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Putting dd on a diet??

(23 Posts)
Memoo Sun 31-Jul-11 21:51:17

my dd is 12 and is overweight. I've been in denial for some time but have realised that I need to do something now before it becomes a real problem.

I don't know where to begin because her diet isn't really bad. We eat a lot of pasta, fish etc and white meat. We have 'junk' food once a week on a Saturday when we have pizza. She eats tons of fruit and veg.

She is very active, she swims several times a week and rides her bike a lot.

Also the last thing I want is for her to get a complex about her weight.

Please help!

exoticfruits Sun 31-Jul-11 22:11:03

Are you sure she is unhealthy? Her diet and level of exercise seem good.

mrsgboring Sun 31-Jul-11 22:15:56

If you don't use skimmed milk already then switch. That on its own in a good diet like your dd's might well be enough.

You can also subtly reduce the junk food quota. Buy a smaller pizza and have more salad with it. Make sure you're picking the less fat ridden types i.e. Margherita or ham rather than four cheese or pepperoni.

Check for hidden sugar too - yoghurts have surprisingly high levels and fruit juice is sugar laden and not that thirst quenching so even though it's fresh fruit it won't be ideal. Cut it down, dilute it or just forget to buy it.

exoticfruits Sun 31-Jul-11 22:22:26

Maybe it is portion size. Use smaller plates is a good idea.

Memoo Sun 31-Jul-11 22:26:50

Yes she is definitely overweight. She is in a womans size 14 clothes. I feel so bad tbh like I've let her down.

Some good ideas mrsg, she does have quite a bit of milk so switching to skimmed is a good idea. She does love yoghurts and fruit juice too so will cut down on those. Forgetting to buy certain thongs is a good idea!

Memoo Sun 31-Jul-11 22:27:42

Exotic, you could well be right! She does eat huge portions sometimes.

EverythingsNotRosie Sun 31-Jul-11 22:27:59

I just wanted to say... I wish my mum had done this when I was 12 as I put on weight steadily through my teens. My issue was grazing- breakfast, then snacks, then lunch, then snacks, then tea, then supper... and not enough exercise. I would check portion size as well, mine are still too big!

Memoo Sun 31-Jul-11 22:32:21

Thanks for saying that smile Makes me feel better about what I'm doing.

180 Sun 31-Jul-11 22:46:09

may be worth getting her to understand a bit about nutrition too so she has a choice with it all and can make healthy decisions when you aren't around to help. Is she eating when she is bored? I know I did that as a teenager.

mamas12 Sun 31-Jul-11 22:53:18

Are you trying to do this without her knowledge to start with as I did that with mine and it worked.
I shopped differently and cooked differently and I also involved her in choosing something to teach her to cook. i.e. quorn spagbol or something.
I think if she's exercising that much then I think it could be portion control too.
Porridge for breakfast is a good fillerupper!
Also don't forget puppy fat at this age is also normal and she could lose it natually alongside portion control etc.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 31-Jul-11 22:58:50

I have to say that puppyfat is a real thing. My sisters DD looked really quite overweight at that age and 2 years on she's like a stick. Try not to worry or bland yourself too much. Her diet and exercise sound good.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 31-Jul-11 22:59:28

Blame not bland...blush

HansieMom Mon 01-Aug-11 01:43:10

I like watered down juice. I fill a glass half full of water, then add juice. I prefer it this way. I drink skim milk and anything else tastes way too fatty.

exoticfruits Mon 01-Aug-11 07:14:52

You might find that she has a growth spurt. My DS was overweight at 13yrs, and he had a lot of exercise, but almost overnight, it seemed, he seemed to grow several inches! Suddenly he looked much better and he has never let himself get back.
It is worth reading all the labels on your shopping-even something like pizza can vary enormously as to fat content etc.

GreenTeapot Mon 01-Aug-11 07:22:45

At 12 is there a way she could be buying food herself? My weight problems started at high school when my diet was outwith my parents' control and I ate junk there. I also think being encouraged to eat white bread as a snack after school wasn't helpful ...! You're doing the right thing by identifying and approaching this now smile

uninspired Mon 01-Aug-11 07:35:07

Lots of good advice on this thread already. Just to add my ds has gone thru phases of being quite chunky then shot up and slimmed out. Often in summer. So she mat be laying down the fat needed for a growth spurt

mrsgboring Mon 01-Aug-11 12:00:44

I agree it could be a growth spurt but this was always my mother's excuse for me and it was never really true. No harm in making small changes for the healthier anyway.

I also agree with GreenTeapot - she could well be buying food for herself that you don't know about (not necessarily because she's being secretive but because she doens't think it's worth mentioning)

CherryDrops Mon 01-Aug-11 12:20:35

If there's no extra food you're not aware of then it's almost definitely portion size. She eats 'tons' of fruit and veg and you have said her portions are large.

Even the right food when eaten in excessive amounts can lead to significant weight gain. It's great that you're making sure she gets a balanced diet and lots of exercise, but she doesn't need massive portions.

- Downsize your plates so she still has a full plate of food and doesn't feel deprived by smaller portions.
- Read packages for portion guides and weigh out an example portion. You'll be surprised by how small a portion of cereal/pasta/rice really is.
- Look at her snacks - try offering only fruit or veg (e.g. carrot/cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, sugarsnap peas) as snacks. These are high in micronutrients and fibre and lower in calories (probably worth limiting bananas to 1 a day though, as they can easily contain over 100 calories each and add up quickly). Rice cakes also make a good snack at only 30-40 calories each.
- Make sure she is drinking enough water. Sometimes we feel hungry when we are dehydrated. Add sugar-free squash to it if she doesn't like it plain.
- Avoid fruit juices and sugary drinks. These are unneccessary and although fruit juice counts for one portion of your five a day it doesn't offer the same high fibre content that you get from whole fruit. They are also high in sugar which are bad for teeth.

I think you're doing a great thing for your daughter - 70% of overweight/obese children go on to become overweight/obese adults. As long as you don't make a big deal of this it is likely to have great effects long-term. Speak to her openly about getting healthier without using any negative words (fat, etc.) to avoid her becoming fixated with or upset about her weight. Perhaps suggest you do it together? If you're seen to be making the same changes as her (even if you don't need to lose weight - you can add in extra snacks when she's not around) then she won't feel singled out/self-conscious.

CherryDrops Mon 01-Aug-11 12:23:41

Also, forgot to add - don't refer to it as a 'diet'. It's not a short-term fix, nor is it a reason for her to feel hungry or deprived. You're just simply keen on making sure the whole family is as healthy as you can be. Avoid the word diet at all costs.

exoticfruits Mon 01-Aug-11 13:57:08

Yes-do avoid diet. I have only successfully got my weight down since I changed my eating habits-for life.

Memoo Mon 01-Aug-11 19:44:04

Thank you so much for all the ideas, it is much appreciated.

I think portion size is something I definitely need to look at. Although we do eat pretty healthily she does have very big portions and often has seconds.

I think she probably is due a growth spurt. She has always been a healthy weight but the past 12 months she has put weight on but not really gained an awful lot in height.

It's a very good point about her buying junk food. She has just finished her first year at high school and I give her money for her snack and lunch. I'm going to make sure she understands that she needs to make healthy choices

allthefires Mon 01-Aug-11 21:08:17

Also agree with the cooking food together- always makes me less hungry iykwim

Memoo Mon 01-Aug-11 22:39:40

Ah yes I know exactly what you mean. Food is always nicer when someone else has cooked it

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