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to think my dd eats a lot and worry about her weight?

(162 Posts)
PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 22:57:11

My exH is morbidly obese. I had weight issues in my teens but have been a size 8-10 for the past nine years or so. Dd is 6, around 105cm tall and almost 4 stone. She looks fine from behind but has always had a big tummy that protrudes out of clothes. She does loads of exercise but her tummy seems to be growing bigger. We eat healthily but have McDonalds once per month, which we had at the weekend. She was sharing various things with her cousins and declared afterwards that she'd eaten ten chicken nuggets as well as a box of fries. That's more than I could eat! She's told me before that her dad has given her Pringles and she ate the entire tube confused

Today she had:

Two slices of brown toast with choc spread and banana and a yoghurt
Milk and Apple at snack time
Lunch consisting of three crackers, cheese, ham, peppers, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, melon, grapes, small cake
After school snacks of pineapple, cherries, popcorn and a bowl of cereal
Dinner of two Yorkshire puddings, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, five roast potatoes and four chipolata sausages
Pudding of jam sponge
An hour later was asking for yoghurt and fruit

If I reduce portion sizes she asks for more. She isn't eating due to boredom as she is always busy but she eats loads more than me and weighs almost half what I do. Aibu to worry about her eating and weight at this stage?

Amandine29 Wed 05-Feb-14 23:49:56

In that case I would take her to the gp.

It's very easy to fall into the habit of eating when not hungry and once you're at that stage it's hard to recognise true hunger.

Regarding the extra helpings, I would serve dinner straight onto plates. If you only offered her plain toast (or some other boring food) if she's hungry after dinner do you think she would eat any less?

PinkHardHat Wed 05-Feb-14 23:51:13

I agree with your idea of one pot dishes Ikea but she dislikes things mixed together, if that makes sense. Shewwon't eat risotto, stew, soup with bits in and so on.

ikeaismylocal Wed 05-Feb-14 23:52:16

I wouldn't worry what her friends are being given, you are ( for the next few years) in control you decide if she gets pudding.

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Feb-14 23:53:27

At the risk of pissing you off which is not my intention btw, she obviously does like chicken if she eats chicken nuggets.
What would happen if you plonked down a breast of chicken on the dinner plate (obviously not on its own) and there was no 'afters' if dinner wasn't eaten?

Notcontent Thu 06-Feb-14 00:04:24

I agree that there is too much sugar in each meal.

girliefriend Thu 06-Feb-14 00:14:04

I think it sounds like a lot of food from what you have described, my nearly 8yo doesn't have as much as that and is about 4 1/2 stone I think.

She eats is an average day

breakfast - slice of melon one piece of toast or a bowl of cereal

snack - fruit

lunch - a roll, crisps, piece of fruit and a yogurt.

after school - sometimes a cereal bar, sometime something like hummous and breadsticks.

Tea - if she was having a roast it would be one sausage, 2 yorkshires, veg and about 2 roasts (although tbf she doesn't really like spuds)

supper - yogurt and occasionally small piece of fruit or toast.

She also rarely finishes everything on her plate which is like me.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 06-Feb-14 00:16:53

Do you struggle to say no to her?

I really not being sarky - I really struggle to say no to my dc over food, I find the only way to reduce them amount they eat/want is not to have it in the house, or cook so much in the first place.
So: "no you cant have any toast after you have already eaten your more than adequate dinner as then there will not be enough bread for lunches tomorrow" and show her so she understands a limited supply maybe?

MetroBoulotDodo Thu 06-Feb-14 00:29:29

I think an easy area to cut down would be the sugar if you are worried. My dcs are older (12, 10, 8) and very active/hungry and they would eat as much as your dd but less sugary stuff.

A typical day would be:
banana and oatcakes on way to school (they swim for 1.5 hours before school)
ham and cheese sandwich and small carton of milk after swimming
snack mid-morning - usually something like crackers/ pretzels and a hard-boiled egg, sometimes fruit
lunch at school - either cooked or a hot dog/sandwich with salad followed by yoghurt
after-school is when they eat something sugary - usually a homemade cake or biscuit
dinner - meat/carbs/veg
fruit and yoghurt afterwards if they are still hungry

Sweets and choc etc I try to keep to weekends only, just by not having them in the house so they can only eat what's there.

FootieOnTheTelly Thu 06-Feb-14 00:43:42

That does seem a lot of food and a lot of different types of food.

How about logging her food for a few days and getting some more solid information about her fat, protein, carb and calorie intake.

It might be that you just need to make some quite minor adjustments.

ICanTotallyDance Thu 06-Feb-14 01:10:10

Hmm. I would second (third?) the GP visit. It could be that there is nothing wrong but it's worth getting checked out and also getting some extra information about nutrition from the doctor.

Is it possible for her to have a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner? So that she eats more before she does all her exercise? I have also noticed that she has a very big afternoon tea (with fruit, popcorn and cereal, it's more like a fourth meal than a snack).

You said she isn't drinking much. Is it possible that she is actually thirsty not hungry. That could also partially explain why she is asking for fruit and cereal (so there will be juice or milk).

To me (I'm no expert here) her morning meals and lunch seem good but her after school meals seem too much.

I think part of the problem could be that once she has eaten more than she is "supposed to" she keeps eating. I know I have done this. For example, if you eat the correct portion size and then are offered more food 20 minutes later you are unlikely to accept the offer, but if you eat a bigger portion size and then you are offered food 20 minutes later you are quite likely to keep eating what's on offer. I learnt that from a tv show though so don't trust me!

Here's some websites though... this one here about dish size and this one about portion size. Apparently a child will eat 25% more if served a large entree than a small one (but not necessarily cleaning either plate).

But I would recommend seeing a GP if you're worried rather than listening to me.

MummyPig24 Thu 06-Feb-14 06:49:07

That does sound like a lot of food, and I think my 6yo eats a lot. He is about 106cm and weighs 3st ish. He eats:
2 weetabix or one slice of toast for breakfast. Piece of fruit.
Snack at school one piece of fruit.
Lunch of sandwich, veg sticks, fruit, yogurt.
Last nights dinner was roast pork, 1 slice, 3 roast potatoes (that's 3/4 a whole potato) cabbage and peas followed by a yogurt.

He is a very active child but I still worry about him eating too much as I am overweight, and he has a sweet tooth.

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:29:05

Why don't you give her less food? that's a massive amount and she will be obese.
If she asks for more try saying no, you've had enough.
A pint of water will help fill her up.
She and you need to learn portion control. because you've overfed her for so long she is used to overeating and needs to get back to normal amounts.

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:30:53

To those saying go to the GP ; she doesn't need a GP. She is just eating too much and being enabled. Do you ever wonder where the obesity crisis is coming from?

moogy1a Thu 06-Feb-14 07:33:57

Oh, and that amount of exercise will make very little difference with that huge calorie intake.

Nerfmother Thu 06-Feb-14 07:37:53

I've just had a read through and estimated just over 2000 calories I the food listed. It doesn't read like consistently filling - lunch seems a bit light. I would try some swaps suggested and also say no.

Nerfmother Thu 06-Feb-14 07:38:57

Over 2000 calories is a lot btw for an average six year old. I eat that and I'm five seven , 8.5 stone and very busy.

Cat98 Thu 06-Feb-14 07:40:54

Yesterday my 5 year old ate:
2 bowls of cereal for breakfast
Apple at school snack time
Lunch was half a salmon and cream cheese bagel, a pepperami, some raspberries and some cucumber
After school he had a piece of toast, a satsuma, half a banana, a piece of Swiss roll, some raw carrots and some breadsticks
Dinner was a huge plate of spaghetti bolognese
Then he had a bowl of porridge before bed!

I think that's a lot. But he seems to eat at least this amount daily at the moment. So from that to compare, it doesn't sound like that excessive an amount of food to me.
However I would be changing the type of food as the others have said if she's overweight. Ds is 109 cm and 2 stone 10, I can't remember his bmi but think its about right.

giraffesCantMakeResolutions Thu 06-Feb-14 07:41:33

I often notice when they are bored they ask for more food - especially after dinner when they have "nothing to do". (despite mountains of toys)

OrangeMochaFrappucino Thu 06-Feb-14 07:45:54

I don't think a 6yo could/would drink a pint of water. It's hard to judge the amount there exactly because it depends on the size of the portions, but the positive is that she enjoys a great range of fruit and veg and is definitely eating the rainbow so you have good foundations for a healthy diet. I would agree with pps that fruit isn't very filling though and swapping in some protein may help fill her up for longer. Crackers in particular are really high GI (I think) so I might look at replacing them with oatcakes or wholemeal bread - complex carbs instead of simple anyway.

Eating a whole tube of Pringles in one go is definitely a problem and I think the situation you are in with her dadis the really tricky part. Would it be possible to talk to him about the health implications, avoiding focusing solely on weight? My dad feeds my toddler ds incredible amounts of 'treats' - if unchecked he would stuff him with cakes, chocolate, biscuits etc non stop. It's a misguided way of showing love. But it's not a problem for me because he doesn't look after him alone and it's not a regular thing so I don't have to challenge it directly. It sounds like unfortunately you do and I think that will be a really difficult message to get across.

OohMrDarcy Thu 06-Feb-14 07:46:57

Ok - Thats a lot of natural sugar based food.....

I would suggest that

a) she is thirsty
b) she needs protein at every meal

DD doesn't 'like' meat, but she manages to eat anything mince based (lasagne / shepherds pie / bolognaise etc), sausages, a small amount of proper meat with a roast...

Both my DC are hungry ALL DAY unless they have porridge or weetabix for breakfast.... seriously! DS who has just turned 4 managed 3 weetabix at the weekend (first time he's had more than 2) , we ALWAYS put fruit on top of either of these, normally a handful of raisins or blueberries or half a banana - sometimes a little honey with porridge, they get a 'sugary' cereal at the weekend if they want it sometimes.

Both DC have had phases of not drinking much and assuring me they were hungry... we've taught them that actually thirst is commonly mistaken with hunger (and explained how important water is) and we instilled the rule that if they thought they were hungry they had to have a drink of water and wait 10 mins ... if they ask again after that - then they get a snack

hope that helps

Sillysarah49 Thu 06-Feb-14 07:50:08

I would say given your exhus weight problem and yours previously, you do need to keep a very close eye on your daughters weight as she is much more likely to have a weight problem. Like others have said, try to up the protein intake as it is filling; save the cakes/puddings as weekend treats; and very very gradually reduce portion sizes so she does not notice. Making big changes all at once probably won't go down well. Also have you discussed your concerns with her dad or would this not be received very well?

Lovecat Thu 06-Feb-14 07:52:15

I have to say if I ate that lot, especially the breakfast, I'd be crashing and feeling hungry several times a day after the initial sugar high - that breakfast is very sugary and carby and not doing a lot to sustain her. Will she have scrambled eggs on toast? I always find DD is never as hungry if she has eggs for breakfast as when she has cereal/toast/yoghurt. A bowl of cereal for a "snack" is not a great idea.

She sounds very like DD at the same age in terms of food pickiness. DD also had a pot belly and couldn't fit trousers her age. At nearly 9, she now eats 'proper' chicken and has started to come around (slowly) to stews and casseroles, so there is hope! Still won't eat rice... (but has now lost her tummy)

You say she hardly drinks anything - quite often a feeling of thirst can be mistaken for hunger - perhaps try giving her a glass of water first when she comes asking for food, see if she's still thirsty afterwards?

Unfortunately it sounds like her father is not helping matters - a whole tube of pringles at that age is really quite shocking.

ElenorRigby Thu 06-Feb-14 07:54:03

DD is 6, she is 10cms taller than your DD but a 0.5 stone lighter. She eats well and is very active. She is smack bang in the middle of a healthy BMI. Although she loves food, she regulates what she eats well ie if shes full she stops and she never eats just for the sake of it.

What would concern me about your DD is that she keeps eating when she must be full, in short the greed, for example of stuffing herself with popcorn in case others get a look in. That is worrying.

Children learn from their parents, she is learning to over eat from her morbidly obese dad. Could her dad be teaching her bad habits on purpose to rile you?

My DSD different from DD and more like your DD. She does not have a stop button. She eats for fun as it where. DSD�s mum is morbidly obese too. Between meals she�s constantly looking for snacks and if offered food always says yes. She also hordes food that is hers and refuses to share eg Selection boxes at Christmas, whereas DD is perfectly happy to share chocolate gifts.

Shes OK for now but her way of eating is worrying.

So IME YANBU to worry too.

What the answer is I really don�t know. When child is getting mixed messages it�s very difficult to sort out as they gravitate to they like best.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 06-Feb-14 07:58:43

I would push more on the chicken thing to add some protein. DS used to insist he "didn't like chicken" (but would eat chicken nuggets) and I just refused to budge for him and would just stick chicken on the table and if he didn't eat it, no pudding and bath then bed. It only went on for a few days and he gave in, now he eats fahitas, enchilidas, KFC for treats and he even had roast chicken at Christmas. You do have to really stay firm! I think that weight is quite big though. You can see your GP though, hopefulyl they don't give them dreadful change4life things out though.

FredFredGeorge Thu 06-Feb-14 08:04:01

Over 2000 calories is a lot btw for an average six year old. I eat that and I'm five seven , 8.5 stone and very busy.

Comments like this are just wrong - you're an adult, they're a child, you're not growing any more, a child is, a child needs more, they also need different foods because of that. A "healthy diet" for an adult who doesn't do much activity is completely different to a child and different again to someone who does a lot.

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