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Chubby 9-Year Old

How can I help my overweight 9 year old daughter lose weight and still feel good about her body? She's already talking about how she doesn't look good in clothes, feels uncomfortable, etc. And I fear I'm making her feel guilty or shameful because I know my "helpful" comments (like: eat less, choose healthy things, are you really hungry) are not helping.

What can I do next?

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She is 9, she may not loose weight, maybe just grow taller and maintain. You have to change the whole family's eating habits and what kind of food is in the house. You can't just restrict one child. Is she is sports/activities? Anything that will increase her activity level and self-esteem will help get her mind active and keep her from absent eating.
A quick story, young girl about 5, very chubby. Mom terribly worried about her and trying to make her diet. Dad stated taking her on bike rides and signed her up for basketball at the park. (she was not tall, he did not play,just on of her friends was doing it, so she was up for it) I think she was about 9 by that time, still struggling with her weight. I saw hew 2 weeks ago, she is 13, 6ft tall, legs up to there, thin, gorgeous. And she is in 8th grade and college scouts are coming to her park district games!
The point is help you daughter pick something that she can re-direct her attention, and her self worth is very fragile right now so be careful.
Good luck to both of you.

I have to agree with the posters who have said the family has to eat healthier as a whole. If the house is stocked with whole foods - lots of fruit, veggies and wholesome snacks then she can eat all she wants. It has to be a family thing. While the family is changing their bad habits, help her find things she is good at - if that's a sport even better. Maybe try tennis lessons, they should be starting this time of year. Good luck.

Can you get her involved in an exercise program, walk with her, kick around a soccer ball with her play jump rope and feed her only healthy items. Rid the house of processed devitaminized foods. Stock up on raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, remind her that as she is exercising that muscle weighs more than fat so the number on the scale is not always a true test of health.

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Is she recently becoming chubby, or has she slowly grown that way over a long time? I ask, only because when pre-teens start to get ready for puberty and growth spurts they tend to chub out a little bit. And at 9 yrs old she may be a little closer to that pre-pubescent age than you'd probably think.

If it is not a recent development, or you just want to help her anyway because she is unhappy about it, then yeah.. .lay off the comments. Instead... DO something about it. Literally. Being active outside the house leaves less time for snacking and lounging. Take along healthy snacks, and keep healthy snacks readily available in the fridge for her at home. Start eliminating most of the junky stuff in your pantry. You won't need to say anything. She'll eat what you provide, or she won't eat... she's 9. That sounds mean.. but it's just reality. I don't mean you can't buy ice-cream and serve up a scoop for dessert after dinner, but think about what you bring into the house. YOU are in charge of that.
Rather than ask her if she "is really hungry", instead suggest she "have a glass of ice-water... I'll get you a snack in a minute." (I read somewhere that 90% of the time we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty instead but don't realize it.) Then after about 5 minutes or so... ask her if she still needs a snack. Yes? Then slice up an apple and give her some peanut butter to dip into it. Or make her some air popped popcorn. Or a handful of peanuts (yes, fats, but they are good fats and the protein and fats will be satiating).

If you can get her outside, you can eliminate her hunger without trying too hard. Just be sure when you eat meals, that you provide plenty of protein at each meal. Carb laden foods without protein actually make you feel hungry a short while later, after the sugar load dips. Protein stays with you and you don't get those dips in blood sugar that trigger hunger. When my kids eat adequate protein at their 3 squares a day, they can play outside the whole day and only come inside for bathroom breaks and cold drinks (usually water). They almost NEVER interrupt their play to come get a snack. Either they aren't hungry enough, or they are too busy/distracted with their play to notice or think about hunger. So keep her busy.

Go to the zoo and walk around the ENTIRE place; spend an afternoon at a park; walk your dog in a new neighborhood; ask her to help you pull weeds or clean up something in the yard; let her have a friend over and plant a mini-garden with them or give them a box of sidewalk chalk. DOING takes your mind away from mindless eating... AND gets you moving and burning excess calories!

It's okay for her to have a handful of "junky" chips with her turkey sandwich made with light bread and fresh lettuce, with a side of olives or a piece of fruit. A little bit of "junky" will trick her mind into not noticing being "deprived". Just be careful that the REST is health conscious choices. Remember, she is 9. You don't need to tell her to choose healthy, YOU need to do the healthy choosing and if necessary explain to her (as you serve it maybe) that her body needs some good fuel for her next growth spurt. (the end... no lectures on anything). She is 9, long winded conversations about health/weight or constantly talking about it, will only make her more focused on her shortcomings and make her feel bad about herself. Just model good choices, serve her good choices, and keep her active. The rest should take care of itself.

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Though of course your comments are done out of love, I would replace every word you are tempted to utter with an action. Don't tell her to not to eat junk food, just stop bringing it into the house. Don't tell her to slow down at dinner, do it yourself...Spend as much time talking as eating. Don't ask her if she is interested in sports...Take her to the pool. Don't tell her to go outside and play. Go take a long walk together and catch up on your day. Heck -- Your entire family will benefit.

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Do you buy the groceries? do you have custody of her 7 dyas a week?? if so you are in charge of what she has to eat.

do you have chips and cookies in your house? if you do .. stop buying them..

buy more fruits and veggies.. healthy snacks.. I would do things gradually - kids are not supposed to lose much weight.. but to grow into their weight.. gradually get taller so theier weight is proprotional.

can you sign her up for a sport?/ soccer, dance.. it doesnt matter what ist iss... just something to get her moving.. take a walk with her after dinner.. ride bikes..

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First off "are you really hungry" "chubby" "choose healthy things to eat": those don't sound very helpful to me and how is a 9 year old suppose to know what is healthy. Eating healthy needs to be a family effort. If you have healthy eating habits in your home, eventually she will make healthy eating choices on her own. That goes for exercising too. She is 9 years old, which is that awkward stage between being a child and teenager.

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Exercise! Try getting her involved in some physical activities like dance, swimming, soccer, softball, etc. Go for walks and/or bike rides together. Get active! That is one of the most important things to teach her as part of being healthy, not just eeating right. If you are concerned about what and how much she is eating, take a look at what is in your pantry and fridge. Try to eliminate unhealthy snacs and get "treats" only every once in a while. Lastly, model, model, model. She will do what you do and will pick up on your feelings. Model healthy eating and exercise. Make it interesting and fun. Let her choose what activities she wants to do and let her help make healthy snacks and meals.

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Hi K.,

Well I think I might start with having more fruits and veggies around. I would change what I buy for the home. Things like soda, chips, fast food, butter, white breads, buttered popcorn are bad choices but hard to resist if they are in the home. Try buying single bottled water, carrot sticks, no fast food (only once in a while) I use "real fruit" on dry toast instead of butter, whole wheat bread two slices a day, no buttered pop corn. lots of fresh fruit handy, sliced cucumber, sliced tomatoes are so yummy!
She is only nine.....I bet she would love to take walks with you. Buy two tennis rackets and play with her. Join soccer, basketball........take her swimming at a gym if you can. Get Active with her and she will love it. Make TV time only one hour per day. Stick to it and your lovely daughter with feel so much better about her self without you having to say one word except that mom is making better choices for all of us! Good luck!

Just a tip.......It takes twenty minutes for our bellies to tell our minds that our bellies are full. So when you have a serving of food it should be enough. If not have a nice cold glass of water! : )

as far as eating goes I found one study method to be amazingly successful - put an age appropriate serving on their plate (for that age an ipod worth of meat, a cucake liner worth of pasta or rice, a lightbulb size worth of veggies/fruits, two lipsticks worth of cheese, a champagne flute worth of juice/milk, I have a visual guide that I just took that off of. You can go to mypyramid.org and get sizes and use actual measuring cups till you learn what the real serving size looks like.) After they finish that food, set the timer for 20 minutes. Only after 20 minutes can they have seconds. The reason for that is that it teaches the kids to use their hunger cues instead of taste cues. Kids who followed this lost weight without being hungry and more importantly learned the amount of food that was appropriate and had better life long eating habits after the control part of the study was done.

Along with eating right, you need to increase her activity level. Walks, bike rides, roller blading, playing at playgrounds - all that will be fun ways for her to get active. Limit screen time even on bad days. If she's a reader you may have to limit that too.

Can you get her involved in an exercise program, walk with her, kick around a soccer ball with her play jump rope and feed her only healthy items. Rid the house of processed devitaminized foods. Stock up on raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, remind her that as she is exercising that muscle weighs more than fat so the number on the scale is not always a true test of health.

Hi,
I work with overweight children from the fitness, self-esteem, and nutrition level. A couple of things that have helped some kids, which you know your daughter's personality the best, add a family challenge of the day that would consist of exercise, go to smaller plates and don't put serving bowls/plates on the table for seconds except for veggies. Have her help cook food to be more adventurous if that is an issue. As parents we have to be aware of how we are preparing food if we are adding too much extra "bad stuff". We need to set the examples, if we find exercise fun and eating healthy enjoyable our kids are more likely to follow the lead. I hope this helps these are again general ideas.
L.

Remind her that everyone's body is different and how even you (I assume) feel better in certain styles of clothes. Try to encourage her if she is good at a certain sport to keep doing it. If she doesn't do any exercise, try to go for walks with her in interesting places...ie, hikes up hills and look for objects, etc. Also, doing Wii Fit is a good activity for kids. As far as eating, also talk to her about eating slower...lots of kids eat too fast and dont realize they are full.

One thing we did with my step-daugther was eliminate juice from her diet. We gave her milk in the morning or at lunch and water and sugar free kool-aide later in the day. She got the nutrients she needed from fresh fruits and the extra sugar in juices took a large amount of calories out of her diet. we also made the healthier lifestyle a gradual thing so that she wasn't as worried about being on a "diet". She moved in w/us when she turned 7 years old and we gradually have been working on healthy choices, introducing new activities to her and she has developed friendships with other kids on sports teams. we became more active as a family and over 5 years she has developed into a very healthy and active girl. The important thing is to teach about moderation, your family can enjoy a variety of foods as long as it is in moderation and there is no need to completely deprive yourselves of sweets and fats, just make better choices and encourage activity!

I have to agree with the posters who have said the family has to eat healthier as a whole. If the house is stocked with whole foods - lots of fruit, veggies and wholesome snacks then she can eat all she wants. It has to be a family thing. While the family is changing their bad habits, help her find things she is good at - if that's a sport even better. Maybe try tennis lessons, they should be starting this time of year. Good luck.

Try only having healthy choices available. Stop buying the chips and cookies. The entire family will benefit from eating healthier and she won't feel like she is the only one that has to change. Then maybe every evening you and your daughter can go for a walk.

She is 9, she may not loose weight, maybe just grow taller and maintain. You have to change the whole family's eating habits and what kind of food is in the house. You can't just restrict one child. Is she is sports/activities? Anything that will increase her activity level and self-esteem will help get her mind active and keep her from absent eating.
A quick story, young girl about 5, very chubby. Mom terribly worried about her and trying to make her diet. Dad stated taking her on bike rides and signed her up for basketball at the park. (she was not tall, he did not play,just on of her friends was doing it, so she was up for it) I think she was about 9 by that time, still struggling with her weight. I saw hew 2 weeks ago, she is 13, 6ft tall, legs up to there, thin, gorgeous. And she is in 8th grade and college scouts are coming to her park district games!
The point is help you daughter pick something that she can re-direct her attention, and her self worth is very fragile right now so be careful.
Good luck to both of you.

I was an overweight child, so take it from me. Don't nag her. The best way to change her habits is to change your OWN habits. Why should she have to eat less or healthier than the rest of her family? You are the mother, she the child. It is totally up to you what goes into her mouth at this point, so instill healthy habits in her now so that she doesn't struggle when you have less control over her choices.

Hi K. S. Try enrolling her in a excerise class for kids or any activity were children are getting plenty of physical activity. Cut back on her sweets and food with high fat content. And no eating before bedtime unless it's something light like fruit.

As the parent you have alot of ways to help her lose weight and become healthy. I think the most important thing is to keep it focused on being healthy. If that is the objective, she will become the size that is best for her.
When grocery shopping and planning meals, keeping food closes to their natural state is best. If serving potatoes, do fresh ones, not boxed au gratin or french fries. If you need to get a serving of fruit in, an apple or some strawberries is a better route than even a fruit cup, as they are usually in heavy sugary syrup. Yes, this is all more time consuming, and perhaps a tad more costly, but worth it. You can create your own fruit cups, and smoothies perhaps by taking one night a week to prepare for the whole week. By cutting out as much processed "white" (flour or sugary) items is a great subtle way to change. Bread now is made as white bread made with whole grains, and is healthier than the basic "wheat bread" is. If you bake, you can change 1 cup of flour into a healthier version by doing 1/3 c. of each: white flour, wheat flour and wheat germ.
The other big thing to do is get active! Do this as a family so she doesn't feel singled out. Ride bikes to the park instead of driving, or do nightly "catching" up walks with her for a little one on one times. Even getting outside to play tag or kicking a ball around is good.
It's the perfect time of year, since the good weather is coming, and all those great fruits and veggies are going to start showing up! Plus grilling all those great lean meats is super healthy and yummy as well!
Good luck!

the first line of attack on this is to just not buy anything that will sabotage her having a healthy eating plan. So don't ask her what she wants to eat. Go and buy only healthy stuff. fruits , vegetables and if you need something salty get pretzels. No soda. get some fruit punch or fruit juice and if you want it fizzy combine it with some seltzer water. get out and do some activities where your all moving around. no more lumping on the couch lol. its getting to be warmer and we are trying to get out more and do "stuff" walk, ride bikes, fly kites, go to the park etc... swim when its warmer. skate, jump rope. If she sees you moving and you invite her she will love it. have her help you make menus of things. and make it fun. you don't have to say hey were on a diet. instead say "hey the fresh fruits and veggies are in season now what can we make?" my kids always loved helping plan the weeks food

What does she do for activity? We got rid of cable and gave our kids vouchers for video, computer, dsi and when they are gone they are gone. If it's nice out I go out and play with them, go for long bikerides with them. We grocery shop together with a list and a menu. Only good choices are in the fridge and pantry. We don't talk about weight, we prepare foods together. They want our attention, please don't say you don't have time as I work, volunteer and have 3 kids and take care of my Mom. Shower her with love,positive attention and have lots of talks that involve feelings and not her weight. I was a fat kid, I didn't need to be told I was fat, I needed a parent to show me they cared enough more than to say go play. Let a little dust collect, let a floor go unvacuumed and go and be active together. Encourage her to not be wasteful but not to be a member of the clean plate club.

She can make healthy choices when she only has healthy food to choose from. So ditch all junk food, cut up some of her favorite fruit or veggies. Celery with peanut butter or reduced fat cream cheese, carrot sticks, broccoli with ranch. Make exercise a family event. Either a walk, bike ride, go to the park... Have you talked to the doctor about it? Are there other symptoms? I would tell her that all people are different sizes in height and weight. Good luck.

Try taking her to the park more often, swimming pool, start playing catch with her (even some girls like to throw a baseball around), or get her into karate, gymnastics, rollerblading...you get the idea. Fun physical activities that she won't even notice she's exercising.

You can start cooking things differently if you don't already; use low sodium or sodium free spices and dishes, light juices (less sugar), change ground beef to ground turkey (less fat), less soda if your family drinks a lot of soda. My family eats a lot of fish, turkey, and chicken (baked or grilled) and uses very little salt, it is healthier and allows a body to lose weight. If none of that helps, a visit to her doctor may help too.

But of course, the most important is making sure she remembers that she is loved no matter what she looks like. Good luck to you and her.

As the parent you are responsible for preparing meals. As I have been thru the same problem your daughter is experiencing, my suggestion would be to evaluate your daughter's eating habits. See exactly what she consumes on a daily basis, and maybe eliminate some of the not-so-healthy things from her diet. Instead of candy give her fruit, instead of sugary drinks such as pop offer her 100% fruit juice, but lots of water. Try lots of veggies, dark green salads, and smaller meat portions. As a teen my meals were served on a small child's plate to control the serving portions, and as an adult I still use the same concept, which works well for me. Don't forget to get your daughter involved in some type of physical activities, exercise is very important, take walks with her if you can, start with 8 blocks. Try speed-walking (set a reasonable pace), good thing about walking you only need comfortable shoes! Let her do one weigh-in once a month, and keep a chart of her progress. Encourage, encourage, encourage her, that's the best motivation you can give her, she's still a child so you don't want to sound negative. I hope these suggestions are some use to you, and I wish you and your daughter lot's of luck!!

She is probably hearing like I did when I went to school. other students calling her fatty and other names. I think the thing that helped me most was the fact that my mother encouraged me with things I was good at, like art, music and other things. Do as you tell her, if you tell someone to eat healthy while you have your hand in a bag of chips, it is going to go nowhere.

Walk, with her. In every sense of the word.

Make sure you are eating healthy as a family, not focused on what she alone is eating. Get rid of the junk food... soda, chips, candy. Have fruit, veges and dip available to snack on.

Find a physical activity that she would enjoy. Dance, gymnastics, soccer, karate, tennis, swimming... Don't focus on exercising, just be sure to be doing fun activities that get her moving. Go bike riding, swimming, kick a ball around in the backyard, go on hikes. Be sure you get out every day and do something active.

Stop making comments about her weight and how much she is eating. If you as a family are active and eating healthy that should naturally help her lose weight and become more fit without being focused on her weight.

It's not called "puppy fat" for nothing ... unless your child is clinically obese (a diagnosis a dr can make for you) reassure her that she's beautiful and is just going through a growing phase - like the caterpillar before she becomes a butterfly. Whatever you do, DO NOT make an issue about food or try to make her eat things that are different from what the rest of the family is eating. Kids are cruel, but as moms we're there to remind them that the ones who are teasing her have their own problems. Boost her self-esteem as much as you can by complimenting other features of hers - eg. beautiful shiny hair or shiny eyes etc. Just make sure it's genuine and heartfelt ... kids will spot insincere flattery a mile away and then won't trust you! If she IS obese - follow the doctor or nutrionist's advice.

Hi K. - a quick few comments that we've done (my daughter is 5).

My daughter gets 1 dessert a day. Dessert means: sugary cereal (more than 3 grams of sugar per serving), a class of juice, or what we'd typically think of dessert (piece of candy, etc). The idea behind this is to not completely restrict her from it, and to help her make choices when she's not with us. She knows if she's had her dessert for the day. [I've also seen dessert be described as "if you feel guilty about eating it, it's dessert!]

Milk - my daughter gets 1 glass a day - the doctor said that's all she needs. After that, it's water (we don't have pop or juice in the house). If she has cereal, that's her milk for the day. We've switched to organic milk. With the price, it makes all of us conscious about using it sparingly =)

The only food left out on the counter is fruit. We used to leave boxes of crackers, pretzels, ect out. Just too tempting.

The biggest thing is to stop eating when she's full - we're still mastering that one. She's still hungry, asks for 2nds, then doesn't eat it (which is better than what I typically do and that is clean my plate).

I've explained these changes about we're being healthy. There is a scale in our bathroom, and she'll stand on it (under her own direction). She wants to see her weight keep increasing, and I've commented that our goal is for her to maintain her weight while she gets taller so she can be healthier.

I changed my eating habits first - she sees what I eat and what I pack for lunches. She knows I rarely have dessert on any day, and she sees me eating salad and one or 2 pieces of pizza on pizza night.

We do all our own cooking and rarely go out to eat - nearly everything we eat is made from scratch.

She's also taking rhythmic gymnastics - this has increased her core body strength and is increasing her self confidence.

We've been doing all this for 8 months, and her weight has maintained and has not gained, even though she's gotten taller.

Hope this helps.

Keep her busy. Help her find a physical activity that she enjoys. The most obvious is sports, but there are other things she can do too. Let her plant a vegetable garden and take care of it. She would get some exercise tending to the garden, and she may be more likely to eat the vegetables if she's taken care of them and watch them grow.

Only bring healthy foods into your house. If there is no junk in the house, she can't eat it. If she's hungry and there's only fruit in the house, she'll eat the fruit.

You join in with her. Support your daughter with her efforts. We come on Mamapedia because parenting is tough and it makes us feel like we're not alone. Exercising and eating right is a lot easier if you have someone to do it with. Go for walks with her and help her with her garden. Get her in the kitchen with you and teach her how to cook healthy meals. This even works with my 4 and 6 year olds. They will eat their food better if they've had a part in preparing it.

Just be there for her and support her. Don't let her stress about it, but let her know that you are proud of her for wanting to get healthy. Best of luck!

YOU can help by NOT purchasing the unhealthy foods that probably have gotten her to being overweight.......STOP looking at what she does or does not do she IS A CHILD .........please start by LOOKING IN THE MIRROR!!!! Who buys and prepares the food? Who decides whether she eats lunch @ school or takes a HEALTHY lunch? Who is the one who probably has encouraged her to "clean her plate" her entire life???? Change yourself and what YOU do and the weight loss for her will become a non-issue, for if YOU DO NOT buy or prepare unhealthy options.........the rest is easy to figure out

I was just looking at a box of old pictures of my kids and nieces and nephews before reading this post. I had to laugh because my now-tall-perfectly-proportioned niece was a very very chubby 10-year-old! I hardly even remembered her being that way, but the pictures brought back memories. She definitely grew out of it, but she did get active in sports in junior high and high school. My 12-year-old is the same way -- a bit chubby. But her entire birth family is a bit on the heavier side and her birth mom went through a chubby stage and now isn't! So I think getting active in something would help. I struggle with it too as we haven't had weight issues at my house until now (I'm 47 and really noticing my metabolism slowing down -- and my daughter's weight) and I think we are going to try to walk a lot this spring and summer and keep it up in the future. Walking is great exercise. Also, we really don't drink pop anymore which I think makes a difference. Lots of empty calories in pop. I'll be interested to see other posts on this. I could use some tips.

Please stop making the comments you think are bothering your daughter. Some kids can take it, and others will learn to hide what they're eating to avoid it. You don't want a child who eats alone in their bedroom, because that leads to very unhealthy living.

At 9 years old, your child eats what is available to her. She doesn't have a way to make money to buy her own snacks, and so she can only access what you give her. So the first step is to make sure that your daughter is eating the right foods (if you can't keep chips out of her hands, then keep them out of your house), and give appropriate portion-sizes to her so that she doesn't overeat. You don't need to make comments about what your daughter is eating if everyone in your family eats well and appropriate portion-sizes. I had a friend who used to tell me that if it's a craving, you need a cookie. If it's hunger, you'll eat a salad if that's what's available. If you are not sure how to plan healthy meals with the correct portions, you might need to talk to someone like a nutritionist, but it's worth it.

The second step is to make sure your daughter is getting exercise. Of course, with a kid her age, it isn't the best idea to try to get her to "work out." Instead, plan family activities that require movement. Especially now that summer is coming, go on family bike rides, take a nightly walk after dinner, go on hikes or play basketball together. Once again, if you do it as a family, comments about your daughter's weight are completely unnecessary, as is her guilt.

Good luck.

Hey K.,

I'd definitely stop with anything verbal except positive encouragement. Comments, however well intended, have a way of searing themselves into a woman's mind.

I still, to this day, believe that I have a big head because my mother commented several time when I was younger on what type of haircut would look best on me. I had a bob haricut with babydoll bangs for years. Turns out I look totally normal. What'd'ya know!

You want her to remember your voice saying good things to her... not repeating things like "Maybe if you just ate a little less..." or "Try to eat healthier..." .....her feminine mind will turn those well intended comments into mean memories.

I agree with LifeIsBeautiful - lead by example!

Buy healthy groceries. Bike ride with her. Take walks with her. Become active with her. Don't say *anything* about why. You just want to spend some time with her. She doesn't need to hear about why. You're a woman, you know how sensitive the feminine heart is.

It'll pass. Lots of kids that age get a little heftier as their bodies prepare for adulthood. She'll be alright as long as you teach her healthy eating habits, so in case she does turn out to be more heavy set, she's a healthy heavy set and not an unhealthy heavy set. Curves are beautiful, but unhealthy curves are dangerous!

Best of luck!

I think your suggestions are too broad or general for her to be able to implement by herself. She's only 9. Small lifestyle changes will help her lose the extra weight. No soda, less sugar overall is a good place to start. Walk with her after dinner. Try doing more things outdoors together (hike, ride bikes, go to the park and throw a frisbee or kick a soccer ball) instead of watching tv. She just needs to rev up her metabolism and once that happens, she will be able to maintain a healthy weight. Instill these good habits in her now...if she's already self-conscious about her weight, it's not going to get any easier as she gets closer to being a pre-teen.

And most importantly, encourage her, try not to make her self-image worse. Make sure she knows you think she's beautiful no matter what size she is. But that you want to help her to make her body healthier since that's what SHE wants also.

Hi K.,

It's really hard for an adult to control their eating habits and their activity so imagine what a nine year old is going through. An absorbable multivitamin will help her body get the nutrition it needs, then the cravings and habits might slow down. The healthier we are, the easier it is to control ourselves.

Most vitamins on the market do more damage than good. Avoid generic ones at Walmart, etc and avoid the One-a-Day and Centrum type. GNC is considered drug store grade as well. Make sure they are pharmaceutical grade and ask the store how the nutrition is delivered. If they don't know, it's probably not a good one. Our family takes one that is guaranteed to absorb and we can feel it.

I was a chubby kid from medication I was on and it is miserable not being able to control yourself. Remind her of the great kid she is on the inside and tell her you'll be glad to help her with this. My 14 year old is going to the gym with me now. I asked her to do it for me to keep me company. It's helping her too and she enjoys our time together....

Hope I helped!

M.

i know both of my neices got a little chubbier around that age, right before puberty. My stepmom made comments to both of them, and if she says anything of the sort to my girls when they get to that age, I will be LIVID!!!

has she always been overweight, or is this new? if it's new, i honestly would wait and see if she leans out.
if this has been an on-going problem, then maybe I'd try to talk to her about nutrition, or getting active with a sport. Good luck!!!!!!!!

K., go to www.drsearslean.com and check to see if you have a LEAN coach in your area. It is a wonderful program about helping families make better choices in their lives and as Dr. Sears says it's not always about how we look but how we feel. And/or message me privately and I'll see if I can help from here.

In good health,

There are a couple things you can do.
1. Tell her you are going to exercise together so you can spend more together time and you think it will be fun, and you can get healthy together, don't put it all on her that will diminish her self esteem very quickly. With summer coming up there are alot of outdoor activities you can do together go for walks, ride bikes, go to the park, zoo, swimming is great, anything to be active.
2. Tell her you both are going to start eating healthier together also let her help you prepare healthy snacks or meals and try to make it fun. Fun is key for both of these ideas with kids if they aren't enjoying it they won't want to do it.

H. P. Washington

There are subtle was to go about it. First modify her diet. Limit soda and in between meal snacks unless they are healthy. Exercise with her: take walks after meals. Sign up for swimming classes or do WII sports fitness. The WII is fun to do and doesnt feel like exercise, but do it with her too. Have her checked for thyroid or other health issues too. At this age hormones are kicking in. Minimize too much "down time" in front of the tv. Hopefully these issues will help. Dont make too much of a fuss over food . This causes issues in the future where they will hide what they eat.

Hope this helps.
G.

Lead by example. It's not fair if you kindly tell her to eat less when you eat more or suggest different food but you still eat the other food. I'm not saying you do these, just an example. Get out of the house and do as much active activities as you can. It's a lot more encouraging to her if you do it with her. Is she interested in sports at all or dancing? There are plenty of things available to her that will keep her active. Shame on the media for effecting such young girls to look like the cover of Cosmo and feel less worthy of a person if they don't. It breaks my heart, but all you can do is positively encourage her and tell her how beautiful she is. She's still very young and part of it is baby fat.
Best Wishes

When I was 9 I started gaining weight and was a bit chubby too. It got better as I hit puberty in the next couple of years and helped everything lean out. I also played softball to help with the problem. If she gets involved more in anything (clubs, sports...just distractions) it will help her concentrate on those instead of food and weight issues..

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