Weight Loss Support - Kids on diets?




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mkendrick
05-20-2010, 01:10 PM
First of all, I am NOT a parent, so I can only speak from opinion and observation, and not experience. I know raising a child is probably the hardest thing to do, and each family's situation needs to be handled individually. I am not passing judgement on anybody.

Whew, anyways...we all know that overweight and obese children is an issue these days. They talk about it on the news all the time, and you just have to drive by a park or community pool to see a surprising amount of more-than-babyfat chubby kids. Whether it's a result of crappy food served in schools, parents bad influence, the fast food companies, etc...it's a problem.

Well I was just wondering how all you moms (and dads...and non-parents, maybe those of you who were overweight kids have an opinion) would feel about putting your kids on a diet. On one hand, of course you want your kids to be healthy, and you want to protect them from teasing, etc. Many of us were overweight youngsters and know how it feels to grow up with low self esteem because of our weight. However, how would you approach the situation? Would you explain to your kids that they're fat and they need to do this this and this to get down to this weight?

This is just kind of a discussion thread on the topic. I started because I just found out one of my good childhood friends has been hospitalized or anorexia. When we were about 10 years old, I was snacking on some Teddy Grahms or something, and she looked at me horrified and said "don't you know how many carbs are in that!?" Whenever I went to her house, her mom was always talking about her weight, asked if she'd weighed that morning, what she'd eaten, etc. She was a loving mom, and was trying to do it in a fun way with gold star stickers and such, but I don't think she realized how much damage she was doing to her daughter. When I ate at their house, the rest of the family and myself ate "normal" food, while she ate a bit of grilled chicken and salad. Sure, she lost weight, was a skinny girl all through high school, but she had incredibly low self esteem. And now she's in the hospital for anorexia.

I personally think that if I had an overweight child (again, not a parent, so not speaking with experience), I would NOT put them on a real diet. I would not tell them they were on a diet or that they needed to lose weight or anything of the sort. I'd emphasize healthy eating. I'd have them help me plan meals to make sure we got all the food groups, take them grocery shopping and teach them how to read labels, show them portion sizes (2 tbsp of peanutbutter is about the size of a golfball, I'd ask them if they had a golfball or a tennisball of PB...stuff like that). I'd also encourage them to be active and make darn sure that I provided outlets for activity. It would never about "you're eating less because you're overweight" it would be "we all need to eat right and be active to live a healthy happy life."

Anyways, thoughts on the subject? :)


Eliana
05-20-2010, 01:19 PM
This is a tough, tough issue as a parent!! It's such a delicate balancing act. In this very thread you're going to get people who say they wish their parents had done something when they were young and you're going to get people who were scarred from their parents doing just that. It's hard knowing which type of kid you're going to get. ;)

With our little guy, we started focusing as a family on "eating healthy". We talk about healthy foods OFTEN. We talk about balance. He knows he's overweight. He doesn't need me to tell him that. He knows that his goal is to maintain his current weight while he grows. Focusing on a kid's weight is scary while they're growing. My son is a perfect example. A week ago, he weighed 108. Today he weighs 113. But he's lost 1/2 inch in his waist.

We have a pair of size 14 pants he would like to fit into. (Kids' sizes are weird...they're more appropriate to height than to weight. By height he should be in a 14, but he had grown out of even the 14 husky.) He's in them now, but not comfortably. He has maintained his 114 weight for six months which is pretty impressive for a growing boy.

He decided on his own that he wanted to start exercising so Dad started taking him out to do the C25K program together. Then my son decided he wanted to do push ups and sit ups. More power to him!

There are some kids who are just more sedentary by nature. Our son is a reader/thinker/gamer type. Likely that's not going to change as he ages. So we think it's important that he know NOW that exercise is going to have to be a part of his day for the rest of his life. "Playing" doesn't cut it for him. The kid doesn't play! And NEVER has!

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:24 PM
1) Okay, i totally understand what you're saying about NOT putting them on a diet. I have a friend who is about 7 months older than me and has a baby... She's been anorexic since she was 12, even before I personally knew her! She was anorexic all throughout her pregnancy even, and when she gave birth, we all thought he was going to die. If you already have a pretty average/skinny kid, be happy that their moving enough to keep the crappy food of today down.

2) Don't blame school food. Schools menus have changed a lot even since I just left last year. They have to follow the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Child and Adult Care Food Program. This means that menus can only have 2 sugar items a week, and each person served the right amount of grains, veggies, fruits and meats at EVERY meal. I know this is true because I work as a chef for a daycare and the regulations are STRICT.

3) I also understand on the other side of things, that yes, some children do need to be put on diets. Not hard core diets like some people these days are on, but they need to be regulated at home. When I was a kid, up until 5th grade I only weighed 62 pounds, close to 30 pounds underweight at that time. The doctors were worried that I was anorexic and sent me to a psychologist who then put me on medicine for my apparent ADD. Over the next year and 3 months, I gained close to 150 pounds due to this medicine that I recently found out is actually used to treat those with bipolar depression... it has Lithium in it, a component that they use to make anorexics gain weight. Although I wasn't anorexic, it worked on their part a little too well I guess. And ever since I've been stuck up here in the 200s.


Eliana
05-20-2010, 01:30 PM
2) Don't blame school food. Schools menus have changed a lot even since I just left last year. They have to follow the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Child and Adult Care Food Program. This means that menus can only have 2 sugar items a week, and each person served the right amount of grains, veggies, fruits and meats at EVERY meal. I know this is true because I work as a chef for a daycare and the regulations are STRICT.


I disagree. It probably depends on where you live. I DO agree about the daycare though...ours was strict about what we PACKED.

But school lunches...suck. French toast and sausage? Nachos? (Chips are the grain, cheese is the dairy, taco meat is the protein.) Pizza? Chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese? Yes, they're getting the prescribed requirements, but yikes. And sugar comes in the form of white crap too. And I hope they're including the milk as a "sugar item" because 99% of the kids choose the strawberry or chocolate.

Oh and breakfast! :rolleyes: Glory be. I serve it to kids with severe disabilities three days a week. Samples:

Stuffed bagel, orange juice, cheese stick
Pastry, choc. milk, fruit cup
Cereal bar, choc. milk, orange juice
Animal crackers (????), choc. milk, fruit cup
Teddy grahams, choc milk, orange juice.

Notice each of the menus has a grain, a dairy and a fruit.

Crap, crap, crappity crap.

Vixsin
05-20-2010, 01:30 PM
What a great thread!!!!!!!! :) :)

I am a parent. The doctor's have told me that my son is in the 90th percentile for his BMI since the minute he was born. (9lbs, 14oz.)

My son does have some extra on him. My personal stance on this is that I do not call attention to the extra weight that I know is on him. He's 6 by the way. He is bigger than some of the kids in his class, not all though. There are a couple of kids in his class that I am shocked to see how big they are.

The way I handle my son's extra lbs is that I enrolled him in swimming once a week, which he LOVES. I make sure that he has time to run around and play outside every night that is good weather for atleast 30-45 minutes. I have removed potato chips and junk food from our house (he now loves flavored rice cakes). I have even gone as far as to remove regular bread and we use whole grain sandwich rounds because they are only 100 calories instead of 2 pcs of bread for 160ish cals. We don't go out to eat at McD's and the like anymore. The place we go is Subway. I make sure to give him healthy balanced meals, etc.

I also had a great talk with my son about being healthy. It started with me telling him that we're not going to McD's anymore because that food has too many calories and if you eat too many calories and don't exercise, it will make you fat. So it sparked this amazing conversation with my son about what calories are and what it means to eat healthy. It was a great conversation!!!! I was amazed that I was having that conversation with a 6 yr old and that he GOT it. He actually suggests Subway when I mention McD's in a moment of weakness. HE actually keeps me on track at times! He is amazing.

So I guess what my very long winded point is that I don't say anything about his weight, but I actively take part in making sure that he is active and I feed him healthy, balanced meals. I was an overweight child, which lead to being an overweight adult and that is my worst nightmare for my son. I feel, that by doing the things I am doing and being an active part of it, he won't end up an overweight teen or adult.

Oh, and we always eat the same things in 1 version or another. I never feed him "lean meat and veggies" and then I eat "a burger and fries". Just want to throw that one out there.

I'm going to stop now. I could talk about childhood obesity and how scary it is ALL DAY LONG! I can't wait to see what more of you have to say! :)

Vixsin
05-20-2010, 01:35 PM
I also agree with Eliana's comment about school foods. My son's school counts french fries as a vegetable!!!!! I have his menu taped to the fridge and atleast 3 or 4 days a week, I make my son's lunch. I would rather that, than to have him eating the stuff they serve. Granted, his school offers a healthy choice daily such as a salad or lunch meat sandwich on wheat bread, but what kid is going to pick that over pepperoni pizza or chicken nuggets and fries? Just my opinion.

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:39 PM
I disagree. It probably depends on where you live. I DO agree about the daycare though...ours was strict about what we PACKED.

But school lunches...suck.

The USDA regulations don't change depending on location. You have to have 3 years menu's to show them when you are inspected by your state(which is a USDA inspector) and if you fail to have those items your institute will be fined close to $50,000.

For instance, heres our lunch for one day next week:
Milk
Apple sause
Pasta with broccoli
Turkey & Cheese bits on crackers.

To me, that sounds pretty damn healthy.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 01:39 PM
I disagree. It probably depends on where you live. I DO agree about the daycare though...ours was strict about what we PACKED.

But school lunches...suck. French toast and sausage? Nachos? (Chips are the grain, cheese is the dairy, taco meat is the protein.) Pizza? Chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese? Yes, they're getting the prescribed requirements, but yikes. And sugar comes in the form of white crap too. .

I was going to say the same thing. I am a teacher and while they do have regulations, it doesn't include how its cooked or what extra they put in it (at least it doesn't look that way) Today for example is chicken nuggets, dirty rice or beans, roll.. then something else.. maybe a veggie. Didn't look and see. They also have a snack line... with the options of chips, ice cream, boudain and canned lemonade or tea.

Back to the OPs question - I don't have kids yet.. but I will make a point to raise them knowing how to be healthy. My parents let us eat pretty much whatever and I was a chubby kid. I didn't know green beans out of a can weren't the best type of veggie. Full of sodium and additives.

But then there are parents that go to the extreme like someone else posted. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I would teach them how to take care of themselves, so when they got older then it would be their decision.

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:41 PM
I also agree with Eliana's comment about school foods. My son's school counts french fries as a vegetable!!!!! I have his menu taped to the fridge and atleast 3 or 4 days a week, I make my son's lunch. I would rather that, than to have him eating the stuff they serve. Granted, his school offers a healthy choice daily such as a salad or lunch meat sandwich on wheat bread, but what kid is going to pick that over pepperoni pizza or chicken nuggets and fries? Just my opinion.

The parents should have the say. Not the child. I mean, that's why we were given parents. To direct us in the correct way!

When I was in elementary school, yes they had both choices but every week the parent had to check which they wanted their child to receive and sign it... Do schools not do this anymore?

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:44 PM
I was going to say the same thing. I am a teacher and while they do have regulations, it doesn't include how its cooked or what extra they put in it (at least it doesn't look that way) Today for example is chicken nuggets, dirty rice or beans, roll.. then something else.. maybe a veggie. Didn't look and see. They also have a snack line... with the options of chips, ice cream, boudain and canned lemonade or tea.


But you can't just group the school you teach at or another persons childs school together. Their not all the same, you have to remember that. And there is a PTA for a reason people!! My parents for one protested at my highschools PTA meetings for the fact that they were serving breaded foods 2 times a week. From then on out, they only served it differently. Like instead of breaded chicken, grilled chicken.

Take a stand, don't just blame people.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 01:44 PM
Vixsin Your son sounds like one smart kiddo! I agree with your methods. I would never tell a child they need to lose weight. That is setting yoruself up for disaster.

Another example of one of the school lunches: Pizza, cheesy green beans, fruit cup and grahm (sp?) teddy bear

Eliana
05-20-2010, 01:44 PM
Right, schools do NOT do that anymore. And schools get to decide what is a "grain" and what is a "diary" product. It's crap, I tell you! The menus I posted are no joke! The district I WORK in is far worse the than the district I live in.

Eliana
05-20-2010, 01:46 PM
But you can't just group the school you teach at or another persons childs school together. Their not all the same, you have to remember that. And there is a PTA for a reason people!! My parents for one protested at my highschools PTA meetings for the fact that they were serving breaded foods 2 times a week. From then on out, they only served it differently. Like instead of breaded chicken, grilled chicken.

Take a stand, don't just blame people.

Awesome stance!! Really commendable. But the sad fact is, parents do NOT do this. The schools ARE feeding children crap and the parents allow it by not packing...and we have a problem with obesity in the nation. They appear linked to me.

TornadoSiren
05-20-2010, 01:47 PM
The word "diet" is a dangerous word to use around children, especially in the early teens..It sets them up for issues for the rest of their lives. Obsessions with weight loss or food dont just "happen". They are created. As parents, at least at home, we have control over what our children eat. If the junk is not there, the kids dont eat it. Of course, this can also lead to a backlash effect when they are at a party, or just a friends house, where maybe the choices are not so healthy. If you restrict too much, they go crazy when the bad stuff comes available to them.

It is a hard line to walk! Probably one of the hardest. If you restrict too much, they could likely rebel and go way overboard when out of your sight. If you dont restrict enough, then you are reinforcing bad habits.

God, one would think we would all be sick of the word moderation by this point, but really, thats what it all boils down to. Most anything is okay to have in moderation. If you totally forbid something, it becomes almost irresistible, especially to a child. As parents, we have to reinforce that moderation in our children..teach them when enough is enough, and hope that it sticks..and maybe (if they are older) tell them a little of our own problems with controlling our impulses and hope they can learn from our mistakes. Parenting is a rough road..but a wonderful one.

Oh..forgot to add. I too am shocked at what they call "lunch" at my kids school. I only have one still in public school, but when his lunch consists of a prepackaged "uncrustable", or even Hot pockets??? Really??? Hotpockets? OMG..that stuff is a heart attack on a plate! And yet, they insist that the school vending machines only have snack of 100 calories or less..for the record, this means that no fruit juices can be in the vending machines, because they break the 100 calorie rule. can you say, 'HUH??"

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:47 PM
Right, schools do NOT do that anymore. And schools get to decide what is a "grain" and what is a "diary" product. It's crap, I tell you! The menus I posted are no joke! The district I WORK in is far worse the than the district I live in.

Ever think it's because parents just sit aside and let them? Most parents now seem like their too busy to be active in their child's life, I'm not saying that is you, don't take this the wrong way please. But schools do what they can to cut corners to make it the fastest, easiest, cheapest way they possibly can. Take a stand, show them you're not okay with it and you can petition with other parents to get the menu's changed.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 01:47 PM
The parents should have the say. Not the child. I mean, that's why we were given parents. To direct us in the correct way!

When I was in elementary school, yes they had both choices but every week the parent had to check which they wanted their child to receive and sign it... Do schools not do this anymore?

So you should go and sit with your child at lunch every day and tell them which food to choose? For some people that isn't very logical.

If there are USDA regulations why are other people saying the same thing as me? You just said that all regulations are the same but I can't group our schools together? I am really confused.

I work in a school that is Title 1. Low socioeconomic status.. they are concerned with us passing the TAKS test, not what the kids eat. Its free breakfast and free lunch for most.. think they are going to complain??

PeanutsMom704
05-20-2010, 01:50 PM
My son (almost 6) is underweight but I do the same thing as Eliana and Vixsin. We talk about healthy foods and how some things are the foods that make us big and strong and others are the treats that we have but just sometimes. I try to not make too big a deal out of it, but I want him to absorb the info so it's there as he gets older and makes his own choices more and more.

My son eats school lunch but our district has made a really strong emphasis on a healthy lunch program so he's got good choices there, probably better ones than if I had to make his lunch every day, to be honest.

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 01:51 PM
So you should go and sit with your child at lunch every day and tell them which food to choose? For some people that isn't very logical.

If there are USDA regulations why are other people saying the same thing as me? You just said that all regulations are the same but I can't group our schools together? I am really confused.


I'm not saying you should sit with your kids at lunch. I'm saying go to your school and talk with the PTA if you have to to get things changed. And by not grouping them together, i am talking about the schools that cut corners to save a buck. Not all of them do that.

And yes, I understand what you are talking about with kids getting free lunch and breakfast. I work at a place where almost everyone gets their food free. I work at the YWCA daycare and most if not all of the children here get free childcare provided by the government.

Don't bash me for posting my opinion, I'm not bashing you. This is a friendly forum. Thanks.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 01:51 PM
To be honest I started gaining weight eating lunch in the cafeteria this school year.. fish sticks and mac and cheese was my favorite day! :lol:

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 01:53 PM
I'm not saying you should sit with your kids at lunch. I'm saying go to your school and talk with the PTA if you have to to get things changed. And by not grouping them together, i am talking about the schools that cut corners to save a buck. Not all of them do that.

And yes, I understand what you are talking about with kids getting free lunch and breakfast. I work at a place where almost everyone gets their food free. I work at the YWCA daycare and most if not all of the children here get free childcare provided by the government.

Don't bash me for posting my opinion, I'm not bashing you. This is a friendly forum. Thanks.

Didn't bash your opinion. Wasn't even rude about it. Questioned it because I wanted clarification. You have a very one-sided opinion. Just trying to get my points across. Sorry if you feel that way.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 01:57 PM
I would make sure that my entire household is set up for optimal health. Which it is NOW. My kids were older teenagers when I started this little (not so little) venture, though I never, ever fed them the garbage I was eating.

I would ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have good, healthy, plentiful, delicious options on hand. I would be willing to pack lunches and snacks for them.

I would do my best to keep my family informed and educated and good nutrition. Letting them know why we eat the way that we do. I would teach them about proper portions and what is required to run their bodies.

I would totally and completely have no junk in the house, bringing it in on rare occasions (maybe even every weekend) in controllable, reasonable portions. You don't want them going crazy and sneaking it from elsewhere.

I would do my very, very best to make certain they were involved in sports. Team sports and solo sports. I would plan hikes, bike rides, football games, frisbee as family activities.

I remember someone once asked me if I *subject* my whole family to my *way of eating*. Well, ummm, yeah - I love them and I want them to have the best life possible with the greatest chance of being disease free and obesity free. I give my family the best food that this earth has to offer.

kaplods
05-20-2010, 01:57 PM
I have dieted most of my life (since the age of 5). I'm 44 now, but as a child, I was raised to crash diet and see crash dieting as normal (with the approval of the family doctor).

I sometimes rebelled, and I also sometimes "overacheived." If I refused to eat dinner because I was "dieting" my parents praised my dedication (or at most suggested I have "at least a salad" as if lettuce and vinegar provided any nutrition at all).

I was a WW member at 8 years old (the youngest age you could be accepted - and you needed a doctor's permission slip, which I got easily enough).

I was reading adult diet books at 8 years old too. I was in 3rd grade when I was allowed to check out books from the "adult" section of the library (I remember because it was the 3rd grade science fair that inspired me to ask permission). The science fair project was on turtles, but along with the books on marine animals, I checked out my first diet books as well.

My personal belief is that focusing on a child "growing into their weight," is probably a better way to get their weight under control than a reducing diet. Setting up the dieting = good, eating = bad mentality can backfire into an ED or a lifelong food obsession.

I remember in kindergarten, I was 8 lbs over the "right" weight for my height. I was put on a diet, and allowed one piece of candy per week (I had a canister in the kitchen from which I could choose). I was promised a pair of painted turtles (like the ones in my kindergarten class). I know I lost at least half the weight (I remember complaining that I should be allowed to get one turtle, and my parents reminding me that the deal was two turtles for the entire 8 lbs).

But before I reached my goal, Illinois banned the sale of turtles (salmonella risk) and the turtles were removed from the kindergarten classroom.

That was the end of my first diet (I can't believe my parents wouldn't have tried other bribes, and surely I would have responded to a promise of a puppy - but I do remember feeling rage and hopelessness, and sneaking food in response to the injustice and betrayal I felt).

It's just kind of sad, that I dieted like an adult so young (even down to the "what's the use, I can't do it" kind of thinking.

mortonpixie
05-20-2010, 02:02 PM
First off - the USDA guidelines are a JOKE. I run a daycare, and to get reimbursed I have to serve by those guidelines. I DO serve like this:

Pasta w/ground turkey
Green Beans
Apple Slices
Milk

I COULD serve like this:

Supreme Pizza (sausage, cheese, and bits of veggies)
Apple sauce (sweetened)
Milk

The only requirement is the amount and combination of the items, NOT the quality.

As a parent of 4 children (ages 12 - 1) I have seen the deplorable state of the school lunch program first hand. Please refer to the series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on www.hulu.com if you would like to learn more.

Second - my oldest son has been overweight since the moment he could walk. Currently he stands 5' 4" tall and weighs 175lbs. His weight is actually down 6lbs in the last 6 months. Here's what my house rules are.

1. Only 1 hour of screen time per day
2. One serving of meat and starch and each meal, unlimited veggies. Must wait 20min before going back for seconds of starch or meat, and then serving sizes must be weighed or measured.
3. 30min outside each and every day. If the weather is crap (we are in NE) then I allow the older children to use the treadmill and watch a movie while they walk OR do one of the exercise videos I purchased for them.

These small things are so integral in their development. Also, as a family we don't eat sugar substitutes, drink soda pop or have chips or packaged snacks on hand. Snacks are fruit, veggies, nut butters and whole grain crackers and breads.

I wouldn't put a child on a restricted calorie diet without a medical concern. And even then, it depends on the age and development of the child as to whether or not I would inform them that they are being restricted.

Just my input. Great thread!

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 02:07 PM
Didn't bash your opinion. Wasn't even rude about it. Questioned it because I wanted clarification. You have a very one-sided opinion. Just trying to get my points across. Sorry if you feel that way.

Im not trying to give a one sided opinion. I'm telling you my opinion and some facts and saying that if you think there is that much of a problem with the school your children go to then GET INVOLVED! Do as much as possible. In the time that you spend on the computer doing this you could have gone and had a meeting with someone and have gotten something accomplished.
It's not as hard as people think to get around things like school boards. All you have to do is petition. You get 150 to 200 signatures form other parents and you turn it into the school board and you have a meeting there. I did it at my high school with the breakfast they served. All they served were donuts, bagels, and coffee. I got over 300 signatures and the board changed the menu to heathlier choices such as fresh fruits, no sugar cereals, natural juices, things like that.

We live in a democracy and we are given the freedom of speech and protest. Make it work to your advantage. Don't just sit back and take it and let your child eat things that your uncomfortable with. You are making the choice to lose weight for yourself. If you can do that, you can do something about the schools. Believe in yourself people!

Vixsin
05-20-2010, 02:08 PM
Loved Jamie Oliver's show!!! That's what made me pay attention to my son's lunch menu!!

Everlasting
05-20-2010, 02:14 PM
I was just thinking about this.

In the summer I work at a camp for kids with physical disabilities, mostly kids with CP/spina bifida/deaf/blind/etc. But they just started accepting about 15 kids each year who are in the 95% for obesity. Now, this is a therapy camp, so all the kids are getting therapy all summer long, so the kids in the weight management program get a lot of physical therapy and recreational therapy, and they attend a nutrition class once a week if we happen to have a volunteer nutritionist. It's a really poor program. I mean, it's a GREAT idea, and it is in the first stages (2 summers running now), and some kids have been able to lose a lot of weight and keep it off by learning things... but that is primarily the older teenagers who come and can self regulate. I work with younger kids (5-9 year olds).

The problem here is that's really about all they do. The camp is SO therapy oriented toward all the disabled kids, but it's really up to the counselors to watch the kids food intake (cause all the kids eat together... there may be like 1 obese kid in a cabin of 5 skinny kids who are at the camp for a different reason). Last year, I was a unit leader and in charge of about 30 boys and their 8 counselors, and I really didn't know what support to offer to those counselors who wanted to work with these kids. I'm actually pretty excited for this upcoming summer and hoping a few kids in the program will be put in my unit, because I have so much to offer now with my new knowledge of eating healthy. I'm even thinking about how I can work with the kids and make a packet or something with the healthy choices they've made that they can take back and show their parents. I'm pretty excited about this. I'd love to do this with ALL the kids too... talk about making healthy choices and make it a great thing. Knock out that red dye kool-aide that they give us at picnics. The camp serves pretty healthy foods, but it's just a matter of helping kids learn when they are full and when to stop eating. And what is appropriate to take seconds on.

I was a skinny kid until I was about 8, then I must have gained a lot of weight over the span of a few months or something because I don't even see any transition pictures between skinny kid and fat kid. I wish my parents would have done something to help me. My mom and sister were always thin, but my dad was obese too. Mom and sis ate the same as me and dad, but my sister was a more active kid than me, and she just always stayed thin. Though, she also went through bouts of anorexia in her teenage years. We both obviously had disordered eating, in different ways. I'm so excited to teach my kids about healthy eating someday.

And school lunches aren't THAT bad. I remember their being a lot of options at my school, and there was always a salad bar. My family was poor and so I was packed a peanut butter and jelly every day, along with one of those cheap little debbie snacks or something, and 30 cents for milk (which was usually chocolate). Mom didn't want us on the school lunch program because when she was a kid and got free lunch she was teased. Reasonable idea, but I probably would have fared better with a balanced meal. Not saying that school lunches couldn't improve because they SURELY could. All those dyes and preservatives surely aren't helping kids focus in school, especially with ADHD more rampant (or is it just the fact that there are more processed foods making kids more hyper?? hmm??) But how many disadvantaged kids are in your area? They might be eating better with those school lunches than they are at home, even if it's chocolate milk and chicken nuggets.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 02:16 PM
Im not trying to give a one sided opinion. I'm telling you my opinion and some facts and saying that if you think there is that much of a problem with the school your children go to then GET INVOLVED! Do as much as possible. In the time that you spend on the computer doing this you could have gone and had a meeting with someone and have gotten something accomplished.It's not as hard as people think to get around things like school boards. All you have to do is petition. You get 150 to 200 signatures form other parents and you turn it into the school board and you have a meeting there. I did it at my high school with the breakfast they served. All they served were donuts, bagels, and coffee. I got over 300 signatures and the board changed the menu to heathlier choices such as fresh fruits, no sugar cereals, natural juices, things like that.

We live in a democracy and we are given the freedom of speech and protest. Make it work to your advantage. Don't just sit back and take it and let your child eat things that your uncomfortable with. You are making the choice to lose weight for yourself. If you can do that, you can do something about the schools. Believe in yourself people!

Now how is the one that is bashing? You don't know me... you know nothing ABOUT me. I used my lunch/prep time to catch up on the forums.

To adress your concern about contacting parents.. it would help if they actually cared enough to answer the phone! I work in a district that doesn't have parent involvement. Their child gets in a fight at school... good luck contacting a parent to discuss it.

Good job doing what you did at your high school. You must be a better person than me.

soxmanyxemotions
05-20-2010, 02:20 PM
Now how is the one that is bashing? You don't know me... you know nothing ABOUT me. I used my lunch/prep time to catch up on the forums.

To adress your concern about contacting parents.. it would help if they actually cared enough to answer the phone! I work in a district that doesn't have parent involvement. Their child gets in a fight at school... good luck contacting a parent to discuss it.

Good job doing what you did at your high school. You must be a better person than me.

I never said that. And I didn't bash you. I was saying "you" as in "you the reader of this post".

Yes, it's unfortunate that those childrens parents don't care, but if it is hopeless and they will not do anything, what can you do overall? But if a parent is on here stating their concern, why not try to do something about it?

ubergirl
05-20-2010, 02:21 PM
Mkendrick...
Thanks for bringing this up. Eliana's right that there are multiple causes of obesity and the people who were raised eating crap often want to spend more time and energy on educating their kids about healthy foods and keeping them away from junk, and the people who were raised in restrictive homes with a focus on weight tend to see how that approach can backfire.

Growing up, I had a best friend who I crash dieted with... we used to aim for 800 calories a day. We got a lot of praise for it. Neither of us was fat. She was a national swimming champion and I also excelled in a sport.

She ended up with severe anorexia and has never really been able to lead a normal life. I ended up a binger with some bulimic tendencies when I was younger....

My friend and I grew up in an environment where thinness in girls was highly prized, and what's more, I'm old enough that there weren't a lot of girl athletes and so we looked bulky just because we had more muscles than most girls....

But, a lot of other girls had the same pressures on them and did not get an eating disorder-- the vulnerability to an eating disorder is a combination of genetic susceptibility and environment. The older sister of my of my DD's friends is a severe anorexic-- in and out of the hospital-- and she did not grow up in a restrictive food environment at all, instead, she started out not eating meat, and then started thinking about poor people around the world-- I mean, anorexic thinking is crazy, but they're not all crazy in the same way. way...

I have another friend who raised her kids vegetarian, wouldn't let them eat candy and didn't let them bring crap into the house, and her kids grew up really slim just like she and her husband, but my SIL leaves tons of junk laying around her house and her kids don't even notice it and barely touch it-- when my kids go to her house they can't stop eating all the crap because they're not used to having it around...

I'm going with the camp who says NO DIETING FOR KIDS... but I do think it's smart for parents to know the most healthful feeding practices and adopt those... one that is recommended is always to eat meals together and to serve desserts and treats family style so that kids learn portion control. I don't do that, but I think it seems smart.

Everlasting
05-20-2010, 02:22 PM
I had another thought, for those of you who work at schools/daycares/camps etc... where I work, we do a "Health Tip of the Day". It's like a 3 minute blurb in the morning while all the kids are together at breakfast, and we let a kid come up and read the tip out loud, and then discuss it for a minute.

I don't know, I know most schools have gym programs, and I remembering having to take a health class in 9th grade or something, but if there was a simple "Health Tip of the Day", that took like 5 minutes out of the school day, every day, and perhaps a theme could carry through each week or something.

Kids love being in control, and it seems like if kids learned about things they could do for themselves to help themselves, they would be likely to try. Especially if it became something that the kids could have a couple minutes to discuss or talk about.

WarMaiden
05-20-2010, 02:22 PM
My kids go to a very small charter school which doesn't usually serve lunch, so that is not generally an issue for us. What is an issue is what other parents send in their kids' lunches; Lunchables, white-bread sandwiches, and other processed foods are the norm. My kids get apples and other fruit, sandwiches made on homemade whole-wheat bread, etc. We have a constant ongoing struggle with them about their lunches. It's just difficult to get them enthusiastic about what's to eat when it's perceived as "healthy" and isn't exciting (processed).

We often talk about healthy foods, there is always a veggie with dinner, fruit is ALWAYS on hand for snacking. Juice isn't served, milk is encouraged but not forced on them.

Our 14 year old son (who naturally tends toward a thinner and less-muscular build, and is about the right weight) will literally eat anything and everything; he loves even the healthy stuff and eats it willingly. Our 9 year old son (who naturally tends toward a chunkier and more muscular build, and is somewhat overweight) struggles with eating veggies and fruits; he wants to do the right thing, but he is a supertaster and just has a hard time. Our 7 year old daughter (who is naturally athletic, constantly moving, and about the right weight) would prefer that we feed her sugar and junk food all the time, and mightily protests eating anything that smacks of being healthy.

It's a fight at the dinner table, the breakfast table, and every moment in between to try to get our kids to eat well. The culture we live in just doesn't support doing it. (And we do not have TV in our household; we have a DVD player so we can watch movies, but there are no commercials along with that.)

With our overweight son, we have focused on getting him moving more, because he is naturally sluggish. He takes ice-skating lessons, which he loves; this weekend we are getting him a bike and will be teaching him to ride; he also takes swimming lessons during the summer and loves to swim. Additionally, we're working with him on strength-training, because of his natural muscley build.

Other than focusing on getting more movement and making healthier food choices, no, I would never put any of my kids on a "diet." I don't think "diets" are right for kids.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 02:25 PM
I never said that. And I didn't bash you. I was saying "you" as in "you the reader of this post".

Yes, it's unfortunate that those childrens parents don't care, but if it is hopeless and they will not do anything, what can you do overall? But if a parent is on here stating their concern, why not try to do something about it?

Ok.. my bad for misunderstanding (if that is a word) but I agree on the last part. If I was a parent my kid wouldn't be eating it. But honestly the majority of the parents here don't care what they eat.. its free! I am probably one of the only people in this school that actually even notices or thinks anything about it.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 02:39 PM
Kaplods I was sad to hear you didn't get your turtles! :(

Everlasting That camp sounds great! Must be very rewarding for you and I bet the kids really enjoy it.

Warmaiden No tv? I think that would be great to watch movies with no commercials of tempting foods. That is what always gets me... dang DQ commercials!

SouthLake
05-20-2010, 03:29 PM
I don't have children yet- but when I do, I hope to emulate my friend's mom. Said friend is in excellent physical shape, eats one of the healthiest diets of anyone I know, and as far as I can tell doesn't seem to have a single issue with food.

Her mom let them have all the junk food out there- donuts, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, potato chips etc., but all with one caveat- that they be homemade. Every time my friend wanted a cookie it meant busting out all the ingredients and making them from scratch. Her mom used as many healthy substitutes as possible (applesauce instead of oil, natural sweeteners when possible, etc.) and never made enough for more than one maybe two servings at a time. By the time she hit junior high- she had to make them for herself (with limited help and lots of ingredient supervision from mom) More often than not, she decided that making them was too much work, and went for something much easier to have - her mom ALWAYS kept a tray of fresh cut up fruits and veggies in the fridge- complete with homemade dips and little extras like cut up cheese cubes. On top of that, mom made every single kid play a sport. They got to try out multiple ones to find the one they liked, but they had to have something whether it was karate, soccer, baseball, football, etc. The family always ate dinner at the table, served double veggies at every meal, limited TV time, and took a walk with the dog every night, rain or shine.

As a result, my friend is an adult who can't stand the taste of junkfood. She can taste the chemicals and preservatives in crackers and bakery cupcakes. She only likes her cookies homemade and hot from the oven. She'll only eat potato chips if they're still hot, only likes her french fries baked (she says fried ones are too greasy) Prefers applesauce based cakes over ones that use butter or oil, etc. In a lot of ways, her mom showed her that junk food was hard work and healthy food was easy. Friend still keeps a veggie/fruit tray in her fridge all the time, still takes a walk every single night, still plays volleyball, and pretty much refuses to eat most junk food, based on the taste.

That's what I want for my kids. That they choose healthy foods because they've been brought up to believe that healthy foods taste better than unhealthy foods. That they see physical activity as a normal and necessary part of life. That they still enjoy an occasional treat, but only ones that are "Worth it". Hopefully without some kind of complex that lands them in therapy for life...


On a personal note- I wasn't just a chubby kid in 4th grade- I was THE fat kid. It was horrible. I played soccer, my mom didn't feed me junk food, I was just fat. My doctor told my mom not to worry about it, I'd grow into it and need the extra weight. I'm glad my mom listened- I grew 6 inches in the summer between 6th and 7th grade and went from being the fat kid to the awkwardly skinny and tall kid with big boobs. I can't imagine how much more awkwardly skinny, and how unhealthy, I would have been if my mom put me on a diet.

mkendrick
05-20-2010, 03:38 PM
Curse the DQ commercials!

Yay, I'm glad this thread got a discussion going :)

I was probably borderline overweight for my whole childhood. Not really a fat kid, maybe kinda a chubby kid, definitely not a skinny kid. My parents were divorced, and my mom is an extreme alcoholic. When I was still at home, I was home by myself all day everyday starting at 7yo when my parents split. She was at work when I woke up, I made myself breakfast (two or three bowls of a sugary cereal), went to school, ate garbage for school lunch, came home, and was by myself until 7 or 8pm when my mom got home. I made macaroni and cheese for dinner for myself almost every night. During summer vacations, I was literally left in the house, told NOT to go outside, from 7am-7pm. I watched day time TV, played on the computer, and hung out...by myself. Food was the best part of the day, it entertained me. Every other weekend, I went to my dad's house, and getting ice cream or pizza or whatever else I wanted was a big treat. That was my life from 7-14yo. When I was 15yo, I went to boarding school across the country and was yet again in charge of choosing what, when, and how much to eat. Now I'm at college, and in the same position. Basically, I have ALWAYS been responsible for what I eat since I was about 7. Sure, I'm a smart person and I was a smart kid, I knew that too much junk made you fat, but I had nobody teaching me good habits.

That's what I wish, I wouldn't have wanted my parents to put me on a diet or tell me I was overweight or watch my calories. But I really do wish that somebody would have helped me practice portion control, how to put a balanced meal together, and developed my taste for healthier foods. I wish somebody would have encouraged me (or even allowed me) to go outside and ride my bike or swim or play sports. I wish somebody could have taught me that there are other ways to deal with boredom, stress, and emotions other than eating. And I think all those things are important in ANY kid, whether they're skinny or overweight. Diet eating and exercising shouldn't be an obsession, healthy living should just be the normal way of life. Like everyone has said, moderation is key.

luciddepths
05-20-2010, 03:45 PM
The only issue i have is... i was walking through walmart the other day or even Super store and iseen a woman that was about 250-300 lbs.. and she had 2 small children with her.. under the age of 10.. BOTH kids were well over 120 lbs!! I just dont understand people, i dont agree with putting a kid on a DIET. But getting your kid to that weight? you should be ashamed of yourself kids that age, you should have SOME control over their diet, just because "you dont care" about your own or what you put in your mouth, doesnt mean you should encourage that in a kid..

sorry if that seems really aggressive, but i look at my mom.. my brother and i were always small, i gained when i was 17 years old ( i ballooned up from the DEPO shot and depression and eating)... and she is a LARGE woman.. she made sure that we ate healthy (she didnt, but WE did)!


ALSO i'm not directing this at ANYONE on here, its just a general RANT

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 03:57 PM
Southlake That sounds like a mother that really cares. Man if my parents would have made more of an emphasis on healthy and unhealthy things. What I would give to NOT enjoy the taste of fried things!

Megan I was the chubby kid too. Never really obese, just always chubby. I really honestly don't remember what I ate as a child. I just remember my mom cooking and lots of the meals being fried.. example fried pork chops and rice and gravy. She doesn't cook that way now because she knows different. But growing up in Southeast Texas we had a lot of food that way and my PARENTS were raised that way.

luciddepths Not aggressive at all.. its the truth! I have seen elementary school students that were morbidly obese. Poor thing could barely get out of his chair. How as a parent could anyone let that happen? It made me really sad.

This has been a great thread... lots of good things shared.

goodforme
05-20-2010, 04:11 PM
I have two children. One is 12 and obese. One is 2 and is in 50th percentile for height and weight.

My older dd was breastfed for only 6 weeks. Then she was formula fed, cried all the time and her doctor told me she was hungry, feed her. He put her on cereal at 2 months, jar food at 4 months, and she graduated to table food by 6 months. At 12 months she wore a 3T. By kindergarten I was begging him to help me reduce her weight. He told me not to put her on a diet, I would deprive her of nutrients, and that she would grow into her weight. Well, now she's 12, 5'7" and 215. We weigh the same amount, we wear the same shoes and we share clothes. In fact, I am thinner than my daughter.

My baby dd was breastfed exclusively for 6 months, started slowly on real food, not jarred baby food. She learned to eat until she was satisfied, and was never overfed because some pediatrician said she's hungry, feed her. She's allowed treats, in fact I think she eats too many treats, but she's incredibly active and apparently genetics are on her side.

It pains me to have conversations with dd1 about food. My parents shamed me into losing weight, it never worked, and I secretly binged on cookies and even cake icing out of the can in my room at night while they weren't watching. I never wanted her to think I was ashamed of her, and I think that's a big part of how she ended up the size she is. While she's at home there is a limit on what she eats. There are very few treats, but when she gets one, she goes overboard. Instead of one serving of frozen yogurt, she's going to have 4 in one bowl, more than once a day, until it's all gone. Oh, how many times have I said "you're not allowed to have that much" or "if you go back to the fridge again I'm throwing it out" or along those lines.

The sad thing for me is: I set her up to be this way from birth. Through my own inexperience, ignorance, whatever you want to call it. I think she comforts herself with food because that's all she ever got as a baby/young child. She never "grew into her weight" or "lost her baby fat" or any number of other things that doctor told me. She's been teased her whole life by adults and children alike, relatives and strangers. She has a very good self esteem, lots of friends, and didn't let her weight bother her. As she's gotten older she's gotten very sensitive about it.

Every conversation is a nightmare, walking on eggshells, the fine line between educating her, controlling her, and not making her feel ashamed.

My question is, short of padlocking the pantry and fridge, just how are parents supposed to control what their kids eat? We don't have tons of junk in our house, we go out to eat very rarely, and I cook plenty of healthy nutritious options for her to choose from. We all know it's possible to overeat on healthy food. . . And don't get me started on her eating at school. I hate to say "force" but I force her to go outside and be active every evening. We go for walks as a family, we play, we have discussions about healthy versus unhealthy calories, portion sizes, choices that can be made in the absence of veggies at school, on and on and on.

So yes, I am the fat parent of a fat child, who has been fat her entire life, just like I was. And I'm not rolling over, sticking my head back into the sand, and pretending we don't have a problem. But she's still fat.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 04:21 PM
So yes, I am the fat parent of a fat child, who has been fat her entire life, just like I was. And I'm not rolling over, sticking my head back into the sand, and pretending we don't have a problem. But she's still fat.

:hug:

I think there is a difference between you and parents of overweight kids that just don't care. You are here on this forum for starters. Some parents just honestly don't know anything about eating healthy and some don't care.

Its obvious you do and are trying to help her. And at 12 its a very sensitive age.

Thank you for sharing this... helped open my eyes and I am sure some other people's as well on this issue.

:hug:

SouthLake
05-20-2010, 04:27 PM
goodforme: My heart breaks for you and your daughter. But I applaud you and have so much respect for the wonderful efforts you have put in to raising your children. It's difficult because as a parent you can want lots of things, but at the end of the day, despite the fact that your daughter is not an adult, she is still a cognizent human being who will make her own choices (for better or worse) about what to put in her mouth.

My pediatrician made the decision to not put me on a diet based on my growth chart (I was somewhere around the 90th percentile for height) and the pattern I'd been growing in. She predicted I'd hit 5'11". I topped out at 5'8.5", but without moderate to sever scoliosis, she would have been right on. I wish more doctors would use a multitude of sources to come to a decision to help parents regulate their children's weight. It's easy to point at overweight children and call it "baby fat" or say that they'll grow into it, when that simply isn't the case.

Our friends have a son that strugggles with his weight like no kid I've ever seen. As baby, he'd cry and cry for his bottle, and drink enough to make himself throw up, and still want more. Luckily, his pediatrician was quite concerned, did some testing to make sure everything was okay, and immediately referred the parents to a nutritionist. By the time he was ready to start solid foods, his parents had developed a solid plan to help get him the best foods possible to help manage his hunger and keep him healthy. He's a chubby kid now, but without the help of their nutritionist (who they still meet with regularly) and a great pediatrician, I can't imagine where he would be.

kaplods
05-20-2010, 05:59 PM
Kaplods I was sad to hear you didn't get your turtles! :(


It's funny, because even 39 years later, at 44 years old, I remember the righteous indignation, and the feelings of being entirely gypped.

About eight or nine years ago, when hubby and I were dating, or newly married, we were in a pet store and I saw some small turtles in one of the cases, and I started laughing (hubby thought I was nuts to be so fascinated with the little reptiles).

I tried to explain, telling him the "turtle diet" story, and he just looked confused and said "you want me to buy you pet turtles?"

Of course, that only made me laugh harder.

Serbrider
05-20-2010, 06:01 PM
I have been overweight pretty much all of my life. At age 10 I was put on a diet. Atkins. My Dad went on it as well. I lost a bunch of weight... then gained it all back... plus a lot.

I've been on diets on and off ever since. I'm now 215 lbs at 17 years old. Yeah... thanks mom... thanks dad. ;) (not that I blame them... I sabotaged most of their attempts, mainly because I don't like being controlled, and I sabotaged my own attempts... for any number of reasons)

sweetnlow28
05-20-2010, 06:24 PM
This topic is very personal for me. I decided to post a reply before reading any of the responses. Like many of us here, I have always been overweight. I was raised by my father (no mother) who was young and tried his best to give me a good life. We lived on a very low income and most of our foods consisted on breads, lunch meats and pasta. He really didn't know what portion sizes or foods were appropriate for children. When I was around 10, I saw a doctor who actually put me on slimfast shakes! I ended up in the hospital a week later with severe vomiting as a result. It was not until I saw a dietitian when I became pregnant with my first child, that I began to learn what healthy eating and portion sizes should look like. From that moment, I vowed to do everything in my power to teach my children healthy eating habits and spare them the humiliation and health problems that result from childhood obesity. I have always fed my children better than myself and they are both at very healthy weights. Only recently, have I started to feed myself properly and discover the self worth that I lacked all those years.
Anyway, back on topic. I believe that a parent's job is to teach healthy eating habits at a young age. If a child becomes overweight, I don't agree with officially placing a child on a "diet" but it would definitely be a time to relearn eating habits and make healthy changes as a family. The family support is the key. I feel is it inappropriate to harp on a child about calories and fat intake. It is never alright to make a child feel bad about what they are eating or bad about their self. I have had both happen to me and now I see it happening to my half sister. My step mother thinks that berating my 11 year old sister about her weight will make her want to change. The who family is overweight and it just breaks my heart. The whole issue of a child's weight should always be dealt with sensitively and in a positive way. Making healthy changes as a family is key because if that child feels they are being centered out and restricted, it can cause a poor self esteem along with over eating issues. I could go on and write the story of my life as an overweight child "on a diet"...but I wont LOL ;)

Eliana
05-20-2010, 07:04 PM
Ever think it's because parents just sit aside and let them? Most parents now seem like their too busy to be active in their child's life, I'm not saying that is you, don't take this the wrong way please. But schools do what they can to cut corners to make it the fastest, easiest, cheapest way they possibly can. Take a stand, show them you're not okay with it and you can petition with other parents to get the menu's changed.

Again, your position is admirable. ;) It's just not reality. I guess I work in a particularly poor district. Not "guess"...I DO. The majority of the kids I work with are on free lunch and most of those who aren't are on reduced lunch. These are kids who also come in after school and are sent home with "dinner" in their backpacks. (Canned stuff) What they get at school is as nutritional as it gets.

Whatever school district you live in would be lucky to have you!! (Though I'm sure administrators would disagree. ;)) I wish I had the gumption and mental strength to do what you suggest.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 08:20 PM
How I wish I would have taught my children from day one. Day number one of their lives, what good nutrition is and why it matters so much. And the importance of exercise. It would have been automatic to them. It would have been natural, habitual and just *what they do* and *who they are*. We teach them how to say please and thank you, how to read and write, how to brush their teeth and other proper hygiene. Now that's not to say that they would all be *perfect* at it, there were always those kids who somehow forgot to say please and thank you, and then you've got the kids who don't brush their teeth all that often (ew), but I think life as a whole would be lots different if this whole society would make proper/good nutrition a given, a number one priority.

alyssarof2012
05-20-2010, 08:40 PM
When my son starts Kindergarten, I will be packing his lunches. They will be healthy foods. (With a kid friendly twist of course.)
He is currently overweight, (by only like 5 lbs), but 5 lbs add up quickly. I have been so focused on my health, that I haven't been giving him his outside time.
But right now I'm learning to balance a healthy life for me and him.
It's hard with me being in school and whatnot. (I'm 16, however, it's not what everyone thinks... it was rape.. another story for another day.)

Anyways, back on topic. No, I would never tell my son that he has to diet or eat less because he is overweight and he needs to lessen his weight.
I would simply do more healthy activities with him, and eat healthy meals as a family, not just him. I will always allow my son and future kids unhealthy indulgent snacks occasionally, because well, that's a part of life. (Such as holidays and birthdays.)
When I go off to college, and of course take him with me, I will not stock my cabinets with junk and all of that like my older brother does (though he has no kids, he's still overweight himself.)

I grew up overweight from the age of 9 on up. My mom still is trying to lose weight, to this day. But she won't take that step to say no to unhealthy snacks and junk. She wants to buy a treadmill, but none go up to 350 that she can find. (Only one does that we've seen.) And she's procrastinating on buying that. She won't even walk around the living room let alone outside or a treadmill. She once had a free trial gym pass and didn't even go.. Her feet are swollen all the time and she can't lotion her own legs... It's kind of pitiful/sad, since she chose this lifestyle.

So I can't really control my child's weight until he's 4 or so when I move out. (My mom rarely buys healthy food.) But at least I can practice portion control with him, which I guess would help his weight.

Very nice post, and I like the grocery store idea.

junebug41
05-20-2010, 08:43 PM
There are some things my parents did wong in regards to weight and eating, and some things they did right. I know what NOT to do (don't put a young child on a restrictive diet) and I know what to do. Helathful eating has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father has always been a wondeful, health conscious, cook. As a fat child, I took it personally. Now I'm completely grateful. I was taught consistency (no yo-yo dieting mothers in my house- it was just healthy all the time). I was sent to school with a healthy lunch that I thought was amazing, but looked a lot different than my classmates. I was encouraged to "get lost" (not literally or harshly, but I was allowed to disappear to the woods, river, on my bike, etc...). I appreciate healthy eating as an adult because of how my parents raised me. The problem was when I was put on a strict diet as a small child, which set me up for a lifetime of failure measuring portion contol.

In other words, while I will not restrict calores, I will provide a consistent healthy environment for eating. I like Southlake's friend's mom! Nothing wrong with "junk" as long as it's not processed (and limited).

Eliana
05-21-2010, 08:06 AM
When my son starts Kindergarten, I will be packing his lunches. They will be healthy foods. (With a kid friendly twist of course.)
He is currently overweight, (by only like 5 lbs), but 5 lbs add up quickly. I have been so focused on my health, that I haven't been giving him his outside time.
But right now I'm learning to balance a healthy life for me and him.
It's hard with me being in school and whatnot. (I'm 16, however, it's not what everyone thinks... it was rape.. another story for another day.)

Anyways, back on topic. No, I would never tell my son that he has to diet or eat less because he is overweight and he needs to lessen his weight.
I would simply do more healthy activities with him, and eat healthy meals as a family, not just him. I will always allow my son and future kids unhealthy indulgent snacks occasionally, because well, that's a part of life. (Such as holidays and birthdays.)
When I go off to college, and of course take him with me, I will not stock my cabinets with junk and all of that like my older brother does (though he has no kids, he's still overweight himself.)

I grew up overweight from the age of 9 on up. My mom still is trying to lose weight, to this day. But she won't take that step to say no to unhealthy snacks and junk. She wants to buy a treadmill, but none go up to 350 that she can find. (Only one does that we've seen.) And she's procrastinating on buying that. She won't even walk around the living room let alone outside or a treadmill. She once had a free trial gym pass and didn't even go.. Her feet are swollen all the time and she can't lotion her own legs... It's kind of pitiful/sad, since she chose this lifestyle.

So I can't really control my child's weight until he's 4 or so when I move out. (My mom rarely buys healthy food.) But at least I can practice portion control with him, which I guess would help his weight.

Very nice post, and I like the grocery store idea.

I gotta say, you really seem to have it all together. ;) Don't worry about your son being "5 pounds" overweight at that age, unless, of course, your pediatrician is telling you to be concerned. Kids at that age tend to grow out and then up and repeat that cycle often.

I'm really impressed with the maturity of your post. :smug:

mom4life
05-21-2010, 08:31 AM
Being that my mom was an anorexic when I was a child then having her constantly tell me I needed to do this or that to stay looking pretty. Or later (after I was married) having her constantly remind me how pretty I looked before I gained all the weight and was never happy with any sort of weight loss I had made unless I was where I was before, which never truly happened. The last time she saw me was when I was 10 lbs from my goal and she was very please and actually said she would totally be happy if I decided to stay at that weight.....huge compliment from my mom.
When I changed my eating habits or when I started losing weight last year. Because of my history I was weighing myself everyday and my 5 y/o son caught on to it and he started following my lead. He would make comments like "I can't eat this because it has too many calories." This is stuff dh and I would say to each other never directed to the kids. My kids are thin they have no issues with weight. So I've learned that I can't talk about weight loss around my kids because they think everyone has a weight issue.
It took a while but I finally got him to realize that mom and dad need to slim down so we can be healthy like the kids are. I've started making more healthy meals and I praise the kids for trying new veggies and eating healthier meals.
Funny with this experience I've had to not weight myself as much which is great because weighing everyday was frustrating. LOL
Anyways, I grew up with weight always being on my mind to where I was obsessed be it when I was over weight and always felt down about it or when I started losing it and calories are always there. I do NOT want to pass this on to my kids.

SCraver
05-21-2010, 09:55 AM
It so hard to know waht to do. May parents where the same with both me and my sister - yet I am obese and she is slender.

As a parent, you can only do your best to do what you think is right. My son is 16 months old and I try to expose him to everything from Aspargus to Cheetos. I give him fruits and veggies everyday and only on occassion give him tastes of junk food. I don't want junk food to be "forbidden" and therefore become appealing, but I try to mainly focus on the fruits and veggies. He LOVES LOVES fruit and hasn't met any veggies he doesn't like.

We don't have cable. We can't afford video game systems. We live on 2 acres of land - so I know (like my mom used to say) I will be telling him to "go outside and play" a lot.

Daycare takes the kids outside everyday the weather permits them to.

I really think the best you can do is to encourage healthy eating, encourage activity and don't keep junk in the house!

Nada
05-21-2010, 09:56 AM
As an obese woman with normal weight daughters I did a couple of things right. (thank goodness) I served a lot of fruits and veggies (although I probably overused processed main dishes) and I encouraged and supported EVERY activity they were interested in: soccer, dance, basketball, swimming.

Of course I'm also middle class and was able to work part-time while they were in school so I had the money to pay for the activities and the time to take them. I feel for those who don't have the same opportunities.

Vixsin
05-21-2010, 11:49 AM
Just have to say, again, what a great thread. It is so great to have a place where we like-minded people can all get together and discuss this topic. This is a hard topic for some. There are those that want to sweep it under the rug. It is SO refreshing to be in a place that we're not afraid to speak openly and to know that we are all among friends.

You guys, and this thread, has really reassured me that I am doing the right thing with my son and not obssessing about his weight (like I've always obssessed about my own). Thanks again for all the support and opinions, they are all truly valuable! I feel very proud to be a part of this forum.