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to be at the end of my tether re: my exH and our DDs weight/diet?

(59 Posts)
livvielunch Mon 11-Jan-16 23:38:54

DD is 9 yo and weighs around 5 stone and is 118cm tall. She is overweight. Her dad has her EOW, once a week midweek and half of holidays. DD is very greedy; if there's food around, she'll eat it. I've discussed it with my exH before after she's come home talking of having eaten an entire family bag of doritos/malteasers. He thinks she's fine and tells her repeatedly how skinny she is hmm

He took her to school this morning and so prepared her lunch, too. In her breakfast and lunch I'd say there was at least 35 spoons of sugar altogether. She already has two fillings and he has been asked to reduce sugar but still remains convinced that what he feeds her is fine. If I bring up her weight/diet with him, he says it must be my fault because she's here more but I have to restrict her a lot because of how much she's eating there. Aibu to feel utterly helpless here? She was absolutely down in the dumps after school and craving sugar to fix it.

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Mon 11-Jan-16 23:48:03

you need to get her thinking for herself so she can start making sensible decisions. yes ex should do it but some people are just bloody stupid aboutit.

(mine had ice cream, fizzy pop, and crisps all within the space of four hours at ex's)

livvielunch Mon 11-Jan-16 23:54:08

She's awaiting assessment for aspergers and is incapable of making the right choices. She repeats about how skinny she is so can eat whatever she likes,doesn't need to exercise etc.

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Tue 12-Jan-16 00:00:52

mine went the otherway. ds has ASD and watched half of jamie olivers sugar programme and has been obsessed ever since.

asd may work in your favour if you can get someone with enough authority to set the rules for her to follow.

dentist, dr, school nurse?

I am going to have to have another conversation with their dad. that should be fun. he has the attention span of a gnat.

Rainbowqueeen Tue 12-Jan-16 00:01:01

Would he listen to the GP or someone else who has "official standing" rather than you??

Good luck, it must be really frustrating

reni2 Tue 12-Jan-16 00:11:39

She might be able to follow the rules if she understands them and it is somehow possible for her to realise she is by no means skinny. Can the GP talk to her directly? Once understood, she might actually become quite conscientious and stick to them?

I take it your ExH agrees she is obese?

redskirt3 Tue 12-Jan-16 00:21:49

I'm on a similar situation. I take a two-pronged approach. I minimise her intake of fattening food/sugary food when she is home. I keep a strict eye on her portion size. I buy low fat cheese and milk (which really grates because the rest of us benefit more from full fat, but I've decided that getting her weight under control is the priority). Secondly I try to educate her about healthy eating and I'm teaching her food prep of things like veggies etc - I know this second point is s lot harder with ASD but.

It's a real minefield, because I don't want her to be hung up about body image, but she picked up that I was concerned about her weight despite my efforts to conceal them. She proudly announced to me the other day "look my tummy is getting flatter".

redskirt3 Tue 12-Jan-16 00:25:37

Oh yes and I enforce exercise every single day that she's home - she is not impressed but I think it's in her best interests. (So they might be us both going for a walk or bike ride, her swimming class, or just playing in the backyard for half an hour.)

reni2 Tue 12-Jan-16 00:38:11

Can she have school meals instead of packed lunches? You do have the biggest control here, he does have a point with that. Back of a fag pack calculation:

365 days/ year= 1095 meals

190 school days= 190 healthy school lunches =17%

6 holiday weeks with him= 126 meals (11%) + 6 weekend meals eow (so 3/week) +1 weekday dinner for 40 school weeks (14.5%) =25.5%

Up to you:
The remaining 57.5%

So if you make yours good, you + school control 74.5% of her diet. She won't remain 1.5 stone too heavy if you stick to it.

lilydaisyrose Tue 12-Jan-16 06:00:04

I don't have a lot of advice on the ex issues, but wanted to sympathise on the weight. My DD is 8.5 yrs, 137cm and around 37kgs - overweight according to NHS child BMI calculator. She looks fine with clothes on and doesn't visibly look overweight I don't think, but she's in clothes that are age 11 and 12 plus and has a really podgy middle section and we are worried about her. We have decided to cut out supper (used to get cereal before bed), make sure most snacks are healthy and try and help her get some more exercise by going for family walks etc. She doesn't eat good meals as she's a fussy eater so that doesn't help. My DD doesn't have a clue that it's an issue. We will review things in the summer. She doesn't self regulate well and is a wee bit greedy - this, added to the fact she doesn't eat much at mealtimes, is the issue I think.

I really feel for you, must be so tricky to manage this on your own without the control of some of her diet and without the support to get this sorted.

HeteronormativeHaybales Tue 12-Jan-16 06:41:35

Are you sure those figures are right? 118cm for a 9yo is tiny - I have an 8yo who is about 114, and he's tiny, unusually so, always has been. But he weighs 20kg, which I think is 3 stone and a bit in old money and pretty much the middle of the healthy weight range. 5 stone would be really very overweight at that height, I should think. So perhaps your height figure is out?

I notice that she connects exercise with weight - perhaps you could introduce her to the idea that everyone needs to exercise, regardless of their weight, and that being active is fun? Would she be intrested in any sports, or even going walking/running/cycling with you? I also notice you say she was craving sugar. How did that come about? What do you give her at home? Do you have the idea of food as treats? Said tiny 8yo is very interested in food - a lot more so than his older brother - and will have strong desires for certain things, including sweets and crisps, but also other stuff such as rice cakes, fresh tomatoes with salt and pepper on bread (!), plain crackers. We allow 'unhealthy' food, and on a fairly regular basis, but small amounts at a time. The main thing we pay attention to with our dc is variety in their diets and encouragement to try a range of things. I appreciate that may be difficult with ASD. Is there something about the 'easiness' and familiarity of sugary foods which makes them comforting for her?

Tbh, your ex's comments on her weight are unhelpful less because of their inaccurate content but because they indicate that there is some sort of preoccupation with weight hovering in the air around her. I don't think it's good for a child of that age, overweight or not, to be encouraged to think in these terms. I wonder if he is, clumsily or destructively, trying to counter what he (rightly or wrongly) feels is an obsession with it in you? How do you talk to her about weight and body image?

Katenka Tue 12-Jan-16 06:53:28

Dd was board line overweight last year.

We introduced exercise and healthy eating. Dh, who is slim even joined in. We all did it together.

But we also educated her on sugar, which was dds main issue. But we did it all from a health point of view.

As she may have aspergers educating her may be the better route. I have Aspergers, the educating helped me. Rather than being told it was 'just bad for me'.

When I spoke to my doctor at an appointment he told me to get an accurate weight and height and come back without her, meet with the nurse and get some advice. Can you do that but take you Ex dh so he is told in no uncertain terms by the doctor?

If that doesn't work maybe a trip to the doctors take ex dh and dd so he can speak to them both.

Personally I don't like school dinners. I don't see the need for pudding and I wouldn't trust a small child to pick the fruit or yoghurt regularly. But I think in this case it may be a good idea. That's an awful amount of sugar in one meal.

Eating well all week can certainly be undone by bad eating at the weekend if you are eating enough unhealthy food.

RebootYourEngine Tue 12-Jan-16 07:03:23

Whats your exhs weight like? Is he on the bigger side?

If he is also bigger he might be in denial about his own weight so he will not seeva problem with your dd.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 12-Jan-16 07:35:07

Oh, what a difficult situation. It sounds like your exH is undoing all the good work by giving her a weeks worth of sugar in just a couple of meals angry sad hmm. Even if she wasn't overweight that would be a terrible thing to do.

It sounds like she needs to seriously cut down on sugar or will always be on a sugar rollercoaster and nothing you do will help because it will derail every time she is with him.

But if you try to counteract his terrible catering, it will probably end up as DD seeing you as the 'nasty' parent and her dad being the 'nice' parent as he is giving her the treats that you deny her.

Can you look at Change for Life with her? There's an app and it all seems to be presented in a way that a 9 YO can understand. Maybe the key is separating weight from activity, ie that activity is something that everyone needs to do, it's not just something we do when we want to lose weight. Can you get into running with her and parkruns?

A friend of mine takes his DSs on all sorts of activities with him, biking, running, swimming etc and his 8 YO has just done a 5 km parkrun in 32 minutes.

It it was me, I would consider feeding her whatever crap has 35 teaspoons of sugar in and entire family packs of crisps and sweets to be inadequate parenting and neglect and would seriously reconsider letting him have her at all, but obviously that would be a very big thing and not fair on DD not letting her see her dad.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 12-Jan-16 07:45:04

Have you actually asked him what his view point is as opposed to just telling him yours?

He may percieve your approach as the wrong one.

Not saying the results are great but it may be possible to find a way to work together rather than against each other

grumpysquash2 Tue 12-Jan-16 07:47:21

I was wondering if the height was right too.
My 9yo (boy) is 152.5cm! Admittedly he is super tall, wearing age 11-12 clothes, but I don't think anyone in his class is >30cm shorter than him.

I think the problem is more about:

1. her dad is telling her she's skinny (not true)
2. he is telling her she can eat and drink what she likes (not true, not even for skinnies)
3. he is in denial

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 12-Jan-16 07:54:09

Having been where you are it is tricky ( though I was there with 50:50 shared care) I arranged dietitians appointments that he pulled out of at the last minute and failed to provide a food diary - I wonder why mine was fine.
What I would say having had the same with my 9 year old DD is that you need to tread carefully as emotions were also tied in along with crap diet from him. Our NHS dietitian's advise was to maintain weight and grow into it, present healthy choices all along, but don't obsess about food due to the age group.
I got a referral really easily from my GP and it was helpful. Two years on emotions are still involved, but we are slowly winning.

reni2 Tue 12-Jan-16 08:06:58

These measures are right, OP has posted about her dd before, she is really short and heavy.

redexpat Tue 12-Jan-16 08:34:41

Have you posted about him before? DD comes home complaining of tummy ache because she is made to finish everything on her plate?

reni2 Tue 12-Jan-16 08:58:30

I thought it was the thread about school dinners making her obese.

Owllady Tue 12-Jan-16 09:04:12

Are you under the community paedatrician? They run healthy eating courses for parents of children who are on the autistic spectrum. I wonder if you can encourage him to go on one with you? My daughter has autism/sld and its been drummed into us to offer healthy options as its so complicated and difficult if your child has complex/additional needs

JE1234 Tue 12-Jan-16 09:15:47

I disagree with some of the other posters suggesting that a healthier diet at yours alone can solve this. Even if you were to drop her calorie intake by 500 cals a day, which would be quite drastic at her age, for the 4 days you have full control of her diet on joint custody weeks. He would only need to be giving her 666 extra calories on his days to cancel it out. That wouldn't be hard if he is giving her junk food or food laden with sugar. Is there anyone he would listen to? The GP or the school maybe?

reni2 Tue 12-Jan-16 09:18:24

I didn't suggest a healthier diet at OP's house alone will solve it, but last year the school was at fault for the child's weight, now it is the ExH. Everybody has to pull together and OP is the most important player in this as the primary carer.

TheWordOfBagheera Tue 12-Jan-16 09:30:55

Perhaps instead of pointing out that she's not skinny you could go down the route of explaining that being skinny doesn't automatially mean healthy. It's what we put into our bodies that matters, not what size we are. You can still suffer with x,y,z if you are skinny but eat too much sugar/fat/junk.

That way, her Dad's comments of "it's ok to eat this rubbish because you're skinny" might not hold weight any more?

WorraLiberty Tue 12-Jan-16 09:36:35

Is she exercising enough?

If he only has her once a week midweek after school, and roughly 2 weekends per month, that's not a great deal of time to affect her weight dramatically, even when you add in half the school holidays.

He does need to start listening to you regarding this, but I'm not sure her weight is down to him alone.

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