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#1 of 102 Old 01-07-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 14 years old.  She is 5'5", 147 pounds.  I am concerned about her weight.  I looked at some online charts and for her height and weight she should be between 105 and 125 lbs.  While she is only a few pounds over weight, I don't want to wait until it's out of control before doing something about it.

 

I feel I'm at a disadvantage to help my daughter because I've never had a weight problem and have never had to watch what I eat.  I'm 5'4" and weigh 110 lbs.  The most I've ever weighed (besides my two pregnancies) was 120 lbs. 

 

I've encouraged my daughter to ride her bike, which she does about twice a week for 20 minutes. 

 

I've tried to watch what she eats, we don't eat fast food a lot, maybe once a week.  For snacks I keep things like pop corn, Cheeze its, crackers, ramon noodles and Chef Boyardee.  At one point I notice she was eating Cheeze its right from the box and I told her not to do that because she won't realize how much she's eating. 

 

I also have to deal with my exH's side of the family, they are mostly overweight and give her a hard time if she doesn't want to eat.  

 

Any suggestions on how to help her with healthy eating and/or exercise?  And how to help her with weight loss without ruining her self esteem?


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#2 of 102 Old 01-07-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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I would disagree that 5'5" and 147 is reason enough to make an issue about her weight. Girls at this age are so super sensitive about their bodies, and while that puts her BMI right on the cusp of healthy/overweight, the psychological implications of being told you're fat by a relative, especially your mother, at 14 will do nothing but guarantee a weight problem. Cheez it's and Chef Boyardee are not good snacks for a child with such a sedentary lifestyle, however. I suggest you either get her involved with a 1-2x per week dance class/sport/teen fitness group (which my DD 15 loves, most Y's or big gyms have them, teaches teens 13-17 to use gym/circuit equipment with guided work out) or have family exercise time. We do yoga, go swim, or play Wii fit or Just Dance (those dancing video games really are a decent work out) at least once a week as a family, aiming for 2 or 3 if we can that week. Both of our girls are underweight if anything, but emphasizing the importance of staying active at every age is important. In addition to, or if you really can't get her to do more than the bike 40 min a week, I would limit the amount of empty carbs available to her at snack time. Instead, offer to make a smoothie or buy those little cups of yogurt that are overpriced, but any kid will eat when the Cheez It's are no more. At our house, each kid gets to pick one container of junky food for the week, and when it runs out, that's it. You can either pace yourself or gorge and then eat healthy the rest of the week, but they still get to choose what they put in their bodies, and hopefully learn to moderate a little. No one's going to lay off snack crackers if the supply is bottomless, but realistically, you can't eat what you want all the time, and your body needs more healthy than junk.

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#3 of 102 Old 01-07-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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According to weight watchers the ideal rang for that height is 120 to 150. Unless her pediatrician says otherwise I wouldn't say anything to her. My mother tried to say some things about my weight to me as a teen and it really caused a lot of bad feelings between us. I do think limiting the junk is a good idea no matter what her weight is. Skinny people can still have bad cholesterol, blood pressure, etc... from eating a junk food diet.
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#4 of 102 Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amber3902 View Post

 

 For snacks I keep things like pop corn, Cheeze its, crackers, ramon noodles and Chef Boyardee.  At one point I notice she was eating Cheeze its right from the box and I told her not to do that because she won't realize how much she's eating. 

 


 

These are all pretty crappy snacks (except may be popcorn -- depending on how its made and what it is topped with).

 

You are super focused on refined carbs, and for many people (including me and I'm guessing your daughter) the blood sugar spikes from such simple carbs leave them feeling hungrier than when they first started eating. The more I eat of certain foods (primarily white flour and white sugar), the hungrier I feel. For me, a snack has NO simple carbs. Instead, it includes a little protein, a little healthy oil, and some fiber. So hummus with baby carrots, or cottage cheese and fruit. 

 

Rather than approaching this as something that you want her to change about herself, I gently suggest that you start learning about nutrition. Buy a new cook book that is focused on healthy foods, and make things with your daughter. Have fun together in the kitchen learning about preparing and then enjoying a more balanced diet.

 

(If I had the kind of snack food in my home that you have in yours, I would weigh 300 pounds).

 

Make being active a togetherness activity. We have a family membership to the Y, and a regular schedule for going. Health isn't just about weight -- every one really is better off with regular exercise -- even if they don't "need" it to control their weight.  We also hike together as a family -- but that is harder to work into our schedule than our regular Y visits.

 

I think that saying anything to your DD about her weight is a mistake. It will only make her feel bad about herself and drive a wedge between the two of you. But there are things you could start changing for your own sake, your other child's, and her sake. Healthy food and finding ways you all enjoying being active are the cornerstones.

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#5 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  I'll see if I can find some kind of activity she can get involved in.  The problem is she is always hungry.  I used to let her eat yogurt, but she'd eat three of them and still be hungry.

 

What are empty/simple carbs?  I've never had to watch anything I eat so this is all so hard to understand.

 

Any suggestions for healthy snacks?


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#6 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 05:40 AM
 
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Nuts, cheese, fruit. You need to get bulk and protein into her body. Veggies and fruit provide physical bulk to help you feel full and things like nuts and cheese provide you with longer lasting energy. Get the empty carbs out of the house--they don't do anyone any good. Jerky is often quite lovely.

 

I am 5'5" and I hit 145 lbs in high school. I wasn't fat. Not even slightly. If you go through and actually evaluate mortality data you will find that people in the "overweight" or first "obese" classification tend to be overall healthier and live longer than people who are "normal" weight. Please keep your judgments about your daughter's body to yourself. She needs to love herself without reservation. She can't stop being in the body she has. She has to learn how to be kind and loving towards that body without feeling shame for not being skinny enough for her mom. That's a harsh load to carry.

 

I have had to become far more active as a parent than I ever was before. I need to model healthy living and sitting on my butt is not healthy living. I had to learn how to exercise. I had to get up and run around with my kids. Children learn through modeling.


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#7 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please keep your judgments about your daughter's body to yourself.

 

Trust me, I've received MORE than my fair share of judgments from women who assume since I am skinny I must strave myself.  I was constantly teased in school because I was so skinny.  I KNOW not to make my daughter feel bad about her weight.  I don't like it when people make comments about my weight so I would never do that to her.

 

My daughter is a beautiful, smart young lady.  She isn't fat, but she isn't skinny either.  The problem is all of her weight goes straight to her belly, her chest is 38", her waist is 37" and her hips are 41".  I'd rather start helping her now when it's only a few pounds instead of waiting until she a 100 pounds over weight and say, Gee, we'd better do something.  So many times you see obese kids on TV and people say,WHY did her parents wait so long?  To me it's stupid to wait until your kid is so overweight that something drastic has to be done.


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#8 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 06:28 AM
 
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I'm extremely hostile towards skinny-bashing so I'm sorry you have been on the receiving end.

 

I'm going to say something slightly judgey. How about if you stop worrying about weight at all. It's not about how much you or your daughter weigh. But if you put crap in your body you won't be healthy regardless of size. Get the crap out of your house and things will be ok.

 

Maybe she will always have a belly bigger than you like. Maybe she will hit the dreaded oh no 100 pounds over weight!!!!!!! If she is eating healthy food and exercising it's ok. Truly.

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#9 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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Sorry mom but what you're providing her is crap.  And telling her not to eat straight from the box you provided her because she won't know how much she's eating... yeah you are telling her she needs to watch it.

 

Just buy better snacks.  More fruit more veggies.  You don't need to watch her every move she's 15.  She's riding her bike already and you don't need to breath down her neck over her weight.  She's sound perfectly healthy to me.  My own mother was a size one while I was a size 5.  AND OH MY GOD!!! She was never that size!  NEVER!  I weight 140 and am 5' 6 when I'm not pregnant.  People think I look very very thin.  I carry my weight different.  But my moms constant eye and remarks about how much of what SHE provided I ate caused my anorexia.  Mom's can screw a kid up big time. 

 

Also... why do you know her measurements?  By knowing those she knows you're looking at her and are overly concerned about her weight. 

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#10 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:18 AM
 
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Also... skinny is not always healthy.  And not everyone wants to be 120 lbs.  Thankfully Hollywood has given us a new group of role models.  Now if only I could get my hips to expand some more... I kid!

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#11 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You really shouldn't jump to the conclusion that I am "breathing down her neck" over her weight.  Like I said before, I KNOW what it's like being teased about your weight, I love my daughter and would NEVER try to make her feel bad about her size.

 

The reason I know her measurements is because when you order clothes online you need them in order to figure out what size to order.

It's hard to find age appropriate clothes for her in her size so I have to order a lot of her clothes online.


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#12 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:28 AM
 
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Ok... Then what do want?  For us to tell you to get her on a tread mill?  And why so cranky?  I'm speaking from the side of the a kid whose mother thought she wasn't doing anything wrong either.  Just giving you a different perspective.  Nothing wrong with that now is there?

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#13 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do I want?  Suggestions for healthy snacks which a couple of posters gave.

 

I'm not cranky.  I just wanted to respond to your comments that I "don't need to watch her every move" and I shouldn't be "breathing down her neck" about my daughter's weight.  I wanted to clarify that is not what I'm doing.


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#14 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Would you like to know what it's like to have a mother who is thinner than you and thinks there is something wrong with you even if there really isn't?  You may not be saying it to her, but you're thinking it and it's worrying you enough to bring it here.  I'm not trying to bash you here I want you to see how hard it can be.  Her weigh height ratio is not obese.  She's just not going to be your size ever. 

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#15 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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Let's approach this gently.  This is a new member who came here for advice.  Please give it in a kind way. 

 

One of the healthiest snacks we love here are frozen berries, a banana, and some coconut milk blended into a smoothy.  It's delicious and you can add things like ground flax seed and greens to it.  Lots of yummy goodness and lots of nutrients!

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#16 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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Understood Mod, but I think she needs to see it's only a problem to her because she herself has never been that big EVER.  And I wasn't trying to hurt feelings but being the kid in the OP makes me a little upset.  That is all.

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#17 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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Another one we did before we found out our kids are allergic to casein (the protein found in milk) was sliced cheese with fruit.  We left out the crackers, because they really weren't necessary.


 
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#18 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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Understood Mod, but I think she needs to see it's only a problem to her because she herself has never been that big EVER.  And I wasn't trying to hurt feelings but being the kid in the OP makes me a little upset.  That is all.

I was that kid, and I am that adult.  I understand where the frustration comes from, but again, please, be kind to a worried mother. 


 
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#19 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:12 AM
 
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I agree that the focus should be on health and not weight.

I would encourage you to do some additional research and perhaps talk to your doctor to get a better understanding of health and weight, particularly since you have never struggled with weight issues and also because the teenage body is very different than that of an adult. I will point out that your acceptable weight range is inaccurate: 5'5 and 111 pounds is considered underweight according to BMI, so a range between 105 and 125 is not a fair representation of what good health.

You might consider using the new year to start off a family-wide health kick. You didn't mention whether you worked out regularly or your own eating habits, but you may want to reflect a bit to see if they contribute to your overall health or if there is room for improvement that you never noticed thanks to a high metabolism. That way the focus in on everyone being healthier and not on helping a teen girl lose weight.
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#20 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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First thing first,  she is not actually overweight.

 

Telling her so would ruin her self esteem.

 

Ask yourself if she were your size or smaller would you be worried about her cheezit intake? 

 

 

The snack items you posted are not even good for you.  Let alone a growing kid.  Snacks you want to keep in the house for yourself as well would be fruits veggies and low carb low sodium snacks. 

 

I suggest you speak with her pediatrician as well.  That may alleviate your concerns a bit and he/she may be able to help you with a better diet for the WHOLE family.

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#21 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Imakcerka – I am not your mother, my daughter is not you.  Please stop thinking that I’m telling my daughter this or that.  Like Queen said, I'm on here to looking for help.   Think about it, if I wanted to make my daughter her feel bad about herself I wouldn't even bother posting on here looking for advice on how to help her. 

 

I used an online weight calculator just now and this is what they said:

 

 

 

Quote:

A 14 year and 4 months old (female) child who is 147 pounds and is 5 feet and 5 inches tall has a body mass index of 24.5, which is at the 88th percentile, and would indicate that your child is at risk of becoming overweight.

 

Your child's ideal body weight would be at a BMI at the 85th percentile or below, and so would be about 141 pounds.

That doesn't necessarily mean that your child has to lose 6 pounds. As he gets older and taller, he may thin out some and therefore just need to stop gaining weight, gain weight more slowly or lose some of that weight. Talk to your Pediatrician for more help interpreting these results.

 

 

Thanks, Queen for your suggestions.  I’m going to stop buying the Cheeze its and get the sliced cheese with apples, and baby carrots with ranch dressing.

 

Mosaic – you are right this is hard for me because the only weight issues I’ve struggled with is trying to keep the weight on.  I’ve actually had to drink weight gain in the past.


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#22 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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well I'm certainly glad you got the answers you were looking for.

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#23 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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Mosaic – you are right this is hard for me because the only weight issues I’ve struggled with is trying to keep the weight on.  I’ve actually had to drink weight gain in the past.

 

You seem very focused on making sure we know how thin you are.

 

Look, there are two separate things going on.

 

One - you are concerned about your daughter's appearance. Stop being concerned about her appearance. That is toxic and no good can come of it.

 

Two - you are not concerned about your health or your daughter's health. Heath does not equal weight. Weight does not equal health. This is not just some PC stuff, it's real. The snacks you stock in your house are not healthy, for you or for your daughter. If you think that your weight proves any level of health, you are wrong. If you think that Cheez-Its are okay for you because you are thin, you are wrong. It's crap no matter what size body is eating it.

 

So, now is a good time to decide whether you want to be the kind of mom who is focused on appearance (and that is ALL that weight is), or if you want to be the kind of mom who ensures the household knows how to nourish their bodies and has access to foods that contribute to growth, strength, energy and wellness.

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#24 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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I think in addition to changing to the snacks that were recommended on this thread (and besides apples and carrots and other fruits and vegetables you really should get some good proteins in there, plain almonds are good, as are hard boiled eggs, cheese has been mentioned, these things will help to keep her full while providing the building blocks for muscle) you might want to take a class on nutrition or have a sit down with your doctors.  You have said that you have absolutely no knowledge about what is healthy food (as evidenced by the snacks you keep around), which means that you don't even know how to eat healthy yourself, this could really impact how you respond to disease (my very thin aunt recently had a heart attack and quadruple bypass, she had genetic disposition to heart disease but because she ate healthy and exercised (but was just thin by her predetermined body type, like you) she was able to survive and recover well from her heart attack and surgery.  Finding out how to eat healthy will help you to be a good example for your daughter, and hopefully you guys can enjoy doing some exercise together (we like to do family walks, it's a great time to talk).  Good luck with developing new healthy habits for your family!

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#25 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 09:10 AM
 
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My mom is consistently a size 2 or 4. I am consistently a 12 or 14. I am built like my paternal grandmother. Genetics are interesting. smile.gif
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#26 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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I used an online weight calculator just now and this is what they said:

 

And keep in mind that BMIs aren't completely accurate. Athletes will come up on the charts as obese because they have good muscle tone and low body fat. Muscles weigh more than fat so the charts will say they are obese because they weigh more than average.

 

Many girls and women shy away from weight training (lifting weights) because they are afraid they will look too muscley. It actually takes an enormous amount of work to look like a body builder. Lifting weights is great for women because it improves your bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis. AND having strong muscles means your body burns more calories even while you aren't doing anything. 

 

I'd focus on adding more snack options that aren't starchy high carbs. I like peanut butter on apples, myself. My ds gets in food ruts so I think it's good to brainstorm what food options there are in the house and what would be good to stock up on. You could put a list of snack ideas on the fridge. A list doesn't even have to have the mentality of being about weight and health but could be focused on grocery shopping and budgets. Which foods give you the most nutritious bang for your buck? How much of what do you need to buy for a variety of snacks to last a week? My ds goes for what is easy so chips or crackers are his first choice but he'll eat better if other things are obvious.

 

Keep in mind if people restrict calories, their metabolism slows down. I wouldn't even talk about calories. The cool thing about people who haven't damaged their metabolism by eating low calories is that they will actually burn more calories while at rest if they over eat one day (or a few). So don't worry about the once in a while over eating when dd is around relatives. 

 

The other thing I'd focus on is getting some physical activity most days. We like to take family walks...


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#27 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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There's a big misconception among many people that thin=healthy, and I see it playing out in a number of ways.  Some of them do show up in your post.

 

I'm just going to throw them out here:

 

Since thin=healthy:

  • Thin people are all healthy
  • Thin people don’t need to worry about nutrition
  • Whatever a thin person is eating must be healthy since it keeps them thin
  • If a person is thin, they don’t need to exercise because they must get enough
  • A fat person must be unhealthy
  • A fat person must be eating unhealthy things
  • Whatever a fat person eats IS unhealthy
  • If a fat person is eating healthy and not losing weight, they must be lying about what they eat
  • If a fat person is exercising and still fat, they must be lying about exercise
  • Fat people who eat healthy and exercise all will become thin people.

 

All those things are accepted as absolutely true by many people.   But they are all logical fallacies. I catch myself doing it;  in the past, when I’ve tried to get fitter, if I don’t lose weight doing it I think I must be doing it wrong and “its not working.”  It WAS working – I was getting much fitter and healthier!  

 

I understand the issue with trying to provide snacks for a  growing teen, too.  My son is mid-growth spurt.  He could eat all the time.   I’ve had to brainstorm a set of snacks he can help himself to that won’t break our budget.

 

In addition to the snacks you’re providing being very carb-heavy and processed, I’d point out that they’re also FULL of sodium.  Most people don’t realize just how salty ramen noodles are, for example.     You’re setting up a salt craving that can be very hard to re-train later.

Empty/simple carbs are simple sugars that cause quick rises in blood sugar followed by quick drops.   This messes with the feeling of fullness and with hunger cues.

 

You may want to look up information on the Glycemic Index, which is a measurement of how a food affects blood sugar.  Many people do very well on a low-glycemic diet – they feel better and are physically healthier.

 

You might also look for the book “The End of Overeating,” which talks a lot more about processed food like cheezits and why it’s a problem in the modern world.  It’s designed to be eaten quickly, and the processing actually enables our bodies to extract more calories from it, faster.   The natural systems that keep our appetite and metabolism in balance are actively overridden by very sweet/salty/fatty foods – because in nature, those foods are vanishingly rare, so it is okay for our brains to tell us to eat ridiculous amounts of them.   The problem is that in modern life, these foods are NOT vanishingly rare. 

 

And on the subject of processed foods, you might get a lot out of Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules.”  It’s a little book of simple statements about food that condenses down his big, technical books into some easy-to adopt ideas.  If you pick a few and try to stick with them, you’ll find yourself eating a more nutritious, more whole-foods diet, overall.

 

Another tip, if you haven’t already done this:  sweetened beverages of any kind mess with our ability to judge fullness and contentedness with how much we eat.  This includes artificial sweeteners.   Stop stocking juice and pop, if you have it around.   Just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you should be drinking it either.   Drink water.   Or water down the juice.   I bought old-fashioned 7-ounce juice glasses like my grandmother had, and that’s all we drink sweetened beverages out of of in our house.   When cookbooks and meal plans talk about a “glass” of juice per day?  That’s what they were referring to until very recently. 

 

Some of the things we do for snacks at our house:

  • Hummus with pita and carrots (I make it in the food processor from canned beans, which is quick and cheap)
  • Peanuts in the shell (having to crack them slows down the eating a bit, so they don’t wolf down fistfuls before the sensation of fullness hits their stomach.  Also, less salty).
  • Peanut butter toast (DH bakes bread weekly so it’s a cheap option, also doesn’t have some of the additives like DATEM which may contribute to T2 diabetes)
  • Greek yogurt (more expensive, but 3x the protein of regular yogurt) – kids know they get 1 per day
  • Baby carrots and dip
  • Apples (we buy them by the big bag)
  • Pineapple chunks (I buy them and cut them up and have a lidded bowl in the fridge.
  • Quesadillas with cheese and mashed black beans.
  • Eggs – hard boiled or fried on toast.
  • Chunks of smoked sausage (I justify this by buying it at the farmers market so at least its from healthy meat!)
  • Peanut butter on crackers (not the prepacked “PB Crackers,” but actual PB spread on actual crackers, preferably without hydrogenated oils in the cracker)
  • Cottage cheese (with or without fruit)
  • Grape tomatoes (good with cottage cheese, actually)
  • Deli meat – either just rolled up and eaten, or as a sandwich

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#28 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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yeahthat.gif  I find savithny's above post to be fabulous advice for looking a bit at practical things and how you may be perceiving the situation.

 

 

I'd like to also mention that even teens will put on a bit extra weight when approaching a growth spurt, just like you notice younger children do.  And that's normal, and may be there a little longer.  Doesn't mean their body doesn't actually need the energy storage they're developing.

 

Finding healthy and more active things to do together as a family is also always a good habit, even with teens, rather than just 'what can I get her involved in (by herself)'.  It'll also be more likely to spark her interest in other active things to do.  

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#29 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Seashells - you are wrong that I am concerned about my daughter’s appearance.  I am concerned about her health.  I wouldn't be so concerned if her weight was evenly distributed over her body, but her weight is concentrated in her belly.  Belly fat is not good because it’s concentrated around the organs in the abdomen and can lead to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

 

The only reason I keep talking about my weight is to explain that my eating habits are probably not the best because I've never had to think about what I eat.  And you are right that weight does not equal health.  I want to be the kind of mom who teaches her kids how to eat healthy, but since it's something I've never had to think about before, it's something I have to learn, hence the reason for my post.

 

 

Savithny – thanks for explaining about the empty/simple carbs and all the other information.  Very informative and helpful, your list of snacks is exactly what I was looking for.  I think she would like boiled eggs. 

 

Couple of questions - I thought I heard that deli meat is bad for you because it's processed?

 

And we do drink a lot of kool aid instead of water, but the problem with that is when I eat something greasy, I can not drink water.  The water seems to sit on top of the food and makes me feel very gassy and bloated to the point of discomfort.  Any suggestions?

 

And thanks to the other posters for their helpful advice.


Divorced mother of two DD15 and DD7
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#30 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amber3902 View Post

Seashells - you are wrong that I am concerned about my daughter’s appearance.  I am concerned about her health.  I wouldn't be so concerned if her weight was evenly distributed over her body, but her weight is concentrated in her belly.  Belly fat is not good because it’s concentrated around the organs in the abdomen and can lead to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

 

The only reason I keep talking about my weight is to explain that my eating habits are probably not the best because I've never had to think about what I eat.  And you are right that weight does not equal health.  I want to be the kind of mom who teaches her kids how to eat healthy, but since it's something I've never had to think about before, it's something I have to learn, hence the reason for my post.

 

 

Savithny – thanks for explaining about the empty/simple carbs and all the other information.  Very informative and helpful, your list of snacks is exactly what I was looking for.  I think she would like boiled eggs.  One question though - I thought I heard that deli meat is bad for you because it's processed?

 

And thanks to the other posters for their helpful advice.

 

 

This is where I think you're missing the point. 

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