meals, If she is having pasta, or chicken and rice, she will normally ask for more... otherwise, with everything else, she eats just the one meal. I do fill her plate, but they are tiny.
Treats at the weekend are definitely more than a treat size bar - but far less than half the poundshop ;-) I guess I'll let her have a couple of goodies, then we will visit grandparents....!
Sadly she has a massive fear of water so will not swim (ironically I am a great swimmer!). She cannot yet ride a bike without stabilisers, but she almost mastered it last year so I will definitely attempt again this year. Her weight makes these things harder for her. She is not confident.
She rides a scooter to and from school (15 mins each way). If I try to get her to walk anywhere she complains after five minutes that her legs hurt or she is tired. I put this down to her weight again. We could definitely be more active, I agree.
I work fulltime. I work from home though, so although that allows me some flexability, I still don't have 'free time' in the week before 6pm.
I dread summer in particular, as she always looks awkward and uncomfortable in her clothes. I feel like I am being judged and I fear that she will get picked on.
I thought cutting out the treats in the week would have some effect at least!
Bike rides? Get her some roller skates and find a local roller disco (I think they still have them in leisure centres) karate, dance or other active after school club?
Try not to give her any complex about it or weighing? You could if you really wanted to see results measure her around tummy, hips and thighs with a tape measure?
Also, what kind of fruit does she eat? I read recently that apples have been cultivated so that they're way sweeter than they were in previous decades, with some types of apple (like Pink Lady) containing as much as 4tbsns of sugar!
I think with children it's often not so much losing weight, so much as not increasing when they grow if that makes sense. So when she grows, then she might then stay the same weight, which effectively is less width. It also isn't easy to see a change in weight unless you go away and come back a month later.
If you wanted to weigh her could you make it a game? "When you were a baby we had to weigh, measure you and do your head circumference. Lets play at being a baby." You could do it subtly, by getting her to weigh her "baby" (doll) by going on the scales with the "baby" or getting on together and taking off your weight later. But only do it every 3-4 months maximum or so, and only as a game, don't make her feel it's important to you.
But I would watch the portion size. Try and walk to places, I'm constantly being amazed at how small distances people think it is necessary to drive. And try giving her a glass of water to drink when she's hungry.
If you've noticed and are working on it you're not a failure. It's just something that will take a time.
As she is 6, you don't actually want her to lose weight. What you want is for her to grow into her weight.
We had this with dd - she seemed to be hungry all the time, and although she ate a lot less than my boys she was always much heavier than them. I think it is because she is a sitter, they are always active. So if she was watching tv, for example, she will sit through the entire programme, whereas they will constantly get up and down, do headstands on the sofa, twitch, etc.
When we took dd to the gp, he had a look at a diet for a week and suggested we cut down on fruit and fruit juice - she used to have apple juice for breakfast, which is apparently a disaster and increase her protein consumption (her diet was carb heavy as she loves brown bread, pasta etc). And the other thing we were told was to get her to eat more but healthy things. So give her a full plate, but maybe less of the pasta/sauce and more side dishes (veg etc). Don't ever let her be hungry or let her realise you are cutting down, as she will start to crave food.
The other thing to remember is that the bigger you get, the more calories you need simply to function (to run your body as it were). So until she normalises a bit, she will eat more than other thinner children. But you need to get a balance.
So let her ride her bike with stabilisers.
Going to the park at 6pm will be doable during the lighter evenings.
"If I try to get her to walk anywhere she complains after five minutes that her legs hurt or she is tired".
I'm guessing you drive her a lot then?
My guess is because I have 3 kids and no car - therefore they can't afford to be 'tired' after 5 mins or they would never get anywhere.
Once the fat is there, without exercise it is very difficult to shift it. I think you are guilty of letting her be lazy by the sounds of it. And you really ought to help her get over the fear of water too, not just for her own safety, but she is going to feel more and more different from her peers when they are going swimming, having pool parties for birthdays (more and more common these days) etc.
Sadly, (and I am not condoning it) she is also quite likely to be picked on because other kids can be bloody cruel.
At the moment she is only 6, so you are the boss, and you have to take charge and enforce lots more exercise with immediate effect.
How about getting her doing a bit of walk/jogging and doing the race for life together? Not necessary or even appropriate for her to complete most of it jogging but she ought to be able to walk that far. My Dd got excited about running because I did it and she was really excited that we could actually complete a "race" together, plus you get to dress up and be part of the fun.
Exactly worra we pretty much walk everywhere and although Dd isn't that "sporty" she has always walked alot.
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