Talking to teenage DD(23 Posts)
How do you as a parent of a volatile teenage DD approach the fact that their diet is nutritionally awful? DD is a vegetarian of some years and although it's a PITA I don't argue as its her right to choose now. However, at 15 she exists on a diet of basically sugar, beige carbs and fruit smoothies. Maybe once or twice a week she will deign to eat a meal with us usually with tofu or eggs but apart from that she rarely eats a proper meal let alone a balanced one.
She was unwell recently and didn't eat for about a week. She lost a few pounds and looked really good, the weights going back on fast though and very so she will be unhappy about it. The problem is if I say anything like I don't think she should be eating the quantity of sugary shit she is and maybe some eggs or other protein would be better, she shouts at me for calling her fat.
Now I never have called her fat but her diet concerns me and I care even though she thinks it's just me being bitchy. Shes fit as she rides a lot but it's not a licence to eat. How do I make her see I'm not trying to make her feel bad about herself, I want to stop her feeling like that. She moans about not being skinny and having a belly etc but refused to see the connection, it's just me being mean.
I love her very much but everything is so nightmarishly hard with her. I'm not competing with her FFS, she's my child and I want her to be happy and healthy. I could say nothing for a quiet life but somehow that feels wrong.
I wouldn't bring it up unless she does, and if she does don't make it about her weight maybe more about eating with you/teaching her to cook. etc.
And for gods sake don't tell her she looked good after not eating for a week.
Yeah I really hope you didn't tell her she looked good after not eating. Slippery slope
Maybe buy her a vegi cook book and set her away in the kitchen?
Surely though as a parent I can't just let her eat complete rubbish all the time and of course I didn't tell her she looked better for losing weight.
She has no interest in food really, just snacky things she can make quickly. She has no desire to cook or prepare food and no consideration of its nutritional values.
It's not about her weight although several close relatives have had real weight problems and it's open knowledge that it's because of their food and lifestyle choices. It's more about the fact that she's my child and it's hard to see her being unhappy about her appearance without pointing out that maybe she's not eating the best diet if she wants things to be different. If she is to be responsible for what goes in to her mouth then surely I have to try and educate her. Or do I just leave her eating crap and just make sympathetic noises when she's upset.
She does know that eating too much makes you fat, as we all do.
I know its hard sometimes not to problem solve for your children, but she maybe does just want a bit of sympathy.
Are there healthier snacky things you could have in that she might Hoover up? It sounds like she likes fruit - would she snack on berries? What about carrot sticks and homous if they were chopped up in the fridge, ready to go? Quorn mini eggs are a favourite with all of my DC (only one is a vegetarian) and a good source of protein. Olives and cheese?
So, I'm just suggesting you have some of this stuff available, not that you make a song and dance about it. If something is popular, make sure it's reasonably regularly available. And perhaps build up a repertoire of healthier snacks that she will eat?
Maybe dont buy sugar and beige snacks in your shopping and replace these with healthier options.
tbh, when I was a veggie, I ate a lot less healthily than I did after I became a carnivore.
how does she get the junk food items, who buys them?
What do you eat & how could you slightly modify it to make it more suitable for veggies?
I'd stop buying the unhealthy snacks, so she has nothing like this in the house. Perhaps if she likes fruit, she can eat this instead of the sweets. My DD 15 is also a veggie but is quite careful that she does not eat too much carbs. May be try and monitor her evening meals and send her to school with packed lunch instead of giving her money.
I'm a vegetarian in a house of meat eaters.It's great that she has the initiative to be a vegetarian at her age , the sweet issues are worrying and I wonder has she thought through that so many of them contain gelatine. What about having a few vegetarian days in your house, it's going to help everyone and maybe mainstream the vegetarian issues. She's going to have to think through her iron intake and carefully plan her diet or she'll run into issues.
Cook for her. Give her choices and take away the sugary treats if you can. I am sure at 15, she must come to your or your DH for money. Just say no and make it all home cooked meals.
Its really tricky to know how to approach the subject of weight and diet with teens. Dd17 stopped all exercise about a year ago and although I provide mostly healthy meals at home, I know she eats a lot of crap outside. Her weight has been creeping up as a result of this and her total inactivity. I just want her to be fit and healthy but any suggestion of exercise or cutting down on the crap and I am accused of calling her fat.
I don't know what to say for the best and at 17 what can I do anyway.
None of us are vegetarian in our house but I cook a veggie main meal twice a week for health, save a bit of money and for variety. I think it normalises vegetarianism for the DC too. Could you perhaps try this so that you're all sitting down to the same meal together and you know she's had a healthy meal twice a week?
I have the same issues with my daughter eating unhealthily and flitting between becoming a vegetarian and more recently a vegan. She is only 12.
Is their a book specifically for teenagers on healthy eating that I could buy her. One of her friend's mum is the local slimming world coach and she has told me she is happy to chat about lifestyle choices and eating healthily.
DD is a vegan and I worry about this too. I just make her peanut butter on toast in the morning, give her a hot lunch to take to school and make her dinner again in the evening. Then if she wants to eat crap I at least know she's had three good meals. I batch cook at the weekend so I can heat things up quickly for her to avoid waiting for dinner snacking.
I was exactly the same at her age, veggie and super fussy about what I ate! Now I'll eat anything and am v healthy. If she likes snacky things can you stock up healthy snacks rather than junk? Like nakd bars? Although it sounds like she really needs actual vegetables! If she's into smoothies could she add kale and carrots etc? Would she try energy balls (loads of recipes on pinterest, you can freeze them too) or veg cut up with a spiraliser? I'd have probably been into more novelty food like that as a teen than proper meals so might work...
Hiya Lucy, is there any reason that you don't eat a proper evening meal together, as a family, most evenings?
My 15 year old dd would happily eat crap but I try really hard to cook a decent meal for all of us every night and feel better that she has at least 1 decent meal every day. There are a couple of days when the younger ones have activities so it's a bit rushed. I try and have a quick look online at what she's had at school and it's usually a jacket potato or pasta so not too bad.
she's working at the stables all day today and I've offered to do her a nice pack up but she wanted to take a pot noodle!
I'll make sure she has a nice dinner when she gets home tonight
My sister went 'veggie' when she was in her teens and existed on pizza and chips for the next 10 years. She's never been able to shift the weight she gained.
I think teens who are choosing to go vegetarian need loads of support, cookbooks and joint cookery sessions with a parent. Would it be too late to start that now?
Could you share a personal trainer with an interest in nutrition, to get the ball rolling?
Hi, reading this thread with interest as I have a 17 year old DD who is similar. She is a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables, hates pulses, claims to love fruit but only eats a minimal amount and loves crisps and cheese. We do cook family meals every day, mostly vegetarian (1001 things to do with quorn) but if not vege, we always do her a suitable alternative. The saving grace is that she has agreed to eat fish until she is 18. She does worry me though as her nutritional intake is still quite limited. This is compounded by issues with food texture (ASD traits coming through) so even a basic tomato sauce for pasta has to have the onions/peppers etc blended into it like baby food or she won't eat it! I keep trying to interest her in learning to cook, but she just claims she can cook (based on no evidence at all!) and refuses.
Dd1 not veggie was and still is a pernickety (sp) eater it drove me insane the beige food the constant turning nose up at food really is exhausting i dont have a solution op she is in her 20s now and feeds herself if she doesn't want what we are having.
Please, butterfly, don't have your DD speak to a Slimming World coach.
Slimming World is a business based on making people reliant on it. (They pay money to lose weight, go off the regime, gain weight, go back again, paying money to lose weight...) Getting a teenager into Slimming World is sitting them up for a lifetime of "dieting".
I'm sure your friend is a lovely person, and good at her job, but she is not a nutritionist.
The main emphasis here should be on getting your dd to eat healthily rather than focusing on her appearance. Is there any chance you could reinstate family meals and maybe share healthy vegetarian options with her at least a few times a week? And above all, try to make them a pleasant social occasion?
Our ds went through a junk food phase, egged on by his friends who clearly thought it tantamount to child abuse to expect him to eat a home-cooked stew rather than a KFC take-away. We tried to pay as little attention as possible while carrying on dishing up home-cooked food. At 16, he is already coming out of the phase and eating more and more.
Hardcore is talking sense about Slimming World.
Better for youngsters to go on a veggie cooking course or to talk to a qualified nutritionist.
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