Daughter Is Getting Chunky!

Updated on February 25, 2008
R.A. asks from Boise, ID
14 answers

I've always let my kids figure out when they are full, not trying to force them to eat when they say they are full, but my oldest daughter just eats and eats and eats. Her pattern used to be eating like a little glutton and then suddenly shooting through a growth spurt (she's a tall girl for her age).

She's been eating a lot lately- enough that I'm starting to get concerned. I've limited her afternoon snack to fresh fruit only and even then she wants more food. She'll ask me when her next snack is after eating a meal! She asks for seconds during dinner, every dinner. I've noticed that she's not growing taller; she is growing wider. She's 79 lbs and 4' 2" tall. She's growing out of her pants so fast (waist wise, not length) that its hard to keep up. She's wearing "husky 10" size clothing and I already have to buy her more clothes! I'm wondering at what is normal for a 7 year old to be eating and at what point should I start doing something about her weight?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you so much for your supportive replies! I'm so glad there is a place to ask questions without being criticized.
I'll keep going with the fresh fruit and add in some veggies for her snack. I'm relived to know other kids have the same problem and still hit a growth spurt. We've been very careful not to imply any kind of "fat kid" comments. It is hard to get her outside to play and we are on a limited budget but I think taking walks together will work.

More Answers



answers from Milwaukee on

When it comes to BMI, charts, and the way children grow, there are other factors besides diet, Family history being one of them. My own daughter is growing at a slower rate than other children, but my husband is considered short and I have always been considered petite, so we have been assured that it is our genes.
Also, you have to look at what kind of food she is eating and how much exercise she is getting. (And, Hooray for fresh fruit snacks!) I don't necessarily mean giving her an exercise routine, but is she active outdoors, does she run around the house, dance, jump around, etc?
I have a 10 year old step-daughter who has ADHD so we restrict her diet to natural foods and non-sugary snacks. She eats like a horse, but is so fidgety and full of energy, that she is constantly moving and burning off calories; which is probably why she is always hungry.
I know that sometimes in adults when it just the waist that is expanding and nowhere else on the body, that it is a cause for concern. So if her growth pattern is not similar to what is in her genes, and she is eating healthy and being active, I'd talk to a doctor.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't think you have ANYTHING to worry about! Every kid goes through growth spurts and she has just hit one! She may go months and months before you notice any change.

I don't even think the word diet and children should be in the same sentence unless it is for health reasons. If she is very active, it is not like she isn't burning a lot of calories, she is just hitting a growth spurt and she might not hit another one for a long time after this one. Kindof like 2 in 1.

I would talk with the doc just in case. Maybe even set her on a little diet. But every girl hits their "chubby" stage.

Hope that helps!



answers from Provo on

Make sure that when you eat together it is in a "take your time" manner. Often we eat more than we need to when were being rushed because it takes time for our bodies to realize were full. Make sure that there is plenty of fiber in every meal. Fiber helps you to feel Full longer, For example Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast and there are so many fun add ins for it like raisens, apples, blueberries, etc. Get her talking while you have meals, it sounds like she's the oldest, have her tell you stories and experiences so she eats slower and can realize sooner when she's full. And if there's healthy food on the table then she can eat as much as she wants and it will be okay. Good luck, and remember many of us eat for emotional reasons, fat protects our body and physiological we know that so many use food to gai fat to protect themselves. I know I started overeating when a neighbor started molesting me when I was 5. Make sure emotionally you're daughter is doing well.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi R.,
I actually remember going through this I used to eat and eat and get wider and wider so my mom took away all the snacks(twinkies, ho hos ...ect.)limited my seconds at dinner too and I started to lose weight. This definately is not a diet! It sounds like you are starting to do the right thing by limiting snacks and the type of snacks she eats. More than anything you are teaching her the right things to eat and how much is appropriate. Great job mom! Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

I have an eight year old boy that is 90 lbs. I've noticed it becoming a problem lately as well. If he likes a certain food like spaghetti, he'll have three and four plates plus the bread! But then he'll have only one serving of something else cause he doesn't like it. I've started stopping him after a reasonable amount. (If he eats more than me then there is a problem!) He also loves the computer so we have cut back on it but then it's the tv. Now with winter it's hard to make him do anything else since he can't go outside. I've noticed that, as a family, we need to go for walks together and be more active WITH each other. He is in 10 H but needs bigger now ad I am reluctant to do it.



answers from Grand Forks on

Hi R.:
I would def have her checked out first by your pediactrician. There are at least two medical conditions that i know of which can cause over eating. One is the Thryroid and the other that I have heard of is "Potter Willies Disease!" I think that that is how you spell it. I dont know a whole lot about the second one but I did see a special on it once and these kids were basically missing the part of their brain that tells them that they are full so they are constantly eating and still starving. From what you described though it doesint sound like this because these kids would cry and scream when they didint get to eat as much as they wanted. If you do go to the Dr. you can also get some advice on what to do with her diet. Keep the junk out of the house for sure. Pack her lunches and dont give her any money for school, so that she doesint have the option of buying anything for her school lunch. Unless she goes to one of those schools that have done the smart thing and did away with the "crap" food.
I did notice a lot of the advive on here was not to make her feel like the "fat kid" but whats going to stop the kids at school from doing it? So i would be prepared for that.
Do you have a YMCA in your area? I know the one here has sports for kids, including Karate!
Good luck with everyting. Be strong, pretty sure you dont want your child to become part of the obesity chrisis in our country!



answers from Jackson on

I have been letting my 5yr old start learning limits and portion control. He's a bit on the chunky side too...but overall just a big kid in general. So we talk about how much a serving size of pasta is, what that looks like, how much a serving of meat is and that we can eat lots of vegetable to fill in the empty spaces. And that sometimes we're not "really" hungry but thirsty or bored so getting a drink of water and playing a game or running outside is healthier than eating.

I don't "limit" his food, but we don't keep things like Juice, or sugary/fatty snacks in the house all the time, only for special occasions. I also pack his lunches so I know what and how much he is getting....some of the school lunches are really not healthy at all IMO. At her age she doesn't need full fat milk either so you can switch to 1/2% or skim/fat free. You can switch from full fat cheese to 2% (fat free doesn't taste very good imo so we use the 2% LOL)
make sure she's getting vegetables several times a day (peas, corn, and potatoes don't count as veggies) the extra fiber in veggies will slow down the digestive process so she won't "feel" hungry so soon. Instead of giving only fruit for a snack give her half a serving of fruit, and have a serving of veggies. and make sure she's getting protien with her snacks to. Like A few apple slices, some low fat cheddar cheese, and a few peices of broccoli. Keep in mind that fruits that you can buy one at a time are A LOT larger than a serving size. When buying fruits like apples or oranges buy the pre-bagged ones they are smaller, and sometimes still more than a serving size!

You might want to take a look at her activity level, make sure shes' getting outdoor playtime several times a day esp. if she's in full day school as school tends to be fairly sedentary.

Go for a family walk every evening after dinner (if you are close enough to a mall you can walk the mall and window shop when it's cold or wet) Get her mind off food and onto family games pop in a dance video and dance with her. If you have xbox they have Dance Dance Revolution which is really fun and great excercise too!

Above all don't make her feel like the "fat kid" Don't even comment on it, just make changes for the whole family...if one person is overweight in the family it's NOT that persons problem only, it is a family issue that needs to be treated like a family issue. You can be thin and unhealthy just like you can be heavy and unhealthy...weight doesn't mean health or unhealth. i hope I'm making sense here LOL.



answers from Iowa City on

I see you already have come to a conclusion about things, but I wanted to add a few things. I went through a stage in my adolecence probably near the same age as you daughter, that I became a little overweight. Whatever you do, do not draw attention to her. Involve the whole family in healthy eating & exercise. Do not point her out as being fat. This is something that my family did to me & I became much more overweight as a result when I was probably just going through a growth spurt. It destroyed my self esteem & I turned to food for comfort & I really did become overweight. As an adult I am just now learning to take control of things & feel better about myself. Also remember some people really are built bigger & that is not always a bad thing.



answers from Davenport on

My son is 5 aand when he was younger he was very chunky. Every time I took him to the doctor she told me he was overweight and I decided to change our eating habits. My husband also helped with getting him to be more active, like playing sports or going to the park often, or actually does alot of exercise that my son likes to do now as habit. I stuck to feeding him small portions, at first it was very hard to say,"no more your done". It broke my heart but I stuck to it and he lost so much weight and he actually leaves food on hes plate. I took him to the doctor and hes weight is normal. My advice is change her eating habits and stick to it and in the long run she will appreciate it. www.stayinhomeandlovinit.com/joy2vic2000


answers from Wausau on

Hi, R.,

I have three girls. The oldest and youngest are skinny-minnies but my middle child is a bit on the chubby side. Since we're vegetarians, I get more negative attention for my skinny girls, actually. Many people seem to think that a vegetarian lifestyle isn't a healthy one. They all eat the same things in relatively the same amounts, their metabolisms are just different.

I've also seen dramatic changes over a course of time. Teya (my middle child) was pretty skinny as a baby. Then she shot all the way up to the 80% for her age group. I think the problem was that she was getting a bit spoiled (my fault!) so we started watching what she has constant access to and she's been hold in the 60-65% since then.

All in all, I don't think it's a problem unless it begins to affect her health. I've always been over weight and I think it's a good idea to set a good example. So I show my girls I'm happy being how I am, and that I'm proud of them for being the way they are.



answers from Lincoln on

Maybe it has something to do with the age because my daughter is 7 also and I have noticed an increase in her appetite. One thing that I stress on with my daughter is that she have some sort of physical activities outside of school, like having a family night at the gym or just dancing around the house to some nice music. I don't know if physical activity is lacking in your daughter's life but this more than makes up for the extra food my daughter eats and also helps her to practice a more healthy lifestyle. I just wonder if something stressful could be going on in her life that caused this change. My daughter lost her father and things have been kind of difficult for her so I just thought that might factor in also. Any way, I don't know if this was any help but I just thought I would give my own input. Good Luck to you and have a wonderful holiday.





answers from Duluth on

When she wants seconds, do you give her an entire plateful or just a small amount? If it's an entire plateful, try giving her a small amount of seconds. Make sure she's not grazing between snacks and meals. She's not going to starve if she only eats at mealtimes and at snacktime, even if she says she is.

Make sure she's not just sitting around watching the tv or playing the Nintendo. Get her up, moving, outside, inside... maybe try the two of you doing some type of exercise together so it can be a mommy-daughter time or something.

I also second the opinion that you should get her checked out by a doctor, just in case it's some underlying medical condition.

The most important thing is to NEVER TELL YOUR DAUGHTER THAT SHE IS FAT OR OVERWEIGHT OR CHUBBY OR CHUNKY! And don't let any of her brothers/sisters or other family members do it, either. It's important to not draw attention to it, because it could set her up for future problems.



answers from Omaha on

Instead of making further limits on her eating, encourage increased physical activity. It's good for the whole family to get involved and will teach lifelong lessons about health.


answers from La Crosse on

Definitely talk to your doctor. Both of my daughters were like this, and the doctor recommended we have them tested for thyroid problems (which has a huge effect on metabolism). Both of them are now on medications for this, and it has made a big difference.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions