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Concerned about 11 year old's weight

(13 Posts)
Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 07:57:56


My 11 year old is putting on weight around his middle & im not sure how best to help him lose it. I've tried being kindly direct but then worry about his self esteem. He is a gamer, not sporty at all and a very fussy eater. I breast fedhim for 12 months and cooked all his meals from scratch but now his diet is limited to plain pasta, rice, couscous & Nutella sandwiches. He does like roast chicken & broccoli (I made it for him last night but he wasted the chicken) but he also likes crisps & chocolate far too much too. My only saving grace is that the only thing he will drink is water so at least I don't have sugary foods to contend with. He will also eat an apple & sometimes some strawberries. Cereal wise he has only ever eaten organic weetabix & bitesize shredded wheat but he does like Coco pops which again I only let them have on school hols. Some of it is my fault by buying him treats (only at weekends) I have started C25K with him and DH is going to take him swimming but I suppose what I'm asking is how you would approach getting him to actually lose some I introduce him to the scales? I'm reluctant but he needs to do this. We are an active family & DS2 is the complete opposite! Thank you for any thoughts...sorry so anyone else dealing with their child's weight issues?

Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 08:08:29

He does like homemade spaghetti bolognese but I have to purée the sauce. Again we eat home cooked healthy meals - I love fish and have tried to get him to try but he won't entertain it. Is refusing to let him have any sugary treats the answer? I wondered whether making him understand calories would be the answer but don't want to make the wrong choice and give him a lifelong complex.

Daffodils07 Sat 13-May-17 09:54:56

I wouldn't refuse it as that will make him want it more.
It's all about in moderation, can you write a food diary for exactly what he weeks and the portion sizes for a week.
And then try and reduce the size and cut down on the sweet stuff.
Walking, biking even putting music on and having a dance for 10 mins a day is all good.
Let him help you prepare and cook his food, talk about healthy lifestyle in conversation but don't nag or go on.
It's so hard as you don't want them to get to much of a complex and see food as the enemy.

Daffodils07 Sat 13-May-17 09:55:42

What he eats*

JennyOnAPlate Sat 13-May-17 10:09:45

My view probably won't be popular but I wouldn't be pandering to that level of fussiness with food. He's 11 not 2. Give him healthy meals and a sugary treat a couple of times a week. He's old enough to understand what constitutes a healthy diet.

Sammi70 Sat 13-May-17 10:18:57

Hi.. I totally understand your concern about your son. I'm a mum to 15 year old twin boys one is very active the other is not.. At the end of year six (aged 11) they had a medical at school and we were sent a letter with results. One was fine no issues the other said that my son was obese and he was invited to a fat camp!! From year 5 to 7 he piled on weight around his middle, chest and face we monitored what he was eating and he ate no differently to his twin. I did not send him to the camp, I got advice from friends who had older boys who said it could be puberty starting so we waited and sure enough he is now a strapping 6ft 15 year old who is well within the normal weight for his height. It could be that his body is preparing for a huge growth spurt. smile

yikesanotherbooboo Sat 13-May-17 10:21:00

He is growing and about to have a pubertal growth spurt so he doesn't need to lose weight... staying the same or gaining more slowly is the way to go.
3 meals a day and small snacks if needed
Portion size is the best way to cut down... clearly it would be better if he wasn't this fussy and that is a more long term project perhaps
Model good eating habits
Try not to stigmatise him for being overweight... he needs to eat regularly and to enjoy an active lifestyle
I would not be weighing him

Crumbs1 Sat 13-May-17 10:24:33

Yes at 11 he'd get a take it or leave it from me. Eat same as everyone else or go without. No junk food in the house and not huge amounts of money for buying junk on way to and from school.
If he doesn't like sport at least introduce family activities such as Sunday walks or tennis with friends.

Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 11:38:36

Thank you for your replies, I've tried putting our meals in front of him, letting him help with cooking which he enjoys but still won't try. We model healthy eating (mostly, we're not perfect) and encourage a healthy lifestyle. I'm about to take him jogging (this is agony!) and am trying to get him to go swimming with friends after school as his school is newly built with access to the local sport centre.

He doesn't take money to school except for bus money & his packed lunch remains the same: boiled rice, apple, mini Jaffa cakes, baked crisps & fruit strings. He has a Nutella sandwich instead of rice on a Friday (I won't allow more than one a week) I completely agree with the not pandering to him and making him eat what we do like his brother does. Wish I'd enforced this so many years ago. However, the other evening my husband gave DS's £10 to go to the local shop for a fidget spinner. DS1 decided he didn't want one, DS2 wanted a £7 one because it lit up. Instead of letting him get this DS1 insisted he buy the £5 version (he's very literal) and spent £4 of his £5 on a big bar of chocolate & sweets. He'd eaten some before he got home but we were furious and took the rest off him. This is also a problem amongst their friends today - they think a huge bar of chocolate or one of the bags is the norm in the same way they think a tub of pringles is the norm that a small packet of crisps!

After nursery class he wanted packed lunch and this is where the fussiness started. His brother, on the other hand has always had school dinners and is a great eater! I forgot to say he also likes steak but he also prefers a ready meal spag bol which I mostly refuse to buy him and we don't eat these ourselves but I do occasionallly give in (we are busy professionals - no excuse and we know better but like I said we're not perfect).

He sees me go to the gym at 6am every other morning & his dad regularly cycles. We go on family bike rides (he hates these) which end up painful more than pleasurable. I guess I know the answers but wanted my thoughts reinforced. Thank you all.

Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 11:47:43

He mostly walks home from school so don't need to give him bus money every day. I do need to be stricter with his diet - sometime I get irritable with him about his eating habits which they leaves me feeling like I'm giving him a complex about foodhmm

Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 11:54:39

I do also think portion size is an issue - breakfast & supper (cereal) mainly as I control the rest. He's always had 1 weetabix with a few bitesize shredded wheat (he's always called them daddy's biscuits as we fooled him years ago to encourage him to eat a healthier breakfast ironically) but now I'm noticing him putting 2 weetabix with them x

SafeToCross Sat 13-May-17 12:13:29

Try not to get furious about chocolate and stuff. Educate about portion size, gaps between meals (not grazing), limiting sugar and fast or fried food, limiting screen time and being active. Make sure he gets a good nights sleep. But ultimately you need to be guiding and nudging and setting limits at this stage, not overly controlling or getting cross. You can say 'people put on too much weight if they eat that way' rather than 'you are putting on too much weight'. Suggest getting a snack on the way home from school or similar one day a week, not every day, and get him to think about when, and what.

Sparkleback2017 Sat 13-May-17 12:35:27


Thank you, I am trying to say 'this is how people put on weight' but I've also said the wrong things too. It's a sensitive time, puberty is coming and I don't want to get it wronghmm

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