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Food is an issue on many levels - i need help!

(7 Posts)
sewCreative Tue 28-Jul-09 00:43:10

New on MN and Sorry this is a long one...

I am a Mum of 2 DD's and food is a major issue in our house. I am deperately overweight and i am doing something about it. Lost 38lbs at WW so far and still a long way to go - WILL get there. I do NOT want my girls to follow in my footsteps.

Both girls are fussy eaters and i know I have created the situation. But am stuck in a spiral that i don't know how to escape from... Please any advice would be fab.

DD1 is just 5. She is getting better at eating - it is slow... However we were out clothes shopping today and trying on jeans, she has a big bum and not a huge tum but it is solid. She was born on 98th centile. Dropped to the 9th by the time she was 1. Then steadily climbed back to the 98th again. 7-8 yr old jeans were just about right on her, if a little tight. But she is 5! I do know about healthy eating but she is constantly asking for snacks and food... with no morning snack she will eat sandwiches, sometimes 4 slices of bread - all she wants is butter and cheese or cream cheese (low fat) jam, and she has a pile of crudites, will eat crisps too. I don't want to give her a negative self image so i made light of it as i know my mum did with me but i have been overweight as long as i can remember. But i don't want to send her the other way as body image is such a big thing in today's society. I worry about portion sizing, so tonight i gave her a smaller portion of pasta than normal and some steamed veg. She cleared her plate and had a frube for pudding. (which she doesn't normally get.)

What is a normal portion for a child of 5? How much should she be eating?

Then there is DD2 - she is the opposite. She eats few carbs, bread she won't touch and when that is ALL the older one wants to eat... i dont' want to end up cooking 5 different meals a day!?! DD2 wants flavour but is now not wanting to taste anything she's not seen b4. We are trapped and i don't know what to do.

I am lucky they both eat veg and fruit. But grilled chicken, fish fingers and the odd sausage, and pasta, occasionally rice is all they eat. I need to improve the protein, and make it nutritious - HOW?

I think they are bored of food but i have had PND and am phased when they don't eat it when i do cook so i don't! so any ideas for fun, easy things to cook that can get my girls interested in food in a healthy way?

MadameCastafiore Tue 28-Jul-09 00:48:32

Sorry an off to bed but no 5 year old needs 4 slices of bread - I am 34 and don't eat 4 slices of bread at one sitting! Give her a satsuma and an apple but not 4 slices of bread!

She clears her plate because she is used to having a huge amount of food - cut it down gradually and she will soon get used to it. It does not mean that she is hungry.

Sorry am falloing asleep so will come back to this tomorrow.

AitchTwoOh Tue 28-Jul-09 00:50:12

well done on your weight loss. smile you've done really well. i'd agree with you, your dd is just five, it's not something to get bent out of shape about.

perhaps you could meal plan with your girls? sit down and get them to tell you what their favourite meals are? and just don't buy crisps and up the activity.

also, what aobut soups? stews? roast a chicken so that you get stock for soup, and maybe a risotto, some sarnies as well as a roast dinner? now you've made me hungry...

sewCreative Tue 28-Jul-09 02:03:04

Yes I know 4 slices of bread is too muchblush and honestly - i rarely allow her that any more. I guess i got excited that she was actually eating. And crisps are a treat - may be once a week. But this is the problem i have - i don't know what a normal portion size is - hence my issue with weight (you don't get to my size without working at it!?! I don't think there is anyone, unless a diagnosed medical condition, can be overweight without over-eating and it being the wrong things too. I know this cos its me).

But what is a healthy portion of food for a 5 year and nearly 3 year old? Their average meal consists of 2 fish fingers, steamed or boiled veg and may be 1 happy smile - or 6/7 oven chips (as a very occasional treat - every other month). Neither DD likes potato, DD2 doesn't even like chips. Or for eg, a portion of pasta, i weigh 50g - 60g uncooked pasta for the two of them to share and they have sauce sometimes - mostly butter which i know is bad but for months that is all DD1 would eat - I have been working at geting her off that onto sauces and DD2 who is verging on underweight and so needs more loves the cheese sauces but that is almost worse calorifically than the small amount of butter i use. so i mostly try the tomato sauces. But when i am low which has been A LOT lately, butter is quick and easy and they eat it usually without stress or fuss.

I never insist they empty their plate and have told my ma off for saying 'you've only 2 mouthfuls to go'. Even if there are 3 peas on the plate - if they say they are full then it is time to stop. I don't want to give them my hang up of not knowing when i am full.

Sorry don't want to be defensive - i DO need your advice and WILL take on board everything you say...

Othersideofthechannel Tue 28-Jul-09 06:06:05

How about eggs to vary the protein? Egg and soldiers are fun to eat.

I don't think you should be worrying about whether cheese sauce or butter is higher in calories for children.

A lot of children like plain pasta so you could try offering tomato sauce or nothing. DD is 4 and has spent 3 years watching the rest of us tuck into tomato sauce and has just recently agreed to try it.

You just have to try to get over being phased by them not eating. It won't hurt them to have an unbalanced meal every now and again so cook different foods that you like making sure there is at least one thing they like. Eg you could try fishfingers and baked potato and just not worry if they refuse the potato and eat only fishfingers and veg.

I try to cook something new once a week, not drastically, just a variation on something they already eat. Eg The other week I added kidney beans to a veggie stew they usually eat. They picked them out but it is progress that they didn't kick up a fuss about the beans going on their plate in the first place. I'm sure one of them will try a kidney bean before 2011!

Wordsmith Tue 28-Jul-09 06:24:26

Wow that weight loss is brilliant - congratulations!

To be honest I think their diet sounds reasonably healthy from what you've said. I know children who won't eat any vegetables at all and will only have chicken nuggets and chips!

I wouldn't worry about fat content for kids that age. I read somewhere that children's diets need to contain protein, carbs and fats in equal proportions - they certainly should have a much higher proportion of their diet coming from fat than you or I would.

You're right not to want to get too hung up about it and give them 'issues' - but I know how difficult it is not to become obsessed about your kids' diets! I was like it myself with DS2 a couple of years ago, then we found out he was coeliac (can't have gluten). To be honest he's still fussy, even though he's healthy again! (And he's 5 too).

My kids' favourites are:

- Sausages, mash and baked beans
- Baked potatoes with cheese and beans
- Home made spaghetti bolognese (you can whizz up all sorts of 'hidden veg' in there too)
- Risotto (I make it with bacon and peas)
- Tuna and tomato pasta (make a basic tomato sauce and add in a tin of tuna)

Soup is great as well, because you can put almost anything in and puree it at the end, so they can's see the veg lumps.

DS1 eats quite a few veg, DS2 eats carrots and potatoes (if I'm lucky) With fruit it's the other way round, DS2 eats lots, DS1 only bananas. They both eat bananas like sweets!

Cheese is full of protein so you could add that on the top of food and have cheese on toast for snacks?

Will come back to this if I thnk of anything else.

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 06:51:09

Easiest thing to do is offer three meals a day. You don't need to spend hours agonising over what they like-go for home cooked fairly simple stuff that you like.

Everyone gets agenerous helping. Whether they eat it or not is up to them. At all other times, if they are hungry, direct them to the fruit bowl.

Don't give too much milk (maybe just at breakfast( and if they have juice,water it down.

Let them cook with you and lay the table. On the weekends, make something special with them-cakes, biscuits or bread.

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