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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Very overweight three year old

(90 Posts)
BatmanFlewAway Wed 24-Jan-18 07:26:36

Help please!!
My DD is grossly overweight. She’s just turned 3 and is about 75th percentile for weight and 9th for height. She has rolls of fat on her stomach when she sits down.
Me and DH both slim though I’ve just had a baby and I haven’t lost all the weight yet and I’m eating a bit extra for breastfeeding.
She eats way less junk than other children her age at home but we don’t make a fuss when we do have biscuits etc. I’m deliberately blade to avoid bigging them up as a treat. I try and make watermelon and pineapple our treats to get excited about.
I think she’s fat because of portion size.
She was born chunky (I was v fat in pregnancy with her. I put on 4.5 stone which I lost afterwards). She was at nursery aged 1 and eats a lot there. I keep asking the staff to reduce portions but there is some evidence that they don’t (bloated stomach and giant poos afterwards). She also has toddler diarrhoea which we have been unable to find a cause for.
I am so worried about her health. How do I do it?! I had avoided saying the word fat for fear of eating disorders but now have started to say it. She’s howling for more cereal after having some alpha bites, Rice Krispies and half a weetabix.
She doesn’t have milk other than at breakfast.
We don’t have pudding most of the time but sometimes fruit.
She asks for crackers a lot. She probably has 3 crackers a day. She doesn’t need a snack as she eats well (good balanced diet at mealtimes) but nursery and friends have snacks so it is hard to avoid entirely. I’ve given popcorn in the hope that it’s light and doesn’t make her tummy full - I think she’s got used to her tummy being v full all the time.

FayJay Wed 24-Jan-18 07:31:10

Have any health professionals told you she is overweight?

BatmanFlewAway Wed 24-Jan-18 07:33:14

And I never praise her for finishing her food. When her paternal grandparents say ‘are you a good girl and you eat up your food’ I say ‘yes she is a good girl, she stops when her tummy is full, she doesn’t have to eat it all’.
Should I be trying reverse psychology and asking her to finish every last bit? She’s never fussy about trying things because I tell her to only eat the bits she likes and leave the rest (she’s pretty keen on veg so this works fine in terms of a healthy diet at home).
Should also add, she’s not very physical at all. We encourage as much as possible. She does dance, pe, two long walks and trampolining as minimum every week.
We also dance around the kitchen.

BatmanFlewAway Wed 24-Jan-18 07:35:01

No but she is! Rolls of fat. Huge stomach so that last night she asked why there wasn’t a motif on her knickers (there was but her massive overhanging stomach was obscuring it).
Her arms and legs are also fat though she is thinner than she used to be. She was a Michelin baby with loads of arm rolls.

NoStraightEdges Wed 24-Jan-18 07:35:52

Take her to the GP and get their advice. There may be an underlying problem. There may not be, but engage the help of professionals if you're worried.
It sounds like you're doing the right stuff-it may just be that she's due a growth spurt and it'll even out in the next few months.

Hercules12 Wed 24-Jan-18 07:36:30

Could it be her exercise? That doesn't sound a lot for a 3 year old. I'm sure mine were constantly on the go at that age so no need for an organised activity.

Hercules12 Wed 24-Jan-18 07:36:54

I agree re gp.

NerrSnerr Wed 24-Jan-18 07:37:46

I agree with PP. I would speak to the GP first.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Wed 24-Jan-18 07:38:02

As @FayJay said, have you discussed this with a health care professional? Do they have concerns about her weight?

dementedpixie Wed 24-Jan-18 07:38:30

Does she need more protein? Toddler diarrhoea is supposed to be helped by increasing fat and lowering the fibre in the diet.

Tinseltower Wed 24-Jan-18 07:40:19

Could you get her exercising more? What size is her plate for dinners etc?

Partyfops Wed 24-Jan-18 07:41:59

Do you have an eating disorder OP?

I think you are over hyping what is a bit of puppy fat. You sound obsessed and are saying some vile things about your little girl.

Get some medical help and advice for you both please for her sake.

SquashedInTight Wed 24-Jan-18 07:45:10

If it helps re portion sizes, I have a 3 year old who is about the right weight. She would have half a toddler sized bowl of cereal for breakfast with a piece of fruit. Half a slice of bread with butter, little chunk of cheese or glass of milk and fruit for lunch, toddler sized plate about two thirds full for dinner. Drinks are water, snacks are Bourbon biscuits if we have been busy and she is hungry. My DD won't eat more if I put more out, so that must be about right!

notanurse2017 Wed 24-Jan-18 07:47:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wolfiefan Wed 24-Jan-18 07:48:46

What's a typical day like for food?

Evelynismyformerspyname Wed 24-Jan-18 07:52:35

I think you need to see a health professional as much to get this into perspective as to see if there is an underlying cause. Your language when you describe her is quite dramatic for a 75th centile child!

Take her to the HV or GP. If they actually think she is very overweight they may test for an underlying cause which can be treated and also offer you advise.

With an inactive 3 year old exercise is usually key - built into the day, not classes. Walk everywhere. Go to the playground more. Ditch the buggy if you still use one. Offer apples and carrots without limit between meals instead of limited crackers (just say you've run out, not that she isn't allowed). Putting limits on things she is allowed may make her obsessed, especially at age 3 - lots of kids do well with "everything in moderation" but for some parents doling out less of the desired food than they want makes them fixated on pestering for more - if it just isn't there it's easier to accept.

DianaT1969 Wed 24-Jan-18 07:55:35

I'm not an expert, but the foods you mention are quite high in sugar and 'empty' calories ... sugar-laden cereals for breakfast, tropical fruits for lunch, biscuits..popcorn (sugar or salt variety?).
How about swapping to egg/avocado/hummus based food for breakfast? We know it's addictive. Keep a food diaryand ask the nursery to fill it in each day. If nothing else, it will show which nutrients are being covered/not covered.
Hopefully your GP will be able to help.

Sarahjconnor Wed 24-Jan-18 07:56:32

What does she eat each day? Why isn't she more active?

user187656748 Wed 24-Jan-18 07:56:37

I'm not sure what alpha bites are but I'm assuming cereal? So she's had three types of cereal for breakfast? That isn't a good breakfast

I'd be switching her diet to give her more protein and see what happens. Boiled egg and toast with some roasted cherry tomatoes tomorrow.

BatmanFlewAway Wed 24-Jan-18 07:57:10

No I don’t have an eating disorder. I eat mostly healthily and I have a BMI in the middle to bottom end of the healthy range.
I’m not obsessed, I just have a bit of guilt that I’ve listened to nursery and friends passing this off as puppy fat. It’s got better but she is now running around and is still overweight.
Our portion sizes are definitely too big. She wants to have the china bowls that we have for cereal because she’s not a baby. I give her smaller portions than us by she is constantly asking for more breakfast in the morning.
Perhaps I do need to up the protein - she could be low on that.
I don’t know what the GP will do as they weren’t that helpful about the toddler diarrhoea and I can’t imagaine they’d care that much. My brother is a GP and he just says tell her she’s getting fat! I don’t want to give her a complex. Squashed - my DD is definitely eating too much.

DragonsAndCakes Wed 24-Jan-18 07:57:17

As a starting point I’d keep her busy between meals to avoid snacking and just don’t have anything in that you don’t want her to eat.

BatmanFlewAway Wed 24-Jan-18 07:57:38

I will make a GP appointment though.

Evelynismyformerspyname Wed 24-Jan-18 07:58:13

I don't know what alpha bites are but rice Krispies aren't filling - I'd also just give her more wetabix and not buy more of the other cereal when you finish the box.

My 6 year old is skinny and if he doesn't like a meal he'll just sit without comment and not eat a meal, not even ask for anything else, or maybe for an apple. However give him any cereal except musli, weetabix or cornflakes (we do buy kids cereal sometimes) and left to himself he'll eat 3 big bowls in a row.

user187656748 Wed 24-Jan-18 08:00:41

Well apart from at nursery you can control it if you think she's eating too much. You are the keeper of the food at that age.

She gets access to carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, apple slices (perhaps prepare a batch every couple of days and keep them in a tupperware box with a lid in the fridge so that its an easy grab). Then you control her meal sizes and lay off the sugary carbs and increase the veg and protein.

GwendolynMary Wed 24-Jan-18 08:01:40

I can't see what your weight has to do with your child's, except as a giant red flag for your own issues with food and weight. Speak to your GP or health nurse for advice asap, before you damage your child's self-esteem.

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