Help me help my daughter, please!
  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member

    My daughter is 10 years old and the most wonderful girl.  She's beautiful, smart (in advanced math and reading at school), wonderfully creative, loving and sweet, and cares for people.  She loves music, art, and reading.  But she is starting to get more than chubby.....she's nearing the dangerous "fat" category.  And I don't know how to help her.

    I know I am not the best role model.  I can't survive without my daily Dr. Pepper or two.  I'm not the most physically active person on the planet.  It's something I am trying to improve, but my schedule and my husband's frequently conflict and it makes it hard.  Anyway, we eat ok.  Should we eat more fruits and veggies?  Probably....but it's not like we don't eat them every day.  Meals always include a veggie and there is always frest fruit available for snacking.  My daughter LOVES starch....pasta, potatoes, bread, etc....and if I make a meal that she likes (i.e. spaghetti), she will out eat her dad.  I am trying to curb that, but at the same time don't want her to hate me for cutting her off.  My parents were outright cruel to me as a child about my weight.  I still bear those scars.

    What else can I do?  She hates sports, so I try to get her to be active but it's not always successful.  She's much more content to read or draw.  It's breaking my heart b/c I don't want to be mean, but she needs to reign it in.  Plus, others in my extended family are starting to say stuff to her, which I plan to nip in the bud ASAP.

  • BlessieBlessie
    Posts: 2,108Member
    Mother/daughter walks every day? Even if you only have time for 5-10 minutes, make it fun. Good for both of you, keep her talking to you as she goes through the next few years where most kids pull away from their parents?
  • MaryPoppins25
    Posts: 1,667Member
    Firstly I'm so sorry you're going through this. She's at such a sensitive age now it's hard to say something without hurting her. I am very passionate about healthy living, especially for my girls and id be happy to give you any tips or tricks I may have up my sleeve.

    I would try to find something she can get into with you. Maybe swimming, hiking, bike riding/roller blading, running, karate. It doesn't have to be a traditional sport. Even Zumba is sooo much fun! You could also do yoga at home or have frequent sporadic dance parties where you go grab her in a really over the top outfit and get a good dance on in your living room.

    I would implement a glass of water before meals rule. Not just for her but for everyone in the family. Before you sit down to eat everyone has to drink a 2 cup glass of water. This is sooo good for your metabolism and will also make you less likely to over eat. Switch all your breads, pastas, and rice with whole grain. It will take a while to get used to but now we prefer it to white. Really try to keep junk out of the house, we switched from microwave popcorn to stove top and we don't add butter, just some garlic salt and it is sooo yummy!

    Mainly you just need to take the reins and lead by example. Try to drink your pop when she's not around so she doesn't feel she is being punished or that you are being unfair/hypocritical. also remember she is at that age where she may start carrying a little extra weight that will one morning just magically turn into boobs!

    Good luck mama! I know this must be hard for you but I'm so happy you are nipping it in the bud. Pm me anytime for support!

    Hugs xxoo
  • MalmqukMalmquk
    Posts: 634Member
    That was a really supportive post @eapple
  • AnonUser30
    Posts: 1,916Guest
    Have you thought that maybe she is getting chunky as she is coming into puberty and / or a growth spurt? Not uncommon around that age.
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    She is at a very difficult age, emotionally. You need to make sure that you do this in the most loving way possible so that it doesn't hurt her self esteem. Make time each day to go for a walk with her. Tell her that you want to make sure that you both stay healthy & walking is good exercise for that. Cut out how many starchy foods you bring in the house. Be aware of portion sizes as you cook. If you only cook enough for one serving for everyone, then she can't eat more of it. Just make sure you put all the emphasis on being healthy & not about weight issues as you make changes to your family's life style.

    I know that @eapple is very passionate about helping children & families get/stay healthy. She probably has better tips than I do!

    @eapple, you posted as I was typing lol
  • AnonUser30
    Posts: 1,916Guest
    Here is some info on how to handle this age / the weight issue carefully from an emotional standpoint.

    "It's normal for adolescent girls to go through a period of relative
    chubbiness as they go through puberty. The hormone changes that occur,
    with higher estrogen levels present, allow the body to put on more fat.
    This is what is responsible for further growth of the breasts and
    rounding of the hips. Over the two years after a girl starts her period,
    growth in height stops and the body remodels itself further. This is
    when many girls will slim down again and get to a weight that is more
    appropriate for their height."
  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member

    Thanks everyone.  I do cook with whole grain pasta already and sneak veggies into pasta sauce.  I'm really  not trying to use this as an excuse, but a daily walk or something is so hard to do.  I have 4 kids....3 youngest are boys ranging from 8 to 2.  Can you imagine trying to take a walk with all 4?  My sanity!  lol  But I know I need to try to do something. 

    Her age and emotional state is why I'm reaching out.  I so so so so so so so do NOT want to hurt her at all b/c as of right now, she's pretty confident.  Not obnoxious, but at the same time doesn't care if someone doesn't like her.  She's not the "popular girl" at school, but she's ok with that.  Maybe I'll start the glass of water before dinner thing!  We could all use it, I'm sure. 

  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member
    She's definitely starting the puberty thing.  She's been wearing a basic bra or cami since last year as she does have a little up top starting.  SHe's carrying a lot of this chunkiness in her belly and that's what concerns me.
  • AnonUser30
    Posts: 1,916Guest
    @hallfamily727 - I'd take a look at that link, they have some ideas for the emotional part. Girls stop growing 2 years after their periods start, so they put on weight. I would guess that SOME of what you are seeing is that. It is a delicate time, and I have been through it. It's kind of a tight rope. I'd just make little changes for the entire family, and be aware she needs 2200 calories per day because of growth. As her period gets ready to start...ugh....good luck! ;)
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    I know your pain when it comes to taking all the kids for a walk. My boys are 3, 4, 7 & 13. I started the family walks as a way to release stress for me. Some days, it helped. Other days, it caused more stress. But, I just throw their shoes on them & tell them let's go! They don't fight as much anymore & they stay pretty close to me. We walk in a fairly low traffic neighborhood. With the smaller ones, I make it more of a game. How many blue houses do you see? Or they stop & smell every.single.flower along the way. I point out the birds & awesome mailboxes or whatever. And we just talk. Just hanging out together in a relaxed environment on a daily basis to help build that comfort level so they know we can talk about anything.
  • MaryPoppins25
    Posts: 1,667Member
    If a walk isn't gunna happen every day just aim for a couple times a weeks. Don't beat yourself up if you can't make it happen, scheules, the weather, and your other children are all factors in whether or not you can go. Just try to do something active each day. You could skip with her, do the dance in the living room idea (we do this and it has gotten out of hand. We jump all over the couch and my throat hurts from singing/shrieking after c:) yoga is so good for the mind and body!

    It sounds like you are raising a confident little girl who will blossom into a woman who knows her self worth. Good on ya mama!

    2200 calories is a lot! Especially if you are concerned already about her belly growing. It is recommended that a child at her age consume between 1600 and 2200. Children who are not as active should be on the lower end and children who are moderatly active in the middle and the very active should consume the full 2200. before you start giving her 2200 calories I would talk to her dr, that is a lot of food if it is healthy food.
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  • BlessieBlessie
    Posts: 2,108Member

    Thanks everyone.  I do cook with whole grain pasta already and sneak veggies into pasta sauce.  I'm really  not trying to use this as an excuse, but a daily walk or something is so hard to do.  I have 4 kids....3 youngest are boys ranging from 8 to 2.  Can you imagine trying to take a walk with all 4?  My sanity!  lol  But I know I need to try to do something. 

    Her age and emotional state is why I'm reaching out.  I so so so so so so so do NOT want to hurt her at all b/c as of right now, she's pretty confident.  Not obnoxious, but at the same time doesn't care if someone doesn't like her.  She's not the "popular girl" at school, but she's ok with that.  Maybe I'll start the glass of water before dinner thing!  We could all use it, I'm sure. 



  • BlessieBlessie
    Posts: 2,108Member
    Sorry, the baby hit send, then my battery died. Lol

    Eapple has some great advice, but don't rule out the walks. I know it seems overwhelming in thought, but I am able (most days) to take my 6, 3, and 5mo for at least a short walk. It seemed like it would be impossible at first, but surprisingly, no matter how hyper they are, the walk helps them chill.
  • OxiMOMOxiMOM
    Posts: 3,104Member
    If she likes horses see if you have a lesson barn in your area!!  1 hour of riding is equal to an hour of running.  Granted no the first few lessons wont do much other then make her sore  but if she enjoys it and sticks with it the more she  rides the more muscle she will build and calories she will burn.  Plus if she REALLY likes it  and you find a stable that allows it in the summer she could even work off lessons by doing stalls ect its a workout and if she is horse crazy is a fun one......I am biast though and thinks EVERYONE should ride  horses at least once in there life.....

    Edit** If you find a family friendly barn it might even be good for the boys.  the barn i worked at was family friendly with 3 dogs that LOVED to run around and play fetch behind the barn with younger siblings everyone went home tired at the  end of the day. 
  • kim2boys
    Posts: 10Member
    What about walking the dog? Yours or a neighbors. I find time and distance pass quickly with the dogs. I have an 11 year old boy with similar trouble. He plays some sports but is defiantly not the fastest or strongest. Early puberty is really tough. Just make sure she knows you love her and its anouy health. Everyones body is different.
  • momofeveryonemomofeveryone
    Posts: 1,917Member
    swimming! or dance lessons. i am the least athletic person you will ever meet and those are the only things i could do w/o making a fool of myself :)
    i want a nap. and some chocolate. who's with me?!
  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member

    @ Oximom....my mom actually has a horse farm about 35 miles from me, but my daughter thinks horses are smelly and disgusting.  LOL!  Go figure.

    My DS8 swims on a club team (brag moment.....he's a state ranked swimmer, tristate champion, and all-around 8 & under high point champ this year....his FIRST year swimming....ok, I'm done now) and DS5 will start swimming this fall.  My daughter has started to show a little interest in that, but is scared of water.  I'm thinking of getting her into some lessons this summer.  She did dance for 2 years until....shocker....a mean girls ruined it for her.  And by mean, I mean completely HORRID.  I was appalled that they were allowed to behave that way.  Ugh.

    Might have to start walking the dog, tho.  Although, it's more like taking the dog for a drag.  He's an idiot and can't figure out the whole "walk on a leash" thing.  lol

  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    Carb addiction is very real. If she eats like it's going out of style when you have pasta, then stop. Stop having pasta. Go to having chicken and salad, fish and rice, steak and baked potato, meals where the carbs are limited. (Baked potato is good....everyone gets one, and there's no more.) Rethink her lunches and replace her sandwiches and carb snacks with fruit and veggies, chicken skewers, hot soup in those thermoses, etc. Scrambled eggs and bacon in the morning, instead of cereal and toast. You can pre cook the bacon the night before, and then just toss it in the frying pan the next morning. 

    Good luck.
    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • MegsueMegsue
    Posts: 1,846Member
    I would try yoga with the whole family! I do it every 3 days with the exercise plan I have going on and on yoga days DH (back problems), MIL (fibromyalgia), and DS3 (who just LOVES it) join in. You can get DVDs to do at home that can fit into any time frame. And if your DD doesn't want to do it in front of other people, she can do it in another room and nobody will know, because unlike other at home fitness DVDs, she won't be jumping around, making a lot of noise so it will be completely private.
  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member

    With 2 deep freezers full of organic meat, going vegan is just not an option for my family.  I make my meager grocery budget work because I have that to fall back on. 

    Good suggestions, tho!  Thanks!

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  • shouldcleanshouldclean
    Posts: 2,808Member
    Vegan isn't necessarily healthier. I would suggest one don't buy junk food. If its not there you can't eat it :) second, check out the zone fiet, its not so much a diet but a healthy eating lifestyle. You eliminate bad cards. So no potatoes, rice, corn, etc. you relieve those with fruits and veggies. You eat breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, snack. For example breakfast could be an omlet loaded with veggies. Snack some cheese and half an apple, lunch could be a nice chicken salad with fruit for dessert, dinner could be chili. Snack could be a yogurt. Its easier than you think
  • hallfamily727hallfamily727
    Posts: 277Member
    On a side note, you  know what REALLY sucks?  It's the pasta and potatoes that are affordable.  I do limit starches as much as I can, but sometimes to round out a meal.....ugh.  Not to mention the crap food, which I rarely buy.  Yes, I let her have junk food treats if she has a friend sleeping over or something, but that's a rare treat. 
  • utleymommyof4utleymommyof4
    Posts: 145Member

    @hallfamily727  all these girls give u good advice... i know what your going through my DSD8 is on the chubby side not active either ive cut all junk food outta our lives (except dad who need a diet but wont listen)  she drinks watch and the gets juice twice a day.  i keep my daughter active with chores the same as i do the boys.. not really hard stuff but you burn cals doing dishes and ect.  and also i have cut down on what i fix each night they have these plates that have the exact serving measuerments on them.....

    I know as a mom i try my best to keep my kids safe happy and healthy.  My husband and i are not exactly thin and i know my kids are gonna have to watch themselves closey as they get older. 

    My suggestion is talk to her and see if there is anything she wants to do thats an active thing...  I wish i could help more but your doing the best you can and i woulnd't worried alot unless her doctor says something about it and if anything ask the doctor what he thinks.

    Lovez Ya'll
  • GritsGrits
    Posts: 4,370Member

    On a side note, you  know what REALLY sucks?  It's the pasta and potatoes that are affordable.  I do limit starches as much as I can, but sometimes to round out a meal.....ugh.  Not to mention the crap food, which I rarely buy.  Yes, I let her have junk food treats if she has a friend sleeping over or something, but that's a rare treat. 



    I know that feeling, and the whole grain stuff is more expensive, too. I have the same issue with DD8. And I am very overweight, so it's hard for me not to feel like a hypocrite. But I decided to include DD in our new meal plan (I won't call it a diet for her sake, but essentially, that's what it is). We look up healthy recipes online and find a couple of new ones to try every week. As low in carbs as we can manage. Thankfully, she love fresh veggies and fruits, so it hasn't been so hard for her. She is the same way with meals she loves as your DD...she can out eat her dad without pause, and he's a big dude. It's a lifestyle change for us. Right now, I'm trying to find a physical activity for her to do. She's expressed interest in karate, so I'm thinking we'll start there if lessons aren't too expensive. Good luck to you! And let me know if you find any other tips...I could use them, too!
    "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles." ~Audrey Hepburn
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  • CoffeeQueenCoffeeQueen
    Posts: 227Member
    Here's just a few thoughts off the top of my head. My daughter HATES most veggies fyi, but I'm super sneaky. I make healthy smoothies and sneak in some spinach for greens, you can't taste it because there are fruits and yogurt in the mix! she loves these smoothies!  Also, did you know you can freeze bananas (or any fruit really), then place in blender and blend....it turns the consistency of ice cream! You can steam veggies, then use your food processor and moosh them up good, mix them in sauces, potatoes, etc.  Water is wonderful. I got myself and my daughter a water bottle and we drink a lot better from our water bottles than from a drinking glass. I consume 2-3 bottles a day now, this is a huge improvement from my occasional sips of water per day! You are getting tons of great advice here, hang in there momma!
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member

    Actually, the Type II Diabetic diet is an incredibly healthy, well balanced one and it does have multiple calorie intake options.  I started gaining about the same age and by 13-14 was pretty chunky especially around the middle.  I started thinning out in highschool, but I also started really watching what I ate then.  My mother's a registered dietitian and both she and my dad started giving me a hard time in jr. high about getting fat...I'm half Sicilian, and "fat" is in my genes.  I told her once I got to be a petite adult she was lucky I didn't end up anorexic.  Fortunately, I like food too much.

    I've never been one to exercise for exercise's sake...I HATE "working out," but I love doing things, like golf, baseball, tennis, and yes, horseback riding is not only great exercise, but a lot of fun.  Try to find some family friendly activities in your area that everyone can do...I know it's hard with toddlers/babies to get out and "do" anything, that's my downfall.

    CoffeeQueen is right...lots of water, it really helps curb appetite, plus you just NEED much more than most people get.  And don't even buy soda, you'll be amazed how much weight you can drop with just a few minor changes.  I don't know if you buy low fat milk, but I'd start.

     

    Bite me, cupcake!