To stop my daughter (what I see as) overeating?(261 Posts)
She's 7, fit and healthy but neither skinny nor fat. Does gym, dance, etc each week.
But she has an enormous appetite. And we keep clashing over it.
For example this morning she has cried that she is hungry but has had a bowl of rice crispies, a banana and a cheese sandwich. She's only been up since 7. I've made her have a big drink in case she is thirsty. I would be full if I had that.
Yesterday she had a bowl of bran flakes, strawberries, breadsticks and Nutella (as a snack) mid morning, kids portion of fish chips and peas (at a restaurant) and apple crumble and custard for lunch then 'green pasta' for tea (peas, pesto, courgette, garlic, onions) and a corner yoghurt for pudding.
There is a rule in our house that food is unlimited but if it's outside of mealtimes it's fruit veg and water or milk. And I've offered all of that but she's still whinging on.
She's been like this every day of the holidays and it's relentless every day. Even before the holidays she was always complaining about portion size, 'can I have more? I'm hungry etc'
Is she just chancing it for more food? Because she doesn't want the fruit and veg and water on offer.
Boredom eating - I agree with you - its fruit all the way. But if she is running it off, I wouldnt be unduly worried
She sounds bored ... why don't you take her for a bike ride or some other physical activity like swimming.
But I meant to say, dont make food an issue or a battle, doing that might lead to disordered eating later in life.
If she is very active she will be burning so much off that she needs more food, at 7 she could possibly be gearing up for a growth spurt too. You obviously feed her very healthy meals and so if she is asking for a little bit extra I wouldn't worry about it. Some of us just need more food than others, I've always been quite slim but I have a huge appetite.
She's bored. Don't give in. I used to be the same and ended up an obese child. Stick to your guns.
Perhaps she is about to grow a few inches. She's not overweight, don't worry
Does sound a bit like she’s bored - what’s she doing most of the day?
If she’s a healthy weight I wouldn’t worry she’s eating too much but don’t make it a battle. See if you can distract her with activities or having a friend around etc.
A lot depends on portions and size tho, a cheese sandwich could be tiny or huge. Wouldnt consider rice krispies esp filling, try porridge maybe etc. Given that shes not overweight I think I'd relax, shes only 7, shouldnt be having to fight with you to have extra food if shes hungry. And also, if you're constantly refusing her food she wants, not sure it'll do much for your relationship. Finally id step back on hard and fast rules over food unless it's a financial issue. Food shouldnt be a battle ground, esp so young.
Yesterday she had no protein in her breakfast or dinner. She only had protein in the fish which may not have been much if it was in batter...
I'd try giving one portion of protein with breakfast, lunch and dinner
I know this gets said a lot on here but cereal really isn't filling, mine tend to eat eggs on toast, baked beans, have plain yogurt on granola and they fills them up. A bowl of rice crispies wouldn't touch the sides!
She’ll be due a growth spurt, most kids do grow over the summer. She’s 7 and healthy, active kids tend to need more to eat than those that just sit about.
she doesn't want the fruit and veg and water on offer
In that case, she's not asking for food between meals because she's hungry. She's asking for food because food is a pleasure. She's eating either because she is bored, or she's comfort-eating, or she's eating because she finds it hard to concentrate on watching telly or reading or whatever without having something to do with her hands, or because asking for food is a way to get your attention.
I was probably a bit like that when I was a kid and, if I didn't work hard on self-discipline, I'd be the same as an adult. My appetite's pretty big. I have to consciously watch what I eat and if I don't, I pile on weight (although I didn't put on weight when I was younger, really).
I would just keep offering fruit and veg, I think. It's up to her if she eats it or not.
Regarding portion sizes at mealtimes, I wouldn't worry too much about that, if she's not overweight and is generally an active kid. I would say that when I was a child, I sometimes found mealtimes a bit boring, because I'd be sitting there having finished my kids' portion while the adults were taking ages to finish theirs, so I probably asked for seconds purely to have something to do.
Also just remember you don’t feel what she’s feeling. I’d take her at her word if she says she’s hungry, make her a sandwich instead of giving snacks.
Give her more filling meals with plenty of protein and veg. Don't allow her to snack when bored but try to make her day a bit more fun and busy so she doesn't get bored.
7yos can put it away though. Think how active she is and how much growing she's doing. She also needs more protein and good fats in her diet. Don't start giving her issues about food.
Oh, and agree with what others have said about protein. The things she's eating are pretty healthy but mostly carbs. Maybe boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, rather than cereal? And a lunch that's more protein than bread.
That is a pretty big breakfast!
Say no or only offer fruit or vegetable sticks until lunch.
If she was skinny I’d say let her eat what she wants but if she’s “normal” it could tip over into over weight.
Rice Krispie are not filling. Try porridge or eggs. I agree she sounds bored. I’d be arranging play dates, swimming, summer camps, etc. Get her to help you cook or bake, buy her a plant or some seeds to grow, do some gardening, painting, rearranging her room...
If she's got a big appetite I would giving her stuff like scrambled eggs or porridge with a fruit plate on the side for breakfast, hummus with bread sticks instead of nuttella. Any sandwich made with wholemeal bread.
Some kids do just eat loads.
We have the same "rule" about fruit/veg between meal times. If she's refusing that and asking for something else then I don't think she's actually hungry and like others have suggested, is actually bored. What has she been doing since 7 apart from eating? Has there been any activities?
Good rule of thumb is you don't only need to control the quality and the quantity will sort itself. Its almost impossible to overeat when you only have good proteins and veg available.
I agree - she needs more protein.
Eggs, or beans at breakfast plus fruit, cereal, toast.
decent lunch including protein - sandwiches or proper meal depending on when you eat your main meal, and then the reverse in the evening. I would be hungry after that pasta dish too.
Remember she is growing which uses up energy too. If she wants snacks, keep them healthy - fruit, nuts, cheese, hardboiled eggs, cold chicken, plain yoghurt etc
Rice crispies banana and a sandwich as a breakfast to keep someone active going until lunch doesn't seem excessive to me but if she was that hungry, then she'd take the fruit.
Personally, I'd say she can have what she likes, so provided it's good nutritious food, not sugary or processed carbs and let her eat what she needs. I can't imagine a battle over the amount of good food a child is eating.
IMO, boxed breakfast cereals are the work of the devil. The marketeers have convinced us that theyre a good breakfast but in reality they are neither filling or nutritious, they're very expensive for the amount of "food" you get, but over processed and the healthier they look the more sugar they're likely to contain to make them palatable.
Try eggs and/or porridge. Cheaper, better for her and more filling.
Actually, I looking at what she ate yesterday, I'm not surprised she's hungry.
Where's the protein and fibre?
probably work on giving her more filling food like scrambled eggs on toast, and a banana. Rice krispies & bran flakes don't fill anyone up! Porridge with fruit and honey, boiled eggs.
I'd be putting chicken with the green pasta
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