Weight Loss Support - I've brainwashed my 7-year-old son




LLV
02-17-2007, 03:16 PM
My son's cub scout troop went on a little field trip today to the local military museum and the scout leaders said they were taking all of the boys to McDonald's for lunch. And before he left, my son says to me, "I don't want McDonald's, they use the bad fat!"

I about fell over :lol:

I guess McDonald's is SUPPOSED to be switching over to better oil, but I'm not sure how far that's come yet.

Another thing my son does-- if he goes to his Grandma's or his Aunt's house and they offer him a soda, he'll say, "No thank you, I've already had enough sugar for the day."

Another quote of his recently-- "I don't want pepperoni on my pizza, it has too much fat."

He's also become a label-reader. Yes, a 7-year-old boy who reads nutrition labels to check the fat and sugar content of almost everything he eats.

I have mixed emotions about this. While I want him to be conscious of the food he eats (because let's face it, too many kids these days aren't) I don't want this to become an obsessive thing for him. Especially when I hear about more and more boys as well as girls becoming anorexic or developing some other eating disorder.

Your thoughts?


Reddalice
02-17-2007, 03:29 PM
My thoughts- what you've done is a great thing. He states it out right because he is young and it is your teaching he is implementing- but eventually it will become second nature for him and won't be a big deal. It is my opinion that the world of eating disorders would shrink dramatically if healthier ways were taught along side every other bit information given to children as tools for a better future. ^-^ I wish more moms were like you!

lilybelle
02-17-2007, 03:35 PM
I don't think there is anything wrong with children learning about nutrition from an early age. As long as he isn't refusing the healthy foods that you offer there shouldn't really be a problem.

My DD is 14. She is 5'5 1/2 inches and weighs 135. She'd like to lose 10 lbs. but absolutely wants no part of reading labels. I pack her a healthy lunch and make her BF and her Dinner. I log her food in Fitday for her. She wants me to be the one totally 1000% responsible for her food choices and her weight. It irritates me that she doesn't want to talk about it or take any of the responsibility. I know that she is in the healthy BMI range. She has slender hips and legs (size 4-5 jeans that button low) but her waist is 35 inches. I have never, ever suggested that she needs to lose weight, she is the one that comes to me. A yr. ago she was 5'4 and weighed 108 lbs. so this is why she wants to lose weight. All I am doing for my DD is making sure that lots of healthy food is kept in the house and junk food is very limited (and is in the lower calorie equivalent).

I did get a call from her school yesterday saying she owes $26.00 on her lunch account. I am figuring that since I pack her lunch every day that she is eating not only what I fix for her but what the school is serving too. So, maybe my "help" is in fact making the situation worse. She refuses to weigh, but I do notice she is trying to exercise a little bit more. I have noticed that all her size 3 jeans are too small and she keeps "borrowing" my clothes.

LLV, it seems like it is such a slippery slope with kids. I want to help as I'm sure you do, but we neither want our kids obsessed with weight /fat/calories/exercise. None of the kids in my family were ever over-weight and it just wasn't a topic that we really discussed. We ate whatever was put on the table. The one really noticeable change with my DD is that since I started losing weight 20 months ago, she has totally switched to sugar free drinks.


FreeSpirit
02-17-2007, 04:12 PM
It is good that you're teaching your son about bad fats and whatnot, but, I think that you have a deeper understanding of what you're doing. You know that fats & sugars = bad, but it's okay to have them sometimes, and sometimes your body does need them. I don't know you're son, but, from what you've said... I'm not sure if he understands that. You know?

ennay
02-17-2007, 04:14 PM
as long as he is focused on nutrition and not weight I wouldnt stress.

Mami
02-17-2007, 04:26 PM
Bendito..bless his little heart! :) That is so sweet. When I met up with my sister for a weekend away recently, she refused to go to a fast food place EVEN ONCE. I thought it was a bit inflexible but it wasn't because she's dieting as she's naturally slim, and she's by NO STRETCH a health nut, just that she finds the food really unhealthy and just didnt want it. Period. There really is nothing wrong with that..if your son never wants a McD burger then more power to him. Doesnt mean he's obsessive because he wont eat McD's..we should all be lucky enough to get grossed out by it and not want it because its made of unhealthy things. At a young age, kids are QUITE picky about their food in general..some ONLY like chicken nuggets and hot dogs and some, like your son, like it healthy only I guess). Children do have a tendency to make their likes and wishes known, so it just follows that he will refuse something he doesnt like.

LLV
02-17-2007, 04:37 PM
It is good that you're teaching your son about bad fats and whatnot, but, I think that you have a deeper understanding of what you're doing. You know that fats & sugars = bad, but it's okay to have them sometimes, and sometimes your body does need them. I don't know you're son, but, from what you've said... I'm not sure if he understands that. You know?

Oh he knows. Just today when he made the comment about McDonald's, I said, "Honey, every once in a while isn't going to hurt you. Everything in moderation."

I don't deny him treats. He's a kid. Kids like cookies and ice cream and sodas (although he has switched himself to drinking the sugar-free :rolleyes:) and he knows it's ok to have those things once in a while. Of course "mom" buys the light ice cream and reduced-fat cookies, but I don't tell HIM that. I don't make it an issue and say things like, "Enjoy your ice cream! It has less fat!"

In fact I really don't talk about any of this at all unless he asks. I've never shoved my knowledge of food down his throat, it's simply a learned behavior on his part, from watching ME. You know how kids are, they pick stuff up on their own. I've switched a lot of his foods to either light or reduced-fat (for example hot dogs - I buy the Ballpark white turkey franks; no fat and only 40 or 45 calories each. They're expensive but to cut back on fat and calories for everyone, to me it's worth it) but I never tell him that. He just assumes it's the 'good' stuff. That's never been an issue.

I don't deny myself treats, either. I don't believe in deprivation and I've never done that to myself. I still eat my sinful little favorites, just in extreme moderation. So it's not like I'm one of those stickler moms that refuses to let my child have goodies. That's just crazy. I've heard some mom's say they feed their kids nothing but vegetables and refuse to bring cookies and ice cream into the house while proudly saying, "My kids NEVER eat that junk!"

I think that's kind of sad. But that's simply my opinion. It's their choice what to allow their kids and it's none of my business.

So yeah, I think most of what my son has learned is-- well, like I said, learned behaviors. Plus from his questions, he occasionally asks me why I'm eating a certain food or why I won't eat that, etc etc etc.

Thanks for replies so far, girls, I've read them all and they're much appreciated!

And ennay, no, he's definitely not focused on weight. The only time he'll weigh himself is when I drag my scale out to weight MYself, which is usually only about twice a month. He'll jump on and say, "Mommy, I weigh so & so pounds," then run off. He's never expressed a concern about his weight. He's more concerned about sugar and fat, lol.

LLV
02-17-2007, 04:45 PM
I did get a call from her school yesterday saying she owes $26.00 on her lunch account. I am figuring that since I pack her lunch every day that she is eating not only what I fix for her but what the school is serving too.

Oh goodness. Have you confronted her with that and have you asked her if she's also eating the school meals along with her packed meal?

FreeSpirit
02-17-2007, 05:35 PM
I've babysat at houses with "stickler" moms. The kids will be watching TV and see a commercial for Life cereal and say, "THAT cereal has way too much sugar!!!" I'm glad your son is so well-rounded, I'll look for him on info-mercials in 20 years telling people that his mom taught him how to be healthy! :p

You're setting such a great example. You should be proud of yourself and your son.

ennay
02-17-2007, 06:04 PM
LLV - I think its great. He is going to grow up understanding the difference between everyday food and sometimes food.

LLV
02-17-2007, 06:57 PM
Thanks, girls, your posts make me feel so much better!

Beach Patrol
02-17-2007, 07:51 PM
LLV,

you better watch all the "healthy food talk" around your son... he might grow up to be a "Cereal Killer".

LOL!!!!!!!! Just kiddin'!!!! :dizzy:

I think you're teaching him GOOD HEALTH HABITS. He should be interested in reading labels (in fact, reading ANYTHING... reading is fundamental ya know! ;) ) and it's good that he is taking that kind of knowledge & applying it while he's YOUNG. More than likely, those good health habits will stick with him a lifetime.

LLV
02-18-2007, 12:43 AM
LLV,

you better watch all the "healthy food talk" around your son... he might grow up to be a "Cereal Killer".

lol! ;)

Thanks for the positive feedback!

shawnamadonna1013
02-18-2007, 01:50 AM
First of all, that kid sounds so cute.

Now, i think you should keep an eye on him and make sure he doesnt become too obsessed with fat and calories because it may evolve into an obsession with weight. I'd keep preaching the moderation thing.

That being said, he may just be interested in that sort of stuff. My best friend was like that throughout her entire childhood. I can remember being 8 years old, eating twinkies and she'd point out the fat and calories. Now she's a nutritionist with a masters who works planning meals in a nursing home. So maybe it's just a natural interest of his.

rockinrobin
02-18-2007, 07:58 AM
Your boy sounds precious and I'm sure you have a hard time not hugging and kissing him to tiny little pieces.

Do you realize how great this is? It's all just perfectly natural to him. He doesn't have to think twice about it. It's part of his make up and who and what he is. Too cool.

I'm glad you don't restrict him too much and allow him to have occasional treats. I've heard horror stories of kids (a cousin of mine in fact) who were so restricted as kids that they become obese as adults. You sound though as you've got everything all worked out. Good job mommy!!!

Gosh I wish I would have done this when my kids were little *sigh*. My kids are old by now, 19, 17 and 15. I wish they would have grown up from day one with there mother's newfound lifetsyle. Oh well.

lilybelle
02-18-2007, 11:24 AM
LLV, I did talk to her and now to the school both about her lunch account. It seems that even if she gets some salad or a piece of fruit off the salad bar, that she is charged for a full meal. It's a very small school and the lunch ladies did say that all she ever gets is some salad to go with the food that I have sent. So, this made me feel better. I pack her favorite fruits everyday, but she told me she often saves it and eats it on the bus coming home. I was relieved to learn she isn't eating 2 whole meals everyday. Her school has really unhealthy meals. Their typical menu for the week is : hotdogs, hamburgers, fried corn dogs with tater tots, pizza and sloppy joes. This is why she doesn't want their food. They get away with this because there is always a salad bar. I've been to her school many times and have never in my life seen that many obese kids in one school.

I sure wish things were like it was when I was growing up. You had to take either sports (basketball) or P.E. It wasn't optional and it was a full hour every school day. We had very few over-weight or obese kids then.

LLV
02-18-2007, 11:59 AM
Their typical menu for the week is : hotdogs, hamburgers, fried corn dogs with tater tots, pizza and sloppy joes.

This is the typical menu at my son's school as well. Some days he packs, some days he buys. It depends on what they're having. He loves his pizza and his hot dogs and always wants to buy on those days. Which I'm not too crazy about, but oh well. At least at home I know he's eating lower-fat versions of his favorite things, whether he knows he is or not.

And I'm glad you found out about what your daughter was eating. That really stinks they charge for a whole meal for just one or two pieces of food. Somehow that just doesn't seem right.

Thanks again to everyone that commented in this thread. And I'll do my best to make sure he doesn't become obsessed with this. Like I said, I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I'm really glad he's conscious of certain foods, but he definitely doesn't eat healthy ALL of the time.

You know what irritates me - those frozen kids meals. If they can make "lean" frozen entrees for adults, why can't they do that for the kids as well? I'm sure they probably assume the products wouldn't sell. Because let's face it, most kids don't care about eating healthy. But those kids meals are horrendous with the fat and calories. Unfortunately my son likes them. But I don't buy them all that often.

FreeSpirit
02-18-2007, 05:06 PM
You know what irritates me - those frozen kids meals. If they can make "lean" frozen entrees for adults, why can't they do that for the kids as well? I'm sure they probably assume the products wouldn't sell. Because let's face it, most kids don't care about eating healthy. But those kids meals are horrendous with the fat and calories. Unfortunately my son likes them. But I don't buy them all that often.

What I don't understand is why they can't just make them lean in the first place? They'd make them more appealing to all parents, and without the "lean" on the packaging, it wouldn't scare children off. People who care about calories and fat content... can look and see that it's a good option, and it'll be all the better for those who don't care. It might be more expensive, but I would think they could make it up by how many other people they'd be reaching. Heck... if they made those healthier, I might even eat one for a treat as lunch!

I dunno... us healthies need to write to the company and give them some marketing advice! :lol:

ennay
02-18-2007, 06:55 PM
good lord - this totally unrelated thread hijacking. my dd (3) is one of those toddlers that many days eats next to nothing, and then somedays hold on tight!

today for lunch she had 1/2 apple, 8 oz plain yogurt with cinnamon & tiny bit of sugar, cucumber & pepper slices,(still hungry!) slice of bread, macadamia nuts, (still hungry!) small piece of birthday ice cream-cake (still hungry!) hummus and crackers.

that is more than she eats most full days

I am kind of glad that I wont have to deal with the school lunch issue until 4th grade - she will be going to a pack-only school til then. and most of the parents are organic hippies so even if she trades it will probably be something healthy

LLV
02-18-2007, 09:12 PM
What I don't understand is why they can't just make them lean in the first place? They'd make them more appealing to all parents, and without the "lean" on the packaging, it wouldn't scare children off. People who care about calories and fat content... can look and see that it's a good option, and it'll be all the better for those who don't care. It might be more expensive, but I would think they could make it up by how many other people they'd be reaching. Heck... if they made those healthier, I might even eat one for a treat as lunch!

I dunno... us healthies need to write to the company and give them some marketing advice! :lol:

I totally agree with everything you've said here!

lol

LLV
02-18-2007, 09:13 PM
good lord - this totally unrelated thread hijacking.

Honey, you guys talk about whatever you WANT to talk about, I enjoy reading everyone's stories and thoughts ;)

mkat321
02-18-2007, 09:17 PM
sounds like you're teaching him the right things, concern about nutrition, not about numbers on a scale.

EZMONEY
02-18-2007, 09:29 PM
Hey Linda ~ I know you have this in control and are obviously paying attention to your boy. Coming from a male perspective though, I suggest that somehow gently, you explain to him that other little boys don't really care about CALORIES...and they may WANT to go to MC-D's...I guess what I am trying to say is you know how boys can be and you sure don't want him getting smacked in the mouth for saying something that may stop the "fun"...am I making any sense here?

LLV
02-18-2007, 10:12 PM
Hey Linda ~ I know you have this in control and are obviously paying attention to your boy. Coming from a male perspective though, I suggest that somehow gently, you explain to him that other little boys don't really care about CALORIES...and they may WANT to go to MC-D's...I guess what I am trying to say is you know how boys can be and you sure don't want him getting smacked in the mouth for saying something that may stop the "fun"...am I making any sense here?

Yes, I've told him that ;)

I don't want him preaching to all of his friends about how McDonald's uses bad fats, lol.

But then again, maybe somebody needs to. Childhood obesity is getting worse.

Gamerchick
02-19-2007, 03:04 PM
I did get a call from her school yesterday saying she owes $26.00 on her lunch account. I am figuring that since I pack her lunch every day that she is eating not only what I fix for her but what the school is serving too. So, maybe my "help" is in fact making the situation worse. She refuses to weigh, but I do notice she is trying to exercise a little bit more. I have noticed that all her size 3 jeans are too small and she keeps "borrowing" my clothes.


That isn't always the case. I'm in school, so I'd know a little about it. But she could be buying her friends some lunch on her account. Just a suggestion.