From Lori, Child's Age 7 - 01/23/01  Click here to reply  
My daughter is 7 1/2 year old. She's getting a little plump, but I've never told her that cause I don't want her to "diet". She's 95th percentile in weight. I know how to cook for her when at home, but I need good lunch ideas. She goes to a private school and they can only pack. On Friday's she has pizza day. She knows to drink lots of water. If she has juice or soda it's only one glass then the rest water or milk. She does love sweets though and she eats quite a bit. She gets plenty of exercise because she's on a swim team. Thanks for your help!
Reply from Susan, Child's Age 9 - 03/16/01 
My daughters also go to private school. Packing their lunch & snacks has been quite the challenge ! They too can get pizza on Friday's and they even have to deal with the Seniors coming around selling candy every afternoon !
This is what I have tried to do and I hope it helps you although I am still looking for the best solutions.
We very very rarely allow our children to drink soda & if they do, it has to be caffeine free. But I do not allow diet soda due to the nutrisweet issues.
I pack a juice box (100%juice) for morning snack & something small like those mini rice cakes (all kinds of flavors) or they sell low fat cheese & crackers packs now too.
For lunch, they love lunchables but I dont love whats in them so I make my own.
I buy a 1 inch thick piece of deli meat , usually lean turkey, cut it up into cubes & put it in one of those ziplock tupperware type containers. I do the same with some cheese & then give crackers (you can buy low fat wheat thins or even fat free saltines now)
For desert I give either some sort of fruit in lite syrup or a fat free pudding cup.
To the natural eye, they have a pretty pleasing lunch so the other kids dont tease them and to their taste buds, they love the stuff. They even like the snackwells chocolate cookie sandwiches !
If I ever give them pnut butter & jelly, my kids love the Teddy brand all natural pnut butter, its more expensive but its all natural and they love it. We even use macaroni & cheese but use Annie's which is all natural.
When they come home from school, they can have a piece of fruit for snack.
Of course some times they get cookies or something sweet... by forbidding them, I feel it only makes it more tempting and desireable.
Its a good way to help them eat well, but not focus on the weight and not make them feel like they are being punished or that they are fat.
My kids also gain during the winter months here in New England. They go out sliding but its not enough. But if I help them eat right all winter, then it comes off pretty well in the summer once the pool is open & they start to roller blade & use their bikes.
Hope this helps !
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 01/23/01 
In theory a packed lunch should be easy because you decide what to put in it but I used to worry that my daughter wasn't getting enough so I used to put too much in. In the UK we have something called Lunchables which are small packs that contain cheese biscuits, ham, cheese and they have pizza versions with a small sauce so the kids can make small pizzas. A huge hit. These are only about 250 calories. If you can't get them then you can make up your own with low calorie crackers and cheese. Bread is fattening, of course, although there are slimming breads but I always found those too crumbly. I also found some very low calorie crisps. Plus you could pack a low calorie yoghurt or piece of fruit.
Sweets is a difficult one because all kids love sweets. It is kind of compulsory. I found some very low calorie lollies in the supermarket that were 23 calories each. Only small but they do last a while. Plus we found some 'Flying saucer' sweets that were also very low calorie. I don't know if you have them in the US but they are shaped like flying saucers and sherbert filled. Also, some ice lollies are very low in calories.
Regarding pizza day, I would just let her join in with the other kids on that. It is only one day and it might otherwise make her conscious of her weight. You will find that all the foods that she likes, there are probably Weight Watcher versions in the supermarkets and she won't even realise she is dieting.