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Old 06-25-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
pae
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Weight loss for my 6 year old

Hi everyone,

A little background on me...I've always been the "fat kid"...in 2006 I weighed 430 pounds after my second child was born. I lost 200 pounds in about 18 months following a fairly clean eating program and limiting my calories to about 1400-1600 (plus exercise every other day).

And so since that first 200, I've been sitting about 208 - 240 lbs waiting to really feel motivated to get this last 100 or so pounds off for good. And here I am! Ready. I have been 'dieting' and exercising and yo yoing for months in between life crisis and stresses...and so I'm donig putting my health on the backburner.

Anyway this weekend, my middle child (5 years old) came to me and said she hated being fat. It broke my heart! I know how she feels. I remember going through school as the heavy one, the teasing, the low self esteem...everything...and I desperately do NOT want her to go through it.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on whether or not a LC WOE for a 5 year old is appropriate or ok? And if not, what do you suggest? Her Dr says "she'll grow out of it"...but we're past that point - I know she is overweight because of food choices (she has 5 other siblings/step siblings...her biological sisters are quite slim). My daughter and I have had begging conversations about "healthy" food and "unhealthy" foods...I try not to use the words weight and diet with her because I do not want her to live in diet mode...I just want it to be something she does because of what I can offer her for meals/snacks.

So what WOE have you used with your kids? Pros/cons?

Thanks
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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First of all

I don't think that there is anything unhealthy about a five years old not eating bread, cookies, crackers, basically any processed food. They are better without it, IMHO.

I would focus her meals on protein, lots of veggies, maybe a little fruit, and a little cheese. Also, a limited amount of nuts would be good. This WOE is good for everyone in the household with a few modifications.

If I had a little one, I would feed them the same way I eat except for fruit and of course I wouldn't actually count their carb intake. A few LC treats would be nice for her too so that she doesn't feel "different." I make cookies out of coconut flour and almond flour and they are really tasty.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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It's such a fine line when you're dealing with kids and weight loss issues. On the one hand, you want them to be healthy; but on the other hand, you don't want the kids developing a disordered way of looking at foods, or damaging their self-esteem.

Another issue is that children's dietary needs are so different from those of adults. I know that there are a few blogs out there written by parents who have adopted a paleo/primal lifestyle and who have successfully transitioned their children over to that lifestlye, as well. I'm kind of a newbie around here and I'm unsure of the rules regarding posting of links. One such family are Stacy and Matt of the Paleo Parents blog. In in the interest of not violating the terms of service, I would suggest that you google their names and take a look at their blog. Very informative.

Last edited by flappa1016; 06-25-2012 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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Thank you for your quick reply! I can't describe this feeling of total and utter failure on my part as her mother to have "let" her get to the point where at 5 years old she is worried about being 'fat'. She knows that I am trying to lose weight to become healthy and always asks to have "her turn" on the treadmill after me so she can exercise too - she is active with all the other kids...and likes going on the treadmill. I let her do it by her own choice and she usually will walk at a good clip for 5-10 minutes (tv on in front of her)...so if she chooses that, then great.

She watches what I eat and this morning asked if she could eat the same breakfast as me - egg white omlette with veggies. So I think that for her modeling foods to eat will be key. I'm going to look through the recipes for some 'snacks' that she can enjoy when her siblings are mowing down on their high carb high fat snacks. I don't buy a lot of junk - but I do keep a few grab and go things and of course the kids gravitate to that stuff. I really need to find some recipes/snack ideas that I can sub in for the granola bars and crackers n cheese sticks!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by flappa1016 View Post
One such family are Stacy and Matt of the Paleo Parents blog. In in the interest of not violating the terms of service, I would suggest that you google their names and take a look at their blog. Very informative.
Great thanks! I too worry about the disorder of being "diet" driven...not a life for any person, let alone kids!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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First off: a five year old child, no matter HOW obese, should NEVER lose weight. The goal in managing obesity in a child that age is to simply stop the weight gain. Your goal shoud be to have her "maintain", even if she's at 100+ pounds. Eventually, she will grow. When she does, what WAS an unhealthy weight will eventually become healthy for her new size. (this is at least part of what your doctor meant by grow out of it.)

My kids (5 and 7) are more or less LC. Unlike me, they also eat bread (that I bake from whole wheat flour) for sandwiches, and eat a lot of fruit. Our snacks are fruit, cheese, nuts, or "cookies" that are actually LC meal-bars baked in cookie shape. They also love odd things we've tried like flavored seaweed.

We don't keep junk food on hand, and as much as possible make things from scratch. They're so used to this that they'll ofte (though not always) reject junk food that's offered to them, because it tastes weird.

My daughter (the younger) is more of a problem. She's picky, unlike my son. For example, when I started baking our bread, she initially rejected it because it wasn't cut as straight as store bread. Still what we serve is what's available. She may eat it -- and be allowed snacks if shes still hungry. Or she may reject it, and be served the same plate again when she asks for food. It's hard, but it's gotten her to expandd her palate. (She's 5, but most people think she's 3, based on size and development.)

So my advice would be YES feed her the same healthy low carb foods you eat, and Eliminate the "bad choice" foods from your house (including cereal). But do NOT have weight-loss as a goal. Have the goal be simply improved eating habits.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #7
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I don't think that there is anything unhealthy about a five years old not eating bread, cookies, crackers, basically any processed food. They are better without it, IMHO.
Absolutely. Focus on health.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with egg yolks, and you don't have to cut your daughter's calories, only steer her to healthy food choices, which include healthy (saturated and mono-unsaturated) fats. She is really going to need fats. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it will help with appetite control, reduction of inflammation, etc. Fats are good food, not the enemy. Low carb and low calorie/fat is a recipe for DISASTER, especially in a growing child (they need fat!).

I know this is really hard with kids, especially older kids. But you've got a golden opportunity here because you have a lot of control over a five year old's diet and she's ASKING for help. I'm struggling with my 11 year old, perfectly normal BMI and body weight, but she has classic symptoms of PCOS--insulin resistance (yes, diagnosed). She is at an age where fitting in is the most important thing, and her frieds eat nothing but processed carbage. I'm so sad that I didn't start much sooner with her. The gentle approach is being sabotaged by my DH, who continues to buy her chips, breads (sweet raising bread, OY!), cookies, cereal, and toaster pastries, etc.

Get the carbage out of the house. Adopt a really positive attitude toward healthy foods ("this is good for you and tastes great!"). Avoid negatives--"you can't have this" is never a good thing to say. Instead of "no you can't have pizza" try "Let's make a pizza omelette together because that's very healthy, and you can put all your favorite toppings in it."

Also, if you search here and on other sites for recipes, almost anything "other" people eat can be made in a low carb version.

If you keep things healthy and low carb at home and planned meals (i.e. lunches for school and camp), then you don't have to worry about the occasional treats at a birthday party or a friend's house. The 80/20 rule is fine.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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Thanks for the candor, LiterateGriffin - appreciate it.

I understand about not aiming to lose weight - that certainly does make more sense to have maintain...and would be far better for her psyche for sure. I think I will go back to the no more junk in the house...I lived that way with the kids after my divorce and then the introduction of my now-partner and his kids has turned that part of our life a little upside down. :| If it's not healthy for me and my kids, I shouldn't feel bad at not providing it for him and his...if they want it, they can go out and buy it and eat it away from the house...why not.

I did start doing this over the weekend when we were camping. They usually live off of hotdogs, chips, sugar cereal and toast. I made baggie omlettes (in heat n serve ziplocs), salads, meatballs, etc lol...they were a little out of sync with the meal options, but everything go ate because the trailer was void of chips and cookies for the first time. Yay! So it is doable.

Thank you again - I feel like this is manageable...and will help me stay focussed on my own efforts to boot.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
If you keep things healthy and low carb at home and planned meals (i.e. lunches for school and camp), then you don't have to worry about the occasional treats at a birthday party or a friend's house. The 80/20 rule is fine.
You bet - we can do this! It is a great opportunity for her to learn NOW what healthy is...I didn't have that kind of introduction and learning at 30 years old was 30 years late for me
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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I think it's absolutely healthy to cut out or limit sugar, grains, and starch for everyone. I grew up as the fat kid too and I really wish my mom had known how to help me early on so I didn't grow up with a weight problem and all the social issues that go along with that. Now that I have a child I want to make sure he grows up learning healthy eating habits. He loves fruit and I don't have a problem with that but I do put a limit on how much juice and carby snack foods he gets. Otherwise he usually eats the same lc fare that dh and I eat.

My best suggestion would be to get your whole family to eat less carbage. Just because the other siblings are slender doesn't mean that they are necessarily going to stay that way for life if they don't learn healthy habits now. Try replacing the pre-packaged grab and go foods with some homemade low carb goodies or fruit for snacking. Make lc meals for the whole family if you don't already and you can offer small portions of healthier carbs to round out the meal. Paleo would be a great place to start! Good for you for getting yourself healthier and having the knowledge to help your dd
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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OK... here's one recipe, for a cookie/granola bar type snack. The first time I made them, I shaped it like little round cookies, for the kids. I've also shaped them like larger bars, as in the picture, for meal-substitutes:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...tein-bars.html

You can also make healthy crackers very easily:

1 cup nut-meal. (Original recipe called for sunflower seeds whizzed in blender. I tend to use 1/2 c almond meal, and 1/2 c flax meal, mixed, because I can buy these pre-ground.)
1/4 c powdered parmasean cheese (or grated cheddar for a "cheeze-nip" cracker)
1/4 c water.

Mix try ingredients. Add water and mix well.

Cover a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Turn out the dough. Cover with another piece of parchment, and work it with your hands into a thin, flat layer. (I find hands are MUCH easier than a rolling pin, oddly.)

Peel back the top layer of parchment. Sprinkle with salt or sesame seeds if you like. Score the dough into cracker-shapes with a thin knife. Bake at 350 for around 15 minutes until nicely browned. Allow to cool for about a minute, then remove from parchment and break along the lines.

It sounds more complicated/difficult than it is, and they're ready to eat within about a minute of coming out of the oven.


Get her involved in helping you MAKE these yummy treats! Kids LOVE to eat what they helped make, and it'll give you a chance to talk with her about what goes into THESE yummy things, versus what goes into Wheat Thins or Cheezits. (Nuts are SO nutrient-dense... Whereas the chemicals in commercial crackers just AREN'T.)

So yes: Some healthy crackers, and cheese slices, makes a nice filling snack that will give her lots of energy (which kids need). Or apples dipped in fresh-ground peanut or almond butter. (Again, kids need a higher carb-count than we do, but FRUITS are a great source for those carbs. Just make sure they're getting fat and protein as well.)

Deviled eggs are great, too, and most kids like them (though it can be harder -- at least at my house -- to have them enjoy hard boiled eggs. Its a texture thing, with the yolk.)

Instead of sugared cereal, before you go to bed, take your crock pot and throw in a handful of different whole grains (millet, quinoa, whole oats, barleyfor example), and a couple handfuls of things like chopped nuts, flaxseed meal, etc, and a bunch of dried fruit, with a bunch of cinnamon, some vanilla, some nutmeg, and a dash of cloves. Stir in some butter/coconut oil, along with the water, and let it simmer overnight. I will BET you that by morning, the whole household wants to taste it! (The smell is amazing.) This is way healthier than sugared cereals, and can still be served with milk (is good that way). Put away the extra, and serve cold with milk the next day. Over time, decrease the grain, and up the nut/seed content. Of course, I vastly prefer eggs for breakfast, but this is a way to wean the REST of your house off the sugar-cereal. And folks will feel BETTER after eating this, than when they eat Frosted Flakes (or whatever). It has enough healthy fat and protein to give them more than half an hour's worth of energy.

Last edited by LiterateGriffin; 06-25-2012 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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I commend you for taking this on as a health issue and not framing it as a diet, weight-loss issue with your daughter. The gentle, affirming approach will be so much better for a kid (and adult!). You say that it is food choices that have caused your DD's overweight, but that her siblings also eat lots of high carb snacks but are slender. It may then not only be food choices, but the way this DD processes carbs as opposed to her sisters. she seems eager to model your healthy food choices, so you're off to a great start.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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Oh, man....what a tough situation!

I was an overweight child, too (shocker, I know). I don't think I actually realized I was a fat kid until like 4th or 5th grade so it's really sad to me that you've got a kindergartener on your hands that's concerned with her weight!

Please understand, I speak from personal experience when I say this: I think you should help your daughter by teaching her healthy eating habits and keeping her active. Don't teach her to "diet". Teach her to be happy and healthy and accept and love herself.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of eating disorders and self esteem issues develop early in life and stay with us all of our lives. I think if you help her feel good about herself now, it'll be easier for her in life to avoid the vicious cycles we've all been through. I know that, for me, eating became a way of comforting myself when people hurt me. I had NO self esteem whatsoever....still have issues in that department, actually.

Good luck.
I'm sorry I couldn't offer some ACTUAL advise. I don't have children....I was just once a fat kid, too, so I can relate to what your baby's going through.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:22 PM   #14
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I agree with the suggestion to overhaul the whole family's WOE. There is nothing wrong with focusing on health, whole foods that come in their own package. Then they will have the tools from their growing up experiences to make good choices as adults. However, they are kids and you have them let them have the occasional treat for a special thing or birthdays, etc.. If the treat is 'good' for them, then all the better.

I used to hate it when my mother bought chips and then informed me that I "didn't have to eat them". And my mother lives with me now...and to this day she would rather have sugar, carbs, cake & goodies' Lucky for her she needs every calorie she can get. The rest of us are not so lucky. It's a struggle to plan ahead to avoid self sabatoge. FYI, I have a thin friend who makes her child all neurotic about choosing what to eat. Her daughter is 11, and getting a tiny bit pudgy. My friend is 'not allowing this', but she is punitive about it...and then she buys Ding Dongs and Little Debbie. Seriously?
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:42 PM   #15
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If she was diabetic would you have any trouble telling her that she had to eat differently than other children? I think she probably can't eat the same way as others due to heredity, poor food choices or whatever, it really doesn't matter the reason. She is not happy the way she is and maybe you can suggest eating what you eat to her and explain later that her body doesn't process certain food the same way her friends bodies do. It isn't easy but if she had another type of illness and changing diet were the cure wouldn't you do it for her...I think you would.
You an show her by example how to do this.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:02 PM   #16
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Thank you all so much for your advice - all of it is muchly appreciated! And the recipes - sound great! We will be doing some cooking/baking together tonight. That is one of her loves...she LOVES to cook and bake with me, so this will be a great start to OUR (family as a whole) lifestyle changes...
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
Absolutely. Focus on health.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with egg yolks, and you don't have to cut your daughter's calories, only steer her to healthy food choices, which include healthy (saturated and mono-unsaturated) fats. She is really going to need fats. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it will help with appetite control, reduction of inflammation, etc. Fats are good food, not the enemy. Low carb and low calorie/fat is a recipe for DISASTER, especially in a growing child (they need fat!).

I know this is really hard with kids, especially older kids. But you've got a golden opportunity here because you have a lot of control over a five year old's diet and she's ASKING for help. I'm struggling with my 11 year old, perfectly normal BMI and body weight, but she has classic symptoms of PCOS--insulin resistance (yes, diagnosed). She is at an age where fitting in is the most important thing, and her frieds eat nothing but processed carbage. I'm so sad that I didn't start much sooner with her. The gentle approach is being sabotaged by my DH, who continues to buy her chips, breads (sweet raising bread, OY!), cookies, cereal, and toaster pastries, etc.

Get the carbage out of the house. Adopt a really positive attitude toward healthy foods ("this is good for you and tastes great!"). Avoid negatives--"you can't have this" is never a good thing to say. Instead of "no you can't have pizza" try "Let's make a pizza omelette together because that's very healthy, and you can put all your favorite toppings in it."

Also, if you search here and on other sites for recipes, almost anything "other" people eat can be made in a low carb version.

If you keep things healthy and low carb at home and planned meals (i.e. lunches for school and camp), then you don't have to worry about the occasional treats at a birthday party or a friend's house. The 80/20 rule is fine.
Jan, you knocked it out of the park with this one^!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #18
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Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #19
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That's wonderful that she loves to cook and bake! So awesome! You two can have a lot of fun together creating good things for the whole family, and having together time as well!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #20
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My children all look like I did as a kid....chubby! Takes lots of exercise and a cereal-free sugar-free household for us all just to look normal. We still aren't skinny but we keep it under control this way. In a blue moon we eat carbs and we gain weight alarmingly fast.

My six year old is just discovering that she's not "tiny" like her friends. I just try to normalize it. She'll never be a string bean. Its not in her DNA.

My house always has different brands of string cheese, natural chicken sausages, ground beef, strawberries, greek yogurt, stevia packets, kiwis, cantaloupe, jicama, carrots...just tons of vegetables; to cut up and dip, pistachios, almonds, we make tuna muffins, lowcarb pizza, homemade soups...we love to wrap tuna salad, egg salad or hamburgers into crisp iceberg lettuce.

We just never, ever, ever have processed junk, the only grain we keep is sprouted wheat protein bread for childcare days (sandwiches).

This is funny: my six year old is very social and charismatic; lots of friends come by, and they LOVE our food! Our food is different than the bland, tasteless crackers, cookies and vitamin-sprayed cereal they get at home...and they like it.

Last edited by moonmirror; 06-25-2012 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #21
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I think its great that you are concerned and willing to work with her. In all reality, she is 5/6 so its up to you to teach her how to make healthy choices. First off, get rid of all the junk. None of the kiddos need it. Then go shopping!

Some of the things we keep on hand for my LO (17 mo) are:

yogurt
string cheese
frozen peas
meatballs
seasonal fruit (he especially loves berries)
bell pepper strips
broccoli florets
zucchini "coins"
cubed meat (usually whatever we have leftover)
cheerios
crackers
cream cheese
peanut butter
whole grain bread (he loves toast with cream cheese or pb)
lunch meats
pickles
popcorn
olives
eggs
avocado
nuts (he loves cashews right now!)
baby carrots

We dont restrict his carbs per se but we choose healthy ones (whole grain), and only the staples that we know he likes, the rest is fresh wholesome food. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #22
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I think I will go back to the no more junk in the house...I lived that way with the kids after my divorce and then the introduction of my now-partner and his kids has turned that part of our life a little upside down. :| If it's not healthy for me and my kids, I shouldn't feel bad at not providing it for him and his...if they want it, they can go out and buy it and eat it away from the house...why not.
I think this is important. everyone, including parents, should eat the same. then no one is treated differently or "not allowed" to eat certain foods. it just makes more sense that each child is eating healthfully and food messages are consistent among the siblings. otherwise, being fat seems like a sin and dieting the punishment. kids don't understand metabolism and nutrition; they understand having their favourite stuff taken away, though. kinda like getting grounded from m+m's... and for what? taking up too much space?

I was kinda overweight as a child and it sucked watching my siblings eat whatever, when I was being criticized for everything I dared put in my mouth. I was being told I needed to go outside and exercise (I was bookish, hated sports, loved reading indoors) while my siblings were allowed to stay in and play video games.

I developed bulimia and EDNOS at 13 after my mother finally put me on Weight Watchers. I struggled with that for a good decade.

I think it's really important for parents to demonstrate healthy attitudes and not to make a huge deal out of dieting or food. like, my mom obviously struggled with some type of eating disorder and would go through these binge/starve cycles. my dad did too. lots of secret eating. there was a lot of food hoarding and other strange, possessive behaviour going on it our house. everyone seemed preoccupied with calories, and one's "goodness" or "badness" seemed to be dictated by how much they liked eating or how much "bad stuff" they consumed. much of this was not overt, but still impacted me greatly.

I hope you are telling her not to worry, that she is too young to diet and that she is lovely the way she is. personally I think age 5 is way too young to even be conscious of dieting or to have internalized the message that fat is "bad".

it looks like you've got a good head on your shoulders, though. good luck!
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Last edited by thealything; 06-25-2012 at 09:53 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:54 PM   #23
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I am struggling to teach my 2 year old healthy eating. He is a normal weight but my dh is a horrible eater who at 385 pounds should be eating healthier.

Here are some things my 2 year old loves that are good for kids. he is going through a toddler picky stage:

eggs (hands down his favorite food especially cheesy and scrambled. he used to get sugary cereal but since I went low carb it's easier to make an egg for him. He loves it.)
whole wheat bread with peanut butter or as a grilled cheese sandwich with real cheese and butter
whole wheat crackers
bell red pepper strips
green beans
apple slices
cheese cubes
cauliflower "tater" tots with sugar free ketchup (he wolfs these down)
cauliflower "macaroni" and cheese
baked jicama fries
yogurt
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by LiterateGriffin View Post
First off: a five year old child, no matter HOW obese, should NEVER lose weight. The goal in managing obesity in a child that age is to simply stop the weight gain. Your goal shoud be to have her "maintain", even if she's at 100+ pounds. Eventually, she will grow. When she does, what WAS an unhealthy weight will eventually become healthy for her new size. (this is at least part of what your doctor meant by grow out of it.)

My kids (5 and 7) are more or less LC. Unlike me, they also eat bread (that I bake from whole wheat flour) for sandwiches, and eat a lot of fruit. Our snacks are fruit, cheese, nuts, or "cookies" that are actually LC meal-bars baked in cookie shape. They also love odd things we've tried like flavored seaweed.

We don't keep junk food on hand, and as much as possible make things from scratch. They're so used to this that they'll ofte (though not always) reject junk food that's offered to them, because it tastes weird.

My daughter (the younger) is more of a problem. She's picky, unlike my son. For example, when I started baking our bread, she initially rejected it because it wasn't cut as straight as store bread. Still what we serve is what's available. She may eat it -- and be allowed snacks if shes still hungry. Or she may reject it, and be served the same plate again when she asks for food. It's hard, but it's gotten her to expandd her palate. (She's 5, but most people think she's 3, based on size and development.)

So my advice would be YES feed her the same healthy low carb foods you eat, and Eliminate the "bad choice" foods from your house (including cereal). But do NOT have weight-loss as a goal. Have the goal be simply improved eating habits.


I absolutely agree with this!

My daughters are grown now, but they ate pretty healthy. I was "that mom" that put veggies and fruit and a thermos of milk in their lunchbox instead of cookies. One of the nicest compliments I got was whenmy 35 yr old daughter post a thank you to me on Facebook for feeding them healthy and not allowing much sugary food.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:36 PM   #25
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Katy, how do you make the "Cauli-tots"? PLEASE share this!, You would make my hubby a very happy man!

Quote:
I think this is important. everyone, including parents, should eat the same. then no one is treated differently or "not allowed" to eat certain foods. it just makes more sense that each child is eating healthfully and food messages are consistent among the siblings. otherwise, being fat seems like a sin and dieting the punishment. kids don't understand metabolism and nutrition; they understand having their favourite stuff taken away, though. kinda like getting grounded from m+m's... and for what? taking up too much space?
Aly, I love this.

I'm kinda lucky. I had 2+ years of VERY bad health. It affected my kids. Started with a knee injury, and spiraled. I'd have WEEKS where I could barely get out of bed. I was unhealthy, and my kids saw it.

When I talked about changing my diet, I talked about getting healthy. When I talked about losing weight, I did so in terms of health, and taking care of my knees. My son, who is 7, has always been a little short for his weight. Not enough to be a concern -- still well within the normal range -- BUT. He's got my genes, with all that genetic history and diabetes behind it. And he's been very aware of what I am and am not eating.

I'm lucky, in that he's the one who's always been concerned with eating healthy foods. So we spend a lot of time talking about WHY processed foods are unhealthy. When I started making the household bread (a 50 lb sack of whole wheat flour costs $18, and has lasted me at least 3 months!), he helped me. He loves to form up the loaves, even now.

We look at ingredient lists on foods in stores, and notice how many things are either bad for you (high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc), or quite simply NOT FOOD (~insert your favorite chemical here... polysorbate 80, anyone?~) Then we discuss what we would use if we were making that same item at home. Often, we DO go home and make it. Generally, he loves it much better than the processed version. (And, sadly, my picky little girl is put off, because it has variety of flavor and texture. But we're working on her. The GOOD news is that she hasn't met a fruit she doesn't love.)

Today, he started asking me to buy turkey. I'm not a big turkey fan, so I put him off a bit. Found out, he'd seen apple slices wrapped in turkey lunch meat described as a "healthy snack", and therefore wanted it. We had a short discussion about why lunch meat slices like that really aren't healthy -- they contain things known to cause cancer (nitrates/nitrites). I will buy turkey, but not processed turkey luncheon meat. (I'm not saying YOU shouldn't use this snack, if you're willing to use processed meat. It's just an example of the way we discuss the "why" of our food-choices.)

There ARE some things I don't eat that my family does, but I treat it as a medical issue. "No thank you. I can't have toast, it's not healthy for me right now. But you should have some; it smells really good!"


Like folks have said, emphasize healthy food choices, rather than making it about dieting. Healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, as much as possible. If there's a soda addiction in the house, start buying seltzer water and "exotic" fruit-juices like blueberry and pomegranate. (Read the label to be sure it's JUST juice.) About a shot of juice in a pint-glass of seltzer makes something fizzy and non-toxic, without a trace of phosphoric acid.

Life is so much better, once you cut out the junk.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:01 AM   #26
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I feel for you as a mom. Seeing our kids sad or hurt is so painful.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by pae View Post
Hi everyone,

A little background on me...I've always been the "fat kid"...in 2006 I weighed 430 pounds after my second child was born. I lost 200 pounds in about 18 months following a fairly clean eating program and limiting my calories to about 1400-1600 (plus exercise every other day).

And so since that first 200, I've been sitting about 208 - 240 lbs waiting to really feel motivated to get this last 100 or so pounds off for good. And here I am! Ready. I have been 'dieting' and exercising and yo yoing for months in between life crisis and stresses...and so I'm donig putting my health on the backburner.

Anyway this weekend, my middle child (5 years old) came to me and said she hated being fat. It broke my heart! I know how she feels. I remember going through school as the heavy one, the teasing, the low self esteem...everything...and I desperately do NOT want her to go through it.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on whether or not a LC WOE for a 5 year old is appropriate or ok? And if not, what do you suggest? Her Dr says "she'll grow out of it"...but we're past that point - I know she is overweight because of food choices (she has 5 other siblings/step siblings...her biological sisters are quite slim). My daughter and I have had begging conversations about "healthy" food and "unhealthy" foods...I try not to use the words weight and diet with her because I do not want her to live in diet mode...I just want it to be something she does because of what I can offer her for meals/snacks.

So what WOE have you used with your kids? Pros/cons?

Thanks
Hugs to you, and on your successes so far. You sound like you have the right mind set for you and your kids. Blessings to you on your journey.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:23 PM   #28
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I agree with everyone else and why not move all the kids in your family toward healthier eating?

Really, cutting out processed foods is definitely a good thing for kids, not a bad thing. With it being summer, there are so many delicious fruits out there that the kids can snack on instead of candy and cookies. Just have a lot of kid friendly stuff around - apple slices, watermelon quarters, baby carrots, etc. If you want to bake a treat, zucchini muffins are delicious, and a way to get in some veggies.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:19 PM   #29
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Really, if there's all this junk food in the cabinets and she's the only one who can't eat it, well, you know where that'll go. Not good!!

Clean out the cabinets and make your home a junk food free zone.
Kids can get enough treats outside the home.

Don't make her an outsider within the family.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #30
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While I think its really sad that your daughter is already concerned about her weight, I also think its great that you are acknowledging her concerns and looking for ways to help her help herself. I'm not a parent, but I remember that my own mother usually preferred the "brains are more important than looks" response when I complained about my weight. I understand why she took this approach, but it really wasn't very helpful in the long term - especially when she herself was (and still is) constantly on one diet or another. A little education in healthy eating and exercise would have been a lot more helpful for the both of us!

I agree with everyone else that it would be best to get the whole family involved in this, and treat it as a "revamping the family" goal rather than an issue about one person's weight. Get everyone involved in meal planning and cooking - it will benefit all the kids to learn how to make (and cook!) healthy choices for themselves, and help them feel that they have a say in what they are eating. Even if they don't seem to need it now, it will give them a good basis for when they get older and eventually move out on their own. Just keep it all very positive - if they feel like they are being 'punished' by being 'deprived' of junk foods its not going to be effective long term (and you really don't want them to start sneaking snacks!).

Another thing to think about is the amount of physical activity your family does as a family. Start planning group outings, whether its for a short walk after dinner, or a longer bike ride on the weekend. Your 5 year old already likes to use the treadmill after you do - build on this, and find ways to encourage her to be more active. Maybe you could use it as a way of spending quality time with each child - they pick the activity, and you (or your partner) can go and do it with them. Again, if the focus is "getting outside and having fun together", rather than "getting exercise to lose weight" its going to have a more positive effect in the long term.

Good luck!
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