DD2 and weight(49 Posts)
I'm looking for some sensible advice regarding DD2. She's 7 years old and enjoys food. She's also prefers quite a sedentary lifestyle. She has been home-educated for one term, but returned to schooling two weeks ago.
Her height, today, is 122.5cm and her weight is 28.8 kg (I've double checked twice). That puts her BMI on the 94th centile for her age. Her sisters are not similar - the eldest (with SN) is finally on the 13th centile after a lot of cajoling and persuading to eat sufficiently. The youngest is on the 65th centile.
We don't buy much in the way of processed food. We don't have lots of sweets and treats lying around (the sweets from the sweet shop we bought 6 weeks ago have hardly been touched). We tend to give fruit for snacks, or sometimes a plain biscuit such as a digestive.
She does like her main meals and more often than not asks for seconds. It's possible that we are giving her a large portion, but I tend to dish out a little and then give another helping on request. DD1 eats like a sparrow, so it isn't easy to guage quantity, but less than a serving spoonful.
She has a school dinner.
On the activity front, she's signed up to do before school yoga, which I'm hopeful will increase her dexterity/muscle tone, etc., so she'll be less reluctant to exercise. She's also signing up to do Ceilidh dancing after school. Plus, of course, she'll have her normal PE lessons.
Any other suggestions?
I don't have knowledge here, but is her build/ genetics mean that 90th is likely for her? I mean, some people are naturally 9th and some 90th! Obviously you don't want her to be overweight, but it doesn't make sense to fight against her natural shape- so have a look at her build, shoe size, and so on.
Then I believe the best advice is to keep weight stable and allow a growth in height to reduce bmi.
Does she eat enough protein to feel full? Cereal can be a "hungry" making breakfast for some people.
Upping exercise sounds good as it looks like you are on top of portion control. You could pile up more veggies on her plate if she enjoys eating! Don't make it obvious though- talk about healthy, not about slim.
She's having two main meals one of which is a large portion with seconds, the other is carb heavy and has rubbish puddings
I would send a sensible packed lunches containing lots of veg and protein with two slices of bread
Also serve smaller portions for your evening meal and make extra portions tiny
Find excersise where her heart beat is raised and she gets a tiny bit breathless
I really wouldn't talk about weight. Discuss being healthy instead
Ditch the school dinners. The stodgy daily puddings won't be helping.
Do a light healthy packed lunch instead.
Does she do swimming, riding her bike, playing outdoors? My 2 are both pretty hungry but also like to be outdoors running around so they burn it off quickly. My first thought on reading your post is that yoga and PE once a week is not enough exercise for a 7 year old
What does she have for breakfast?
How big is her dinner portion compared to yours?
Do starches and carbs make up a big proportion of her meals?
Defo sounds like she should be doing a LOT more exercise. At least an hour a day of high-energy action would be pretty norman at her age I would have thought.
I agree, unless she is at some amazing school whoch has good food school dinners are just plates of empty refined (no wholegrains) carbs, v few cegetables if any, and heavy on fat and processed meat and cheese. Plus sugary pudding. Give her a decent packed lunch with quality lean protein and veg/salads instead.
I don't think she is having big dinners at home, tbh. Less than a serving spoon in the initial portion, then less than half of that for a 'seconds'. No pudding.
Regarding exercise, I'm wondering where you fit it in? She does 2xPE, swimming on Monday(after school), yoga on Wednesday (before school), ceilidh dancing on Wednesday (after school). By the time I have done the school run and got back for DD1's transport, then done any reading/spelling etc, it's all pretty packed.
I think she probably has less protein than you're all suggesting -she has small yoghurt, sometimes cheese, for snack at the weekend, but generally breakfast is carb based and tea usually involves potato/pasta with a smallish protein portion. I'll work on that first.
We have definitely stressed 'healthy' not 'slim'. DD2 says she's fat (quite happily!!) but we always redirect it to a discussion about being 'fit' or 'full of energy' or 'healthy'.
I'm not sure if adult stuff applies to kids in the same way and in a few years when puberty hits there might be a big change in body...
But, for adults there's basically two things to do:
1. Eat Less
2. Exercise more
Eat less might be numbers of meals, volume, or/and reduction of big offenders carbs, sugars and fats. This includes juices and the like.
Exercising in high fat burning ways, running is the best, followed by cycling and other cardio like rowing or circuit training.
With this you start slowly and build up adding longer more complex sessions. And, it takes time! But you're looking for a lifestyle change not a quick fix.
You're body learns to love the buzz of exercise and competition and the taste of water.
She needs a palmful (her palmful) of protein at each meal. This includes breakfast. So Greek yogurt with musli, poached egg with plum tomato on a slice of granary bread
Protein and veg should be key. Carbs should be wholegrain
What does she eat for breakfast?
Is she having seconds at school too? I think the excersise can be incorporated into the school day - so cycling or walking to school. Game of tag after school etc
We only have wholegrain pasta. Wholemeal bread.
Breakfast: Shredded wheat, Jordans tropical fruit granola, Weetos (portioned by me) or a piece of bread with sunflower spread and a small amount of jam.
She plays 'portals' or 'horses' at play time, so fairly active play.
Try upping protein and bring carbs down a little- protein is more filling.
I would swap out the carbs at break for a protein rich meal (eggs are great).
What does she drink? Drinks can be a real hidden calorie bomb.
Do you think she eats partly to please you (subconsciously). I had a fussy sister and my mother spent our childhood cooking her favourites and begging, pleading, bribing and cajoling her to eat, and telling me I was a "good eater" ... til we hit puberty when she endlessly praised my sister's slimness, gave me half portions, referred to me as "solid" and told me daily that I'd always have to watch what I ate and be careful... She didn't mean harm but the daily drip, drip of it did both of us harm in the long run.
Sorry meant to say I would avoid making any changes to her portions or diet which would register with her as being about her eating less, and instead try to up the activity level - hard going into winter, but can you walk more with her? Can she now be "old enough" to play out (if that is safe where you are). Something that becomes part of every day is better than a once a week activity for 45 mins in term time... My DD (9) and DS1 (7) do football training twice a week plus a match each at weekends but their main energy expenditure is probably after school on bikes and playing football and running about with friends - I think that lifestyle is why kids used to be slimmer on average 30-40 years ago, rather than diet.
I bet you anything it's the school dinners.
Depending on how it's done they can often just pick strange combinations. Sometimes potatoes are classed as a vegetable too so they would have say pasta bake with garlic bread or jacket potato and sweet corn. Veg is soggy si gets left and your child has basically a plate of white carbs followed by a large cookie or chocolate sponge and custard. The puddings are used to bulk out the meals due to small amounts of protein in the main. Plus there is often bread available too. When dd was on school dinners she basically just filled up on the bread and pudding. Unless your school is amazing in that sense the culprit is quite possibly the school dinners.
OP said her daughter had been home educated for previous term, so April, until two weeks ago so how can school dinners be the problem?
Sorry I missed the part where she said about HE.
I just know a few people dd included who's weight crept up on school meals. With dd is was more bloating than anything else but there was a noticeable difference before and after and in a short space of time
Agree the school dinners wont help. Ours are hugely carb based with tiny portions of grey overcooked veg and stodgy, sugar crammed puddings.
Give ger pack up, and if she likes playing horses, build her some 'jumps' in the garden and chuck her out in all weathers to enjoy them. Get a trampoline if you havent already got one too. My dd food loving lives on hers and it must burn up loads of calories because she has seconds every day but is about 50th centile.
I agree with what others have said, in particular
- more protein - her diet sounds quite carb heavy
- I know it's hard, but try to stop cajoling DD1 to eat. I'm sure this is affecting DD2.
She drinks water. Squash only on special days.
We have a trampoline.
We have to cajole DD1 because she starts to drop off the scale and then gets ill (SN).
Breakfast and other meals sound very wheat heavy. Do you eat other grains? Carbs?
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