From Kari, Child's Age 6 - 11/26/01 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
Hi. I am happy to found this site. I could really use some assistance. My daughter is 6 (almost 7) She is 4'2" and weighs 80 lbs. She is in the First grade. Yesterday she asked me why her stomach stuck out so much. I didn't know what to say. Last year I managed to keep her weight gain down, but when summer ended she had gained 7 pounds. I know that she will never be a lithe skinny frail looking kid. I just want her to be healthy, happy, and comfortable with who she is. If I could help her to stop gaining even if I can't help her lose some...I don't know what to do. Any advice would be great.
Reply from Jed, Child's Age 11 - 07/30/02  - IP#:
I agree with Sue. Stomach's that stick out don't generally mean they're fat. As long as she's not a couch potato or an over eater, you have nothing to fear.
Reply from Kari, Child's Age 7 - 12/18/01  - IP#:
Thanks for the advice. Since I posted my daughter and I have had a discussion about ways we could make better choices about food, exercise, and body image. We agreed to stop buying cookies, ice cream, chips, crackers, or anything else that was empty nutritionally. We have made our portions more realistic and appropriate. She helps make her school lunch and has chosen to take carrots or apples and the like as opposed to cookies. She seems to be happier and I know that I feel better about taking an active step to help her make healthy choices about food. Maybe these things will stay with her throughout her life. We came to the website together too. Thank you to everyone who put this website together. It really helped us out.
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 11/27/01  - IP#:
Firstly, you say her stomach sticks out. That isn't necessarily to do with being overweight. Unfortunately a lot of children just have big tummies and they don't start to flatten out until they get past puberty. My daughter lost a lot of weight but her tummy has only recently started to get flatter.
You are obviously concerned about her weight and want to ensure she doesn't carry on gaining. Unfortunately it gets more difficult to get exercise in winter. Does she enjoy dancing? Could you get her to do that as fun exercise? Or taking long walks together.
Regarding her food intake, I would first ensure that you aren't giving her too large portions by mistake. Very easily done. If she loves sweets and cakes, try and get the lower fat, lower calorie ones. I wouldn't cut them from her diet completely if that is what she really enjoys. The same with potato chips. In the UK we have very low fat ones that taste the same. You will probably find that with all her favourite foods there are also lower fat versions and lots of recipes on the internet for lower fat foods. You can't control what she eats all the time and watch her all the time obviously but slowly introduce lower fat foods into her diet. I wouldn't let her know that you are concerned about her weight in case she starts to get a complex. Just talk about healthier eating for her general well being and the well being of the whole family. In winter we eat a lot of low calorie soups that are filling and nutritious. Also make sure there is always fresh fruit in the house to snack on instead of sweet stuff. We eat a lot of carrots and low fat dips. Check the calorie and fat content on different foods. All this is very laborious but you do have to have an idea of how high in fat and calories the food is. There are lots of lists on the internet. I wouldn't be too strict with your daughter but just introduce the idea that some foods are healthier than others and everything in moderation. Good luck.