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11 year old girl and weight(15 Posts)
I posted a while back about my daughter's lack of appetite, particularly at school. I weighed her and put her details into the NHS BMI calculator and it said she is underweight. I didn't take it any further as things seemed to be improving and she was eating more.
This morning at breakfast time, she started saying that she never needs to eat as she's never hungry in a kind of bragging way. She was chatting to her two younger brothers. I got angry with her and said that it was a ridiculous thing to say, that if she wanted to be strong and healthy she needs to make sure her body gets all the nutrients it needs - through food.
She is definitely the slimmest of her friends and they always chat about how slim/pretty/clever everyone is. She enjoys being the thin one.
Should I worry? Is this the start of an unhealthy attitude to food? What should I do?
It definitely doesn't sound healthy - does she do any sporting activities that maybe have a coach that could big up nutrition? I'm not sure what else to suggest, I hope someone else has more help for you as it is a huge worry among adolescent girls.
She's not particularly sporty but she does swim so I could try having a word with her swim coach. He's a young guy in his 20s though so not sure she would relate to him. Been avoiding the GP but maybe that's the way to go...When she talks about food, I do worry. She has said to her grandma before that she likes the feeling of being hungry. When she's relaxed, she does eat and has a pretty good healthy selection of food. But at school or when she's anxious or tired, it gets hard very quickly.
My eleven year old daughters going through something very similar actually. She's slim and keeps saying she's got fat thighs or a fat tummy. Keeps saying she's not hungry for breakfast, dinner or lunch. saying shes full up quickly. However, she's never too full to eat garbage. I do think a lot of its for attention. So, I'm not making a massive fuss of it. Just tell her shes absolutely not fat and tell her she has a nice shape and she knows she isnt and just to eat what she can but she wont be getting any junk food.
Just keeping an eye on it. She hasn't lost weight though and isn't underweight. I think because her body is changing out with her control she's trying to take any control over it she can.
Has your daughter actively lost weight? What does she eat daily?
Love the name Exasperated...know that feeling too well!
I've been trying to ignore as much as possible too as I totally agree about the control thing. A lot of her friends are starting to hit puberty and they're all becoming a lot more aware of their bodies. I'm not sure she's actually lost weight but she's not gained any and has grown a few centimetres. She's around 145cm tall and weighs around 28kg. She has definitely got her dad's lean build though - she doesn't put weight on easily just like him.
On an average day she will eat a banana, a pancake or maybe a fried egg (no toast) for breakfast. Packed lunch is normally a small piece of pitta, hummus, cucumber/pepper, water, small flapjack or other biscuit. Dinner usually good, not a huge portion but roast dinner, pasta, chilli con carne - whatever we're eating. She'll have fruit or yogurt for pudding, and a fun size chocolate bar a couple of nights a week. Not hugely into snacks. Maybe cheese and crackers or a couple of biscuits when she gets home from school. She loves her veg and always has a good selection with her evening meal as well as salad bits with lunch.
That bragging at breakfast about not needing to eat sounds like it was targeted to wind you up - and she got her wish.
How do you "model" healthy eating at home? Do you ever obsess about what or how much you have or have not eaten/how many calories you have burned off?
I think continuing to be "seen" to ignore it when she makes those comments and boasts, while quietly very actively watching it and continuing to offer healthy food and model healthy behaviour - neither obviously dieting nor stuffing yourself - are what's called for now.
In a private moment - maybe in the car, so she doesn't have to look you in the eye as you drive - you may want to ask her if she feels ok about her body and if there is anything she is worried about. Her worries about getting fat with puberty may come out then and you may be able to find a way forward together that keeps her healthy and feeling good about herself.
I try so hard not to respond to silly comments but today caught me out. We've had a week of half eaten packed lunches and it just pushed my buttons...as you say, exactly what DD was after.
I do eat healthily but was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about a year ago. I am open with the kids about managing my blood sugar but don't make a big thing of it either. Deep down I'm worried that DD has become more obsessive about her eating habits since I was diagnosed but I'm not sure that's really true. She has always been very slightly built and up and down with her food if I think about it.
Will try and find a quiet moment with just DD to chat. Have 2 younger DSs so those car moments have to be planned in advance!
We are in a very similar place to you at the minute. My daughter is also very under weight. 145 cm and weighs 26kg, have been to the doctors for blood tests and now awaiting the results. She has always had a small appetite but she seems to be getting thinner. Friends all seem to be starting puberty so suddenly my dd looks small next to her peers. We have talked openly about the importance of givin your body the 'fuel' it needs to grow and give you energy and although she is keen to help prepare the meal she has chosen (we now plan the weeks menu together) she will still to eat only a small portion, complaining she is full up. At school am am totally in the dark as to what she eats (I know what she buys as it is computerised, but how much does she throw away?)
Sorry to hear you're in the same position Whatsleep. How old is your DD?
Things seem a little better with DD - she is now making her own lunches to take to school which has helped. She takes less than I would have previously packed for her but she does seem to eat it all. Any uneaten food has to be brought home not thrown away which helps. Not sure what secondary school will bring in September though.
I'm just trying to pack in extra calories where I can to things I know she likes. If she has a tuna mayo sandwich, I mash in avocado too. A cheese toastie, I add ham. Toast becomes eggy bread etc. Would that work with your DD?
It is worrying but I really think it's about control and now I've backed off completely DD seems better. She is also happy and relaxed at the moment. Any stress and food takes the hit. I guess we just have to keep an eye on them quietly and hope that things settle. What blood tests did your DD have? What did your GP say? I haven't gone down that route yet but DD just had her year 6 weight and height check so will see if anything comes from that.
Dd is a month away from turning 12, year 6 weight came back as underweight but kinda knew it would. No advice given or help offered unlike children who are over weight who are smothered with advice!!!! We also try to add extra calories to meals, ground flax seed is very calorific and she likes the taste when added to porridge. Doctors appointment on Tuesday for the results, they are looking at thyroid, celiac (which among other things can reduce the body's ability to absorb the nutrients.) and I'm not sure what else but she was pretty thorougher! To me dd seems to be wasting away I can see so many bones sticking out theses days it upsets me. Now she's in summer wear I can even see parts of her shoulder bones that should be hidden under flesh. I'm glad you feel things are improving for your dd, it's so hard to find a balance between letting them know they need to eat more without making a massive issue out of it. I'll come back on Tuesday after the doctors app and let you know if we have any answers
Blood tests all clear thankfully. Doctor has asked to see dd again in a few months to see if she has gained any weight. She has suggested that we try and include more calories in her meals by using full fat milk, cream, cheese, thick creamy yogurts etc. I'm relieved there are no underlying health reasons so now just need to try harder to get a bit of meat on her bones!
What a relief #Whatsleep - it's good there are no underlying health issues. How is your daughter's eating going?
Still up and down here. Exercise helps though - DD just been swimming and come home to have a banana and a bowl of weetabix. She did have much dinner before the swim so glad that she ate when she got home. She's not that sporty but a bit more activity might help her feel hungry and open to eating a bit more.
Sounds like things are getting better for you, sounds like the perfect excuse to buy s house with s pool!!!! We are managing to add more calories inyo her diet, full fat milk, squirty cream, custard, stodgy puddings and home made pancakes seem to be good additions at the minute! Trying to ensure she has a calorific pudding after her meal and not making too much of a fuss if she doesn't finish her main meal. Just hoping dd2 doesn't turn chubby as she is also enjoying all the fatty treats! Oddly dd isn't starving after wearing herself out at gymnastics or swimming.
So we got the results of the Year 6 weight check today - underweight which isn't a huge shock. Her height is 145cm and weight 29.5kg. She's eating pretty well at the moment, apart from breakfast but she's not a morning person so I understand why. She's eating all her lunch and a good evening meal plus calorific pudding too (cake, ice cream etc) and snacks if she's hungry. Don't want to drag it all up again when we're back on a even keel but also don't want to ignore if I should be worried. It's hard this parenting lark...!
We bought those Weetabix breakfast in a bottle things for DS. He's also a swimmer who hates eating in the morning! He'll drink those, which have protein etc in, while we drive to the pool. It seems to keep him going better than a yoghurt (his previous choice).
He's tall and skinny (finished yr6 yesterday). I think most swimmers are built that way. (I may spend too much time at swimming events and need to get a life!)