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About the word fat around DD?

(71 Posts)
Fanfeckintastic Sun 11-Jan-15 09:11:27

Genuinely not sure here.

DD is 3.7 and I have never used the word fat around her or ever really. It's just not a word I like because it seems to only be used to put yourself or other people down, it's rarely used in a positive context. Back story here is that I had a mother who called me fat from a very young age so maybe this is clouding my judgment.

DD would snack all day if she could but we get loads of exercise so she's fine for the moment but I reckon I'd have to keep a quiet eye on her diet. She has no concept that eating too much makes you fat etc and I'm not sure I want her to but on the other hand there's my friend who takes an entirely different approach which I admire in a weird way.

Friends DD is 4 and my friend will often tell her "you'll get a fat tummy like me if you keep eating like that", "all that food will make you fat" etc, now I don't like the self deprecating or giving her DD and unrealistic idea of fat because my friend definitely isn't fat but I do admire the jovial but factual and open casualness of it all.

I know it reads like a total non issue, it's only a word but really it's the host of other things that go along with that.

ApocalypseThen Sun 11-Jan-15 09:15:52

I agree with your way. We don't comment on other people's bodies in this house. While a four year old might see the comments now as factual, they will become very loaded as she grows older. And her mother would be better of taking steps to improve her self esteem and model better eating behaviour rather than passing her hangups about her body on to her daughter.

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:17:39

* She has no concept that eating too much makes you fat etc and I'm not sure I want her to*
well I should imagine she'll end up fat, then!
Why do you not want her to understand the basic principle that too much food can make you fat? It's basic education.

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:19:05

I quite happily tell my children that if they eat too much of the wrong stuff they'll get a big fat tummy. I don't think it's giving them any issues other than knowing not to eat too much.

Flumpf Sun 11-Jan-15 09:19:36

I don't think what your friend is saying to her dd is such a great idea. May be focus on the word "healthy" rather than the word "fat".

skylark2 Sun 11-Jan-15 09:19:45

I don't know why you'd hide from your child that eating too much makes you fat. Why does she think you limit her snack intake?

Being fat isn't positive. Why would you use it in a positive context? It's like using being unfit in a positive context, or being uncoordinated in a positive context.

There's a difference between calling a child fat (not good) and making sure they understand that eating too much will make them fat (definitely something a child going to school should know).

Andrewofgg Sun 11-Jan-15 09:20:28

You can ask your friend to lay off the F-word but when your DD starts school if she appears fat to the children there they will say so without mercy.

Artandco Sun 11-Jan-15 09:20:56

I think it's fine to use in content. My children need to know that they should consider what foods they eat more etc as they can become overweight or unhealthy otherwise. They know at their young age that they can eat unlimited fruit and veg for example, but can't do that with chocolate

Fanfeckintastic Sun 11-Jan-15 09:21:16

She's only 3 adsy it seems really young to bring weight and appearance into it.

We talk about healthy food and exercise so she knows what's healthy and what's not but I don't think I want her worrying about getting a "big fat tummy" at three.

Artandco Sun 11-Jan-15 09:21:39

Oh but I wouldn't say they are fat etc if they were

Artandco Sun 11-Jan-15 09:22:21

Mine are 3 and 4. We have spoken about healthy eating in general conversation since they were weaned

ApocalypseThen Sun 11-Jan-15 09:23:11

Giving a three year old the responsibility for gauging how much is too much seems like a potential minefield to me. How on earth can they judge that?

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:24:27

I don't thik 3 is too young at all to understand the concept that overeating makes you fat. It's the perfect age to instill good diet mindset. Leave it till she's what? 10, 11? By then it's too late for a lot of children.
It's exactly the same as saying put your coat on or you'll get cold. or hold my hand over the road or you may get squished by a car. 3 is more than old enough to understand.

Singleandproud Sun 11-Jan-15 09:24:52

I go for a completely factual approach with my DD (5) and have done since she was 2/3 we talk about foods having energy points and food with vitamins and minerals in that help our body grow. We talk about what happens if we eat too many energy points (our body stores the energy as fat if we have too much fat it isn't good for us) etc. At first She obviously didn't really understand so We had sometimes foods and always foods but actually she picked it up pretty quick - will say no or ask for a small bowl of ice cream or an Apple instead if she has already had treats during the day (also after dancing she'll say well I've used loads of energy so I can have some chocolate lol).

I think there is so much on offer and portion sizes of treats etc are so much bigger and more readily available than when I was younger that it's important for her to be able to make an informed choice and understand the consequences even if that understanding isn't 100%. I think it's also important to say that people HAVE fat not that they ARE fat.

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:25:40

apocalypse I'm not saying give her responsibility, just inform her the reason why you shouldn't overeat

Fanfeckintastic Sun 11-Jan-15 09:26:29

I don't think anyone is giving a three year old that responsibility apocalypse?

This isn't about DDs diet, which is very healthy though if she had her way (which she doesn't) she would snack all day.
It's about me tip toeing around a word and wondering should I be more up front abouteating too much=getting fat.

Fanfeckintastic Sun 11-Jan-15 09:27:27

Sorry I thought you meant I was giving DD responsibility over her own diet!

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:28:02

Yep. I think you should use the word fat.

editthis Sun 11-Jan-15 09:29:50

I COMPLETELY agree with you. Fat is almost like a swear word in our house. Mainly because my MIL doesn't use it in a factual "if-you-do-this,-this-is-what-will-happen", but constantly talks about other people (in the street, on television) as per that context. I find it extraordinarily distasteful.

There's a huge difference between emphasising health, and explaining how to eat until you're full rather than sore because something tastes nice, and doing exercise because it's good to be active, than saying do this or don't do that because otherwise you will be FAT. It's so loaded and it's not as simple as that, anyway; you're still required to explain why fruit and vegetables can be unlimited and chocolate cannot.

YANBU

ApocalypseThen Sun 11-Jan-15 09:30:16

I don't think anyone is giving a three year old that responsibility apocalypse?

Well call me crazy, but it seems to me that if you're telling a small child that eating too much will make them fat, there's an inbuilt assumption that they have the tools to gauge how much is too much.

editthis Sun 11-Jan-15 09:32:43

Saying that, I like your honest approach with energy points and nutritional value, *singleandproud*. I'm not saying there should be any mystery and I'm a big fan of EXPLAINING things (I am very boring), but I do hate the word "fat".

KoalaDownUnder Sun 11-Jan-15 09:33:28

I'd prefer to go with 'Because it's not good for your body to eat too much'. Leave the word 'fat' right out of it.

It is true that overeating causes people to get fat, but unfortunately the concept of 'fat' is so inextricably linked to appearance, rather than health, in our culture. Especially for girls.

But I say this as someone who overheard her father calling her fat when she was 4, and still remembers it. And had an eating disorder for 20+ years (although admittedly that wasn't the only reason).

GobblersKnob Sun 11-Jan-15 09:34:07

I wouldn't talk in a mocking way of fat, or imply that fat is unattractive, but we do talk about healthy food and that too much food well make your body store too much fat which will make it work less well than it should.

But I try and concentrate more on why healthy stuff is good than why anything is bad iyswim.

adsy Sun 11-Jan-15 09:34:09

apocalypse you tell them that eating too much will make them fat, then you give them the appropriate portion size. That shows them how much is the right amount without them having to actually serve it out themselves.
if you offer them the biscuit tin and they grab 3, you say that's too many, you'll get a fat tummy. Then hand them one. It's teaching them portion control. just as by saying hold my hand to cross the road doesn't mean you have given the 3 year full responsibility to cross the road.

Fanfeckintastic Sun 11-Jan-15 09:35:48

Well call me crazy, but it seems to me that if you're telling a small child that eating too much will make them fat, there's an inbuilt assumption that they have the tools to gauge how much is too much.

No no sorry I completely misunderstood, I thought you thought I was giving DD responsibility over her own diet. I agree with you!

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