Overweight Daughter

by Jo Lynn

Visitor Question:

I need help with my 8 year old daughter. She is 30 pounds over weight. She weighs 115 pounds and is 56 inches tall. Do you work with children? Her doctors are not taking it seriously and keep telling me to watch her portions and that she will grow out of it. Well, she is gaining at an alarming rate! I printed out a bunch of stuff from your website to try. Thanks so much.

Lifetime Fat Loss Answers:

You are so right to be concerned! Watching portions is a good idea for your daughter but don't be a nag. Just make sure you have healthy choices and let her decide what and how much to eat. Kids have to learn to listen to their own bodies.

You could encourage her to take her time by making meals a relaxing time. Suggest that you all take small portions and wait for 5 minutes for your brain to know whether you're full or not before taking seconds. Be a good role model. It's more important that your daughter learn what healthy foods are and how to cook fresh whole foods than to be controlled or restricted by adults. Just don't buy the junk foods or white, processed foods.

If it's possible, take your worry and anxiety out of the equation and have a fun time teaching her about nutrition. She can learn about how her body needs good "fuel" to grow properly just as plants and animals do. Plants won't grow if they don't get the nutrients out of the soils. Maybe you can find some age appropriate, good picture books on nutrition. You could also buy a tomato plant you could grow on your porch to teach her about where our food comes from.

Thirty pounds is a lot of extra weight on a child. And you say she is gaining quickly which is not a good sign. Not all doctors are aware of how much food children are eating these days that is high glycemic. If your daughter is drinking sodas then she is getting far too much sugar in her diet. But it's not just the sodas. Almost all processed foods have high glycemic additives.

It sounds like you are already reading on the website which should be very helpful. Be sure to read about eating foods that will not raise your blood sugar. Basically you need to be sure that she is getting lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and some good quality protein. Have her drink water and eat whole fruit rather than drink fruit juices.

It is important that she get lots of healthy fats like raw nuts, seeds, avocado and fish. Rule of thumb is half your plate could be vegetables and a salad and 1/4 whole grains and 1/4 protein. Or you could have grains and fruit (like for breakfast) or grains with salad and veggie for lunch and for dinner have protein with salad and veggies. Or switch up your dinner and lunch. You could have fresh fruit for dessert.

Always have some yummy fresh fruit in the house, whatever is in season, berries, apples, or melons to snack on after school. You could have hummus on crackers with some olives and the fruit. When your daughter eats bread, make sure it's made from 100% wholewheat and better yet full of seeds. There are some good brands on my low glycemic food list. These breads are delicious. The sprouted grain breads are really low glycemic.

It's not easy to be a parent in today's world especially when it comes to a healthy diet. Kids are exposed to so much junk food which is advertised on tv, in school cafeteria vending machines and everywhere else we go. Your daughter is lucky to have a concerned parent who is watching out for her!

Make sure that your home at least is full of healthy, fresh real food and she learns about basic nutrition. What about asking your school if they can incorporate nutrition into their curriculum too? What about growing a garden at the school? Kids love learning by doing and why it makes more sense to eat real food than food from McDonald's.

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