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Help with 12 year old DS diet(17 Posts)
My 12 year old DS has been putting on weight during lockdown - he usually does about 25,000 steps a day with walking to school plus loads of sport.
I’ve been really slack with his eating but it’s got out it control and I need to reign it in somehow as he’s always asking for food - some of it out of boredom I think but he’s also been in the cupboards helping himself. I don’t but biscuits etc generally but we’ve been out today so he’s had extra crap.
I think I need help with quantities & cutting out crap but I don’t want it to come accross like I am restricting him either as he’s got fixated on being ‘fat’ & has been crying about it. He’s a pescatarian
Today has been particularly unhealthy carbs day- he’s had:
Breakfast- shreddies & milk
Snack- brioche roll
Lunch- vegan chickpea & butternut pasty & a marmite sandwich plus a mr whippy Icecream
Snack - crackers & butter
Tea- homemade vegetable chilli, brown rice, tacos & avocado
After tea-crunchynut cornflakes & milk
Aibu to ask- is this too much? I know it’s unhealthy sugar & carbs wise but I feel like he’s constantly asking for food but putting on weight because the balance is wrong but I don’t know how to right the balance again.
Aibu to ask for some help please- I normally feel on top of healthy eating but this pandemic has made me feel out of control with it
He won’t eat yoghurt & is a bit funny about dairy if it’s cheese too so that’s causing problems. He’s a good eater but I am worried s about his weight gain
How overweight is he?
Cereal, pasty, roll, tacos all carbs, it’s good he eats vegan items and isn’t too plain an eater.
Don’t buy many biscuit/treat items, does he eat fruit? rather than crackers and rolls.
Is he active?
This is a very balanced, very lean diet for a 12yr old boy in my opinion. I certainly wouldn't give him any less. Weight gain is very normal during puberty anyway, as there's so much growing going on.
I'd encourage him to be more active, but would also focus heavily on body positivity. Boys are not immune to eating disorders but do suffer massively from lack of awareness around them.
@OtterBe4 he’s not as active as normal no as he walks miles to school every day. He’s doing Joe Wicks & we are getting out for a walk but that’s it. The odd run with me
I’m having a similar problem with my 12 year old dd so I’m blatantly place marking! She plays a lot of sport in normal life but these days it’s getting hard to even get her to come for a walk. I don’t think her eating habits have changed much, she’s just not getting the exercise to burn any calories.
I’m trying to reduce portion sizes and make sure we all have lots of salad/veg with our meals to take up more room on the plate with fewer calories.
I would focus on getting the activity back up - and I know that's really hard in the current situation - rather than changing his diet, apart from making sure you don't buy too much crap/biscuits etc. If they're not there, he can't eat them.
Can you set him a daily step challenge? Get him doing work for you in the garden - even hanging out the washing would all help.
There is a very definite pre-puberty fat laying down period for boys, he's probably going to shoot up in the next couple of months, but I definitely noticed DS and all his pals putting on weight around that age.
Another with 12 yo DS that has always been big but very sporty. Lockdown is resulting in him becoming "chunky". He wants food all the time not from hunger more from boredom. I struggled with my weight as a teenager (was obese now BMI at 25) and am trying not to fixate with him but can see that he is overweight. I am going to stop buying "treats" and offer fruit if he's hungry plus keep an eye on portion sizes. We usually dish up at the table for dinner with seconds available; I'm now putting food on the plate and any seconds in storage to go in the fridge.
DH and older DD have never carried an extra lb in weight!
I think you're being sensible OP to think about lowering your son's calorie intake. If he's taking in the same or more calories than he was when he was more active then he will gain weight - it's as simple as that. His diet doesn't seem ridiculously unhealthy, but I would probably look to reduce portions rather than be restrictive. He's obviously already upset and self conscious about his weight, so you're looking after him by making these small changes. We live in a country with a childhood obesity crisis, so don't be surprised if you get a lot of comments from parents of larger children telling you that you're damaging your son by getting him to eat the correct amount of calories for his lifestyle!
Although lunch and dinner have a veg base which of course is good that is where the fruit and veg end. I would see if you can add veg to breakfast and snacks. So maybe a poached egg on toast with grilled tomatoes for breakfast, a fruit snack mid morning then half the number of crackers in the afternoon and add crudités in their place.
If you are worried about weight gain I’d go easy on the pastry, or if he’s going to have a pasty make that the carb of the meal, he doesn’t really need a sandwich as well.
Is he drinking enough, so many kids confuse thirst and hunger.
@Atleastitsnotmonday thanks, those are good suggestions. I don’t think he is drinking enough to be honest
If he’s not doing much exercise or as much as he’s used to doing then it’s probably quite heavy on carbs. Quite low in fruit and veg too.
I could've written this but I dont think it's as much as my son is eating. He's had:
Cheese and crackers breakfast
Chicken rice and veg
It's endless and I'm sure it's thirst too half the time so I'm going to just stop snack availability and encourage more fruit and walks. He's very hormonal with huge changes and voice breaking so that's got a part to play too. One thing I would say is that as a veggie you need protein or you get hungry v quickly. I find nuts good- the Graze packs or eggs at breakfast.
Does he still need a morning snack? Is he up very early in the AM?
That's quite a large lunch - and that was with ice cream?
I don't typically encourage eating again after dinner during the week, but mine get dessert on weekends (or special occasions). Is "Crunchynut" cereal sweetened?
That does seem like a lot of calories. I guess just watch the portions and up the movement.
Get him doing work for you in the garden
^ I like this idea. I pay my DS to do yardwork, staining, painting, etc.
It's not much $, but it's extra movement in addition to his daily walk/hike.
Agree with others, If he’s not as active as normal he either needs to up his exercise or lower the calorie intake (or ideally a bit of both). I also think getting him to work in your garden is a great idea to get some extra activity in.
Definitely agree that if he must have snacks, the carbs need to be cut out and replaced with a fruit or veg snack. I personally think a pasty and a sandwich for lunch is too much for one meal, and also having cereal after a really decent and filling dinner really isn’t necessary.
As you’ve suggested, I think the amount of carbs is the big issue here. Carbs are energy givers, but if that energy is not used it will convert and store itself as fat. If he was his normal active self it balances out, But while he can’t do that at the moment, he no longer needs that amount.
Definitely encourage more water drinking, as pp said thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger.
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