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tweens and dieting

Posted by on May. 29, 2012 at 7:06 AM
  • 6 Replies

I need some advice. My DD (12) is not fat, she is solid, she is about 5'2" and 118. My concern however is that she likes to eat. She will usually go back for seconds (sometimes 3rds), and almost every night is asking for desert. Last night we had dinner a little late because we didn't get home until almost 6pm and then DH was using the grill. We had corn on the cob, pasta salad, baked beans, and hamburgers. DD ate everything but the pasta salad. We finished dinner around 7:30. At 8:20 (bedtime is at 8:30) she asks if she can have ice cream. I said no, it was too late and she had already had a slushy anyway. She then asked if she could have a beef jerky stick. Again I said no, saying it was too late to be eating anything especially since she was supposed to be getting ready for bed.

The only time she is really active is when she is playing soccer but that is for 2-3 hours a week and soccer is over so she isn't even getting that. DH goes walking and tries to get her to go but many times she refuses. I am worried, mainly because in a month she gained 4lbs. She has a dr apt on Thursday so I will find out if she is "over weight" or if it is a concern. We have talked about her weight recently and I told her she needed to cut down on the amount of food she is eating and make better choices about what she is eating. She can literally eat as much as my husband, who is a big guy. She also tends to snack. I bought yogurt for her afterschool snack (which she requested), but instead she is eating left over tortilla shells from dinner. DH and I aren't thin people and we don't want DD to pick up the bad habits that we still struggle with. We have always tried to teach her about proper portion size and you don't NEED to have desert every night. How often do your kids have desert? How do I try to curb this behavior?

by on May. 29, 2012 at 7:06 AM
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by on May. 29, 2012 at 7:24 AM

My kids have desert every now and then...we don't always have stuff like this in the house. The only way to get it to change is to change the eating behavior as a whole family. If you don't want her to have unhealthy food don't bring it into the house. You can do an online BMI calculator that can tell you if your daughter's weight is okay for her height and age, but I bet that it is. I am 5'2" or 5'3" and I weight just a few more pounds than your daughter. I weighed around the same at her age and ended up getting up to 155 as a teen but I was never fat, but I was active. Find other things for her to get involved in. I was in NJROTC and in the marching band colorgaurd so I was always moving. That is going to be the second part to keeping her weight under control.

by Valeri on May. 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Habits are created at home so maybe only make enough food for maybe a little 2nds and that's it.  Don't bring in food or snacks that you don't think are healthy.

Also, it seems like a lot of 11-14 year olds eat a lot because of how much they are growing so it's not too much of a concern but you do want to incorporate good habits as much as you can.  Do not get more ice cream if you don't want her to have it.  We have ice cream at home but they don't have it that often.  If they have it, they put it on a cone which is a scoop....about half a cup it's not much.

I would also introduce foods that may fill her up....foods with protein and fiber.  Have fruit laying around all the time.  If i feel my girls have had enough food and they are hungry, I tell them to get a fruit.

Also, what does she do at home if she isn't doing homework?  Does she watch TV, play video games, etc?  If so....start eliminating those too.  On a normal schedule, my girls are not allowed to watch TV until 7pm and that's IF they have their homework and chores done.  In the Fall they are in soccer and in the spring they are in softball so rarely does are schedule seem "normal" but being out there means they are active.

by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I would certainly start teaching her good eating habits. Its an uphill battle I am going thru it with ds11. Sign her up for an active summer camp whether or not she likes it. Get her frozen yogurt instead of ice cream and teach her how to read labels and portions. Throw out the junk. Slim jims are an occasional treat, once in 2 weeks or something. Popcorn for snack or fruit. And EVERYONE does this. I have a coworker who swears by apples to fill up on. The idea is nothing is forbidden but portion control and sensible eating. Stand firm. Good luck.
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by on May. 29, 2012 at 1:34 PM
We don't have a lot of junk food laying around, we do have the occasional ice cream. We usually do have apples and bananas on hand. When she is done with homework she usually reads. She is not an outdoorsy kind of kid. We have a rule during summer vaca that she MUST spend at least 1 hour outside every day not including swimming- which we are trying to get our pool up and running. We have and do talk about portion size and I put the food on her plate so I know how much she is getting but then she gets more.
by on May. 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

We only have dessert on special nights. Simple stop making so much food. Make one serving for everyone when it is gone its gone. She eats that much because she has made it a habit. Her stomach has expanding so she FEELS like she needs it. A week of one serving she won't have that NEED feeling.

by on May. 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Yeah yeah yeah don't keep junk in the house, then she'll just go to someone else's house and eat it or buy it with her allowance and everyone else in the house will be pissed. You're doing the right thing discussing moderation, portion control and the right time of day to eat higher calorie foods (dessert with lunch anyone?). Now that soccer is over, it's time for softball, basketball, swimming, dance lessons. Keep her active. If her doctor or she expresses concern over her weight, have her keep a food journal with a calorie count. Sometimes seeing things in black and white has more impact than "Oh Mom's nagging again, why can't she just leave me alone?"

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