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Overweight DD

(41 Posts)
stressedallthetime Tue 17-May-11 13:56:26

My DD (9.5) is overweight. Not massively but noticeably. My questions are numerous but mainly do you think this is common (not-unusual anyway) for a preteen? What do I do about it? I have spoken to her and told her that whilst not fat she is probably not an ideal weight for her height. DH thinks this was the wrong thing to do. Unfortunately she likes her food, loves school lunches (she is not allowed a packed lunch) and because I work full time have little input into her evening meal. Should I take her to the GP for a check up? She does loads of exercise, is on most of the school teams and drinks tons of water. All advice gratefully received.

stressedallthetime Tue 17-May-11 17:16:12


kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 18-May-11 07:55:24

Has she always been heavy or is she just about to have a growth spurt? My DD is generally skeletal, but, when she is about to grow upwards she gets a tiny roll of fat around her waist and her bottom gets plumper.
Why isn't she allowed a packed lunch out of interest?

stressedallthetime Wed 18-May-11 09:43:40

Thanks for a reply. She has always been a bit on the heavy side but as she is so active I thought it would burn off eventually, but it is getting worse if anything. She goes to a local private school where they have to take school lunches. Unfortunately, her school lunch doesn't sound like mine used to be and she loves them.

moondog Wed 18-May-11 09:48:32

What do you mena you have 'little input' into evening meal?
Why does working f/t preclude that?
You need to look seriously at her food intake.

Dinner staff are probably overfeeding her too.
I have just discovered how much food they have been slapping onto my children's plates in our school and am not happy.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 18-May-11 09:52:05

I think you need to have firm words with her. Obviously don't scare her, but reinforce healthy eating messages. If it's anything like DDs school, all they talk about is healthy food.
It does sound as if she's getting too much at school, not sure about at home. who feeds her in the evening?

stressedallthetime Wed 18-May-11 09:52:26

I have an Au Pair to look after DD after school and have specified the amount and types of food that should be offered for DD's evening meal but I don't think this is being followed. I guess my real question is how much to tell DD about her weight and whether I should be getting her to monitor her input too? I know I can't abdicate responsibility for her weight but am struggling to know how to deal with it without giving her reason to develop issues with food. I was hoping that someone may have been in a similar position so could advise on statergies.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 18-May-11 09:59:55

What nationality is your Au Pair? Some nationals see feeding as loving ITMS.
How big is your DD? Is she interested in fashion? If she is unable to wear average size clothes for her age, you could put it to her she would be trendier if she cut back a bit.
DD was at school last year with a 9 YO girl who wore size 14 adult size clothes. She was of Viking parents but she was enormous. She was very unhappy. With the help of the school nurse, her parents managed to stabilise her weight. They cut down on the amount of milk (3 litres) she drank a day and also switched her from full fat to semi skimmed. she stopped drinking apple juice and switched to water. It took around a year before she grew into her height, or rather, she stopped growing outwards and merely grew taller.

moondog Wed 18-May-11 10:03:52

Well, I work and my husband is awy so have plenty on my plate (so to speak). I'd be cooking myself and dividing into portions.
Are you home late?
Who shops?
Do you have snacks in your house she is helping herself to?

moondog Wed 18-May-11 10:04:50

I don't pussyfoot with food issues and 'feelings' either.
I tell my kids that food is lovely and I love it but if you eat too much it makes you fat and that i don't want any one of us to be fat.
End of.

stressedallthetime Wed 18-May-11 10:05:48

My Au Pair is French and doesn't seem to grasp that if DD has a good lunch she only needs a light evening meal. I'll try again on that one. DD is average height for her age but wears age 10-11 (or in Zara 11-12) clothes. I might mention about cutting back so she can wear the ridicously skimpy shorts she likes. DD does also drink quite a lot of juice (particulary the Au Pair's grenadine). I'll have another word. Do you think I should say again that she is a little plump or just say that to get the horrible shorts she needs to cut down on her portions?

Acanthus Wed 18-May-11 10:07:25

She is too young to monitor food herself without it affecting her adversely. Someone needs to do it for her. More fruit and veg, no drinks except water, smaller portion sizes.

moondog Wed 18-May-11 10:08:42

I'd be changing the au pair.
A lifetime of strufggling with weight is a horrendosu issue.
I'm so pissed off with my kids' school that thry now have packed lunch (not an option for you, I note) which \i really don't need, there being enough hassle in my life already.

But I follow the little red hen fable.
If i don't trust someone to do a job properly, i do it myself.

Acanthus Wed 18-May-11 10:09:14

I don't think you should say anything really, just make the changes. Tell her grenadine is bad for her teeth so you won't be having it anymore.

Bonsoir Wed 18-May-11 10:09:16

My DD's school offers the children far too much (often unhealthy) food at lunch time and it is a huge problem for the minority of children who have voracious appetites.

If you are unable to opt out of school lunches (as we are), you really must tackle your children's school on this issue.

As for your au pair, you must set out nutritional guidelines and strict rules about composition of meals and quantities. There is no other way.

ruddynorah Wed 18-May-11 10:09:43

Are you leaving the au pair to decide on evening meals? Can you sit down and meal plan with her and also discuss portion size?

stressedallthetime Wed 18-May-11 10:20:40

Hi Everyone. Thank you all for your help. The Au Pair is leaving soon anyway - it is the end of her year with us. I'll make sure the new one is more "on board" with the food issues. I will have another word with DD, ban grenadine and generally sort out the remaining month's worth of evening meals with the Au Pair and DD. This is just the sort of kick up the "arse" I needed. DH is not much help other than implying that it is all down to me that DD is overweight and then taking her off to buy crisps. I'll sort him out too grin.

Bonsoir Wed 18-May-11 10:23:41

Yes, you can use the change in au pair to set out a much clearer, up front meal system. I think it is unreasonable to expect au pairs to be responsible for nutritional issues - they need clear guidelines to follow.

Aworryingtrend Wed 18-May-11 10:26:52

YABcompletelyU to expect your daughter to lose weight when she is getting no input into what she eats- the school lunch and evening meal are both provided for her- what is she supposed to do, just not eat it? You need to speak to the school wrt portion sizes and spend some time meal-planning inc portion sizes with your new au pair. YOU are the parent and you need to take action to change things.

BunnyWunny Wed 18-May-11 10:33:04

If school meals were the issue then the rest of the school would be overweight too.

It could just be that your dd is eating too much, rather than what she actually eats (and drinks). I would ban sugary drinks/restrict them to occasional treats like at parties etc- that's what i do with my dd.

I would also be wary of telling her she needs to slim to get into certain clothes- sounds like a recipe for eating problems later on. I would be wary of telling her she needs to slim also because she is tubby- she will become aware of her own body image al too soon in my eyes. I would stick to saying she needs to choose healthy foods for her teeth, and heart at the moment.

stressedallthetime Wed 18-May-11 10:33:21

Hi Bonsoir. I did set out clear guidelines for the Au Pair to follow but she just doesn't, or is bullied into not following them. DD can be forcefull when she wants to be and Au Pair isn't. The new one is much older and I think won't be such a push over. I wouldn't expect an Au Pair to be responsible for DD's nutrional issues, you are right it is not reasonable. I have a "menu" on the fridge which sets out the types of food for an evening meal and quantities. DD (or Au Pair) should then choose from it for the evening meal. Do you think this is too much choice? Should I actually write a note to the Au Pair in the morning (I don't see her in the mornings as she's not on duty until DD gets home from school) telling her what to give for the evening? How does anyone else do it?

moondog Wed 18-May-11 10:37:28

When I work late (as often do) and someone brings my kids home, I have what thy are having in the fridge ready for them.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 18-May-11 10:38:08

I don't have an au pair sad but I would make a menu plan for the whole week and the ap can choose what she wants to cook for that evening's dinner.
If your DD is eating a hot lunch at school, she doesn't need a proper meal in the evenings. Beans on toast, jacket potato, salad nicoise, small pasta dish. All would be about right IMO.

Bonsoir Wed 18-May-11 11:21:57

stressedallthetime - I think you should menu plan for your au pair - I don't think she should be catering, other than actually preparing the meal you have decided your child should eat. Why don't you create several weekly meal plans (seasonally appropriate ones), type them up and seal them in plastic? You can then bring them out depending on the season/what you found in the shops.

Bonsoir Wed 18-May-11 11:23:37

BunnyWunny - "If school meals were the issue then the rest of the school would be overweight too."

This is not true. I have been a parent observer in our school canteen and the quantities consumed per child vary wildly, as do the choices each child makes between different food groups - one child will eat nothing but vegetables and bread, while another eats several helpings of burger and chips.

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