My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


DD 11 seems overweight - how can I help her

15 replies

spepples · 02/08/2013 09:09

DD 11 has always loved her food - all the healthy food as well as the definitely not so. She's never been slim but not fat either. But right now she just wants to eat and eat and eat and I can see she's putting on too much weight. She's moaning about having big thighs but can't seem to curb her desire for food. Of course I set limits within the house, she's allowed to help herself to as much fruit as she wants but she always asks before helping herself to anything else. So it's now quite a battle of wills as she constantly asks and it seems I'm forever saying no, she then gets stroppy and we argue. She's always asking when is it next meal time, can we have chips/coke/chocolate/crisps, when she wants to play out its actually code for going to the shop and buying sweets. I want her to grow up with a healthy body image and I'm not sure what to do for the best.

OP posts:
mankyscotslass · 02/08/2013 09:11

You don't mention exercise at active is she?

spepples · 02/08/2013 09:47

She is certainly more at ease reading a book or playing a board game than tearing round the garden and mixed sex PE at school is her worst nightmare but she does do her fair share of exercise with encouragement. She is in the local swim club so does 4 hours a week swimming and has just swam 3 miles for charity. She has riding lessons and pony club. She hates running but she trained for and fast walked/jogged the Race for Life with me this year and she seemed to enjoy it. We do lots of walking as a family but she is always the most reluctant to get up and get active.

OP posts:
HeySoulSister · 02/08/2013 15:22

helping herself to as much fruit as she wants isn't the best advice! its still sugar....and high carb. even 2 bananas a day with other fruit is going to be quite high in sugar and calories as well.

she isn't very active,so not burning any of it off.

specialsubject · 02/08/2013 20:16

it should all be taught at school, but not sure if it is. Anyway, the empty calories of crisps, coke (toilet cleaner), sweets and chocolate have to stop.

4 hours a week swimming is quite active, the crappy 'team' games at school don't tend to help much but with the swimming, horses and walking she should be fine to grow out of her weight. Just needs much less junk.

try less fruit and more complex carbs, they are filling.

lljkk · 02/08/2013 20:24

What was her BMI in the y6 weighing exercise?

Does she get a snack from the vending machines after every swimming session?

How does she get to the pool for swimming, could she walk instead? Are there other opportunities for her to walk places rather than be driven?

spepples · 06/08/2013 20:25

Thanks for all your replies.
No she doesnt get anything out of the vending machines after swimming, never, a lot of the other kids there do but dd knows not to bother asking.
Although I say she's allowed any fruit she likes, it doesn't actually mean she eats a lot of it. She certainly gets her 5 a day but doesnt over do it as she'd prefer forge begging for sweets or chocolate Hmm she says I'm mean not giving in to her.
Swimming is several miles away so she couldn't walk but she does walk quite a lot. She walks the dogs each day and to school and to shops, park etc.
I'm confused about how I convince her to eat less, exercise more without telling her he's overweight. I don't want a vicious cycle of low self esteem etc but don't feel I can ignore this either.

OP posts:
cloudskitchen · 07/08/2013 10:22

How much does she eat for her meals? My 11 year old dd would easily eat as much as me for meals and would always rather eat off the adults menu and could then polish off the whole lot. I'm aiming for portion control because if I give her a smaller meal she rarely asks for more.

Other than that it sounds like you are doing the right things. Keeping her active and encouraging her to eat healthily :)

Nagoo · 07/08/2013 10:31

Is she bored? Maybe she's like me, needs to keep her hands busy or I eat for the sake of it? Or it might be hormonal? I always want chocolate and crisps when I'm due on....

AliceinSlumberland · 07/08/2013 10:49

Could you present it as something the whole family are doing? 'We are all not eating crisps or chocolate because they are bad for us?' And then when she asks for it say ' no because we aren't eating those things at the minute'. That way it is not just focused on her sacrificing, but the whole family.

cory · 08/08/2013 09:53

I think you just have to stop worrying about saying no all the time. The only reason you keep saying the same thing is because she is trying it on, repeatedly making a silly request for something she knows you don't want to give her. Just sound bored. "No, you know we aren't going to have chocolates now".

Don't make a big song and dance about it, just have set occasions when you do have chocolates/biscuits/whatever and sound completely bored when she asks at other times ("but darling, you know we have chocolates on Saturday/first of the month/special occasions, it's not Saturday etc now, is it?").

spepples · 08/08/2013 15:54

Thanks for those latest comments, they do all make sense. Portion control is an issue as I know she would happily eat an adult size portion and ask for seconds. And yes I think some of it is due to boredom but she does seem a lot better this week. I think it's helped that I've been off work so more able to provide appropriate meals, focus her boredom, get her active and I don't give in to pester power like grannies do Angry.
I also think because she hasn't had any treats this week, she's stopped asking for them as much - we soon get used to eating too much I guess it's the same for her. Will keep up with the advice and I'm sure she'll be fine.

OP posts:
racingheart · 10/08/2013 10:13

one thing worth explaining to her is that our bodies often tell us we're hungry when in fact they are thirsty. Get her to drink a big long glass of iced water first and then leave it ten minutes to see if she is still hungry between meals. Educate her on what her body needs at her age, and explain the addictive qualities of rubbish foods and how they make you think you're hungry when you're not.

I have a similar problem with DS2. yesterday I just said no, wait for two hours until it's tea time. Felt cruel but he'd eaten so much lunch, and we were going to a friend's for tea. Ended up not eating until about 8pm but he survived. They have to learn it's OK to feel hunger before eating, rather than thinking being in a constant state of feeling full is the norm.

justkeeponsmiling · 16/08/2013 20:30

I have a very similar problem with my 13yo dd. Although she is by no way big she loves food an will happily stuff her face all day. The only reason she is not overweight I think is because she hasalways been fairly active but is becoming less so these days and it is beginning to show. I want my kids to have a positive body image but I also want them to be healthy, and to understand the relationship between what we eat and how this affects our body.
So I have started to explain to them what food is for, ie. fuel for our body. If we don't use up the fuel it gets stored by the body as fat. People who carry a lot of stored fuel, ie. fat are unhealthy as our bodies are not designed to carry lots of fat, and it will make them ill in the long run. So now when she is asking for loads of snacks or third helpings of supper I will sometimes say something like "are you sure you are still hungry? I'm not sure your body will really need any more fuel".
I figure that by focusing on health rather than looks it might help them to develop a healthy relationship with food in the future.

willowisp · 20/08/2013 05:15

Don't buy coke/crisps/biscuits/chocolate & then the temptation isn't there. Have babybels - they do actually stop you feeling hungry & nuts & allow her to have a timed rather than a random snack. Also get her drinking - eating is confused with being thirsty & if she's eating properly at meal times, she shouldn't be hungry.

Agree about the carbs/sugar in fruit - easily digested calories that mean you're hungry again in 1/2 hr.

Lob54321 · 02/11/2013 21:09

How tall is she? How much does she weigh? Are you sure she's overweight? Try to encourage healthy eating habits.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.