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My dd (8) and crisps (or other shared food)

(5 Posts)
hillyhilly Thu 23-May-13 21:54:55

My dd is 8, she is overweight though not obese and has pretty much always been so despite my best efforts to ensure she doesn't overeat and takes plenty of exercise.
She has a big appetite and doesn't seem to register when she's had enough. Currently I take a lot of care over her portion control, and her weight is ok (though a little high).
My recent problem has been when we are at friends or a communal event and a bowl of crisps is put out for everyone to share, she will stand over it eating - I don't let her but I suspect that she would eat the lot no matter how big the bowl.
I try to gently remind her to not eat them all, to make sure that everyone gets a share, to step away now (we'll try to make a joke of it) but 2 seconds later she's back and several times recently I have ended up having to have sharp words with her (in front of everyone as these are in social situations).
Does anyone have any solutions or advice please? I hate to see her being greedy so I may have over reacted but I find it embarrassing that my child who is on the large side is hoovering all the crisps.
I don't know if the problem is her or me.

Jellybellyrbest Thu 23-May-13 22:07:40

Had to reply as I feel for you & your daughter. My 7yo is a little treat obsessed & I blame myself for limiting her 'treats' when younger. She's v slim, but I fear for her in the future. Was chatting to my family about it earlier; they've all noticed that she's a 'feeder' 'hoarder' & a little obsessed by 'treat' food. Dislikes meals generally though is getting better. So; for your daughter. I guess what may be a good approach is to encourage her to recognize her own 'full tummy' signals. I now frequently ask 'What's you tummy telling you?' & try to talk about the health benefits of food so that it's seen a fuel to help her brain/muscles rather than an emotional thing. And to possibly see food as all 'food', ie not 'good' 'bad'. So no comfort eating/reward system IYSWIM. No; 'eat up all your dinner and you can have dessert' type thing. A book highly recommended to me by a friend with food issues is Susie Orbach's 'On Eating' (or possibly "How to Eat"-sorry , can't remember exactly. Theory is that you forget about good & bad/diet labels & eat for your appetite. Not sure if that's any good to you at all, but hope it helps a little.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 23-May-13 22:33:33

I think Jelly has given very good advice. It's very hard because you obviously don't want people judging her...have you explained this to DD? I think that while children and their eating is a bit delicate to discuss sometimes, you just have to tell it how it is...and also, maybe try having shared bowls of food at home when you're all together...so she can practice self control.

I empathise though as I'm a crisp hog myself and could eat piles and piles of them! Another tip might be to give her a small bowl or plate when at gatherings...explain before the event that she is allowed to put some crisps on the plate ONCE and that's it. She can't return and eat from the communal bowl.

Ragusa Thu 23-May-13 22:39:06

I think eating habits and appetite are largely hard-wired. Don't feel bad that it's something you've done or caused, nor feel guilty that your DD has poor 'willpower' or similar.

I have one child who is a snack food gorger, one who couldn't care less about junk. Nothing different in their treatment, and in fact I would've thought it would be my son who was destined to be the overeater as he was the one who was bottlefed and had his stomach/ appetite unnaturally 'stretched' by giant quantities of formula as an infant.....

Is she socially nervous or a bit shy in crowds? Is she hiding by the crisp bowl to displace her social anxiety?

DiscoDonkey Thu 23-May-13 22:46:45

My dc's aren't over weight but would do the same over a communal bowl of crisps! I think as children you have you're food set in front of you on a plate so when there is suddenly an unlimited supply in front of you you don't know when to stop.
I've noticed with other children too if they come for tea and I lay everything out on the table for them to help themselves very often they will pile the food high and take more than their share. I think it's a bit of a social skill they need to be taught.

Could you practise at home maybe? A communal bowl of popcorn whilst watching a film or laying food out at dinner and teaching her about serving herself reasonable portions?

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