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8 yo putting on weight- how to address it?

(62 Posts)
wannabecowgirl Fri 20-Apr-18 14:28:52

my 8 nearly 9 yo has steadily put on weight this past year- she would be quite slim build but has started to thicken up on her legs and arms but mainly has a significant pot belly- also pre boobs- that I think are just fat as opposed to start of development.
Weight gain Totally coincided with a massive increase in her appetite - breakfast, school snack, school dinner, after school snack, then says she is "starving" and has another dinner, then supper before bed- usually cereal!
She does eat some treats, chocolate is her (and my) main vice - and she will have a bar probably every second day! Other than that I home make everything- and school dinner is ok, healthy wise- alternative packed lunch is not an option as she finds making friends difficult and her one friend and her take dinner together.
I want to address why I am cutting her portions and cutting out all rubbish, I have been saying it's because I don't want her to be unhealthy - but doesn't really cut it with a kid- I know she would listen if I say she will put on weight if she continues to eat too much- I would never point out her current puppy fat- and she is totally oblivious to it- how should I address weight gain in relation to her body, whilst not making it an issue for her?

Audree Sat 21-Apr-18 13:56:13

If you start cutting portions it will make her eat more. If you read the research, weight gain is caused mostly by restraint and desinhibition, meaning the person restricts their eating as much or as long as they can, then they overeat when they give up or when they can sneak food. Restricting an 8 yo from eating will do more harm than good.
I would suggest first to look at the family on both sides to see how they are built. Weight is mostly genetic.
Secondly, have family meals. Have specific times for meals and snacks and forbid eating mindlessly in front of screens. People aren’t paying attention to their feeling full when eating while watching a screen.
Lastly, I would keep my opinions to myself. Kids aren’t stupid. They know the code for eating healthy is don’t eat too much or don’t eat specific foods. I know it’s hard. Society tells us we should be this size or that shape and we panic when our kids don’t fit in. But I have never heard of people (big or slim) being grateful that their mothers commented on their weight when they were little.

NorthernSpirit Sun 22-Apr-18 10:07:30

Is she doing enough exercise? It’s a simple calculation - what you eat you need to expend. So many kids are slumped on the sofa on gadgets or being taxied around.

Also watch drinks, they are empty calories. A 500ml bottle of coke contains over 200 calories.

Connebert Sun 22-Apr-18 10:12:43

Change what she eats rather than how much. Exercise won’t make a huge difference. A lot of vegetables and less of other stuff, especially for snacks.

NameyMcChangeRae Sun 22-Apr-18 10:18:20

I wouldn’t cut what she’s eating, just swap high calorie food for low calorie food, e.g. snack on vegetable sticks, rice cakes etc.
And try to up her excercise.
She’s probably starving because she’s about to go through puberty, and her body is trying to store energy (fat) so she can grow.
I wouldn’t mention it to her. The outcome you want, that she starts to watch her weight and eat healthily, with no self esteem issues and a healthy attitde to food, is unlikely. More likely, she will feel upset and criticised, will turn to food for comfort or will develop and unhealthy attitude to dieting/food.
Let her fill up on healthy food, and encourage her to excercise to make her feel healthy.

Steeley113 Sun 22-Apr-18 10:21:12

She may be about to shoot up/start puberty. I’d just keep family meals healthy and lunch box healthy. I wouldn’t be making a point out of it at all.

Wizzwazzwas Sun 22-Apr-18 10:31:18

Some ideas...

Swap things gradually for healthy stuff.

Put sticks of veg out before meals.

Swap white carbs for wholemeal (e.g. Rice, pasta)

Reduce the number of bread-based meals.

Check the 'healthy' packed lunch is not high in sugar (e.g. White ham sandwiches, juice, fruit, fruit yogurt)

Offer plain nuts.

Walk or cycle everywhere possible.

Buy a dog and walk it together?

Find a sport she loves and encourage her to do as much of it as possible. Or loads of different sports.

Go swimming at weekends.

Serve only water at mealtimes.

Don't buy crisps or biscuits except for parties.

Wizzwazzwas Sun 22-Apr-18 10:32:58

Serve something filling for breakfast -like eggs or porridge. Cereals are crap really.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Apr-18 19:56:01

How much sport and activities is she doing OP? At that age my DD was doing Brownies, Cricket and Karate twice a week and we would often go swimming for a walk or cycling at the weekend.

Are you modelling healthy eating and being active too?

InanimateCarbonRod Sun 22-Apr-18 20:00:31

Fuck sake with the calories, 1970s science at it's best.

Put her on low carb and let her eat as much as she needs to be full. Plenty of whole foods and good healthy fats.

Her body is not tolerating carbs which is making her insulin levels higher. High insulin promotes fat storage, that's it's job. Lower the insulin by removing insulin spiking foods (carbs from sugar, starch, grains and cereals). Plenty of green veg, good fats such as eggs, avocado, olive oil etc.

If you need more specific info PM me.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Apr-18 20:06:03

Agree with lowering her carbs. I naturally eat very little carbs and have always been quite slim. DH eats things like sugary cereal in huge bowls, especially just before bed, and is —as fat as butter— a rather unhealthy weight and shape.

reallyanotherone Sun 22-Apr-18 20:09:01

*Put her on low carb and let her eat as much as she needs to be full. Plenty of whole foods and good healthy fats.

Her body is not tolerating carbs which is making her insulin levels higher. High insulin promotes fat storage, that's it's job. Lower the insulin by removing insulin spiking foods (carbs from sugar, starch, grains and cereals). Plenty of green veg, good fats such as eggs, avocado, olive oil etc.

If you need more specific info PM me.*

Can you post links to evidence to this please? Especially with regard to children. My dd has a dietician and it’s not something that makes sense to me. Insulin is regulated so blood sugar is fairly stable in non-diabetics?

Is low carb healthy for children?

NameyMcChangeRae Sun 22-Apr-18 20:10:34

Low carb diets are not recommended for children, nor is any diet that restricts food groups
hmm
Please think before you post. This is an actual child we are talking about

Starlight2345 Sun 22-Apr-18 20:13:47

I would also look at what you eat . Add more veg . Homemade is not always healthy depending on what you are making.

I would also check if she is drinking enough

reallyanotherone Sun 22-Apr-18 20:14:47

low carb diets are not recommended for children, nor is any diet that restricts food groups

Which is what dd’s dietician said. Which is why I’d like to evidence to the contrary.

O/p do bear in mind that you don’t know the qualifications or background of anyone on this site. I would speak to a gp or rl dietician before cutting out entire food groups.

TammyWhyNot Sun 22-Apr-18 20:21:39

All my friends Dds did this before shooting up in height and becoming very slender.

I would just maintain a healthy diet, don’t buy stuff like biscuits, crisps, cake, ice cream, and make sure she has a run about, swim, bike ride or dance each day.

Lilymossflower Sun 22-Apr-18 21:28:52

Probably just a normal growth spurt.

InanimateCarbonRod Sun 22-Apr-18 21:44:32

NameyMcChangeRae show me the science that backs that statement please.

Here's the science that backs mine www.degruyter.com/view/j/jpem.2012.25.issue-7-8/jpem-2012-0131/jpem-2012-0131.xml

Ouch44 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:53:36

My 9.5 DD is the same. She hasn't grown for ages so I'm expecting a growth spurt and the start of puberty. She does about 4 hours of exercise a week.
I haven't said anything to her at all and wouldn't. I've read research that the people who have the best body image came from families where it wasn't mentioned at all. She likes fruit and veg so I've been encouraging her to the fruit bowl after school rather than other snacks.
If the big growth spurt doesn't arrive I'll keep more of an eye on her diet

reallyanotherone Sun 22-Apr-18 21:56:00

Inanimate- i can’t see the full text to read it. Is there anything more recent? Any further studies to confirm their observations?

NameyMcChangeRae Sun 22-Apr-18 22:36:18

Inanimatecarbonrod - that study does not prove that a low carb diet is safe in children. It simply says that on a low carb diet children lose slightly more weight than a calorie controlled diet. Not sure what point you think it’s making?!

Here’s a study that found that a low carb diet can affect bone development in adolescence:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28778055/?i=24&from=low%20carbohydrate%20diet%20children

Here’s one that found a high fat diet is linked to allergies:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26919190/?i=142&from=low%20carbohydrate%20diet%20children

This study in rats found a 30% reduction in dietary calcium uptake in rats ed a high fat low carb diet:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24985005/?i=285&from=low%20carbohydrate%20diet%20children

I could find more, but I feel I’ve made my point. I actually worked in paediatrics until recently. A low carb diet is used for children with severe epilepsy and metabolic disorders, and diabetic children obviously, but isn’t without problems, and is a ‘needs must’ approach.

I think its very irresponsible to come on here and give dubious advice to someone concerned for their child’s health when you clearly don’t have an idea of current guidelines/evidence. Are you someone who has done the low carb diet, and thinks therefore you are qualified to advise other people on nutrition?

I despair.

DianaT1969 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:37:21

Low carb diets are not recommended for children, nor is any diet that restricts food groups
*
Please think before you post. This is an actual child we are talking about*

I'm not a scientist, and not an expert. However, I'm surprised at the lack of awareness among some MN parents about the GI index and the effect carbs have on the body. Lowering sugar isn't 'cutting out food groups'. Which food group would it cut out? Cereal, sweets, cakes, biscuits, bread, pasta.... they're hardly nutritiously dense. What are you losing on the nutrition front by cutting those?
Berries are low carb, avocadoes, green veg, fish, nuts, meat, eggs, olives, olive oil, cheese, baby sweetcorn.... Then there's a whole range of food with a medium carb count that don't spike insulin too.

NameyMcChangeRae Sun 22-Apr-18 22:40:32

Diana - you’re right, you’re not a scientist or an expert.

The advice given by posters to switch high energy, unhealthy snacks for more fruit and veg and excercise is appropriate.

Advising someone to put their hold on a low carb diet is not.

NameyMcChangeRae Sun 22-Apr-18 22:44:51

Here’s a study in children with epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, that found it reduced their growth:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24749520/?i=304&from=low%20carbohydrate%20diet%20children

DianaT1969 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:46:38

Diana - you’re right, you’re not a scientist or an expert.
I'm not sure why you are repeating what I said?
Did you find something inaccurate in my list of low carb foods?
Need a link to some data on that??

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