From Shelia, Child's Age 10 - 03/22/11 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
I just discovered this website and I am thrilled. My daughter is 10, 4' 9" and weighs 130 pounds. i do not want her to have to fight all her life with food issues ans weight issues so I am trying to limit her portions and watch what I bring into the house. today she told me her friend gave her three snack size Butterfingers at school. How do I encourage her and make her realize she needs to loose weight for health reasons. I am so scared that she will end up with an eatin disorder like anarexia or bulimia so I don't know how to approach the issue with her without making her have a complex and possibly causing her to have an eating disorder.
Reply from Mary, Child's Age 12 - 03/27/11  - IP#:
Has your daughter been seen by a physician in the last year? Some girls in puberty do have a weight gain right before they get a big growth spurt. Has the physician mentioned anything about her weight? Does your daughter say that she is being teased at school about her weight? Have you mentioned you are concerned about her weight to her?
First of all it is important for you to continue the nurturing relationship that you have with your daughter. Some kids who do not have a relationship will turn towards food for comfort. If she is being teased about her weight at school OR she has brought it up to you, make sure you talk to her about her feelings. Children can have many feelings (stress,anger,sadness,etc) that can be numbed by food. When you talk with her, see what is going on in her life. Help your daughter to find sources of comfort, pleasure,and fun other than with food. Hobbies, sports, and clubs can relieve boredom and offer distraction from depression and anxiousness. They will also increase activity. If you see your child snacking excessively ask them, "Are you really hungry or are you just unhappy?"
Great job on watching what you bring into your home as far as food and also in watching portion control. A child's good eating habits begin with the adults in the home. Children will mimic their parent's good and bad eating habits. And, if only high fat, sweet and low-nutrition food is mostly available, this is what the child will eat. Parents are great role models for healthy eating and active lifestyles!!
Teach her that food is what a body needs to run on for fuel and to make new parts like bones and muscle, rather than something for entertainment or to comfort bad feelings. Also, if she eats at home it should be at the kitchen table, even snacking. No nibbling in front of the television, no box of cookies in the bedroom, no dish of ice cream at the computer.
If your daughter has not said anything about her weight, tell her what you do with your emotions when you have a hard day. For example, if you (mom) have a stressful day at work, tell your daughter about it and you may say to her "I have had a stressful day, let's go for a walk, it will make me feel less stressed and better".
Hope this helps...