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can anyone help or advise? i think my 4 yo is becoming a bit overweight?

(14 Posts)
Twobusyboys Tue 17-Dec-13 18:00:15

When he was last weighed at hv at 3.5yrs. He was on 50th centile for weight and 25th for height. Hv wasnt concerned.
I have made an effort over the summer to make sure he got tons of exercise. As i just think its good for kids. We go to the park lots etc. And i also thought i had done a good job of limiting the sweets etc.
But at doc today he went on scales for fun and i had a little peak and checked the charts whe i got home. He appears to be more close to the 75th centile now. But still on 25th for height. I had noticed he seemed a bit chubbier than his friends. And now i am starting to get worried in case this gets any worse.
He is really greedy. Constantly telling me he is hungry. Byt does eat healthy food well. Fruit etc. I do have a bad habit of treating when out and about. Like biscuit on way home from soft play etc. It gets him and his little brother out and into car without fuss!
But now i am wondering if i need to be more strict. I am looking for ideas for healthy snacks etc so i dont have to resort to biscuits all the time.

I should also say that my husband and i are very slim. So i always thought he would follow us. As he eats the same as us. But maybe thats not a given.

tallulah Tue 17-Dec-13 18:14:27

I've noticed with my DD that she seems to put on a lot of weight and looks chubby immediately before she has a growth spurt. She's done that several times. She is also always hungry and constantly eating.

As for healthy snacks, does he like carrot batons? Or cucumber? TBH as long as he isn't stuffing crisps and the like all day I don't think you really need to worry.

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Dec-13 18:21:36

I think that cutting out the unhealthy snacks and substituting carrot/cucumber sticks or an oatcake would be good, but also not giving into moans of hunger all the time either.

And have a look at his portions as its really easy to give children portions way bigger than they should be esp of carbs

Twobusyboys Tue 17-Dec-13 18:25:36

Thanks for replying. He does like cucumber and carrots sticks. I thought i would do them and also try pepper.

I am hoping he is due a growth spurt to even things out. I really am quite surprised we are in this position. I make a big effort to ensure he is on the go a lot. If we are not out at park or kindergyms i have them in the garden doing whats the time mr wolf games etc. As i know exercise is important. But their isnt much i can doif he is consta tly hungry and has a big appetite. I cant just ignore him. Or maybe i should a bit.

Twobusyboys Tue 17-Dec-13 18:27:03

I really feel like i had failed as a mum is he starts school o erweight

PenelopePitstops Tue 17-Dec-13 18:32:20

Give him a drink when he asks for food.

Write down everything he eats in a 24 hour period and count the calories. Check this against advice and cut things out.

Remember you control everything he eats. His 'big appetite' comes from somewhere. Keep him busy.

SavoyCabbage Tue 17-Dec-13 18:38:00

I treat 'I'm hungry' as I do 'I'm tired' or bored etc. I don't whip out a sleeping bag or a game of snakes and ladders if they are tired or bored and I don't give them a biscuit if they say they are hungry.

I say 'me too, we are having pasta for lunch' or 'are you? I told you you should have finished your weetabix'

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Dec-13 18:39:33

I read somewhere (can't remember where atm) that it is really important that children learn that being hungry sometimes is OK.

Theres a really good guide to portion sizes here with photos of what a portion looks like

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 17-Dec-13 18:42:37

Children often mistake thirst for hunger. If after a drink he's still hungry give him a choice of healthy snack. If he doesn't want that hes not that hungry.

May09Bump Tue 17-Dec-13 18:53:22

I think its school too - my DS was always quite active and I have noticed since starting school his muscle tone has gone quite a lot. They do some games etc, but probably not as much as we did before starting. I have started swimming after school (only just as he has been tired) and when its not too cold / wet get out as much as possible.

I'd substitute the treats with healthier stuff and build in more exercise if you can. A bit obvious but I'll say it anyway - try and not to bring it to his focus, do it behind the scenes.

Twobusyboys Tue 17-Dec-13 19:05:01

Thanks. I am starting to realise the error of my ways perhaps. He definitely needs to get used to hunger being ok sometimes. And me not immediayely offering a snack.

TheGreatHunt Tue 17-Dec-13 19:26:33

Sounds like my ds. He's hungry all the time! I've been cutting down the carby snacks and giving more protein (ie meat) in his meals. I've stopped biscuits as snacks - its fruit or yoghurts. Since reducing portion sizes I'm seeing an improvement. As well as offering water more as well - I try and have a beaker of water always available so he can get enough in the day.

Goldmandra Tue 17-Dec-13 19:56:24

Good advice given already.

I would just add, don't use food as bribery or rewards. That sends the child the wrong message. Separate food and behaviour completely in your own head. Food is nourishment. Behaviour is managed with praise, distraction and occasional non-food rewards.

Have a toy each that's only available in the car, or get them to choose music to listen to instead.

Offer more foods like whole grains that take longer to digest so you know he isn't hungry.

It is fine for a child to be hungry just before a meal. It helps them enjoy their food and eat a sensible amount at mealtimes. If they are genuinely hungry a couple of hours before a meal they could have a healthy snack that you would be happy to serve as part of their main meal, e.g. carrot sticks raw cabbage, cauliflower or whatever the veg will be at the next meal.

"I'm hungry" is often a sign of boredom so respond by offering a drink and an activity.

Twobusyboys Tue 17-Dec-13 20:30:27

Thanks so much for all the great advice. I am going to try and turn over a new leaf. Bit of ashame xmas hols is coming up! You know i think a major part of the problem os probably his little brother who isnt particularly interested in food and wont eat fruit. I have had a lot of problems with getting him to gain weight and end up giving him biscuits just so he will eat something. Then his big brother come along and says 'oh can i have one'. But ds2 is getting better at eating now and gaining weight better. So i can probably stop worrying so much about him and try and balance thibgs out a bit for both of them.

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