From Olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/16/05 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
I've posted here before and am still looking for some concrete advice. I am the step mother of a very big 9 year old. She is 4'2" and weighs in at 160. Her weight has been creeping up at the average of two pounds every two weeks. Since we have her and her 13-year old brother with us only two weekends a month, there's not much we can do but eat healthy - which we always do, encourage physical activity, limit TV and computer time. Both of her bio parents are diabetic and now she has asthma (weight induced). Bio-Mom won't move on the weight issue and this year the kids are really picking on her at school. What's a stepmother to do without being a complete butinski?
Reply from Miranda, Child's Age 12 - 12/29/06  - IP#:
You can't force your Child to exersize or do anything they don't want to. You can limit time spent on the computer or watching TV. Try and find some cool music your kids like and ask them to do an aerobic workout with the music on. Try and eat healthy foods most of the time and don't eat fast food if you can avoid it. also try to talk to your child and make them aware that there are health risks associated with being over weight. Hope this helps!

Reply from Mary, Child's Age 7 - 09/28/05  - IP#:
I'm going to research that pituitary gland thing on the net, I've never heard it before. All I need is for my son to start gaining from it. I wonder why the endo doc didn't mention it. Oh well gives me something more to do. I only want what is best for my children and if I find it true bye bye splenda.

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/28/05  - IP#:
Thanks Mary. My daughter had a ball and looked quite beautiful - so slutty dress for her, she's a classic gal who should have been born during the 40's or 50's - that's just her style. SD and I took loads of pix so she could show off her sister at school. We don't use a whole lot of artificial sweetners - save for me and my husband who use them in our coffee. Even my daughter has given up artificial sweetner saying it makes you gain weight because it tricks your pituitary gland. Anyway, Saturday night ended up with SD and I watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding - it's one of our favorites and does send a message - that you are in control of yourself...your family...well you can never control them.

Reply from Mary, Child's Age 7 - 09/28/05  - IP#:
It's a known fact that a majority of people that use artificial sweeteners do gain weight because they think they can eat more!!! By replacing sugar we personally do not eat excessively. Portion control is also very important, only one serving. I too think that processed food is part of the culprint but I didn't consume them as a child and I have been overweight all my life and I have to disagree that genetics is eating too much. I come from a family of 6 children and I am the only overweight one and we can track this back generations in my fathers family. Olivia you are doing great with your DSD keep it up. Have a good time getting your DD ready for the dance, I have boys but I get to go this weeken to my sisters and help my niece/goddaughter get ready for hers since her parents will be at college with her brother, I'm going to have a blast, hopefully your DSD will think the same.

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/23/05  - IP#:
Because "his" kids aren't as accustomed to eating healthy - like whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits and veggies - I do what I can to introduce things - like whole wheat or corn tortillas instead of white flour. I still freak out when I think about the first time I cut up an apple for a snack and gave them yogurt to dip it in - McDonald's stole the idea from me. LOL! I know I can't change their eating/emotional problems in 4 days a I do what I can which is better than the bio-mom.

Reply from Marie - 09/22/05  - IP#:
oops wrong website given it is or, and is excellent also he is an md who writes for prevention and has recently been doing health topics on the today show about the use of vitamins.

Reply from Marie - 09/22/05  - IP#:
I hate to be the bad guy..but I can't help it. Artifical sweetners are just that artifical and there is absolutely no scientific evidnece to support use of these resulting in weight loss. We have had them on the market around 30 years and our obesity rates continue to skyrocket. There is a link that it increases appetite and it conditions us to sweetened foods. Sugar is only 16 cal per teas, very low. We need to eat sugar in moderation that is all. Any processed food is going to have hidden sugar/fats and salt those are the foods we should limit. Carbs are not the problem processed foods are. Genetics is bad eating habits passed down from one generation to the next. Being overweight if it is not proven to be a medical reason like thyroid which 99.9% of the time it isn't is just simply to many calories consumed. A lot of us want to assume that because we come from overweight people then it is genetics, not true.I would hate for my child to limit their goals based on a history of people just not paying attention to eating habits. A great website is it has every healthy food you can ask for/ nutrient analysis and recipes to go along with it. Excellent. I teach my daughter to eat whole foods to feed and fuel her mind and body and nothing is off limits if we consume it in moderation. As an example of cutting back say from a little debbie snack that so many kids consume daily to a piece of fruit that child in a years time would lose 12lbs in a adds up little changes that don't make your children feel deprived.

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/22/05  - IP#:
I hadn't thought about using the Splenda in the kool-aid - at least I could use the grape and other unsweetened varieties instead of just the Country Time lemonade or the few sugar-free varieties Kool Aid offers. We always bake our french fries - I learned if you spray them with non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkle with salt or herbs, it tastes like they were fried. And I think I'll take advantage of the grill for turkey burgers or chicken breasts - I know which turkey burgers you are talking about. Another thing - I found chicken hot dogs at Market Day...I'll have to order them next month. I know she needs the exercise - our subdivision has a boulevard and four times around is a mile...we'll work on that...generally I try and encourage her to walk with me but she is shunning that and refuses to ride her bike - she just learned how to ride without training wheels this summer, refuses to use her scooter. Oh well, hopefully watching my daughter get ready for homecoming will be encouraging...look at the pretty dresses you get to wear in high school for the dance, and the shoes and the purse...maybe looking ahead to the good stuff will help her deal with the bad stuff.

Reply from Mary, Child's Age 7 - 09/22/05  - IP#:
After having my son to the ped endo dr she said that splenda is safe for children and to substitute this for sugar. You can measure cup for cup, even bake with it. Pudding, kool aid, yogurt, are favorites. He gets snacks without realizing there is no sugar. Take some time at the grocery and look for anything with splenda. Cut fat, and carbs along with the sugar. I pretty much replaced the ground beef for turkey or chicken. For Sunday how about a BBQ, I found some awesome frozen turkey burgers but I can't remember who makes them (orange, green and white box). You can buy low carb buns, I allow a slice of cheese and already cooked bacon on one. If he wants another he gets only the meat. As much vegetables as he wants. I even get frozen fries, look for the least fat and carbs, then bake on the oven til crispy. BBQ chicken is good, low carb sauce also. I've kind of kept the menus the same only substute with the condiments, etc. so that the sugar is almost non exsistant. My sons overweight comes from genetics but he does like to eat good things and I try not to draw attention to it. But exercise is the MOST IMPORTANT it was suggested he get 1/2 hour straight indoor, treadmill or bike a day. This is hard to do with school homework and all but we go on bike rides (10 time around block without stopping) ar walking for 1/2 hour wherever it takes us. My son is growing up in my footsteps and I hoped this would not happen and I don't want him to go thru what I did. He is not gaining now but hasn't lost anything. He is 5' and 145 lbs. so I know what it's like for you, if only she had you every day!!!!!!! Good LucK !!

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/21/05  - IP#:
The step kids will be with us this weekend and I'm starting my menu planning. Any suggestions? My healthy eating brain is worn out and I'm sure the kids are tired of having the same old thing when they come to visit. Apples are plentiful here in the Midwest right now, so I'm thinking about a kid-friendly, low-cal Waldorf salad and maybe Sloppy Toms (ground turkey instead of beef)with raw veggies and low fat dressing/dip. That will take care of Saturday dinner as my 16-year-old will be at her homecoming dance. But what about Sunday dinner? I'm open to all suggestions.

Reply from Marie - 09/19/05  - IP#:
Don't assume it is emotional eating though, granted it may be, but often as children we just eat as our parents do. I too was obese and an emotional eater, so I do have the history. I am now a nutritionist and have a 12 year old whom I don't mention because she is not obese as I was as a child. We need to teach our children skills for a long healthy life besides math, english, and avoiding drug use. Tools for weight management include knowledge once I child knows they are the ones in control and they can change their life then they see a way out....

Reply from Debbie, Child's Age 13 - 09/16/05  - IP#:
It is good that she feels comfortable talking to you about the other kids teasing her so make sure that you keep that type of relationship up. How about adding some type of physical activity when she is visiting... like a family walk. If her mom is as bad as you say then that poop baby is definitely eating for emotional reasons. I know that you can talk with her about making better food choices but to be honest it might not help. I spent my growing up years trying to stuff up the emptiness inside me and I could have quoted you a ton of nutritional information but it didn't matter because I just needed to fill up that hole inside and food often seemed to be the least at the moments I was eating it.

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/16/05  - IP#:
Absolutely a control's like she doesn't want the kids to answer the phone or even use it because then they'll have friends and will get outside of that little bubble their Mom calls "life." Kids 9 and 13 should be able to use the phone. I ask them when they're over if they want to have a friend over or go to their friends house and they are non-commital. When my daughter was Katie's age, she was on the phone with friends and I would allow them to go to the mall as long as I was two paces behind them. The step kids are very, I don't know what to call it, uncomfortable and don't know quite how to act in social settings. Is that a "child of a control freak" thing too?

Reply from Marie - 09/16/05  - IP#:
So even biggger issues then weight. She probably eats due to her mom's control issues. Nurses are known for weight problems and they get a minimal of 1 class in nutrition. Sad. When she gets to be 11-12 she is really going to need your help. Talk nutrition with her and tell her why some things are better then others and it is about the heart and health not the size of your pants. If her mom has diabetes then she at that weight should be monitored closely.

Reply from olivia, Child's Age 9 - 09/16/05  - IP#:
Mom refuses Dad any contact with the kids outside of the weekends - the kids aren't even allowed to answer the telephone much less use it! Mom's a Registered Nurse and should let Dad in on what's really going on healthwise and should invite him along to Dr. visits. It truly is a difficult situation. I feel bad because I try to cook healthy and something they will actually eat and they just turn their nose up at it eventhough we have menu planning on Saturday mornings as a precursor to the day's chores. At least Katie (SD) talks to me about kids making fun of her - that's more than Dad gets.

Reply from Marie - 09/16/05  - IP#:
The best thing is not to make a big issue because as you said you will look bad and nothing will change. Does dad care? Have him go to the Dr.s with her and get mom involved that way. Try to get the children more often. Set a great example while she is with you, if you do this and keep an open door policy when she is ready to control it herself then she will have you to come to for advice.