Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.
8 Year old putting on weight...(14 Posts)
I have 3 beautiful children but my 8 year old DD has always been a bit on the chubby side, a bit like me....however I have a really unhealthy relationship with food and consciously need to think about everything I put in my mouth and yes I am slightly overweight.
I am now worried my DD is developing these habits, such as eating sweets/chocs when she is not hungry, having substantial snacks after school followed by dinner an hour or so later.
Picking at my food when I am eating...but I do stop her!
I do not buy too much of the chocs, crisps etc but do have some lying around for lunch boxes.
It is particularly worse when we are out at a party or dinner and I see her continually pick at food.
She herself has said things like "I am so fat" but I always respond by saying "you are beautiful but maybe only eat if you are really hungry, try some water instead or choose a healthy snack"....
Have any of you had this issue and what is the best way to handle it without being offensive to her or causing her to be upset?
Just stop buying crisps and chocolate as 'everyday' items then. And control her snacking. Why are you giving her "substantial" snacks? And then having dinner just 1hr later? No-one will starve in an hour. Either cut out the afternoon snack, or if she is hungry, why not give her piece of fruit? Or a yoghurt? Or a slice of toast as a snack?
She probably picks at food because she isn't actually hungry at meal times.
She's 8 and can only really eat what you provide. So only give her healthy snacks to choose from.
She does not actually snack on junk food, but I feel she eats too much of the proper food.
We give her a substantial snack after school as she is always hungry and then wants to eat again for dinner.
She is relatively active and skips, hoola hoops, gymnastics, swimming, but not consistent.
I am thinking of making her do a DVD for 20 mins each day as a routine.
Don't do the DVD thing. Take her to the park or for a walk or something normal for kids. And make her snack after school small. I do understand my DS is autistic and quite overweight but I have been making changes and although he moaned at first he just got used to it. No need to make it a big thing or give her a complex. At this age we are still in control of what they eat and how much exercise they get so can make changes without them noticing really.
Don't single her out from the rest of the family with the dvds, that may just affirm her 'differentness' & hence perceived struggle with her weight.
Reduce or ideally remove chocolate from lunch boxes for everyone, not just her.
Likewise only give 1/2 pack of crisps not the whole pack.
It might sou d a bit cold, its bot meant to, but perhaps consider ALL their diets as 'building a child' so look at what they needs not just what they want.
And remember what an important role model you are too.
I have an overweight 9 year old. I've posted on here before about it. Lots and lots of people don't get it at all - basically say "why don't you feed her healthy stuff and get her to exercise". I would have said that 9 years ago, I am skinny, I would always have thought it was simple to stay slim until I had to parent my daughter!
My DD was 10lb 1oz when she was born, has always been chunky and just has a huge appetite. I am convinced it is something to do with her brain chemistry - she doesn't have an off switch like my other DD. So for about 3 years now I have not bought ANY crisps or biscuits, or anything processed and not much bread either. She has porridge or eggs for breakfast, a small packed lunch of protein/veg/plain yoghurt/piece of fruit type of thing, and either a "picky tea" (fruit, veg, dips, piece of ham etc) or a cooked tea which is fish/veg, baked potato/limited pasta and sauce etc. Mostly homemade. She also swims for a club 3 times a week, runs twice a week and does a fair bit of other activity. And she is still overweight - but only a bit. All I can think now is that if I wasn't doing what I was doing she would be seriously overweight, and her build and appetite is just something she and I need to learn to live with. I am hoping that by setting habits in place now, particularly the habit of doing sport, which she loves, that they will just become part of her life in the long term.
As for the talking about it, I tackled it when a particular sport that she does required her to be under a weight limit. I explained that she wouldn't be able to get heavier over the coming year and that together we would need to work on just sticking to the really good food, and just one portion. She has taken it on board and she and other DD do understand what good food is and what they shouldn't eat too much of. I never talked about how she looks, it is all about keeping fit and healthy for her sport and minimising the amount of weight she puts on in the coming year or so. Her size and shape are a big benefit to her in many ways, she is very strong, so I make sure she knows that her body is good because it is fit and strong. Personally I think a 20 minute DVD a day sounds deathly! If it's something you and she would enjoy together perhaps have a go, but taking up a sport with friends might be more fun?
It is so hard because I can see that food is becoming a bit of an issue - both DDs look forward to parties, trips and holidays mostly because of the ice creams, cakes and sweets they will get! So I am slacking off a little bit otherwise they are going to get completely hung up about it all.
That is all about me me me, but I can only talk from my experience with my children, I don't have any other expertise on children's nutrition. You will find there is barely any help out there - basically all it says is not to feed children junk food and to get them to walk places a bit!!
Do not make her do a DVD.
Better to all be active and get fitter together.
After school give her a big glass of water before you give her a snack. Snack doesn't need to be substantial unless dinner is stupidly late.
Dish up smaller dinners. Don't buy crap. Lunchbox stuff out of reach and sight. Not because it's "bad" but because it's lunchbox stuff. (Ideally don't put those snacks in lunchboxes.)
Encourage her to do something else if she asks for food out of boredom. Then she won't have bad habits to deal with later.
tootsie I get that some kids are naturally chunky. I know a girl who plays hockey about four days a week, and can run forever etc. fit as a fiddle and all that.
But if you say to me "my child is over weight, and eats 'substantial snacks, crisps and chocolate" what else do you recommend? other than offering less food and healthier options?
If the OP had said " my child is over weight, and eats 'Carrots sticks as snacks, and doesn't have large portions" then that would be different.
She might well be hungry for an after school snack, but by giving her a substantial snack she definitely won't be hungry for a full meal only 1hr later.
So the options are:
1) give smaller snack and then dinner 1hr later.
2) cut out snack altogether and replace with a drink/nothing
3) continue to give large snack and give smaller dinner.
4) continue with snack, postpone dinner by 2 hours.
Might be worth making sure that she is not eating when really she is thirsty (does that sound completely daft?). I would suggest a good long drink when she comes home from school - before any snacks. It doesn't have to be plain water; skimmed milk or a mini milkshake (ie chilled skimmed milk whizzed up with some fresh berries) is good on days like today, when they come home hot and tired.
oh yes, and I have started feeding both of them as soon as they get in from school pretty much - it is so much easier than dealing with the wailing and moaning for food for 2 hours, which happens even if they have had a snack. Then they are set up for the evening and will tend to have a piece of fruit before bed quite happily.
we have also started doing park runs (www.parkrun.org) as a family. The BEST thing for getting everyone active together, my children love them. We started off running 5k in 40 minutes, we are all down to 30 minutes now!
What is the substantial snack, anyhow?
You are the adult- you need to control this.
Stop putting sugar laden foods into lunch boxes. Doesn't her school ban tham? Many schools do. She ought not to have chocs and other things for lunch- give her fruit, raw veg, cheese, or plain crackers.
Stop giving her a snack of sugary foods when she comes home. An apple or a banana is enough or something like a plain scone.
If you think her portion size is too big, stop putting so much on her plate!
I was fattish around 10-11 and thank God my mum took control. I wasn't banned from any foods but she reduced the number of puddings on offer at mealtimes, said I couldn't have second helpings and didn't allow me to snack. I know only too well how horrible it was to be a fatty at that age.
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.