My daughter is 11 and weighs almost 150 pounds. She and I both know she needs to lose weight, but so far we've had no luck. I try to teach her about what foods are healthier to eat and about watching her portion sizes, but a lot of the healthy foods she doesn't like and she acts like she's starving if I cut down her portion sizes. I don't know how to enforce the good eating habits without taking all the fun out of mealtime for her.
I would appreciate any ideas you guys might have that would be helpful.
Fun foods - smoothies, making faces with the food etc.
allowing her to help prepare a meal, its fun for her.
Fun sports, get involved yourself to make it fun for her - swimming, cycling, walking (interesting places only), basket ball is great fun (I love playing this with my girls).
No fizzy drinks - water during the day and milk before bed (good for the teeth too)
Limit sweets/candy to once a week or only for a treat.
Have fruit or yoghurts for puddings instead of sugary treats.
Most importantly - don't let her worry about her size. She may turn to comfort eating. The whole family needs to take onboard a healthy regime for it to work, its not fair for her alone to be eating the right thing.
Good luck. Do you watch friends? My daughter does and she kept saying "look at the size of Monica now, she is smaller than when she was younger".
As someone who has worried about my weight all my life (sometimes unnecessarily), here's my 2 cents.
I, personally, would only have healthy food in the house and then I wouldn't say a word to her. I wouldn't try to control her portions. I would emphasize that you love her just as she is no matter what. She'll have plenty of people who will let her know that her weight is unacceptable. She needs to feel accepted by you.
Also encourage her to get some daily execise. Offer to go walking with her. Kids now a days are so unactive and this sure contributes to weight problems. I'm going through the same thing with a 16 year old who weighs close to 300!
I would emphasize that you love her just as she is no matter what.
I have told her many times that I love her no matter what, but I know from my own past experience that if you have low self-esteem, it doesn't matter what anyone says, you won't believe it. My daughter has even said to me, "well you're my mom, you have to love me". And I remember as a kid thinking that my mom was just saying that, it wasn't really true. And I wasn't fat as a kid, it was just about me in general that I thought I wasn't good enough.
It's so hard because we want to help her so badly, but she goes through these phases where she hates being fat and wants to lose weight, then within about an hour or two she's forgotten about it and just wants to eat. It seems like she's constantly asking me if she can have a snack.
I have been trying to get way more healthy foods: fruit, yogurt, etc. but it doesn't seem fair to my son, who is rail thin, that he can't splurge once in a while on a snack food that's not so healthy since he doesn't have a weight issue.
ok heres some key suggestions. NO SCHOOL LUNCH. When I was in elememtary school they had the most unhealthy school lunch everyday. Pizza, grilled chesse, tator tots, (get the idea!) and this is not good. Even if they had healthy options she is young and would most likely go for the chocolate milk, fries, and whatever else they are serving that is fried up. Pack her lunch everyday. As far as yogurt goes, make sure you buy the fat free yoplait. Tastes great and has no fat. Also try getting her on skim milk if you have not already. DO NOT BUY junk food. No chips, cookies, ect.. The only treats she should have are on special occasions when your on an outting ect.. Also I do not know if you guys go out to eat a lot but that needs to stop if you do. That way you don't have to try to argue with her over getting a burger and fries vs a salad ect.. I can promise you that if you can make these changes the weight will start dropping off. Oh and like another poster said make sure she is getting some form of exercise and not just sitting in front of the tv all day. 150 lb sounds VERY heavy for an 11 year old. How tall is she? I think you will be doing her the biggest favor as far as health goes and esteem later on by getting that weight off now. I think you can make these changes without even telling her you are putting her on a diet ect... Goodluck.
oh and even though your son is rail thin it doesn't mean that he needs to be eating junk at home either. Let him buy his unhealthy snacks at school or when you guys go out. Kids do not need junk. And my advice posted above comes from personal experience. When I was in the 4th, 5th, and beggining of 6th grade I got chubby. I had been eating school lunch everday and coming home and eating a yogurt (which was not fat free) and it was 350 calories. Not to mention I drank chocolate milk at school everyday. My mom never had junk food in the house and we never went out to eat. It didn't matter because what I ate at school was enough to do the damage. When I was in middle school I put myself on a diet. I cut out the school lunch, went on skim milk, and stopped eating those fattening yogurts. So that in combination with hitting puberty made all that chub melt of and I got very skinny. I have stayed small now (I am 23) due to sticking with the skim milk, fat free yogurt, and no junk food in our home. I have a 2 yr old who is very thin and would be in heaven if I bought junk food since he loves iit. I don't want to set him up for bad eating habbits early which I know could catch up with him. We go out to eat way too much as a family and are working on cutting that out since I know if i ever gain a couple pounds it is from the eating out, Goodluck with your daughter I know you can do it.
Well our school doesn't serve hot lunch, so that's not a problem. We usually only eat out 1 to 2 nights a week. With my daughter it's not so much what she eats as how much she eats. I don't know what kind of yogurt you were eating, but I had one for breakfast this morning, not low fat, and it was only 190 calories. Yogurt is a great source of protein. Just my personal opinion, of course.
look, this probably sounds right out of the blue and really random but are there certain types of food that your daughter binges on, or eats too much of? When I was younger I was a compulsive eater - or that's what my mother called me. I was a bit chubby from 11-16 and my whole family got so badly on my back about it, it makes me angry now. they weren't helpful like you're obviously trying to be, they destroyed my self esteem!!
have you had her tested for food allergies or hypoglycaemia because some kids just seem to crave some sorts of foods, and just want more and more. like bread or dairy or chocolate. might be worth investigating with a naturopath?
and you say that you want your son to be able to have the occasional splurge - that's fair enough, but let your daughter have the occasional splurge too, maybe a chocolate bar once a week. cut right back on soft drinks and juices though, even 100% fruit juice is very high in fructose. she's better off drinking water.
From personal experience, I wish I had taken care of this problem when I was younger because now I'm an overweight adult
Is your daughter on the tall side? If so, 150 might not be as big of a deal. A 150 lb 5'5 is obviously better than a 150 lb 5' (just using this as an example).
I would encourage the whole family to get out and move. If you are all doing something fun it might not seem so much like exercise.
By not keeping junk food in the house you remove the temptation. If you decide on ice cream for dessert, buy the smallest box of bars you can. You will probably pay a little more but portion control will make is so easy. When you involve the whole family it makes it more of a life style change and not like you are doing it just for your daughter.
You said its not so much what she eats, but how much of it. Have you tried keeping a food diary? This might help her realize how much shes really eating and when. For instance, if at night when shes bored or watching a movie maybe she eats the most snacks. If she were to go for a walk or bike ride then she wouldn't be bored in the house and want that snack.
Good luck and keep us posted!
For instance, if at night when shes bored or watching a movie maybe she eats the most snacks. If she were to go for a walk or bike ride then she wouldn't be bored in the house and want that snack.
She does get very bored in the evenings, but the problem is that we live on the outskirts of our city on a very busy road with no sidewalks. So to go for a walk or a bike ride, we have to actually get in the car and drive somewhere or load her bike in the pickup and drive somewhere that has a safe area. And with us it has to be easy or we won't do it, at least not on a regular basis.