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Overweight 11 yr old - snack advice please?(19 Posts)
Despite my very best efforts, the Y6 measuring programme has confirmed that my dd is overweight - she always has been, I manage to keep her within the overweight category rather than obese but have never got below that.
For background, I am a slim sahm who occasionally attends slimming world to keep my weight within my control. I was a skinny, small child but was overweight when I graduated and married. Dh is obese (possibly morbidly) always has been overweight but has excellent self esteem about it, he weighs less now than ever before but still is over 20 stone and has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. He was a sturdy child which is pretty much how I would describe dd, she's not very fat but is solidly built.
I cook everything from scratch, there is not a huge amount wrong with her diet though she could eat less sweets. (She eats some each week not each day), getting her to eat veg has always been a battle and she has a big appetite - she prefers wholemeal everything but would prefer to read a book than run around the garden. She plays badminton once a week for 90 mins and does drama school which includes 1 hour dance, her other hobbies are less active - guides, singing, flute choir.
I know that I can up her fruit and veg a little but a regular source of conflict between us is the fact that all her friends (supposedly) are bringing crisps and chocolate or biscuits daily to school (they all take packed lunches) she claims that they all feel sorry for her already as her lunches are so mean and she has nothing worth sharing.
I'm sorry this is turning out so long, I got a battering last time I posted about her weight, please don't do that to me again, I'm wondering if there any packaged snacks I can send that fit the girls' sharing bill whilst not being too unhealthy.
Her lunch usually consists of a wholemeal snadwich, some nice fruit (mango/ strawberries/ grapes - so embarrassing) or carrot -and a few cheesey biscuits or s&v rice thins or a chocolate rice cake or fruit flakes, I try to put one savoury and one sweet with the sandwich. She claims there's not enough and she needs more treats.
She stopped swimming when she reached the end of the levels and it clashed with guides which she prefers, I could take her swimming but that tends to consist of going up and down the slides and hanging out waiting for the wave machine.
Sorry it's so long, i am aware that I've been trying to justify myself as I do feel so bad and am dreading discussing it with her.
What is she taking currently OP? Also, what are her meals like generally?
Are your portions too large? Are you removing fat from meat and does she drink enough water? Does she have juice?
My DD is 11 now and when she was 9 she crept to the top end of acceptable on the chart....I realised I was giving her adult portions and she was eating too many yogurts...petis filou type stuff.
I cut out ALL processed foods. Nothing allowed that wasn't in it's natural state..this means no squash, no yogurt, no cereal bars, no crumbed chicken type foods, no sausages and so on.
Anything which had been prepared in a factory was out.
I do and did still make my own cake once a week and offer fruit for puddings.
Made sure there were lots of nice fruits on offer such as strawberries and blueberries.
DD is now much better and we're all healthier.
It is hard to compete with junk food snack when you want to bring something she will be able to share.
(1) Try putting the fruit you are sending on a BBQ bamboo skewer put a grape and a strawberry and alternate until the skewer is full.
(2) a lunch box with raspberries, blueberries, .... pomegranate and put some wood tooth pick for them to pick the fruit
(3) What about sushi? The baby rolls so everyone can have some.
(4) And nuts? Pistacchio, almonds (but not sugar coated, eventually salted) , ...
(5) I have a stand up mixer and I do bread stick rolled in parmesan and shredded prosciutto or focaccia which is very popular.
It is hard OP with pre-teens and I think the house environment isn't helping you and your DD's friends are definitely sabotaging all your efforts. I posted some suggestions to another mum in this thread. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childrens_health/2623265-Overweight-10-year-old-DS-any-helpful-tips-or-ways-to-deal-with-the-issue Maybe you could watch some of the movies with your DD .
I would guess that during these lunchtimes with her friends, your DD is eating what her friends share with her - so probably crisps, cake, biscuits, chocolate. That's going to be really hard to stop. I'd stop giving her sweets at home full stop, I think a much better treat would be a homemade cake/biscuit that you've made, there are loads of low sugar, low fat, high fibre, hidden veg bakes and cakes you could make.
I wouldn't buy any processes fruit snacks like fruit flakes etc. they are basically sugar and not a lot else. I would also limit her fruit intake, it's surprising how much sugar (albeit natural) is in fruit. Try her on crudités for snacks instead, little bit of reduced fat (or homemade) houmous. There are loads of hidden sugars in other things like sauces and cereals. Ketchup has loads of sugar. I've recently switched my household onto shredded wheat for breakfast because it literally is one ingredient: shredded wheat and no added anything. We also have 1% milk (apart from the littlies who are on full fat/breast).
I would definitely up her exercise, and swimming is a great activity but not just going to queue up for the slides, I'd take her to lessons where she has to swim properly and build up new skills and strengthen her swimming.
It must be very hard for all of you and I imagine you have a fair few arguments and tears about it. Is your DH on board with stuff? It might help DD if she can see her DF actively trying to lose weight (I can't remember if you said he was).
Couldn't you stop sweets at home, but give her a mini box of smarties or similar to have as a snack at school when she's with her friends. A small treat isn't going to stop her losing weight, but may help her motivation if she feels 'equal' to her friends.
I think Twooter is right. A little sweet at school but a solidly healthy diet at home should help.
If she is sharing then what you are looking for is something of more interest to her friends, sounds like she isnt eating it anyway so you could give her anything.
Is she in primary or middle school?
I've never heard of an English state primary where the kids are allowed to share food with each other. Absolutely not when I was a DL. Secondary is a free-for-all, fair enough.
You have to talk to her, This is her body & her behaviour. You can't impose a solution on her. She has to accept that something needs to change & that she can do something to change it, and you need to agree a plan together that she believes in so she will go along with it. All the other actions are futile if she isn't part of trying to change things. You cannot impose any plan for change without her believing it's what will work & for the best.
You need to get her doing more exercise in a sneakier way (if she's a bit inclined to be lazy), take her for a walk to the shops, race her to the swings, go to the park and play frisbee with her. If possible make her walk/cycle to school.
Sometimes getting exercise isn't about "going to the gym" it's just upping activity levels naturally.
Are there any clubs she could join at school? Netball/Basketball for example?
I'm amazed your child's school allows crisps etc. Ours has a ban on crisps, most biscuits, chocolate, sweets, juice...
It'll get harder when she's at secondary so you need to get a handle on this now.
My Dd sounds similar in stature. At the 91 centile for height and weight, exactly as she was at birth.
We have a compromise, she either has a very healthy lunchbox and some money on her payment card or the lunchbox will have a couple of "treat" things in and I'll not top her card up. She's 13 though so more understanding of why we must have moderation.
I bake a lot and try to use the least sugar and fat possible. This week I've made carrot and oat bran muffins which tasted great, had very little sugar in them and Dd really liked as it was like a regular carrot cake.
lljk they weren't allowed in my DDs primary last year...but they did it. They do it on the sly.
The school does not police content or Sharing at all.
Thanks for all the replies, a good balance and no flaming!
Am I bonkers to have bought sll treats as suggested (popcorn, hula hops pufts and choc rice cakes) as a compromise for school snacking only.
She has said in the past that she'd be fine with her only treats being at school - fitting in is the only thing that matters
I would choose the treats very carefully. Hula Hoops are shockers with 175 cals per small bag!
Don't choose those...a small box of smarties or a packet of popcorn is better.
What are the portion sizes like at dinner?
Do you put bowls of food on the table for people to help themselves, rather than put the dinners on the plates yourself?
If another person in the household is overweight and eating a large portion, and you all sit at dinner together, then that oversized portion will make the other portions look okay - by comparison. When they might not be okay for a child that age. If you see what I mean.
Could you do it as a family, rather than focusing on only your dd? It is easier if everyone is on board and the whole family focused on healthy living, family activities, smaller portions.
Does the school have a dietician or can your gp organise a referral with a dietician, to go over your family's food intake (to see correct balance/portion size).
I watched Sonia O 'Sullivan (Irish Olympic Runner) on tv a while back, she had a good saying about high calorie foods "you've got to run to earn this".
Could you agree with your dd, say if she does x amount of dance/active hobby, she can have x treat instead of giving her treats as part of a habit, or because she expects/demands treats?
Keep an eye on the carbs/sugar/fat/salt intake (excess of these, that is not burnt off, turns in to fat) and portion size/balance (those plates with divided portion sections might help).
Do you follow recipes? It is a bit more effort, but if you use measured quantities of ingredients and look at how many the meals cater for/calories per meal, it might help you cut back on excess eating.
Well done on trying to help your dd and cooking from scratch at home. Your dd is lucky to have such a caring mum
I haven't read everyone's responses so apologies if I repeat what others have said. In the first instance I would speak to the school about children sharing food. My DD's school has a no sharing food policy. It isn't always implemented and I had an issue with my DD (Y5) who was being excluded from a group of (mean) girls who were using the sharing of treat foods to gain popularity. Sadly I think some parents are complicit in this, specifically giving their children an abundance of sharing-style snacks in their lunch. I raised it with the school and asked them to reiterate their no food sharing policy. My DD felt very left out. She apparently has the most boring lunch out of all her friends too!
However, if your DD wants something treat-like in her lunch, for herself, could you bake something low in sugar?
Treats are for really occasional use only. We are lucky that our kids lunch boxes (no school dinners so all lunch boxes) are not allowed crisps/chocolate/sweets/yogurts etc
So that makes things easier but we give no treats at home or in school only on trips out of the house or on their weekly trips to grandparents. Walk everywhere as often as possible and sneakily reduce portion size. We allow free fruit and veg for snacks whenever they wish even though fruit has sugar because it stops them craving anything else.
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