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where to find help for over weight 7 yr old

(12 Posts)
lola88 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:36:09

My Dneice has a weight problem and I am looking for the best way to help her. Just for a bit of back ground on how she has ended up over weight my sister (her mum) suffers from depression and has had issues with alcohol which has led her to make some bad decisions for DN in her depressive times they ate greggs and take aways and often the drink money would come first and would have little left for food so DN would live on frosties and toast. My sister also has a weight problem and made no effort to eat well at all so DN now has a pretty unhealthy attitude to food she can eat much more than I could however wont eat breakfast and lunch she seems to binge after school.

So now she is living perm and full time with my mum we are trying to address the issues that have come from her upbringing so far, she has had to have speech therapy, visits dyslexia Scotland and has extra help at school to help her catch up. She also is very different from most children at school she has no dad, lives with her gran, all the parents have seen the state of my sister so lots of gossip about that. My mum and I feel that she has enough to deal with without the added pressure of being told she has a weight problem so are looking for ways to help her learn to eat well without making too much of an issue of it.

My poor girl has had things so hard I just want to help but don't want to hurt her any further by giving her another thing 'wrong' with her as that is how she will see it.

whattodoforthebest2 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:38:44

What activities does she do lola?

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 18-Mar-14 10:43:03

You could try speaking to the school nurse

Eletheomel Tue 18-Mar-14 10:45:14

I don't have any experience of this so apologies if these suggestions are all nonsense. But could you get her involved in meal planning cooking healthier meals? Often if kids have 'ownership' of a meal they're more inclined to eat it? We also found with out toddler that growing veg in the garden meant that he wanted to eat it (that may not be an option for you and 7 may be a bit old to be awed by being able to eat something that she grew (although tbh it still awes me) but it might help?

Obviously the above are not really tackling the problem as such, just giving little ideas that maybe you can embark on without your niece twigging that you're trying to change her habits (if you know what I mean). The other thing would be increasing her activity by getting her involved in swimming/cycling/ walks to park etc.

I would also tackle the lack of bfast and lunch, e.g. no snacks unless she eats her bfast and lunch.

Have you got in touch with local health visitor/GP to discuss it to see whether there is any 'formal' help you can get?

The good news is 7 is still young and changes are still so possible.

whattodoforthebest2 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:49:07

I'm thinking 7 is a good age to start looking at doing a sport regularly - swimming, dance class, trampolining?

If you can tire her out with activities and burn up some of the energy she's got, then look at gradually improving her diet. She doesn't even have to know that's what your aim is.

tumbletumble Tue 18-Mar-14 10:49:49

I agree with you OP - telling this child she is fat is not what she needs right now.

Model good behaviour. Make sure the hour is full of healthy tasty food and your niece is involved in choosing and cooking it and sees you and your mum eating reasonably sized portions and enjoying them.

Get her active. Does she enjoy gym, dance, trampolining etc? Is there a beavers group near you to promote fun outdoor activity?

PeterParkerSays Tue 18-Mar-14 10:57:31

I would focus on getting her a stable, long term healthy diet. She may lose weight because of this, or maintain what she has and grow into it as she gets older.

I would focus on activities to help her co-ordination and self esteem, and to help her to make friends, then if she loses weight that's a bonus, but even if you just maintain her current weight, she will eventually grow into it.

lola88 Tue 18-Mar-14 17:38:04

We have started her on a stars which do a different activity every weeks last week dodgeball for example and cheer leading and dancing and she does PE at school.

It's hard to change her habits especially at lunch as the school don't bother what they eat sad

nosleeptillbedtime Tue 18-Mar-14 17:43:22

Can you put her on a packed lunch so she doesn't eat school meals ( which are crap if our local authority is anything to go by). I think there are some good suggestions about getting her involved in food decisions and modelling a healthy household for her. A child psychologist friend told me that she tells parents To be involved in exploring and being interested in food with the child. So it is a bonding thing to do together.

Margetts Tue 18-Mar-14 18:48:07

Your DN is probably addicted to sugar so needs to be weaned off slowly. Start by trying to get her to eat breakfast and lunch.
Could you try and make breakfast slightly more fun. I make blueberry and banana pancakes the night before and heat them in the microwave. The DC are allowed a small bit of syrup with them. With the amount of banana and blue berries I put in them it is one portion of fruit. At lunch a packed lunch, with a sandwich and a piece of fruit or packet of breadsticks?
After school could you go to the park on the way home for some more exercise?
Could you take her to the supermarket and let her choose a new fruit or vegetable every week to try? Or let her invent " new smoothies recipes" eg frozen raspberries and bananas with milk or mango and banana.
Good luck

Margetts Tue 18-Mar-14 20:10:12

If she binges when she comes home from school could you try and change her routine eg. Go to the park, visit the library, go for a walk. When you get home could you then have an earlier tea?

lola88 Tue 18-Mar-14 20:29:34

margetts we have limited the snacks after school and brought tea forward but she crys for more sad I think it's partly just what she is used to she was often sat infront of the TV with endless crap snacks so her mum could have some peace 6 hours while she is at school didn't seem to count

She's a very active child thankfully not the type to sit around I dread to think how much she would put on if she was a lazy child.

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