My son is eating too much and rather plump(21 Posts)
My son is 12, eats like a horse and very big for his age (size 11 shoes, L in men clothes and 5.8). He seems to want to eat all the time and is getting rather big. I think he is gorgeous and I don't want him to have body issues. I cook healthy meals with lots of veg, which he likes but he raids the fridge when we are not looking (opting for cheese, bread and butter, weetabix etc...as well as fruits). How do you talk to your kids so it doesn't become an issue? Thanks
Oh and he does judo, rugby and swimming every week and we go to school on our bikes when it isn't pouring down (not so much at the moment)
I think it's normal to eat a lot at that age. My son will eat a whole punnet of oranges in one go
It sounds as if his meals are healthy and he exercises a lot. If you wanted to I think the only thing you could do is not but the snack stuff. Or suggest something more filling. Keep chicken drumsticks in the fridge, yoghurt, rice salad
Would that work?
It sounds as if he's rather active and eats more or less healthily so perhaps have a chat about portion intake, or eating less more often.
Could be that he's going for a big stretch however and all that weight will fall off. By 5.8 do you mean he's 5foot 8 inches? Cause that's taller than me, and I'd imagine a boy of his age being that height is going to be taller than everyone else too so will weigh a lot more than an average height 12 year old
If you're worried take him to the doc too
How tall is he, and how tall is he expected to be? He is just on the cusp of shooting up in height and increased appetite is normal. What has his weight been like up to now?
My brother ballooned at that age and then shot up and was stringy and lean. In fact he did it several times - alternating between 'blobbing' and 'stretching'. I wouldn't be unduly worried unless he is the same in a years time. Limiting his snacks when he is growing, ravenous and hitting puberty could cause resentment so I wouldn't worry as long as his meals are healthy and he is exercising.
If he is large in men's clothes then he is quite big,
I would talk to him about it and tell that he needs to be a bit careful. I'd also stop buying snack food. At that age myDC weren't allowed to raid the kitchen whenever they wanted. They could eat what they wanted at meal times plus, maybe a snack after sports but endless grazing was not allowed. It's 'greedy' (I know some MN'ers will disagree ) and not healthy. At 12 you don't need constant topping up.
I wasn't in practice that strict but the general rule was no snacking. My kids ate very hearty meals and are now adults who still don't snack much.
Also, you need to check your portion sizes.
He is 5'8'' and both my husband and I are reasonably tall (5'9'' and 6'2'') so we are expecting him to be quite tall. I have the same rule of no snacking but we both work and come back later than the boys do. Filling the fridge with chicken and the like is a great idea, it will stop him from taking weetabix (with sugar). His twin brother is quite slim and much smaller (size 12 in kids clothes)...
Snack time in my book is only for small children, older children and adults don't need snacks at all. Snacks were invented to sell more chocolate bars!
Many teenagers do seem to think that snacks are one of their human rights. To a certain extent I agree with other posters that you should not make it an issue. But at the same time he could be building a life long habit. My DH has food habits that I don't agree with, he eats far too many sweets on a daily basis and he thinks it's okay for him to skip dinner and have a bowl of cereal if he doesn't fancy what I cook. Thanks, MIL!
So I agree that making sure that there are healthy options in the fridge are good ideas. Also try to encourage him to fill up at meal times.
miss I need frequent snacks (such as fruit, bread and other things). Snacks don't automatically mean chocolate and crisps and junk.
Some people need more than three meals a day, some people need to eat when they're hungry, and some people faint when they're blood sugar gets too low.
And I also frequently skip dinner and have cereal later if I'm not hungry at dinner time, it's called listening to my body and knowing what I need and don't need.
I find snacking ruins my appetite - if I snacked I wouldn't feel hungry for my meals.
Sometimes you need a snack - swimming always makes me ravenous and I definitely crave carb'y snacks when I have my period but generally there is no need to snack between meals.
Well, maybe I'm wrong and it's an English thing - it won't be the first time I have confused cultural habits, I'm Danish. Where I am from, you eat at mealtimes with your family. That's not to say that is universally the right thing, but it is for me.
But on a health level, I have learned from fasting, on a perosnal and scientific level, that snacks are not a good thing. Your digestive system needs a break. I find that I feel the need for snacks if I eat too many carbs and not enough fat and protein.
How does he feel about it? Is he bigger than his friends and if so does he feel awkward about it? It's good that you don't want to give him body issues, but obviously those issues can develop however hard you try if he is getting teased for being 'the fat kid'. If so, he might welcome you bringing the issue out into the open and talking to him about being healthy etc.
His diet sounds healthy and I don't think the snacks you describe are too bad for a growing boy - much better than crisps, chocolate, cake etc. Rather than a 'no snack' rule which gets broken anyway, I'd talk to him about listening to your body, eating if you're hungry and stopping when you're full, that kind of thing.
I bet he's due for a big growth spurt,they tend to grow out before growing up!
What applies to small children and fully grown adults does not apply to teens, particularly teen boys, going through their massive growth spurts. An active teen will have a pretty high daily calorie requirement. For many, 3 meals a day is simply not going to cut it. Lots of pretty skinny teen boys have a tendency to carb load, purely for the calories.
That said CdeS, now is a good time to work with your DS on understanding portion control and the types of foods that will help him to stay in good shape for the sport he does.
"What applies to small children and fully grown adults does not apply to teens, particularly teen boys, going through their massive growth spurts. An active teen will have a pretty high daily calorie requirement. "
This. Insisting that your teens must eat small portions/no snacks so as to lay down proper habits for adult life is as absurd as insisting that a 30yo man should regulate his eating according to the calories he will need when he is 95. They should lay down healthy habits, yes. But it is the adults who need to learn they can no longer eat like teens, not the teens who should eat like adults.
I don't have teens, I'm learning ;)
I did not mean to offend you, or any English people, Letmehaveausername. I'll change that to "cultures other than my own".
I think that calorific needs are different according to a lot of factors and
I still think it's important to work on eating habits and that snack meals should be minimised. If my kids listened to their bodies, they would live off pizza and ice cream. Both kids and teenagers need nutritional guidance.
I guess I would support teaching them to listen to their bodies in terms of when to eat but providing adult guidance in terms of what to eat.
It doesn't matter if the OPs son is snacking or not snacking - if he is rather plump then he is eating too much.
Thank you all for the advice, I have now agreed with him that when he eats, he notes down how hungry he feels or if it is something else (like boredom or other) and he seems to find it quite fun to do, for the past 3 days at least. I said he was allowed to eat what he wanted. We don't have crisps or sugary snack (apart from those weetabix that he puts sugar on) and I have filled the fridge with chicken bits, cut carrots and cucumber and the fruit bowl is overflowing. Hopefully that will help.
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