Overweight child, lunch box ideas ?(33 Posts)
DC3 now nearly 10 is overweight. It started slowly in year 2 and now in year 5 she is undeniably overweight. Her older brother is really skinny and her older sister normal weight. She loves her food. Not sure what to do, but I need to do something. Her lunch box usually contains a ham or chicken bagel sandwich, a packet of crisps, a kitkat and a caprisun. I can do better clearly. Carrot sticks? Fruit? Replacing the drink with water? What about treats? And she goes to breakfast club, should I limit what she can get? And after school club, she eats quite a lot there too. Then will have dinner at home. What are healthy snacks alternatives? I feel bad should know that but I don't really have a clue.
Definitely no sugary drink, just water, not really any need for the crisps and chocolate - but if you’re going for gradual change just ditch one or the other then add fruit (mango or raspberries or cut up orange with a cocktail stick in a mini Tupperware is popular with mine).
It is tricky - I’ve got one skinny child (naturally so, eats healthily, not fussy, just always been thin) and one who would be enormous if I didn’t pay massive attention to diet, I feel your pain! But sorting the lunchbox is a good start!
No crisps, chocolate or juice. Those should be treats, as in every once in a while- I’m surprised your school allows them with all of the stories you here on MN of lunchbox police.
Chopped up veg sticks and a pot of houmous; apple and nut butter; salad with a light dressing in a separate pot; banana; mixed berries with a pot of (plain) yogurt; nuts and seeds.
I would switch bagels up to as a once a week thing. Give pasta salads; granary bread sandwiches; couscous salads; cooked cold new potatoes with left over meat and veg.
My kids like peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot in their packed lunches. Also a little pot of cottage cheese, rice cakes or crackers. Water to drink - empty calories in the Capri sun. Also pineapple / melon chunks in a little tub goes down well. Dd never really has a sandwich anymore because she's not keen and the crackers / rice cakes seem to do the job or sometimes a wrap rolled up and cut into small section.
No advice re breakfast / after school club I'm afraid.
put some leaves in the bagel, crisps OR chocolate not both, no sugary drinks just a fruit juice and try and get her involved in it, give her a variety of healthy snacks to choose from every week and let her pick two of them
Kit kat, crisps and Capri sun every day is too much . Maybe one kit kat a week would be better. Carrot, pepper and cucumber sticks? What does she like to eat? Does she have breakfast at home, then again at school, lunch, after school club then evening meal? Replace juice with water and crisps with fruit.
We have also done carrot sticks/cherry Toms/cucumber/grapes in one of those divided Tupperware things (sound like I’m obsessed with Tupperware- I’m not - autocorrect capitalising it & I can’t think of the generic word!)
Ditch the bagels, they're full of sugar. Corn tortilla wraps are a good one for lunches. Up the protein, so things like chicken/turkey/cottage cheese/eggs and she is less likely to feel hungry later on. Lots of fresh veg is always a winner. My DS likes carrot and cucumber with a little pot of houmous. No need for crisps and chocolate. One or the other if you want to include a treat. If she's happy with just water then that's great!
Definitely speak to school club about the kinds of things she's eating there. This should be a small and healthy snack, no more than 100 calories, to keep her going until tea.
Does she do any out of school activities like swimming?
Ds takes a bagel or brioche burger roll, strawberries/grapes, yoghurt, flavoured water and small biscuit item
Bagels have about 290 calories a pop- change to 'toaster' brown bread. Water instead of juice. Chocolate or crisps, not both. Educate yourself about calories and try to have an idea of her intake. Protein at breakfast so she feels fuller for longer. No carbs at dinner if possible.
If she has to take crisps (Ds would rebel big time) then make sure they are small (multipack) baked ones like French fries, wotsits or hummus chips). Bagels are higher in calories, try a bread roll or wrap instead. More filling, less or no butter & lots of salad if she will eat it.
For the treat something like a lower fat rice pudding pot is more filling & nutritous than chocolate.
Definitely include fruit. Also things like soft cheese & crispbreads
The bagels we have say 220 kcals. Brioche burger rolls 157 kcals. Ds alternates between the 2
Rice cakes instead of crips is always an idea.
you can get the thin bagels now too which are half the size.
try to first get her into other foods,healthy ones.so it isn't like you are punishing her and reducing her.expecially if the others are going to be.
try to talk gently about health diets.
could you cook together so her interest and feeling behind food isn't just now going to be about how to reduce her weight.its about teaching her a balance and to enjoy it in that balanced way.so cooking or her seeing portions will help.
I worry because if you suddenly change and reduce her diet food will become something it never should,expeically not in girls her age.
so tyr and get at it other ways.ask her for help.say you want to get more fruit and veg into the familys diet.so its not singling her out. get her tp pick some fruits and veggies to try.
mine loved little pots of roasted veg.sweet potato,peppers and tomato in her packed lunch with a wrap.
are you the type of people to do notes.a little tub of carrot battons,straberries,grapes etc with a little love you note.detrats away from you shoving something healthy in there and instead shes just thinking mum left a note.
pitta chips made by oven cooking triangles cut out of tortillas.
oven cooked banana or apples.
making a fruit salad.melon,kiwi.strawberrys,berrys.
little tubs with fruit stirred through and granola.
some salad I nthe sandwhich
this needs to be about learning what good in balance and working together not cutting her food down because shes 'too big' 'lose weight' this will only bring shame.
but her bagel and lunch doesn't sound bad hun.its in context and with all the other added stuff that it has become that so don't be down on you not knowig anything or doing the wrong thing.
can you try new fruit and veg or lunches at home altogether first then wich she likes and can then ad to lunch.
another sweet ours loves are starberrys or cherrys,raspberries covered in yoghurt and frozen they make great little treat bites.
stewed apple with some roasted oats and cornflakes on top
get her loving good food so it becomes her choice.
I know it must feel hard especially with a daughter at this age and body image etc.but if she knows you love and support her there isn't much you cant sort.
My dc only ever have water in their lunchbox. So that's an easy thing to change.
I'd aim for...
One main thing...ie sandwich, pasta salad, wrap, bagel as you said.
One veg...so carrot batons, cucumber slices, strips of pepper.
One piece of fruit.
Then I'd include one very small treat. Maybe a small, plain biscuit...not a chocolatey one. If they like something crunchy, a small amount of plain popcorn which you make yourself..no toppings. Or some mini breadsticks.
No sweets, chocolate, crisps.
A good rule I have is veg with every meal. And at least one piece of fruit everyday.
Right, lots of good ideas, not too time consuming (mornings are sillily busy, so shoving these things in was fast and easy) will stop crisps, chocolate and sugary drinks for sure, gradually over the first week after half term. And replace bagel with wrap, excellent idea again. Easy to shove veg sticks in the wrap I think. I will have a word with breakfast club, (she doesn't have breakfast at home on top), big problem is after school care, they have a proper tea with pasta left overs from school dinners sometimes or sandwiches, so having a family meal as well is clearly too much, but she feels excluded if we eat without her or left out from the ASC. In term of exercise she does taekwondo once a week plus 2 PE sessions, I got her to wear my Fitbit last week (all the rage at school at the moment) and she was doing 10-12k steps per day, so not too bad. She is getting self conscious now, with the beginning of puberty as well, not helping.
I have a child who has a limited diet due to having autism , the only sandwich fillings he will eat is jam or nutella to make up for this sugar he has it on wholemeal bread , has carrot sticks , box of raisins , bread sticks and an apple , not great but not awful either and he has stayed a healthy weight , he also has chicken nuggets more than i would like but i serve them with veg so its not all bad , i limit crisps because if he had his way he would just keep snacking on them all the time so my view is if 90% is healthy stuff then the 10% of crap is not going to cause an issue we go on walks as a family and try and get out to play as much as possible i think small changes could help your little girl also remember protein keeps you feeling full so a boiled egg with some yogurt will keep here more satisfied than cereal
Her diet doesn't sound great so no surprise she is where she is. I completely understand that it creeps up on you. My son is same age and was whip thin for so long, in the last 18 months has podged out a lot.
From my experience, I would be tempted to not make a huge change in the lunchbox overnight and just gradually upgrade each item to be a slightly healthier choice. Eg my son really enjoys these choc chips biscuits from Nairn's. They are half the sugar and made of oats, and he loves them, they still feel like a treat. Then you could move onto the crisps - the "puff" hula hoops instead of the real ones etc, you use bagel thins instead of a full bagel etc, and bit by bit you're making it healthy, cutting back and she is learning good habits.
I would also try to make the last meal of the day very light and not too carby. My boys enjoy soup in winter and instead of serving it with wedges of bread and butter, I put a small bowl of croutons on the table.
I agree it's difficult but at that age you still have a lot of power to influence her diet. In a couple of years you won't necessarily be able to control what she chooses to eat.
Good luck OP!
Link to the Nairns biccies.
They also do them in mixed berry.
Still not totally virtuous but a good swap all the same.
Lunch box, one main (sandwhich, pasta, wrap, etc) and fill it with greens, then one portion of fruit and one of veg. She doesn’t need a treat every day, maybe stick to just a Friday.
Also exercise I would say needs to be upped quite a lot. My dd swims for 8 hours a week plus park, just running about etc. We also will do some YouTube exercise videos too.
Really like the popcorn idea. Am stealing that one for my son's lunchbox!
You can get bagel thins which are lot less calories than a big bagel she might not even notice.
Also french fries crisps are very low fat/calorie compared to normal.crisps.
Low fat hummus with a combo of mini bread sticks and carrot sticks and cucumber sticks are popular here. Mini cheese bites are also good as they're protein so even though they're not low fat they will fill her up. DD likes the novelty of unwrapping the individual ones.
Defo just water to drink in lunch box. At home avoid fruit juice as loads of calories. Just buy no added sugar squash and make it really dilute so very few calories without her feeling hard done by.
I would also say try and get her moving a bit more. Can she do any sports after school instead of eating at the after school club?
My ds (8) who eats a tonne of food but naturally doesn't eat crap does pe twice a week. Then football and tennis for an hour after school each week. Then 1 1/2 of foot ball and rugby at the weekends. He also plays football every playtime at school.
My DD on the other hand is just much lazier and greedier.
It's hard I know.
Can she not have a meal at after school club? She's effectively having 2 evening meals, cutting one out will go a long way.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.