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Should I be honest with my daughter?

My 9 yo daughter has the exact same body type I did when I was little. It kills me to see her ask if something she wants will make her fat. (apparently I talk about myself being fat too often) I don't want her to be so focused on her body at such a young age, but if I don't tell her the truth, there is a good chance she will end up overweight like myself, which didn't happen until I was in my 20's. Until then, I was one of those super skinny people who ate whatever I wanted and never gained a pound. Karma! Aside from keeping my mouth shut about my own weight, should I say anything to her? BTW, it's not like I keep a bunch of unhealthy snacks at home. I do keep pretzels and those fruit chew things. She asks about everything she eats.

Fri. Jun 1, 12:16pm

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how about getting some books from the library? books about metabolism, digestion, nutrition? then you can read and learn together.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 12:22 PM

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The only way for her to learn is by you making good choices. They truly do as they see. My 3 and a 1/2 year old asked for a salad the other day because he watches us eat salads all the time.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 12:24 PM

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Maybe let her know that it is not always what she eats, but how much of it. Learning that life is all about moderation, is a great lesson to learn while young. It would also be great to encourage sports & other activities to keep her spirits & confidence up. Doing active things keeps us thinking about all the amazing things our bodies are capable of not just they look.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 12:29 PM

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If she's 9, and skinny, the answer to "will this make me fat?" should probably just about always be "no," or, "not if you only eat a little" - but that response only if it's something really unhealthy. She's still growing, and about to go through puberty in not too long. She needs some fat, etc., to get her through it.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 12:32 PM

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I have a 10 year old daughter and she also has the same body I did at her age....a little chunky! By 12, I had hit a major growth spurt, started my period and was wearing a C cup bra. By 8th grade, I had a total woman's body, I shared clothes and shoes with my mom and was constantly cat-called while out in the yard in my bikini. (I actually found that confusing and I didn't like it one bit.)

I have overheard her friends talking about being on diets (asking about fat free girl scout cookies, etc.) and it both angered and frightened me. My daughter has never said a word. One night, while I was washing her hair in the tub, I said something like "I hope you know that your friends talking about dieting is just plain SILLY! You guys haven't even started growing yet and your bodies are going to completely change!" She said that she knew and it hasn't really come up again.

I should add that for a while, she was eating out of boredom and eating large portions. I stopped buying goldfish, pretzels and fruit snacks and I stock up on a variety of yogurt, fruits, veggies and cheese and healthy crackers. They love fruit smoothies in the blender for dessert. I NEVER talk about diets, calories, being fat, weight loss, etc. in front of her anymore. I leave it at "We are ALL simply eating healthy foods to keep our bodies HEALTHY". We all like to watch healthy cooking shows together and that helps, too. We sometimes buy garbage snacks (organic, baked potato chips) and they do get McDonalds occasionally but nothing like we used to.

My niece is in an in-patient program for anorexia right now, (she's 12), and she almost died from not eating. My daughter has seen how grossly skinny and overall unhealthy looking her cousin is and knows that she got that way from not eating. I pray that she never travels down that road herself.

If my daughter were to ask me if something would make her fat, I would probably answer with a "sure, if you eat the whole box!" Try to keep things focused on health and not weight. A little bit of 'bad things' are fine, everything in moderation.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 12:48 PM

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