27 answers

9 Year Old Daughter Gaining Weight

My beautiful 9 year old daughter seems to be adding on weight in her stomach area over the last 6-9 months. I am concerned about it becoming an issue. The problem I'm having with her is she is constantly asking for snacks. Constantly! If I say "have a healthy choice" which she knows is fruit, cheese, or yogurt, she will keep after me for ice cream, popsicles or candy. I typically allow one "sweet treat" a day, but for example last night I let her have a bowl of ice cream at my Mom's. Then she went to my mother's neighbor's house for a visit (I had left for the night as she was having a sleepover with my mother) and the neighbor gave her an ice cream sandwich, not realizing she had already had a bowl of ice cream. She knew she shouldn't have it and she ate it anyway. She and my son are around different family members all the time, and everyone thinks it is there job to give them cookies or ice cream or whatever. Then I am left to be the bad guy at home, and I feel I am just constantly monitoring her intake. When I try to monitor things in front of family, I always get guilt from them saying "if you deny her, she will just eat it all the time when she gets older". I am really not sure how to handle this, but I know I will feel responsible and it will really bother me if she continues to gain weight. She is an active kid, so I'm not concerned about that part - she is always playing outside, we go walking and swimming often, etc. Childhood obesity is just such a problem these days so I don't know if her weight gain is normal for a girl of her age or not. Help!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi everyone! Thank you for all of the opinions and advice. It never occurred to me that this could be the onset of puberty (yikes!) so I am going to research that some more. Her weight is really concentrated in her belly area so that might be part of it. It is just really hard to always be so diligent and trying to keep track of everything, but I am going to stick with it as best I can. Now that she is getting older I am trying to get her to think about her choices, like she should know enough to make the right choice to not have ice cream right after she has already had ice cream, just because someone offers it to her. I am also trying the tip to tell her to drink some water if she feels hungry, right after she has already had something to eat. She had a snack this morning, and 20 minutes later she was like "I'm still hungry" so I told her to drink some water and that would help fill her up. Thanks - keep the good tips coming!!

More Answers

it's puberty.. she's filling out which girls do first before their bodies decide where the hips and waist should go! just keep offering her healthy and don't dwell on the fat

1 mom found this helpful

I feel your pain, I have a child with a disability that coincides with weight gain if I am not careful. I will tell you my opinion (and only my opinion), but has worked so far (and she is 11). Do not make food an issue! (or it will be worse than you can imagine). Don't misunderstand it CAN be an issue with you, but if you make it one with her, she will do things like secretly eat, hide food, lie. I started by not buying those things for my house. Yes the first couple of weeks was horrible and very expensive because you have to have healthy snacks for them and they are much more expensive. However, now the ice cream (really frozen yogurt and/or light version) does not get eaten in one sitting, potato chips are replaced with pretzels and vegetable sticks. Oh and yes, I do not buy anything with artificial sweetner. It is NASTY stuff whose chemical needs to be filtered through your liver...no thanks. I even replaced soda with flavored seltzer water (hard to find without splenda and related crap,but can be done). Stay away from peanut butter! I have peanuts out (as well as different types of nuts if there are no allergies) for a great source of protein and the crunch. I found that if my child eats throughout the day and not just 3 meals, she is fuller and thus no ganing of the weight. Ice cream even every other day after dinner will not add a huge amount of weight if she is keeping her matabolism up by feuling it all day. They even have skinny cow ice cream sandwiches that are great tasting and 1/3 of the calories and fat. My child's BMI is now at 20 and she looks fabulous. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

I think it's important to teach our kids how to eat healthy and the value of eating healthy. That said, I was the 9-11 yr old that got really chunky around the middle. As soon as puberty hit that weight redistributed itself, if you know what I mean. I think it's normal for some girls to put on weight right before puberty.

1 mom found this helpful

I too have noticed this with my 8 year old daughter. Your story mimicks mine greatly. I have had to get over the family members also doing the same and remember that I am trying to do the best for "my" family. We keep encouraging the good snacks and I never forbid anything due to the fact that I have a friend who has "forbid" certain foods and I see her daughter at others' houses and she can't get enough of these forbidden snacks. Slowly, and I mean slowly, she has come around on many things to eat adding more and more healthy choices.

1 mom found this helpful

Woah, we've got this kid going from intense therapy for emotional eating, to having an entire family "police" what she puts in her mouth. Ouch, my head hurts. She's 9. Her body is going to fluctuate...until she dies...anyone heard of PMS. Our bodies fluctuate contstantly. You are the mother, your responsibility is to have good food on hand~in your home, and to model a right relationship with food. That's good for both of you! Please, please, please don't tell your entire family that you are worried about her weight and ask for their "help" keeping her on track. What could be worse then to focus the attention of an entire clan on an nine year old's perfectly normal belly. She is still baby. It's called baby fat for a reason. Stop making this an issue. Have good food on hand. Have peaceful mealtimes. Let her be. I absolutely know that you love this child deeply and that her best interest is all that concerns you. TRUST her. Teach her and trust her to make the right choices. She will rise to the bar you set.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D. - You may not like this answer, because it is really hard to do... I know, because I had to do it for other reasons.

If you have tried to ask your family to behave within the boundaries you set for your family and your child, and they don't... Then you need to restrict their time with your child to when you can be there to observe.

And if they continue to test your boundaries, then you must stop associating with them until they can figure out that it is your job to raise and protect your child and they have no right to undermine you.

Otherwise, stop shopping the inside aisles... Do the majority of your shopping around the edges (all the fresh stuff is around the outside, all the processed stuff in the middle.)

DO NOT buy anything with high fructose corn syrup - start reading labels.

Don't keep the stuff in your house. My daughter loves weight watchers ice cream! Look for the "healthier" stuff and just don't buy the other stuff.

Yes, yes, what about the other people in the family?? Hey! They need to get healthier too!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,
I can understand your concern as you do not want to instill poor eating habits so early. I myself am very strict with my children's intake and I let my family know it as well. They have to respect the way I raise my kids. I am not one for tons of junk food either. My kids do get it but in moderation.

Now is the time that she has to learn that she can have the junk food but MODERATION is the key. You have to let your family know that they NEED to respect your views and respect the way you raise your kids.

I went through a period where all they would eat was junk,, so,, I just din't buy it anymore :)

As far as your relatives,, simply tell them * if you can't respect the fact that I do not want her having all this junk food, then she can't have sleep overs. I take this very seriously and by letting her eat what ever she wants when she is here, is teaching her that I am wrong and you are right making it very difficult for ME to manage my own child* or something to that effect.

I've let my mom have on accassions where she blatantly went behind my back with my kids. These are MY kids and I will raise them MY way and if the relatives can't /won't abide by MY rules with MY children, guess what,, they'll visit my kids in MY home so I can supervise. Sounds harsh and controlling, but like you said,, you don't want this becoming an uncontrollable problem,, so put your foot down.

Also keep in mind that she will go through periods of gaining a bit of weight. This is her body's way of preparing for a growth spurt. ALL of my 4 kids did this.
I wouldn't worry too too much about a little weight,, just keep her eating habits in check and make sure she gets out of the house , runs and plays for proper exercise.

The rule I have with my kids,, ALL of your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs to be eaten befor any kind of junk food snack.
They don't need snacks all day. If they are that hungry,, sit down and eat a good meal,, not junk :)

P. House manager :)

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! I just read the really diverse array of comments. I agree with the women who think it is the onset of puberty. It happened to me too. It is in your control to let it ride and keep your daughter active with a good self esteem. You are mom. You can't control other people only your reaction. It sounds like she is very lucky to have a lot of people in her life that love her very much. She will be just fine.

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