Question about kids health?

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Hey all, I didn't really know where to put this, so if it's not appropriate here, just let me know.

I need some advice about my daughter, she is 8 yrs old and is overweight. I know a lot of her eating habits are because of me and her daddy, regarding her desire and craving for junk food, and we are working on changing that. She doesn't like exercise, hardly wants to ride her bike or play outside, so I am trying to get her involved in activities that she does like, such as roller skating and trampoline playing.

My biggest concern for her is that she is so food motivated. Even though I know she is not hungry (for example, just had dinner recently) she just wants to snack, snack, snack all the time. She asks for food rewards for normal things, which we have never used food as a reward or punishment. Recently she made a 100 on her spelling test and asked to go for ice cream for a reward. Brought her dirty clothes to the laundry room, can I have some cookies as a reward? When we have meals, she eats so fast and acts like she is afraid someone will take her food away. We are not, and have never been struggling for food, so she shouldn't have this instinct in her to protect her food like this. Medically, she has no health issues, other than allergies and a touch of asthma. Nothing hormonally out of balance.

I just need advice on how to get her to be less food motivated, and less aggressive over food. I don't want this to become a life long struggle her, like it has for me.
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Replies

  • tulips_and_tea
    tulips_and_tea Posts: 5,712 Member
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    For health reasons I'd carefully address the eating too fast issue. It's not good for digestion, nor is it good table manners (not saying you don't teach her manners). Reassure her that her food isn't going anywhere and she's free to take her time and enjoy it.

    Also, some kids / people don't ever feel full or satisfied, which is where teaching proper portion sizes comes in. Easier said than done, however.

    What other things does she like? Substitute those as rewards instead of food. Start slowly, if it helps. Finding an activity she truly enjoys would also help.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
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    Something that jumped out at me is that she doesn't want to exercise. Of course not, she is 8.

    I would first talk to the pediatrician and make sure the problem is not just your perception and fear. Kids need to gain weight so they can grow.
  • angmarie28
    angmarie28 Posts: 2,801 Member
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    I have awful eating habits because I had free range as a child. It also was normal for my mom to buy a bag of chips at the store and us eat them on the way home. so now that I have kids, I have started from very young to encourage decent eating habits. They get breakfast, lunch, snack, Dinner. rarely do we do desserts. snacks occationally we have junk like cookies, but typically they have choices of fruit, cheese sticks, Belvita bars, Granola bars, some times cheez its or gold fish crackers, but i shoot for kinda between healthy and stuff kids want. When my kids start shoveling in food, I remind them to slow down, Im a fast eater too, and that actually makes me feel less satisfied, so its a habit I still work on myself. My kids also only get juice or milk with meals, and between they get water.

    Just start encouraging healthy habit, take the junk food out of the house. I also dont encourage my kids to really "exercise" although they see me do it and want to themselves sometimes, but We have "outside time" no electronics, they have to go outside, what they do is their choise, sometimes they sit and play with chalk, sometimes they run or ride bikes, but it gets them out. Maybe go on a bike ride with her, maybe shed like a scooter better. Get a frisbee or baseball and toss it back and forth. Play tag. Get laser tag and play it with her, my kids love it and they are always running around playing it. Make it fun and a family thing. Make it a normal thing and eventually it will become a healthy habit
  • gracielynn1011
    gracielynn1011 Posts: 726 Member
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    NovusDies wrote: »
    Something that jumped out at me is that she doesn't want to exercise. Of course not, she is 8.

    I would first talk to the pediatrician and make sure the problem is not just your perception and fear. Kids need to gain weight so they can grow.

    Let me clarify, by exercise I don't mean a formal, structured program, obviously she would be way to young for that and would not like it. I mean kids activities. She hates going outside. She would be perfectly content just sitting in the house all day watching TV, which we limit because that isn't healthy for any of us. We have pets, I asked her to help me walk the dogs, she says I don't want to, just let them go by theirself. We live on a farm, so they can run free, but I do like to take them for walks on the leash off the property some as well.
    Her daddy asked her to walk with him to the barn to feed the boats, she said she didn't want to walk, but he could drive her to the barn. She has a brand new bike that has only been off the porch a handful of times, she just has no interest in activity that requires body movement.

    She does love to draw and color and create projects, so it isn't that she has no interests at all. My main concern is that with the food obsession and sedentary lifestyle, she may have problems later. Her pediatrician did mention her weight being on the high end of the chart in relation to her height at her last check up, but didn't expressly mention anything to do about it.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
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    If the weight is not a concern then set up a table and chair in the barn and tell her if she wants a treat she can eat it out there. Make that the only place she can get the really good treats unless it is a special occasion, bad weather, or night. She sees walking as a negative so make walking and being outside have a reward attached to it. It will either dampen her food obsession or it will encourage her to be outside more. It might even do a little of both.

  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,615 Member
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    NovusDies wrote: »
    Something that jumped out at me is that she doesn't want to exercise. Of course not, she is 8.

    I would first talk to the pediatrician and make sure the problem is not just your perception and fear. Kids need to gain weight so they can grow.

    I also find this comment confusing. Most 8 yr olds like to play. I loved riding my bike, climbing trees, roller skating. I was also a competitive gymnast. Find her an activity she enjoys. Activities distract from snacking. Set up playdates or trips to the park. Don't buy junk food or sodas. It's not a punishment, it just isn't necessary. Help her understand healthy food choices and portion control. Model the behavior you would like to see.
  • Hannah5147
    Hannah5147 Posts: 49 Member
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    I have two children 5 and 3 yrs. We're in the uk and they do clubs. My daughter does ballet, tap dancing , swimming and gymnastics. She loves it. It means we're super busy after school but it's good exercise and she just thinks she's doing a fun club. Maybe look up a trampoline club? Could be something she really enjoys and its exercise. If she likes drawing creating you could try and incorporate it with outside. Drawing a nice tree ect or collecting leafs, sticks ect and making a picture out of it. We usually collect pine cones at Christmas time and decorate them. I'd try and make it fun for her. You dont want it to become an issue. My kids also find it funny when I exercise and try and join in. So maybe do something together? Hope you find a solution. X
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,047 Member
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    What is she doing instead of going outside or being active?
  • Luke_rabbit
    Luke_rabbit Posts: 1,031 Member
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    One option is that since she is eight, you can start giving her responsibilities around the house. Dusting, vacuuming, etc. Those can be pretty active. My Fitbit thinks I'm doing elliptical every time I clean. You can also offer options that are outside, but I bet she selects indoor ones.
  • healingnurtrer
    healingnurtrer Posts: 217 Member
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    I don't have helpful advice I just want to add even if you don't find a solution and she struggles with this, you are still a great parent! Sounds like she's a strong-willed, independent thinker so if she ever comes up with the desire to become fit you know she'll accomplish her goal.

    I like the ideas above of making physical activity social, fun with friends, and maybe the dance party idea since she's artsy!


  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
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    NovusDies wrote: »
    Something that jumped out at me is that she doesn't want to exercise. Of course not, she is 8.

    I would first talk to the pediatrician and make sure the problem is not just your perception and fear. Kids need to gain weight so they can grow.

    Let me clarify, by exercise I don't mean a formal, structured program, obviously she would be way to young for that and would not like it. I mean kids activities. She hates going outside. She would be perfectly content just sitting in the house all day watching TV, which we limit because that isn't healthy for any of us. We have pets, I asked her to help me walk the dogs, she says I don't want to, just let them go by theirself. We live on a farm, so they can run free, but I do like to take them for walks on the leash off the property some as well.
    Her daddy asked her to walk with him to the barn to feed the boats, she said she didn't want to walk, but he could drive her to the barn. She has a brand new bike that has only been off the porch a handful of times, she just has no interest in activity that requires body movement.

    She does love to draw and color and create projects, so it isn't that she has no interests at all. My main concern is that with the food obsession and sedentary lifestyle, she may have problems later. Her pediatrician did mention her weight being on the high end of the chart in relation to her height at her last check up, but didn't expressly mention anything to do about it.

    One of the best ways to get kids moving is to be a good role model yourself. If she isn't on her bike, she may not be unless she has someone to ride with or something interesting to ride to. (It would be nice if all kids just played by themselves but that's not always the case). Maybe you need to schedule time riding bikes together or invite a friend over and head to the bike path. If she wants to drive to feed the...boats(?)...say, "it's not far and it's a lovely day for a walk." No arguing. It's just how it is. With time and practice it becomes more habit. What's most important is what you do as a parent, not words or sticker charts...what you do promotes a healthy lifestyle.