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8 Year Old DD Is Overweight- Help Please

I am a mother of two and my almost 8 year old is overweight. I am and have always been naturally skinny (I'm one of those that most people hate-can eat anything and stay small.) My daughter LOVES to eat. If she is playing and hears me open food in the kitchen she comes running- What are we eating! I am struggling with how to get her to eat less and eat healthy. When she asks for more food at dinner or lunch I ask her if she is still hungry or full. She always says she is hungry. I do buy healthy food but my husband also goes grocery shopping and buys junk (hence the reason he is overweight.)
My daughter notices now that her stomach sticks out and how it's hard to find clothes that fit nice. I want her feel good about herself. I keep reminding her she is beautiful.
I don't want her to grow up overweight and because I have not had an issue with this I don't know how to help her. Am I overreacting? She kept asking for food one night and I finally said "If you keep eating you will get fat. Do you know what that means?" She said yes, fat like dad. I felt bad for saying that to her but I don't know how to get her to care about her health. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Thank you soooo much moms for your help. I wish I could give you all big hugs. I am a bit overwhelmed at all the responses so it may take me a few times of reading them to digest (pun intended!) all the information. I am now excited to become a healthier family and feel like I have the tools to accomplish that goal. Thanks again moms.

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PLEASE don't make weight an issue for her!!! It will come on her own soon enough. If dad is overweight and she is too, my bet is it's genetic. I'm overweight and my DH is not, and my kids eat a ton of junk an are thin as rails. It's because of dad, not some great diet. You are being a good mom by being concerned about her health, but take care of it by supplying healthy food and limiting snacks. Don't cancel them out all together or they will just seem even more desirable. Instead set reasonable limits. Like, one snack after school and one after dinner. Also, try to do fun activities with her that get you both active, but don't seem like exercise. Don't mention the "f" word again, for many people (and she may be one of them) this is a lifelong battle and very hard to fight. It's better if she has a good body image and is confidant in herself. Even if you don't think she looks fabulous in her little outfits, you could compliment her hair or how she color coordinates one day for example. Good luck!

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I've struggled w/ my weight since I was very young so when I found out I was having twin girls I was nervous for them. From day one I've worked hard to train them to crave veggies/ fruit instead of junk - even mixing their baby cereal with the pureed veggies instead of apple sauce. what I have found is that even though they are twins (a.k.a. same exact environment from day one!) they have VERY different approaches to food. I have one who could care less about it and one who is CONSTANTLY telling me she's hungry - even after we've just eaten a health high fiber filled dinner. To answer the 'hungry ones' needs I always ask her to drink some water first (dehydration is mistaken for hunger)then if she still says she's hungry I offer her a second serving of veggies. My thought is if she eats these then she is truly hungry and I will then give her whatever else she is asking for (healthy choices)after she finishes these b/c I believer her to be actually hungry and not bored. We have fruit not junk for dessert and I try very hard to make sure we don't snack in the car. If we do snack I always make sure there is a protein included in the snack b/c it files you up more and takes longer to digest. Children's diets today are filled with WAY too many simple carbs (crackers, cookies, pasta, breads) and all they do is convert into FAT if not burned off. I would also look into limiting High Fructos Corn Syrup from her diet as it is in EVERYTHING and turns right into fat!!We have a no bags no boxes policy in our house... you mush sit down with a plate at the table when you eat... not reach into a bag of something while watching TV. Mindless eating is 1/2 the battle - make sure she's sitting down and eating properly - even when she is snacking. Good luck.

J.,
I do not know the answer to your question, but will read the responses carefully because my little girl seems to be tending towards heavier than either my husband or I were at her ages. I nursed her from 6lbs 10ozs to 90th percentile or above for weight within months. She has remained over the 90th percentile, and although she is young I want to be watchful. Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that your honesty in the request is beautiful and I appreciate you sharing.

Hi J.
I agree with beth except that instead of not offering 2nd I would make her wait 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour after she is finished to see if she really is still hungry.

My daughter is 5 and would eat constatly if I let her. I fight the battle of weight myself and try to only have healthy snacks around but I too am guilty of having junk around. She seems to be doing pretty well mow that I have put a shcedule to our snacking, and she knows that in the afternoon she doesn't get snack until 3 pm so when she asks for something the answer is simple if its 3pm we can snack otherwise no. We also try for somewhat healthy snacks most days but not all. I also have a 7 yr old daughter and a 2 yr old son.

you have a lot of great advice here, but her doctor is also a great resourse. I would give the office a call and see what they have to say. Good luck.

shes EIGHT!!! kids have tummies. and for another thing, they breathe properly because they havent gotten self conscious about their body yet - so they use their diaphram like they are supposed to, which pushes their stomach out.

never use the word fat as a punishment or an "or else"
the whole thing is just aweful! you are unconsciously causing her to start being ashamed of her hunger. she needs to eat when hungry. and she needs to just know when SHE is full. you cannot feel when she is hungry and when she is full. she is responsible for that, and you are responsible for offering her HEALTHY choices.

the word is not diet, it is lifestyle change. you have to make an ENTIRE FAMILY LIFESTYLE CHANGE!!
it sounds like you are just as upset about your husband than about your daughter. your whole family needs this. just because you remain smaller, does not mean you are at your best health. my husbands mother is obese, and his father is tall and skinny. however, he has high fracture risk osteoperosis which does not come from bad luck, it comes from bad, salt filled diet (amoung other bad health choices)

you have to take control. shop together, never let one of you shop alone. walk the outside perimeter of a store, try to avoid walking the aisles too much - processed canned and boxed foods are HORRIBLE for salt content, and others. FRESH fruits, FRESH veggies (or frozen is also acceptable), WHOLE GRAIN breads or cereals (whole wheat or whole grain MUST be the top ingredient, watch for breads with high fructose corn syrup or other sugar forms in the top 5 ingredients.

one quick and easy change you can make is to buy a box of milled flax seed. it has healthy fiber in it. start with a serving of a teaspoon or so, adjusting as necessary. if someone gets diarhea from it, just use less.

what fiber does is absorbs water and causes stool to be softer, like it should be. this causes the stomach to FEEL FULL faster and longer. empty white breads, rices and etc NEVER will make a person feel full. i could eat an ENTIRE LOAF of white bread, but after 2 slices of whole grain bread i feel full. see the difference? also, though it may be 2 $ more expensive to buy the whole grain bread, like i said, you arent feeling like eating 6 pieces, you feel more satisfied after only 2.

pair fiber intake with MUCH MORE WATER.
reduce or ELIMINATE ANY JUICE AND SODA!!! those drinks are the first and biggest cause of any obesity because though you arent eating you are probably consuming more calories than an entire dinner! so first choice for drinking NEEDS TO BE WATER ONLY. SMALL glasses of juice or milk at MEALS ONLY. any seconds on a drink should be water. there is no real nutritional need for juice, you lose nutrients in juice so you might as well just eat fruits. milk isnt as great as they say, but if you are only drinking a small glass at meals thats probably more than enough of the benefits from that than a person needs. so milk between meals isnt needed either.

but what im saying is that shes eight, and if you are starting to make her feel shame over her hunger now, she could be headed right toward anorexia... and that is NOT a path you want to send your kid anywhere NEAR. its conflicting that though you tell her that she is beautiful, at the same time, you shamed her for being hungry. :( if shes hungry, let her eat. but make sure she has fresh fruits and veggies to choose from first.

OH, the milled flax seed. you can sprinkle that on ANYTHING. cereal, sandwiches, yogurt, in soups or ANYTHING. its fantastic. just make sure lots of water. fiber will absorb water, but it needs to be in your body to be absorbed first ;P

please write to me if you need me to clarify anything.

So far your post and all responses talk only about food - what about exercise and physical activity?? Is your family active together? Does your daughter get at least an hour of physical activity a day (the recommendation by the CDC)? Adequate exercise also regulates appetite. Parents have a large influence on children at age 8 as to level of activity - you can set a positive example. And, yes, when her father is overweight, your daughter has a 50% chance of being overweight, too (I am dealing with that same issue).

Here are some resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/c...
http://www.bam.gov/sub_physicalactivity/index.html
(a site designed for children from age 9 - 13)

Cut the junk out of the house

Don't allow 2nds at lunch or dinner make so there is no 2nds to offer

Have healthy snacks like string cheese, apples, cheese,yogurt,applesauce

Cut out all soda and limit 1 glass of juice a day

Encourage outside play, sports, anything like that

You are not over reacting if you change the entire houses habits now your daughter has a good chance of being healthy and fit.

Hello,
I am a mother of an 8 year old as well. My daughter has a good appetite and seems that she is always hungry. She is tall so seems proportionate to her weight. Maybe they are growing? Often my DD portions are huge even if we encourage her to wait for her stomach to tell her brain she is full. I have struggled with my weight and worry that I have set a bad example since I am a member of the Clean Plate Club sometimes as well. This has helped me watch my portions though. Lately, we have tried to focus on being "healthy" and making "good choices". When your husband shops, put her favorite fruits and veggies on the list or try to find some healthy snacks that seem like treats. We try very hard to not use "fat" or "diet" since our children are at young impressionable ages but, I know that it is hard not to just say it like it is sometimes.
I am curious to hear what others will say as well. I know that our daughter confuses being hungry with just being bored. I am hoping that the school routine will help with some of these issues. Know that you are not alone with your concerns.

I wouldn't worry too much. Most children will grow out of their "baby fat". Having been a chubby child myself, by the time I was 16, I was in perfect health and exercised 5-days/week. Instead of harping about how much she is eating, give her healthy snacks and don't allow her to have anything else. Save the "junk" as a special treat, but not as a reward. Every once in a while let her have that cookie or favorite treat. But on an everyday basis offer her all the fruits and veggies she wants. You just can't too much of those.

Offer yogurt as well. Yoplait brand whipped yogurt can be frozen for a special frozen treat that most kids just love! Mine eat it like its candy. In fact, they'd rather have that instead of candy. Make instant pudding as well. It's a healthy treat full of calcium. What kid doesn't like Jell-O and pudding? Add fruit to the Jell-O. I run a day care out of my home and one afternoon I gave Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding as a treat with sprinkles and cut up banana and told them they were having banana splits! They loved it!

Just emphasize the positives of eating right and offer the good stuff. Don't ever tell her she is or will get fat. Point out how junk food affects our bodies - decreased energy, malnutrition, etc. NOT fatness. If Dad continues to buy junk, just let him eat it and maybe explain to him not to eat it in front of the kids. See how that works.

The other way you can help her maintain a healthy weight without negatively affecting her is do a lot of active outdoor activities. Play tag with her. Invite her friends over to play outside. Go on walks, hikes, bike rides on a daily basis. They are fun family activities and get Dad go to go as well. She'll enjoy the quality family time and get pletnty of exercise to ease your mind as well. Good luck!

Hi J.-
I just wrote on a post on Saturday about this very subject-- catch those responses too-- as it might be different people.
It's ok to recognize to your daughter about fat-- she probably knows that in other people.
I'm a wellness coach-- one thing you don't want to introduce to your daughter is "dieting". And if your husband is larger-fat as you say-- well then what I spoke about in the other reply in setting the example of healthy eating is much harder. It would help getting him on board.
BTW-- it took me 4 long years to get my hubby on board- ; )
Sometimes you have to eliminate the food-- find healthy alternative activities so there isn't time to eat all the time. Or change the rules-- only healthy snacks after school. Even our school implemented only fresh fruit for the day snack there.
We have a no bed time snack rule during school days - one reason to keep on time-- and another to limit the extra food going in. Gets them to realize that they have to eat a good dinner-- or dinner gets to be their snack (that didn't take long to understand- ha)
As a wellness coach-- my kids have healthy smoothies they help make-- so I know they give their body what it NEEDs so that they don't crave the junk as much-- even one a day makes a difference on the days my 7 yo twins use that.
So-- keep at it.
Think about eating colorfully and that might help-- have her try to eat a rainbow each day??

About me: 48 yo perfusionist, PT wellness coach for nationwide online biggest loser for $$, wife, mom to 7 yo twin girls

B. J

J. - when she wants to eat more - give her an apple. An apple is quite filling. But you have to redirect her attention too. By that I mean, give her an apple and then sit with her and read or do a puzzle together or go out and work in the yard together, go for a walk with her to the playground/park - she can eat the apple on the way.

If she is just 'sitting around' ... boredom makes a person hungry because the mind will see ads on TV of food/restaurants etc and because of boredom, you think you are hungry. I've had to do this in my own life and I'm 52. Give her a string cheese or an apple and redirect her attention and do something together. Even if you are thin, doesn't mean you are healthy so the added exercise will do you both a world of good both physically AND will give you that wonderful mother/daughter time to connect.

Blessings!
D.

J.,

As someone who struggles with similar issues I appreciate your concern. Besides limiting junk, make sure you watch what your daughter drinks. Many kids drink excessive amounts of calories each day. Limit juice and milk to DR's recommended daily amounts and encourage her to drink lots of water.

At mealtimes try to cook to the two-thirds rule (have 2/3 of the plate full of fruits and vegtables and the other 1/3 contain starch and protien). Try dishing up dinner plates away from the table, that way she won't see the leftover food. When she asks for seconds encourage more veggies/fruit. Keep lots of fun fruits/veggies ready to go for snacking. But watch out for the dips! Ranch dip, etc. are loaded with calories that she doesn't need so keep things "pure" if possible. Even low calorie and fat free dips are empty calories.

The other thing you should examine is her activity level. Make sure that she is doing some sort of physical activity everyday. Kids sit around in school a lot, so it's up to us parents to make sure that when they get home they get moving. Some afterschool activities that she might enjoy are dance, swimming, taking long walks/bike rides with mom, and skating.

While making these changes it is OK to talk to your daughter about why you are doing them. Don't tell her that she's got a weight problem, but DO tell her that as a family we are making more healthy choices so that we can be as healthy as possible. Even skinny people need to take care of themselves, so make this a family project to find as many ways as you can.

This is something that I believe will take patience and understanding. Learn all you can. Also, does your daughter have any other interests? Whatever it is that she needs from food could be found in another area that she has a passion for. Feed her other interests. To have a lasting effect, it has to be her idea. Teach her about the health problems caused by being overweight. Help her to be active whenever possible.

not trying to sound rude here....but whos the parent..an whos the child?? its up to you as parents to control your childs enviroment.she may have hi thyroid-i would bring her in get her fully checked out-if no real issues-change her eating habits also-have a chat with hubby-obeseity is not passed thru genes-its a choice.i see way to many obese children everyday...an this is on the parents..not the children.shes 8-her health is yours to worry about-dont put that kind of pressure on a child.

I haven't read all of the responses so forgive me if I am repeating something.
I think you should sit down and have a talk with your husband first, and see if he is on board with you in terms of eating healthy and teaching her how to be a healthy person. If he is, keep all of that junk food out of the house! Let her have a good nutritionally balanced meal, that is a normal portion size [read the labels- follow the serving sizes!] 3-4 times a day and allow her to snack on fruits and veggies [plain, without added sugar or dressing] and drink only water if she says she is still hungry. Cut out all juice, pop, etc. and stick with 1% or skim milk. Try to stay away from packaged foods because they are simply terrible. Buy foods that are higher in fiber, like whole grain breads and whole grain noodles. That will help her feel more full as well and help her stay healthy.
And, I would plan some family activities that involve exercise, and limit TV time to an hour a day. If you did that, weight would not be an issue for her.
I've been overweight since I was a toddler. I had my gall bladder removed when I was only 15, and now at 22 I am pre-diabetic and already have arthritis in my knees. I WISH my parents had done something back then. They could have. I actually resent them for not taking charge. I was just a kid, how was I supposed to know what to eat and how much, and why it is so important? Kids can't see how what they are doing now will affect them in the future. They don't know what the consequences will be, and even if they have some idea- they can't really relate that to themselves right now, while they are young.
"I don't know how to get her to care about her health." --she is not going to care at this age or even in her teens. Young people think they will live forever and nothing bad will ever happen to them. You have to do it for her until she is older. Over the years she will learn how to be healthy from watching you and your husband and picking up on your habits.
Growing up overweight and being teased [or just hearing little comments hear and there even if they were not about me], having low self-esteem, not quite fitting in [always knowing I was different from the other kids], feeling self-conscious about how I looked and not being able to find any "cool" clothes in my size, always being the slow one in gym class, even down to something like being out of breath and having sweaty hands from climbing the stairs in school...it is just a miserable experience. It would have been nice to have a normal childhood without the extra worries. And now the health problems that come along with it...well, all of it could have been prevented if my parents had done something 20 years ago and taught me healthy habits instead. You want to set her up to be the best person she can be. As her parent I'm sure you work hard to make sure she has everything she needs. You are teaching her how to live in the world and take care of herself in every other way [brushing teeth, getting sleep at night, taking a bath, doing chores, doing homework etc]. This is just another thing you are responsible for teaching her. She might not like it right now, but in 10 or 15 years she will be so much better off. If you don't make a change, in 10 or 15 years she could be in a similar situation as me health-wise [or maybe even worse- I am lucky that I don't have diabetes yet, and lucky to have low blood pressure], and she may resent you for your inaction. It's great that you are asking for help and wanting to make a change for her! Good luck

Age 8 is not the time to worry about her weight. She is growing and developing her own metabalism. If you continue to tell her she is fat it may backfire on you and cause more of an issue..such as bulimia or anerxia. This is the time where she should be outside playing and burning off the calories. Most kids at age 8 have a little bit of pot belly and they will grow out of it if you continue to give her healthy foods. I think that you need to see a nutrientist or counselor to help you give her the proper foods and how to present them to your daughter

The rules at our house were as follows:

For meals, you eat from what is provided at the meal (always healthy since my mom is diabetic and a nutritionist).

For snacks, you have whatever fruit or vegetables you want. You could always add that she can have one serving of fruit between meals and an unlimited amount of veges.

We always had the food pyramid or food groups posted on the fridge so we knew what we were looking for.

My dad was the one who brought the junk food home too, but my mom just emphasized the healthy stuff. Seems like we had our share of junk too, but it wasn't a main part of our diet.

Enlist your daughter to help pack her school lunches using the food groups as a guide. Help her learn to read the serving sizes on packages. Explain that this is a guide to helping your body understand how much to eat.

Enlist your daughter to help plan a healthy shopping list and to help shop for the groceries and to help plan and prepare meals. Show her photo recipes from magazines and point out what is healthy can also be tasty. She might even be interested in creating her own healthy cookbook of favorite recipes.

Exercise- encourage more movement. Joining a team sport or even doing something solo like shooting hoops or jogging will benefit her. Maybe a family walk after dinner (my family id that for years). You could include a scavenger hunt if the walk is too boring. Or make it a walk to a park/playground, or a friends' house for a short visit, so there is a nice destination for her. Swimming at open swim, biking, rollerblading, whatever she shows an interest in.

I really believe the key is something you are already doing- not focusing on her weight and building her self-esteem based on things other than looks. You can also change your wording to "staying healthy" rather than "not getting fat". The more you focus on "not eating more", the more she will want to eat. (It's why most "diets" don't work). Just focus on health and healthy eating, but in more subtle way.

Best luck to you and your daughter.

I posted a similar request last week about my 13 year old daughter. Some responses were very helpful with good information and some responses were a little on the "it's your fault" side. I strongly disagreed with those responses because you are obviously trying your best and if you weren't concerned, you wouldn't have asked about the issue. If you want more advice, please see the responses to my request. I think you are headed in the right direction. I just bought the book "Eat This, Not That" for kids (I saw it on Oprah). It tells you what kid friendly foods are healthier than others. Good luck!

Does your husband care that he is overweight? Does he care that your daughter is? Have you talked to him about your concerns? Can you have her doctor talk to him about the dangers overweight children will face?

Here is my opinion: I really think you need to take charge, set some rules, and enforce them. Explain to him you feel that your daughter's weight is out of hand and that you do not want her to have access to junk food. Explain that you are getting rid of all of it because it is poisoning your daughter. You can explain to your daughter about healthy food, and not healthy food, and then see if you can get her to help you throw it out, all of it, all at once. Make a game out of it, make it fun somehow. Tell your husband that if he brings in more junk, you are going to toss it upon sight. He is an adult and can make his own choices, but at this time, his choices are hurting your daughter's health. If he wants junk food, he needs to keep it out of the house and off the property because you don't want her finding it and sneaking it (like if he keeps it in the basement or garage). Be careful to make the conversation about your daughter's weight, and not his. It's a tough situation! Good Luck.

Hi J.,

I also am a wellness coach and am actually having an appointment with an 8 year old today - I will never help a child without the parent's involvement because it is an education process for the whole family. A lot of people have already responded most of this so I will try to keep this as concise as possible. It is important to focus on healthy eating instead of dieting. You do not want you daughter to develop the stigma that she needs to be "skinny". It is so much more important for children to understand what the foods we eat do to our bodies. Getting her involved in the shopping and the preparation of your meals and snacks will make her more apt to try new things and choose healthier options instead of picking sugary snacks. There are a couple of things that you could do as a family that may make everyone more aware and educated. You could check with your local community education and see if they offer a nutrition class. Sign up for a cooking class together - there are lots of places that offer low cost cooking classes - some of them geared to children. I offer a free service to people - it is called a wellness evaluation - during this appointment we talk health in general, do a body scan so we know where you are at today and I can make some recommendations to help you improve your health. I could do this for you in a family setting so your daughter is not feeling singled out. I also have an article on sugar that is pretty informative - education is the best way to help her learn how to make good choices for herself. I would be happy to e-mail you that article if you would like. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with.

2 out of 3 children from the ages of 6 - 19 are overweight in the United States - your family is not alone. It's a great time to make some change though!!

Good luck - D.

FROM: D. L

DATE: August 31, 2009

For both your husband and daughter I would like to recommend the Clean 9 package. You will get more information from the website www.foreverlivingproducts.com or www.foreverliving.com

Feel free to call me on email ____@____.com

I'd institute an "only seconds on fruits and veggies rule." This way you are not restricting food -- but options. You could also do this with the night-time snacking. Maybe have 2 set days a week where everyone has a "sweet" treat in the evening/after dinner --- but where you control the portions.

My 3 year old LOVES cucumbers so we always keep a few cut up in the fridge for snacking.

Also, at the end of the day until your husband and you get on the same page your children won't either.

Hi J.. Your questions has generated many responses. Some of them mixed. It is difficult. Weight issues in children aren't always overweight. Some are quite the opposite. Either way, how do we discuss this with our kids. It's tough. A study was recently published that stated by 2010, 20% of US kids will be obese. Not just overweight but obese. This is next year. I'm glad you are concerned. I think kids need to grow up with healthy lifestyles in order be healthy as adults. Look around. So many people know they need to "lose weight and exercise". We are told by our doctors. But how do we make these lifestyle changes. They aren't easy. I know it starts with the whole family. I teach adults a program. If the parents change their lifestyle it carries forward to the kids. We are also developing a program for kids. It has information for both the parents and kids. A big piece for the parents is how to discuss with kids. It should launch in February. It will come as a kit. Let me know if you would like me to follow up with you in February. In the meantime, stay involved. Good luck to you.

PLEASE don't make weight an issue for her!!! It will come on her own soon enough. If dad is overweight and she is too, my bet is it's genetic. I'm overweight and my DH is not, and my kids eat a ton of junk an are thin as rails. It's because of dad, not some great diet. You are being a good mom by being concerned about her health, but take care of it by supplying healthy food and limiting snacks. Don't cancel them out all together or they will just seem even more desirable. Instead set reasonable limits. Like, one snack after school and one after dinner. Also, try to do fun activities with her that get you both active, but don't seem like exercise. Don't mention the "f" word again, for many people (and she may be one of them) this is a lifelong battle and very hard to fight. It's better if she has a good body image and is confidant in herself. Even if you don't think she looks fabulous in her little outfits, you could compliment her hair or how she color coordinates one day for example. Good luck!

Is your family eating fresh organic food? You will fill fuller when you eat food that is grown in rich soil and that wasn't grown with pesticides and herbicides, etc. Many of our foods today are totally devoid of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need. Conventional doctors will say that's nonsense, but if you don't already give your daughter a good multivitamin/mineral supplement, please do. You'll be astonished at how much doing that one little thing will have on her health. And don't buy it at the supermarket or Target or drugstore; get it from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or a co-op in your area. They carry high quality, potent products.

My daughter was like that, too. Hungry all the time. Eat, eat, eat. Never full. Since we've switched over to eating whole organic food and she's been on some supplements, I never hear her say she's hungry unless she's in a growth spurt. She is big for her age--has her father's build--and that will never change; it's predicted she'll be between 5'10 and 6'2 when grown. Yeah. Her dad's 6'2 (I'm 5'3 and one of those who doesn't have to watch weight much). At nine years old she's 5 feet tall and about 127 pounds (we've managed to keep it there for the last year; I'm so proud of her).

She also has Sensory Processing Disorder, which is another issue with eating, and is severely allergic to mosquitoes, so outdoor exercising is a bit of a serious challenge in the summer (in the winter, I have asthma and it's hard for me to be outside). She starts dance lessons again this fall, and I'm going to look into mother/daughter yoga classes or something that we can do together.

I work at home; while I'm "at home," that doesn't mean I'm available 24/7 to just be with her. I have work to do that must be done, or I don't get paid. This is a source of contention in the household, as I'd like to see my husband take more of an interest in doing things with her (either that or do the household work, but I can't seem to get him to do that one either. Any suggestions? LOL).

I've had her enrolled in a Pediatric Wellness Fitness clinic, but I'm ambivalent on it. On one hand, it helps make her aware that she needs to exercise more and holds her accountable to do that exercise, and it makes her sit with a nutritionist and talk about what's good to eat, etc., etc., but when all's said and done, I can't force what she ultimately decides to put in her mouth or do for exercise. I supply the good, organic food; with her sensory issues, getting her to eat anything other than a very small group of "favorites" is NOT the easiest thing in the world. And our whole house eats organic, not just me and her (my husband and I have food allergies and intolerances). Getting her motivated to do anything physical is very, very challenging.

My daughter's build is such that she will never be small. She'll never be super thin. She has my husband's build and I suspect his metabolism; weight for her will always be something she'll have to watch. Her weight is in her tummy area; that has nothing to do with her chest, which is already 33 inches--and there's no fat padding there. She just has a big frame/big bones. Yes, she wears Misses clothes.

I try to stay positive and focus on good things rather than on how fat she is and how she has to lose weight. She's already aware of that; I don't have to remind her. She's not proud of her tummy, or the shape of her body and how hard it is to find clothes that fit but, unfortunately for her, her dad and uncle were "the exact same way" when they were her age. It's like some sort of family genetic curse or something. She also suffered horribly from earaches and all sorts of childhood illnesses and took a ton of antibiotics; I feel they, more than even her genetics, really screwed up her body and her metabolism.

So I feel your pain, because my daughter is the same way. Put her next to any of her cousins and there are no small bones on her frame. She seems to have gotten all the genes that are programmed for "BIG." BUT, big DOES NOT have to mean fat. I really, really believe that she will have a huge growth spurt soon where she'll shoot up four or five inches and then most of "the tummy" issue will be moot, because, like Gumby, she will have stretched. And if I keep watch over what she eats and her exercising, I believe we can come out on the good side in this race called "growing up." I have faith, and I try to instill my daughter with the same faith.

Good luck to you and your daughter.

I hear you! My 8 year old has been overweight for years now. She is always asking for food, and saying that she is hungry. It kills me, but many times I just tell her no, if I know she has had a good meal, and needs nothing else.
I had my third child 9 months ago, and got into a habit of buying junk food while pregnant. I noticed that when I eat bad in front of her, she also eats bad. You cannot control what food comes in your house if your husband shops, but maybe not eatting junk in front of her can help a bit.
Also, I MAKE her do a sport every year (and her siblings). This helps a lot with her weight. Although she remains overweight, she still slims down while she is doing her sport every year.
Good luck, it is very hard for me also.

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