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Been told that DD needs to lose weight and don't know where to start.

(36 Posts)
wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:05:33

Hi, My DD is Very Overweight. She is a heart patient (open heart surgery when 2 weeks old) and the cardiac Drs kept telling me to feed her up (she was on the 2nd centile for weight) until she was 4 when she suddenly ballooned.

For the last two years they have told me she needs to lose weight, which I agree with. The issue is that she never stops moving and I don't think she eats too much, she has a cereal for breakfast, fruit snack mid morning, school dinner, packet of crisp on the way home from school and a home cooked tea every night(one of my children has severe allergies). They have pudding after tea about three times a week. She gets her 5 a day most days. My exhusband feeds them crap when they are there but they only go less than once a week and will generally have McDonalds for every meal. I have tried to get him to change this but he wont.

Two of my five children are overweight.

We don't get out a lot because I have two children with autism and it isn't safe to take them out most of the time. I'm an only parent.

As I said before though she never stops moving, if she isn't chasing her brothers around she is pushing her pram round the garden, dancing, jumping, twirling around etc and when she does sit to watch telly she's up and down like a yoyo or bouncing on the yoga/peanut balls we have so the only time she's actually still is when she's asleep. It exhausts me just to watch her!

We've been referred to the dietician who looked at her diet and suggested we cut down on dairy as she was drinking too much milk. So she's only had 3 portions of dairy a day for the last six month and she hasn't lost any weight. I asked the dietician for information about portion sizes but she had very little to offer, she gave me a sheet on meat portions for girls/women but that didn't cover carbs/dairy/fruit and veg etc. We're due back there in a couple of weeks.

I wonder if there could be an underlying cause of the weight, my mother has a problem with her thyroid, which I believe can be hereditary, my daughter is very hairy, she has a very fat tummy but isn't particularly fat anywhere else, she is 6 but is very tall, she has very broad shoulders and is the tallest in her class. I don't know if these are connected to the thyroid or anything else.

Can anyone suggest something I can do to help her lose weight?

OP’s posts: |
Ummmmgogo Sun 10-Jun-18 20:09:00

smaller portions at breakfast and dinner and cut out the crisps after school maybe? xx

wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:11:57

I should of added that she's very slow when thinking things through, she trumps an awful lot and she's very clumsy.

OP’s posts: |
missyB1 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:17:23

Definitely cut out the crisps (they should only be an occasional treat). Watch out for sugar hidden in drinks and cereals. Would it be possible for her to go to a dance class / swimming lessons? Is there any way you can get more exercise as a family? Ask if dietician / GP/ School nurse can write to dad to advise about the junk food.

HappyHedgehog247 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:20:09

No crisps. Porridge or weetabix for breakfast if it’s sugary cereal she has currently. Dance competitions in the front room or home made obstacle courses. Fruit for puddings instead of other puddings.

WreckTangled Sun 10-Jun-18 20:21:39

What cereal does she have? Agree with stopping the crisps. When you say pudding what pudding is it?

Overweight children are often tall as over eating causes them to grow faster. Does she eat all of her school dinner then have a cooked meal at home?

It's great you're looking for ways to improve, can you ask school for a school nurse referral as they should also be able to help.

WreckTangled Sun 10-Jun-18 20:22:38

Oh also children, even overweight ones, generally don't need to lose weight they just need to stop gaining and grow into it so don't be disheartened.

Wolfiefan Sun 10-Jun-18 20:22:50

Cereal is pretty much empty calories. Also have you weighed what you consider a portion? My DS will pour 5x the supposed serving amount if left to it!
Cut out the crisps.
Watch portion sizes.
One meal a week won't make your child very overweight.

Longtalljosie Sun 10-Jun-18 20:25:00

Ok - a few things.

Assume she’s eating the most fearful shit at school. The offer is good, but generally the kids choose themselves and they end up having a bread roll, some carrots and a cake or something. They have eaten a pudding, so there is no need for a second one in a day.

2 of your 5 a day should be fruit, the rest vegetables so consider pepper sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber etc as snacks.

It certainly was the case for me that one day a week of over-feeding (childcare) threw out my DD’s hunger signals for the week. I used to think there might even be something wrong with her hunger signals but no, moving away from that setting and her dietary needs have settled.

It’s unfair your XH is using up the “treat” quota for the week but if he won’t play ball, you’ll just need to accept it. Consider simple food - grilled chicken or pork, broccoli, corn on the cob. As many veg as possible, and make the carbs eg boiled new potatoes rather than chips (they provide just as much of a glucose spike as chips do but the point is kids won’t eat them unless they’re hungry!)

Also - use breakfast plates rather than full-sized.

Lucked Sun 10-Jun-18 20:29:41

For probably principles it is worth looking at the DASH and Mediterranean diets as these do not cut out food groups which can be a dangerous thing to do in children. Things like swapping cereal for porridge and increasing fruit, veg and fibre will be the sort of changes you have to make.

wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:42:39

Thanks everyone for the reply.

They do get a packet of crisp on school days and I have tried to stop this but they get in the car staring and I then have a 40 minutes journey home while they complain they are hungry. I can't keep fresh fruit in the car in the summer, I do use the baked ones as they have less fat but I cant think of an alternative bearing in mind I have a son with many allergies so most things are ruled out as the rest of us don't eat what he can't.

We don't eat potatoes often, we don't really like them and when we do they tend to be in a stew.

We rarely have sugary cereal, mostly just weetabix, grape nuts etc and porridge in the winter, We have smaller bowls for breakfast which only contain about 30-40gs of cereal.

I can't find a dance class where I could keep my son's with autism entertained while we're there, they have all been on the swimming class waiting list for about 2 years at several of the local pools and on the gymnastics waiting list too. I have a very tight budget so I can't afford most classes.

The children do use smaller plates for their meals, I've started using side plates for most meals. We normally have meals like lasagne, spag bol, stew, home made pies, toad in the hole, chicken tikka wraps, chicken and bean enchiladas, vegetable fried rice, curry and rice and chilli and rice.

I'll have another look at what we eat and look at the link you've provided Longtalljosie, thanks again ladies and gentlemen.

OP’s posts: |
wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:46:28

Oh I should add Wrecktangle that she is tall because of her genetics, she was born very long and thin three of her brother's are very tall and slim and my father's side of the family are all very tall. Her oldest brother is tall and slim, still in primary but 5ft1 with size 9 shoes! I've got an inch on him for now (wink) Unfortunately it skipped me!

OP’s posts: |
FogCutter Sun 10-Jun-18 20:50:04

Agree with the poster who suggested looking at what the school lunch offer is.

At my DSs school it's generally loads of carbs and several unhealthy options so eg a child could choose burger in a bun, fried potatoes and baked beans, cake and sugary squash for their lunch which to me is not healthy.

DS has a packed lunch most days now.

RebelRogue Sun 10-Jun-18 20:51:19

How high is her bmi?
Since the docs are advising you to help her lose weight keep asking for support and ideas. You have a common goal here.
Is it possible she eats extra things when you're not looking?

Does her school offer any activity before/after school clubs?

What's the difference between her and the siblings that aren't overweight?

Have any other causes been looked at?

Does her school have a young carers programme? She doesn't have to actually care for anyone,being a sibling of two disabled children would qualify.

Are there any charities/groups that offer respite/help/activities for siblings of children with disabilities?

Sorry for all the questions. Tbh her diet sounds exactly like DD's diet (dd's is probably worse) and she is on the lower end of a healthy BMI.

Longtalljosie Sun 10-Jun-18 20:52:36

Your food sounds lovely but quite beige carb filled. Could you move to eg wholewheat pasta for the slag Bol, and then meat and green carbs (veg)? Don’t forget they’ve had one heavy meal already.

Wondermoomin Sun 10-Jun-18 20:55:26

What does she drink OP?

Longtalljosie Sun 10-Jun-18 20:57:18

Oh good question...

eurochick Sun 10-Jun-18 21:10:19

It's almost certainly portion sizes that's the problem as the content of the food sounds ok.

Daily crisps are not great. What about rice cakes? Or a banana or apple should keep ok in the car. The McDonald's is obviously not ideal either but sounds like that's out of your control.

pollysproggle Sun 10-Jun-18 21:32:26

Small changes make a big difference.

Sounds like you have your hands full with5 DC so it must be hard to cut things out that they like.

Lower calorie crisps like quavers? If they're 50 cals less than ordinary crisps that's 250 cals less a week to start with.

Brown pasta, rice & bread instead of white.
Green or red milk instead of blue.

If you put cheddar, mozzarella etc in/on top of your food swap with Parmesan, you use less but still get the cheesy taste.

Good luck you sound like a fab mum

Gazelda Sun 10-Jun-18 21:42:45

Could you put some fruit in a small chiller bag for after school? They should keep well, even in a hot car.

youarenotkiddingme Sun 10-Jun-18 22:02:03

I would suggest changing lasagne for meatballs and rice or meatballs and pasta/spaghetti.

The white sauce and cheese contain a lot of extra calories and fat.

Swap wraps for plain meat and veg sticks - as many mentioned they've probably had lots of carbs at school.

Crisps can be swapped for rice cakes.

But I totally agree it's worthwhile them looking into any reasons why her weight is high beyond diet. For a start you don't want to create food worries in a 6yo.

wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 22:07:47

I don't know what her BMI is, I think it isn't helpful but she definately does need to lose weight. The difference between my DD and my 3 not overweight sons? I don't know she's the youngest, the next one up isn't overweight and he leads a much more sendetery lifestyle, then the two oldest are quite athletic and move around a lot. My third child is also overweight but he struggles with understanding when he's full and always feels hungry, it's part of his problems associated with autism, this has only been realised in the last year.

School's budget has been cut so there's no extra activities offered.

No other causes have been looked at.

There is a young carers group but she wouldn't qualify for it until she is 7, nearly a year now, and you do have to show that she is a carer, her oldest brother goes to it already.

I haven't been able to find any other respite in our area.

School dinners, they are allowed to pick and choose so they could essentially have gravy and bread if they wanted as long as they ate it all.

I think our food is quite beige carb based, none of us like brown rice or wholewheat pasta, I have reduced the pasta/rice etc and add lentils into whatever saucy thing we're having with it and give them more sauce. I've also reduced our bread intake.

It's so hard catering for us all in one meal with myself being diabetic, son #3 having so many allergies, son #4 having sensory issues with any strong tasting food and certain textures and my one and only DD having to lose weight. I often end up cooking three or four versions of the same dish to cater for everyone so we can all sit down and eat the "same" food together. Lol

Being a parent is never ending!

OP’s posts: |
kissthealderman Sun 10-Jun-18 22:16:02

Stop the crisps = 600 calories a week.

Stop the puddings 3 nights a week = 600 calories a week.

Have meat and veg for dinner, you don't need lots of carbs in the evening = approx 500 calories a week.

Easy to see where it can all add up. She could be having at least an additional days calories a week based on these.

Try having grilled chicken with steamed veg or a big salad 5 days a week for a month. No bread, rice or pasta in the evenings.

Do the above and I bet you a tenner she loses weight.

wintersweet1977 Sun 10-Jun-18 22:19:34

She drinks no added sugar cordials, milk, water, one small glass of fruit juice a day and the odd milkshake (powder added to milk), hot chocolate in the winter.

We can't have quavers or parmesan as my son#3 is allergic to milk.

We do have brown bread already and I try to avoid giving her bread, she only has it at home at the weekend.

I never thought about rice cakes, they're going in the car smile

Lasagne is everyone's favourite (it's made with dairy alternatives though! We do have meatballs and spaghetti as well,

Someone asked me earlier what puddings classed as generally it's home made stuff like: rice pudding (made with dairy alternative to milk), fruit salad, grilled pineapple with cinnamon, the odd fruit crumble or pie or two or three small biscuits, occasionally a cake or cornetto style ice cream.

OP’s posts: |
RebelRogue Sun 10-Jun-18 22:25:27

@kissthealderman great advice ,but remember we are talking about a 6yo here. Grilled chicken with steamed veg 5 days a week for a month might not go down well.

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