like SHANNANAN7 said, juice is still high in sugar even if there is no added sugar. and has a lot of calories. and it isn't so great for the teeth.
don't force her to eat. she won't strave. she will let you know when she is hungry. there are times when one of my kids say they aren't hungry at dinner. so they sit at the table with us and eat later.
my kids are really picky. i have them try things. (over and over again.) my daughter finally eats salad. sometimes dinner for them is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a piece of fruit. if they don't like what i made, i give them a quick healthy option. i know that doesn't work for everyone-but there are a lot of things that would make me gag if i was forced to eat an entire serving. (beans, pretzels, mushrooms) , small changes add up. maybe add a little bit of water to the juice. mix some fruit in plain yogurt. have strawberries and cool whip for dessert. microwave popcorn instead of chips. add fruit slices to flavor water.
like others have said, take her to the doctor and try not make it an issue for her. maybe her doctor could give you a guideline of what her serving sizes should look like. any way you can get her moving would be great too.
What does she actually eat? My 3 year old is a really picky eater and often the default meal is peanut butter, milk, apples, and crackers. Which is actually fairly balanced and filled with good things even if I would prefer he ate a wider variety with more veggies. I am lucky my son actually likes regular V8 juice but other than that he drinks water or milk. Watch out for "apple juice" listed as an ingredient. Concentrated apple juice is really high in sugar and is going to be in almost any 100% juice you buy. Try thinking of fruit juice as a treat instead of a part of the meal.
Fitness Minutes: (2,350)
112 4/4/12 9:16 A
My 4 year old son is a picky eater as well. He just has to understand that junk isn't an option. We keep our house stocked with healthier foods. It was a process to get him to even try something new, but after introducing, say, one new food every week, instead of overwhelming him with a whole new meal, he eventually come around. Also, I noticed that he hates cooked veggies, but when we give them to him raw, he will eat them. So maybe it's all in the preparation. Also, we tried things like black bean brownies, mixing broccoli or shredded chicken in with his mac and cheese. He never even noticed. Also, if you're worried about her weight, you could check your local Y for gymnastics, dance or swimming classes. I realize at that that age, they like to go-go-go anyway, but maybe an organized extracuricular activity would make a difference. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (2,127)
311 3/28/12 10:08 A
The fact that you are aware of it and want to change it is wonderful. There are a lot of moms who play being overweight as just "baby fat" or something like. I have a 3 year old and I keep him active by making it fun. We take a ball to a park or field and he kicks it and we race to get to it then kick it again and so on. We are constantly running when he goes outside. We go to the basketball courts in the morning when the bigger kids aren't there and I take a lighter, smaller ball for him to toss up in the basket and we run around there. Dancing in the livingroom like a crazy person is so much fun with the kids & it's great exercise!
I have learned a lot of information about the so called healthy snacks I was giving my son and I have stopped buying prepackaged things for him. On Sundays I pick healthy snacks (even baked goods that I make with stevia instead of sugar or splenda) that will be what he eats for his snacks at daycare and at night. I split them up in to single servings and they are packaged and ready for me to grab when I need them through the week. Try www.dashingdish.com for some really good ideas on simple healthier alternatives to meals and snacks that are parent AND kid friendly. I pretty much only cook meals from that site, and they're so easy to make I let my 3 year old help with preparing them.
Fitness Minutes: (14,858)
81 3/27/12 11:26 A
As an overweight child who did not lose the weight until 6th grade. I know first hand what it is like to grow up FAT. Not only are you at risk for major health issues more than likely you be obese as an adult. I continue to struggle with my weight. I grew up eating too much food and having full opportunity to eat whatever I wanted. My mother also thought kids should be allowed to eat sweets and clean their plate (which was piled high with food). Regardless of my weight I am teaching my kids to think about their food and food choices. We as a family do not have sweets in the house on a regular basis- only as treats. We snack on fruit, yogurt, popcorn, frozen yogurt, low cal pop cycles. There are many choices out there. You do not have to give in. You also mentioned juice. At this point you should even be serving juice. Milk in the am and afternoon- with a proper diet your child should be getting other sources of calcium/vit D. Water otherwise. Choc milk on occasion- usually when we go out to eat (about once every 6 weeks). You are the mother. You are the parent. I know how hard it is to grow up fat. Do something now for your child.
My daughter is almost 4, and I know how you feel. Like others have said, she won't starve herself, so do not allow her any junk. And make sure you tell anyone who would have contact with her, such as grandparents or babysitters. What I do with my daughter is get her involved. Let her help you make healthy snacks, such as fruit salad. Or arrange veggies on a plate in fun shapes. And I don't know if she likes princesses, but if she does, pick her favorite princess and tell her "That princess LOVES to eat this". Just pick out a cartoon character she likes, and tell her that character loves foods she refuses to eat. I hate to use the word "trick" her, but thats essentially what has worked for me. Also, never discuss her weight in front of her. I was large as a child, and she is old enough to understand what you are saying, and it can really hurt her feelings. If she asks why she can't have the junk, just tell her, "we want you to be healthy".
Everyone here is right. Do not mention it to her, just start making healthier choices for the whole family. Have active time together, play games outside go for walks, go to the park and play, anything to show that activities can be fun, and help her to be active. Get a Wii fit and do that together maybe too?
Fitness Minutes: (180)
1 3/22/12 11:17 A
Just wanted to add, it's really great that you are addressing this now. It gets to be more of an issue as they get older. I have an 11 year old son who weighs enough to fall into the obese range. He was always a big kid, just all over big, but really gained a lot of weight in the last couple of years. I'm trying to work with him now to make healthier choices, but it is a struggle. You definitely have more control over what your child is eating when they are younger, plus your daughter has a lot of growing left to do, like another poster said. She can kind of grow into her weight, as long as the weight doesn't keep going up.
Fitness Minutes: (10,458)
115 3/16/12 8:46 A
You've been given alot of good advice. My son is the same age and weighs around 55 lbs. How tall is your daughter? My son is at the 90th percentile in weight and height so I think he is just bigger than average. (he's been around the same percentile since birth) We stress healthy eating in our house. My almost 8 yr old weighs less than her brother, but her body build is just totally different than his.
Fitness Minutes: (10,365)
152 3/12/12 8:10 P
I was glad for this thread to give me a few ideas. My 4-year-old is chubby and she constantly wants to eat and eat. I have been aware of it and trying to help her establish healthy habits, but this thread gave me some good ideas too!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
4 3/12/12 7:23 P
I agree with the others on seeing the ped, etc.
Also I highly encourage physical activity.Is there an indoor pool in your area (maybe at the Y or fitness center). I would get a membership and take her swimming ALOT. Take her on walks, go to a inflatable jumper place, whatever to get frequent exercise.
Never use money as an excuse. It is cheaper to get a membership to a pool, etc, than it is to have the health problems (diabetes, etc) later on.
We don't mind making our son a separate side meal when we're having something he doesn't like for dinner (usually a smoothy with fruit, veggies, yogurt and flax meal), but it does need to be healthy. That's really what we stress with our son, that the majority of the food he eats must be healthy so if he doesn't eat his healthy meal then he knows that any snacking he does after that is going to be fruit or vegetables. We've been doing this long enough that he doesn't even fight it. So if your daughter doesn't like the food you're eating you may just want to put out some fruit and veggies and let her pick.
Fitness Minutes: (56,066)
7,232 2/22/12 10:32 A
My oldest is horrible with foods, so for a long time I thought if I was at least getting the 100% juice was good. BUT then realized each glass had about 22-26 grams of sugar and they were drinking about 2 at each meal!!!! That was LOT! SO I switched to a flavored water drink, and powerade zero. My kids are heavy, but tall so they are not overweight. But just try to keep as active as you can and she will end up growing taller and thin out.
Fitness Minutes: (65)
519 2/19/12 6:51 A
I was overweight when I was that age and I started school overweight. I think you really need to get on top of it now. As she gets older it could be harder to change her eating patterns. My daughter is 15 and still doesn't eat her veges. Maybe you could replace unhealthy snacks and meals with healthier ones.And cut down her fruit juice. Take her out for walks and fun exercise activities. As the others said get her thyroid checked. But if she is being given too much high calorie foods, or too bigger portions she will keep putting on weight. Also, if you haven't got biscuits and cakes,icecream all the baddies in the house she won't be able to eat them. A fat child can be really unhappy growing up, because it limits the activities that they feel confident in doing, or being seen doing.Bullying is also a posibility. Also I think if she sees you and your family eating healthy things it might encourage her to eat them. Good luck, but I really think sooner is better than later. It is harder as they get older. . Also fruit is a great snack to get her eating lots of
Fitness Minutes: (14,195)
723 2/19/12 12:20 A
I agree with the others. Also make sure she understands that she doesn't need to clean her plate. Find out what the appropriate amounts are for a child that age. Many adults tend to give their little ones adult size portions or expect them to eat everything. My kids never had sweetened cereals unless they went to someone else's house or their dad gave it to them on the sly in the semi. treats are great in the fruit/ veggie arena. Also yogurt. My mom also had some tricks to add veggies like making freckled potatoes. 1 carrot for every 4 potatoes and then mash them. I also buy garden style spaghetti sauce. Mom would also make me a special meat when we had liver. I ate a smaller portion than everyone else. If I ate it all gone I got fishsticks, chicken or some other meat I'd rather eat. It wasn't without some objection or ugly faces but it did get eaten. By the way I still don't like liver. Good Luck
Definitely check with her doctor. What I do has already been posted-if they try what i made and don't like it, they can choose to eat the healthy alternative i suggest or not eat. Babies know how to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. At some point, this changes. Somedays they would eat alot, and some days very little. I would suggest no fast food and no pop. Also, watch the jucies. Even the 100% fruit ones have lots of sugar and calories. Maybe limit tv time. That can be time spent playing which naturally burns calories. A lot of food marketed for kids isn't that healthy. You choose what food is available in your house.
Fitness Minutes: (10,936)
1,550 2/10/12 5:00 P
Please also get her thyroid checked. An under active thyroid caused me to weigh 100# in Kindergarten while I ate the same foods (in smaller amounts, even) as my underweight sibs.
Fitness Minutes: (2,244)
114 2/9/12 5:28 P
all the the commments below are exaclty right!!! If they don't like what I cook, they can buy and cook their own food lol.
I'm old enough to remember a time when the family kitchen had no "short-order cook" -- whatever Mom made is what everyone ate. If they chose NOT to eat what Mom made, they went hungry for that meal (and believe me, no one starved!)
Your 4-year old is at exactly the right age to begin thinking of meal-time as a game (or worse, a power struggle). Offer her what's healthy (what YOU are eating). Make variety available (fruits, veggies, protein, dairy) within the context of most meals. But by all means, don't succumb to the tyrany of the toddler -- you're the grown-up, you choose the food your child gets to eat!
And do get her height & weight mapped on a growth chart (you can get one online or have your pediatrician's office plot her growth) so that you know what's really going on with her health -- because that's what is really important, not her chins.
She will not let herself starve. Do not give her unhealthy options if she refuses a healthy one. She's old enough to at least try 3 bites. Then you can have a fall back. Something healthy you know she'll eat. So, if she doesn't like X that you made for dinner, she much try 3 bites, then she is allowed to have Y, which is healthy, and only Y. If you really think she has a weight issue, eliminate juice or at the very least, water it down. Buy the no sugar added kind as well. Just because she's a kid, doesn't mean she "needs" junk. Treats are nice every now and then, but if weight is an issue, say good-bye to the junk food.
Also, she's at an age where orgnazied sports becomes a possibility. Sign her up for gymnastics or dance or soccer. Something to get her moving. Take her for walks at the park on the weekends, play active games, etc. Anything to get her moving as well.
I agree not to mention weight to her at all. Body image issues can start early, and will always be there form outside sources, she doesn'tneed mom to be reenforcing them. This is something I struggle with, not letting my issues rub off on my daughters. The pediatrician might also be a good place to start.
I would make an appointment with your pediatrician to rule out any causes. Then I would try to continue introducing healthy foods into her diet and giving her plenty of opportunities to play outside and exercise. You could start lowering the amount of juice she drinks and watering it down. Figure out the healthy meals she likes and start sticking with them. I wouldn't mention your daughter's weight to her at all. She is far too young to understand and you wouldn't want her to be self-conscience. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (45)
1 2/6/12 10:07 A
Im really worried about my four and a half year olds weight shes always been a bigger kid than most, but now shes starting to get a double chin, and is about 58 pounds. It would break my heart if she got picked on because of it in kindergarden in the fall. im trying to limit juice and unhealthy snacks, although she still gets some because shes kid after all. but my efforts are andnot making a difference. she doesnt see my husband and i eating junk all the time. when i try to make healthy casseroles or what not she refuses to eat it!!!!!!!!! any suggestions?
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