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my 8yr. old daughter is packing on pudge

How can I help my daughter? I don't want to tell her to be careful or she will look like me because I am concerned about her self image at such a young age, but the truth is - I can't help but think it. She loves junk food - like her dad - and does not care for the healthy things that I try to encourage. Although she is not overweight now and she is an active child, she is not the fit and slender child she used to be. I see the cellulite in her bottom and legs and she is starting to acquire some bulge in her torso. She does not have the stamina to walk with me, though she plays hard outside. What can I do? Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thu. Apr 20, 10:21am

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I think about this a lot and what my mother could have done differently. First, I think children cannot just hold healthy habits on their own. If you have a dual parent home, BOTH parents should participate and set an example of healthy living. Do as I say not as I do, problem?

I'd say first, talk to your husband. If he won't change his bad habits for his own health maybe he will for his daughter's. Try eliminating the easy stuff from the house: processed sugars, candy, pop, chips. Make the same changes for yourself for the whole family. But, DON'T give out the lowfat, 1/3 fat, modified carb stuff that is not real whole food and not good for anyone.

Example: Crystal light is pure chemicals and not good for children especially.

Try having outdoor family activities. I gained baby fat at around 9 and lost it all with a little effort and activity at 12, it could just be that (we also moved to the beach, so I was always swimming, walking and playing outside).

It is a very sensitive age, and what comments I heard about the baby fat still sting to this day when I was 8, so keep that in mind.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 10:33 AM

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Watch -Honey we're killing the kids.

and for heavens sakes do something now so she doesn't have to be an over weight teen ager or adult.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 10:46 AM

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I have to agree with the previous poster about baby fat comments. I was a chubby kid even though I played outside often and was never really into TV. My mother would constantly make remarks about me having too much baby fat. As I got older I was told to "suck in my tummy" and "get more exercise" while my mom dished out ice cream before bed every night. Her comments really hurt me and, to this day, if she brings up comments about how chubby I was as a kid I just rip into her. My mom and I were never able to grow close and part of that was because I always felt so hurt when she started to "innocently" criticize my weight (other kids never mentioned anything so she was the only one to "tease" me).

If don't have unhealthy foods in the house she'll naturally go to the healthier alternatives but be careful about saying anything because it can really ruin a mother daughter relationship.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 10:46 AM

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I recently battled this problem with my son. His father and I are divorced and not on the best of 1/2 the week he spends with my ex husband where he is" rewarded with junk food etc etc" and I cant seem to get through to my ex that this is NOT OK( hence the divorce heh). Its difficult because my sons friends dont have the same genetic make up...most 11 year olds can eat anything they want and it doesnt really show on them, so when hes out at the playground he buys candy and soda just like the rest of them and I know I cant ALWAYS be there to help him stick to good choices. I decided to hire once a week a " big brother" he is sort of like a personal trainer for children and not anymore expensive than a piano lesson or something of the sort. He comes every week and takes my son out on a bike ride or to play basketball.... and at the same time talks with him about being healthy. My son comes home and tells ME about portion control and how certain foods are good for your skin and certain ones are good for your bones haha its actually been great. Its tough to change bad habits and not create a bad body image... but just making your child more aware of how incredible their body and life really are is important...try talking with her and participating in fun outdoor activities. Just dont ever talk about losing weight, cause afterall it isnt about that, its about health.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 10:53 AM

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These are all great comments, especially the Personal Trainer/ Big bother. I could use one of those. :)

Am I the only person whose having trouble with the OP's comment " does not care for the healthy things that I try to encourage"? I think this is a big problem. You are the parent, it is your JOB to make sure your kids eat right and give them the tools to make the right choices when it's their responsibility. An 8 year old does not have the required knowledge or decision making skills and that's why they are such a huge marketing target for the food industry.

Have you seen fast food nation? I forget the exact statistic, but it was something along the lines of "a child who watches an average amount of TV will see 10,000 food commercials" if you were to talk to your child about healthy food choices 10 times a day you still couldn't compete with that, they have celebrities, bright colors and songs on their side. In addition to all the great advice above I'd say get a tivo and teach her to skip all commercials. Even if she doesn't watch much tv, those ads are designed to manipulate kids...and it works.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 11:37 AM

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