My dd is 8 years old. She has never been a skinny kid, but always looked healthy and seemed to be a healthy weight. In the last 5 months, she has gained 10 lbs. She has grown taller, but I'm not sure exactly how much. She looks much heavier and has gone from a size 7 to barely fitting into a size 10.
My main concern, aside from her self-esteem, is that she doesn't seem to notice when she's full. She eats large amounts at meals. Last night at dinner, she ate as much as dh. I've talked to her about tuning into her body and stopping when she feels full. She insists each time that she's still hungry for more food as she takes a third helping. Afterwards she still wants dessert, but I know that's normal because sweets are very appealing no matter how full most people are.
My sons will stop eating when they've had enough and leave food on their plates. Dd rarely leaves anything behind.
I want her to feel good about her body and to be healthy. I don't want puberty to come too early for her and I know that's more likely in overweight girls.
I can't put a label on our diet. We eat a variety of foods and don't cut anything out because of allergies or beliefs. We have organic fruits and vegetables a few times a day and eat mostly organic everything else. Our diets could use revamping, though, especially with reducing the sweets.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Increased appetite is a common sign of having a low metabolism. But then there will be other symptoms that accompany it. How's her overall health?
Signs of a low metabolism vary widely between individuals, as does the type of stressors that caused it. The good news though, is that overeating a very good way of increasing your metabolism. It's especially effective when most of a day's food intake is eaten in the early hours of the day.
I noticed some similar behavior with my five year old. We made a few modest changes that made a big difference. The kids usually get their veg first while dinner is "cooling down." Portions are done in the kitchen. We switched them to our regular but smallish adult dishes instead of the smallish kids dishes. I actually started measuring portions until I had a good feel for what I was actually feeding them. They can have seconds, only, if they wish but it isn't staring at them. And they have to finish their smallish glass of water with their main portion. We always end our meals with fruit, only, and a lot of time I'll bring the cutting board to the table before everyone is quite done. Seeing peach slices piling up or cherries being pitted made a big difference.
Choli makes a good point. I like to prepare larger batches of things for planned ahead meals or freezer storage. At the same time I am serving our portions I put the other portion aside, either out of sight or in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on temp.
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