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I am working with an 11yr old girl with weight issues

Just since june shes gained 13 lbs. She is 166lbs. I know that it is how she's eating and I believe she has an over eating disorder. Is it ok to suggest a diet plan for an 11year old?! It seems crazy to me! Her mother has hired me to exercise with her and Im used to adults that can handle my blunt style but I cant be like that with her. Any suggestions for child weight loss? things to say to make her see how serious this is and that she has to stop?

looking for an answer:)

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:51 PM on Sep. 30, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (10)
  • I think that a child with a weight issue well it isnt her fault. She has picked up these habits from somewhere and infact they may have been instilled in her from the moment she was born. So I wouldn't be hard on her.

    Also you don't know if her eating is emotion related do you? That might be another reason to help her.

    Kids generally need more fat then adults so what I would do is introduce lots of fruit before each meal and some good fats like avocadoes. I would also make a gradual diet change with her instead of making her change overnight. She is only a child and I don't believe this is her fault.

    She does have to change but a gradual change will be better for her emotional well being.

    As for exercise...maybe you should ask her what she would enjoy and get her to try different things.

    Generally though I just wouldnt be harsh on this girl.

    Answer by keyaziz at 4:16 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Take this child off soda and high sugar. She needs skim milk and a high fiber diet to make her think she is full. I would try walking with her and than add a slow jog. Did you give her a diet to go by or is it just exercise. If you live near a beach that is a great place or if you have walking trails even better. This child needs to be active outdoors. Research areas where there is public walking trails and later she might would love a bike. Pools are a great tool as well. They have alot of ideas for her to burn calories. You burn more calories in a pool walking than you do on land. Just make it fun and be her friend thats she probaly has never had and you will see change in herself as well with yourself. Good luck! I would love to know the results of her later.

    Answer by goldielock37 at 4:30 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • This is a family issue. The house needs to be free of junk foods and cut way back on meat, dairy, sugar and simple grains like white flour. Water should be all that they drink. Meals should be based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:54 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • My daughter is 8 and she is a bigger boned girl with a bit of a belly. The best thing to do is to lift their self confidence and NEVER tell them they are fat! I watch my daughter's diet closely, that is not the problem with her...genetics are the biggest part of her weight. Her dad's entire female family members are all big like that. The best thing for kids are to do exercises that don't feel like, bike riding, roller blading, dancing...and do it with them. Then while doing it you can say.."now isn't this great, getting exercise and having fun" or things like that. And fruit is very sweet as is yogurt so it's pretty easy to get them to eat things that are good for them rather than eating ice cream. You do have to monitor even the fruits though because too much of that is bad also. Adding a tablespoon of cheese to broccoli isn't going to kill them but it will get them to eat the broccoli :)

    Answer by cissykissy at 5:23 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Does her mother have a problem with her own weight? Is this a whole-family thing? And why have you been asked to sort this out, rather than her parents taking responsibility? They should be eating with her. Her meals should be suitable for her age and activity levels. If her mother doesn't understand this, then the problem will never be resolved.
    The family should be doing stuff together, to get exercise, at least some of the time.
    If you have to work with this child, use confidence building techniques. Look for books about healthy eating and exercise, specifically aimed at children. Encourage her to read one of these (preferably one with good illustrations, a non-preachy tone & punchy text in short sections).
    Find out what she enjoys that gets her moving & encourage her to do it. See if her friends can become involved. Could she try trampolining, roller-blading, skating, swimming?
    Encourage her & praise her efforts!

    Answer by LizzieMade at 5:50 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • NO, child should be on a diet without doctors consent. Kids can't lose weight in the same manner as adults. They need more nutrients than we do. Also, she is not your child and it should be her mother that is getting her on a healthy diet. Make exercise fun for her. Dance, jump rope, try EA Fit (I think that is what it is called). Play dodge ball, baseball, basketball. Make a deal with her that if she can beat you at a certain exercise, she gets to pick the next activity you do with her. Praise and encourage her.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:39 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • I would tell her mother to talk to her doctor about puting her on a diet and might need some counceling if she has a compulsive eating disorder. She might also want to get her thyroid checked because that can also cause weight problems. When i was younger in school i had alot of problems with my weight and i found out later on in high school that it was because of my thyroid. But exersize needs to be fun. If you do a work out routine put it to music thats what we did every once in a while when i was in the army it made things so much more fun. It didnt seem like work even though we were doing pushups and situps and had to sprint to different work out stations. Just make sure she has fun with it.

    Answer by Shelii at 10:35 AM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • yes, rather than diets for a child. that young. she should just exercise, walking biking. swimming,.just like one of the girls said above me. See great minds think alike.

    Answer by incarnita at 7:33 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • If she knows her mother hired you to exercise with her to lose the weight... it might be she's eating because it's emotional eating... I know people that eat to escape and I know people that deprive themselves of food to feel some control of their lives.
    Me... I might not mind exercising with a girl, but it'd be in a way she didn't realize what the whole goal was so she doesn't develop another eating disorder.
    The Mom should be doing something at home instead of hiring someone else without consulting the doctor to find out if it's thyroid or diabetic problem etc.
    That's what I'd suggest to the Mom.. to see the doctor first. My daughter grew 4" since April and gained 10 lbs and the dr didn't bat an eye at it so depending on how much this child grew might be the difference in concern.

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 7:52 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • She does have to learn about healthy eating and limiting junk food.....Of course, this has to be her decision as no one (not even adults) lose weight or change their eating habits because someone else is trying to control them. I am sure there are complicated reasons why this girl is overweight that include genetics, family eating habits, self image, appetite, attention, family dynamics....Weight is NEVER just one thing, no matter what the age! And it is hard to be the mother of an overweight child because no matter what you do it is wrong...If you let her find her own way, you are neglecting her problem, If you try to help, you are controlling and judging. Since you have been hired by the mother, she may see you as the mother's ally. Try to make her see you as he ally and a sort of "friend" or mentor.....ask her what she wants and then follow her lead. Does she see a value in taking control of her health? Help her find it!

    Answer by BJoan at 11:30 AM on Oct. 11, 2009

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