overweight 7yr old daughter

Ursula - posted on 08/07/2010 ( 212 moms have responded )

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Hi is there any way in which I can help my little angel to eat healthy.. What can I put in her snackbax to school? I think she eats too much bread.

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Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2010

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Now I want to be fussy. I know kids like anything in a package, but fruit generally comes prepackaged. As soon as you process it, especially with heat, you degrade the vitamin C and lose other things like fiber. Fruit snacks and fruit cups just are not as nutritious as fresh fruit. The roots of their teeth even become stronger from eating crunchy things.
Also, check nutrition labels. Last time I checked a granola bar label- for a 35 g bar- there was 13 g of sugar. That means that more than 1/3 of the bar is sugar, and ,surprising to me- 2g more sugar than the ice cream bar I give my son as an occasional treat. I don't think granola bars ought to be a regular habit.

Cynthia - posted on 08/11/2010

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my daughter is 5 yrs old and is 3ft 10in and weighs 68 lbs i wish i could get her weight down her father and I are both overweight and i don't wish that on her. any help is greatly appreciated

Tiffany - posted on 08/11/2010

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I am going through the same problem. My almost 7yr old is about 10lbs over weight, she is really tall though. Since I've started walking I take my daughter with me. I minimize what she eats. No eating after like 7ish. She can have fruit but nothing else. She no longer eats as much junk, ive been trying to teach her about making healthy choices. She has cried from people calling her fat so she is aware. For almost 6 months she has become more aware. You dont want to put them on a diet, but more water, less juice and milk. Flavored water capri suns maybe, portion control is a major. For lunch I usually pack her a wheat bread sandwhich(wheat is all we eat at home) a fruit cup, water bottle and maybe a granola bar.

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2010

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I think the biggest mistake that parents make is allowing children to choose unhealthy food. In our house, the general rule is eat lots of veggies and fruit, and some meat and grains. Sugar, processed food and chemicals are kept to a bare minimum. Of course, that means I have to do more work to prepare meals and I have to set a good example by eating the same diet. I don't let my kids dictate what they will and will not eat any more than I let them choose their bedtime, medical treatment or school attendance. I feel comfortable with the idea that my children have a mother to make decisions that are too complex for them and I can live with the occasional, temporary loss of popularity when they have to eat some food they don't care for. (For the record, I eat things that don't thrill me for my healths' sake or when eating at a friends house. I, too, would rather eat chips and pastries all day, but choose health instead. I know that the majority of kids are not that motivated and NEED their parents to step in.)

Ursula - posted on 08/11/2010

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I am so overwhelm by all the comments! Ive made many mistakes but we never to old to learn! Yes,old habits die hard bt Im not about to give up..thanx you ladies.

Nicole - posted on 08/11/2010

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Hi Ursula. I think that it is great that you recognize that there could be an issue with your daughters weight. I think one of the most important things is that you make sure to not tell your daughter that she is overweight and needs to lose weight. I obviously have no idea what your family eats for meals and snacks and such but you have to make sure that you are not only changing what your daughter eats it has to be a change for what your whole family eats. You may think that you are eating fairly healthy but there are always changes that you can make. Switch everything to Whole grain. Make sure that it is not just whole wheat because it is not much better for you than white. When you each whole grains your body has to work harder to digest it and also when you eat simple carbs like white flour or sugar and fruit juices your body turns it to fat. White bread turns to sugar in your body which in turn turns into fat. A lot of peole don't know that. Fruit juice can be healthy in some ways but it is not a good choice. Eating fruit and veges are obviously the best. If you do get juice get the stuff that is fruit and veges and make sure to look to make sure that there is no added sugar. That is important not only for weight but for her teeth. Get her drinking a lot of water maybe make sure that there is always water in the fridge that is nice and cold. I used to have my own bottle in the fridge when I was younger. Make sure that with every snack you have a protein with it. So for example I don't know if you like Hummus or not but it is really tasty and very healthy for you. It is made out of chick peas. You could have hummus on some whole wheat crackers or you could give her apples with peanut butter on it. Raisins are really good and you could put them in some 1% real yogourt not the stuff that has a whole bunch of sugar and stuff in it or you could just add any kind of fruit to yogourt that is a very healthy and filling snack. Make sure she has a protein with every meal and every snack. Maybe look up on the internet different complete forms of protein. Protein keeps you fuller for longer and it also balances your sugar levels. Also watch portion sizes. Kids should be able to have some tasty fun things but just make sure that it is only once in awhile and that it is a small treat. There are so many small changes that you can make that make a huge difference. Another really good idea would be to talk to a nutritionist. My mother in law did that because she was trying to lose weight but felt like she was doing it wrong and she was so surprised with everything she learned. Just make sure that you don't make it seem like there is something wrong with your daughter that is so important and will have life long affects on your daughters eating habits for the rest of her life. I think it is so great that you are trying to do what you can to help your daughter it is very respectful. Good luck. Hopefully what I said will help.

Kelly - posted on 08/11/2010

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All of those cute pre packaged itiems the kids love so much are the real killers. Try eliminating them and get her excited about helping pack her own lunch. If you cold get cute ziplock snack bags and have her fill them up with healthy snacks she may be more inclined to eating healthier without even knowing it :)

Donna - posted on 08/11/2010

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I would find the kind of veggies she likes and put a few more of those in her lunch along with apples if she likes them. They are really the best fruit next to blue berries to eat. They help with energy and less natural sugar. Blue berries will actually help her to lose weight to. Also as you put more veggies, begin to put less carbs like crackers...that way it's a gradual change. You can pick up a fibre tortilla shell instead of bread and make chicken or turkey wraps. It has 13 gms of fibre and it tastes great. You have to watch what you get though because not all tortilla shells are healthy to eat. The brand we use is called "Ole mexican food" High Fibre and Low Carbs. We get them from Kroger in the U.S. Like i was saying I would try to introduce veggies that she likes...and if she's a picky eater with veggies...you could play a bit and instead of calling a snack "carrots & melted peanut butter" call it "sticks & mud" or something fun like that. Try not to make it too big of a deal when u introduce something new...but do play with some names. Turkey has less fat then chicken....but chicken is still better then other red meats.
God bless you and let me know how it turns out.

Jolene - posted on 08/11/2010

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NO high fructose corn syrup!! It's even in things that appear to be healthy and in nearly all cereals.

Kate - posted on 08/11/2010

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I agree with other posters... Don't buy the crap. Just edit it out of your purchases. Don't let chips be part of the picture; if they are in the house the temptation is cruel. Make sure the choices include veggies ("You can pick carrots OR celery") as well as fruit. The crunchiness is fun for kids. The next grocery trip you make... go only to the "around the outside" fruits & veggie aisle and skip all the processed food aisles completely.

Amanda - posted on 08/11/2010

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Heres a good rule to a good diet, if it has a lable and you cant prounouce more then one word in the lable you shouldnt eat it, if it doesnt roit you shouldnt be eatting it. The more you change your diet to LIVE food the healthier you will be (even people who are the right weight are unhealthy due to the garbage they put in their body). As for the bread, just buy WHOLE grain, not muli grain, yes there is a difference.

Cynthia - posted on 08/11/2010

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talk to your doctor, and listen openly, don't feel defensive or close minded or hopeless or defeated, becuase its so easy to feel those things, be genuine about getting the help now before she gets any older.
so go to your family doctor and tell him you need help with this and ask for a referral to a child nutritionist becuase with kids they teach you how to get them healthy in a way where the weight sustains and the "grow into it" rather then loosing in the way adults do. and start getting her active in fun ways, don't make it exercise, but play.

Terri - posted on 08/11/2010

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I just want to add your doing the right thing!! Way to go MOM... for exercise I take my daughter bike riding and I have 16 mon old to so I have a bike trailor for him, my daughter loves it. also put her in a sport like soccer its for younger kids my daughter is 6 and starting this year or cheerleading to I know down here in GA they have to be 7. Sports are great and even for you to get out of the house and cheer your daughter on Good luck bless you and your family!!

Kandee - posted on 08/11/2010

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I would assume here that you are correct!! I have seen this time and time again. Too many carbs....breads and other gluten containing foods....and refined sugars.....just plain nasty stuff!! I have an 8 year old daughter and sometimes getting her to make the right choices is tough. With all 4 of my children I have done this: put out several fruits and veggies on a tray...add a couple of dipping sauces...let her experiment....LET HER PLAY WITH HER FOOD...I said it...playing with your food slows you down. It makes the experience more fulfilling and allows you to get max benefit from the food you are eating!!! Play with her...make a silly playground with broccoli trees....make silly faces in yogurt with fresh blueberries....the possibilities are endless!! Show a joy for good foods....Stay away from refined sugars and white bread....maybe use whole grain tortillas....and PLAY...get her active and positive!!!!

Megan - posted on 08/11/2010

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I agree with all of the people who have said don't cut out bread just change to whole grain instead of white. Children need a lot more carbohydrates in their daily diet than adults. Sweet treats in moderation are also ok, but rather than highly processed commercial biscuits and cakes with lots of additives, I make my own a lot. There is less sugar usually, and you can add things like dried fruit to biscuits or fresh fruit to cakes and muffins ... banana cake, carrot cake, apple & berry muffins. The kids feel like they have had a real treat, but they are also getting extra fruit with that treat to balance it out a little. My kids love sultanas and grated apple in their pancakes as well. Snacks at our house usually consist of fresh fruit, and they like rice crackers too. Corn cakes are a good alternative to bread and taste better than rice cakes. Use avocado as a spread on sandwiches instead of butter, yes it is high in fat but there are so many other great nutrients in there as well and there is no cholesterol in it.

I also agree that this has to be a whole family change. My eldest has a number of food allergies and the whole family eats what he eats for the most part. You can sit there and eat something but say to your child 'but you can't have any'.

Good luck, and I applaud you for taking the step to do what you think is right for your child even if it is different to what your doctor is telling you!

Karen - posted on 08/11/2010

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I have a 7-year old daughter. She does gymnastics twice a week for more than a hour. She is very active an plays outside etc. etc., but she is still a bit overweight. SO WHAT!! She eats healthy, fruit, nuts, drink water etc.etc, but she is still a bit overweight and again I say SO WHAT!!!. She is a child and I am sure that she will outgrow the little fat around the tummy. I love her and I let her be a child. Change "healthy" habits one at a time. Do not let your child get a hint that you think she is overweight, because this is when your REAL problem will start....

Jamie - posted on 08/10/2010

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Try adding more fruits and vegetables into her diet and slowly removing those sugary sweet demon treats. I have learned that by replacing that hostess snack that is so easy to buy and stick in there with some strawberries or grapes...it helps. At Walmart they have freeze dried fruit...in little pouches that can replace chips. It has apples, bananas , strawberries..its actually really good. carrot sticks and celery are great as well. And if u want to help even more...u can even try getting her a YMCA membership, they have gymnastic classes, swimming...things she can enjoy. And it will also help with the weight. Cut out most of the sugars...like juice...they have those sugar free pouches u put into ur water now...and she will gradually lose some of this weight! i hope this helps and good luck!

Stifler's - posted on 08/10/2010

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Oh I agree, a lot of people don't realise that juice is meant to be drank in moderation and drink it like water.

Raven - posted on 08/10/2010

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I am overweight, but my 4 year old daughter is in excellent physical health. She is a gymnast and she loves fruits and veggies. We bought a book called "Eat Your Colors" and it is a recipe book for kids. It has sesame street characters. We read it at two. I pack grapes and baby carrots in her lunchbox. She also loves low fat string cheese, whole grain goldfish crackers, all natural peanut butter and all fruit. Just a couple of the things we feed her. for her drink, we get her juice boxes that are 97%water and 3% juice.

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My four are all skinnies! They drink water, choose fruit over most snacks, but still eat lots of bread products (my husband is a baker) and have a really great breakfast to start each day. I think what makes the difference is that the TV doesn't go on during the week, they don't use computers or video games and they are in scouts and Little Athletics. It's really easy to underestimate the amount of activity and exercise kids are getting. That's especially true when it takes an effort to do it and isn't a part of the usual routine.
You have heaps of information from people here that makes a lot of sense and you obviously have a willingness to make the changes neccessary, so I wish you the best and hope to hear in a year that it's been good for your whole family.

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I was kinda in the same spot you were... All of a sudden I noticed my daughter was heavy. Unfortunately I was no role model. Later when I got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and she with pre-diabetes, we went to a nutrition class together. That hit home to my daughter who was a teen by that time. If you can take a nutrition class, teach your daughter. Some things I remember: 0. Have your daughter see a Dr. first. They are trained to talk to kids so they understand. 1. Have smaller plates 2. 4oz servings of meat (prorate for a child. 3. Watch high fructose corn syrup. It is everywhere! 4. Snack on veggies and fruit 5. Limit fruit juice 6. Fill up on water 7. Exercise together (Dance Dance Revolution is lots of fun.) 8. Bread is bad switch out white bread with WHOLE WHEAT. It needs to say whole wheat on it or in the ingredients. 9. Read labels. Phew! It is worth it though.

Pamela - posted on 08/10/2010

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Eating habits are formed earlier than you might think. If you have allowed her habits of over-eating to become set, it will be difficult to break. Any habit that is 7 years old is difficult to break!

Encourage her to snack on health foods! Cut up apples, etc. into bite size pieces and use for snacks. Buy those baby carrots and a healthy dip. MODEL the eating behavior you want to have her adopt!



Does she do any outdoor exercise? Bike riding? Skating? Any physical activity that burns calories will be best.



Many children these days are far more overweight because we have become an electronic society. Sad but true!

Just be happy she is not tied to a phone in her ear 24/7 like so many AMERICANS!!!

Leila - posted on 08/10/2010

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I think consulting a Dr is a great idea but other than that try putting the entire family on a healthier eating plan. Include lots of fresh veg and fruit. If she likes chips and bar type foods in her school lunch try making some chips with pita breads and giving her a healthy dip to go with them. If you are concerned with bread try using a mountain bread and making wraps or something like that. I find with my guys making healthy food look fun gets them to eat it more or at least try some of it. Juice is often very high in sugar, if she isn't keen on just having water for lunch then try watering down the fruit juice, if she doesn't see it she wont notice it is being watered down... my kids will have half strength juice as long as they don't know it is only half strength.
try making one night (or one day a week) junk food day, we do this in my house and the kids will happily have home made nuggets with oven fried chips or the like. I have to admit we do eat out at McDonalds and other places too though but i try to limit it to once a month and make a night of it, like putting on a movie to watch as a family that night as well. Takes the every day idea away from those foods and puts them more into the occasional foods category.

Yvonne - posted on 08/10/2010

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I'd have to agree with consulting a heath professional. One, they may have more impact about what she should eat. 2. My dd started to put on weight at age 7 not till she was ten and started to have extrememly painful periods did I see a professional. So sorry I didn't go sooner, turns out she had some food allergies, the actual cause of her weight problem. :(

Julie - posted on 08/10/2010

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Fruit is a always a good idea for quenching the sweet tooth AND is good for her (and you!)
Mixed nuts are a good snack chuck full of protein -
Stick a little note that reassures her of your love. Often people will use food to medicate ... or help cope with issues.

Chris - posted on 08/10/2010

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There are new studies being done by Researchers in California. The major theory now is that it is all about High fructose foods. Please search out this info.... it is important and if I had only known about this when my children were younger.

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sounds like a normal little girl.. You might experiment with nut flours and grinding your own flour with the bullet grinder. She won't remember these treasured cooking events, but she will be soaking up the concern and love from her Mom.

You just never know what they latch onto and they are off and running. Passion is an amazing thing and little eight year olds remember the strangest entries in their memory banks. Then when you are 40 she will spring it on you, build well grasshopper.

Carla - posted on 08/10/2010

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I am in the same boat.....my daughter is 8 and loves her breads......she is selective on fruits but loves different raw veggies and is pretty active.....could use the feedback too!!! tks

Stifler's - posted on 08/10/2010

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We crave carbs, bread and stuff happen to be carbs that's why we crave them. We crave them for energy that we don't have but because we don't expend the energy properly they make us feel bloated and make us fat.

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the problem is wheat. lots of people have difficulty processing it. As we age it effects joints, muscles, stomachs even head aches. I am older than mud and we women compare notes and a lot of us are finding eliminating gluten makes us feel better and are in less pain.

If you can keep a food diary with her and she understands why not so much bread, cookies,etc. It will set of a little bell in her bonnet and she will be a baby proactive nutritionist.

Who knows how early we reacted to it, but we LOVE bread and cookies and fawn over recipes and it is part of our fat culture.
Maybe we need to change our love offerings to carrots and apples. It is worth a consideration girls

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We had that problem and here is what I have done to solve it. Our girls would get half a PB&J sandwhich, an apple, and some broccoli. Oh and a bottle of water. I went up to the school and informed them that our children would bring their lunches everyday and if not then they would need a note to buy. The cafeteria put that notation in their system and would refuse our children food at meals unless they had a note. If our children acted out the school would call me and ask if they had had breakfast or a brought lunch. Then my child would get sent straight to the corner when they got home for lying to the school and for throwing a fit when there was no reason for it.
As for at home I went and bought some small plastic plates that looked like lunchroom trays only smaller. Our children get one serving of the main meal in the large section, and veggies, fruit or both in the other two. There is no going back for seconds and if they would like to throw a fit they can do it in their room and then go to the corner for inappropriate behavior. Most evenings after dinner we have extracurricular activities so the child or children that did would then get a veggie of their choice for a snack afterward. The snack was never bigger than what can fit in their hand and they didn't get "dip" to go with it. We always give them fruit and protein for breakfast or they can have 1cup of cereal with fruit. We measure the cereal and we let the girls measure they servings as well so they can learn portion control. It has been a long hard battle and there has been a lot or tears and tantrums. However our girls all feel better, look better, and have a lot more energy in their everyday lives.

good luck and god bless.

Alison - posted on 08/10/2010

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lol, we here in Ireland, call a tortilla, a wrap lol, still tastes as good though

Frances - posted on 08/10/2010

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I encourage my children to help prep / cook food ie ; they love carrot sticks, celery, cucumber etc, broccoli trees!, etc , no frying, just grilling/ eat raw etc If they grow it ie: tomatoes, beans, fruit, then more likely to eat and even help selves. Kids love to show off skills to friends, so will prob eat more healthily if prep and eat together x

Ursula - posted on 08/10/2010

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I feel really inspired by your advise thanx Allison and all the other ladies..cant wait to put my hand on the tortilas and wrap!! =D

Pamela - posted on 08/10/2010

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Make food preparation fun-th look of food and let her help and experiment-including the shopping for healthy choices- make celery fun by adding raisins to pbutter to make :ants: and look at the other fun stuff to do with food on line- great ideas and let her pack her lunch for school-they might surprise you:0

Alison - posted on 08/10/2010

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well Ursula, I am no expert, my little girl loves chopped up cucumber and slices of meat, baby tomatoes. Bread is good but maybe change to Brown Bread or pitta bread or wraps, a nice wrap with some salad, or chesse and mayo, egg etc. Fruit is also good, chopped apple, with a tiny squeeze of lemon juice to stop it from browning, and some mandarin and banana, dried fruit and nuts are also good. well thats about it, good luck

NOEMI - posted on 08/10/2010

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I'd change her bread to 100% wheat. A child needs to eat out of the all the food groups and wheat is one of them. Fruits and veg... peanut butter is a good sense of protein, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Water as a drink or a small juice. No candy. Small portions are good. We need to train our stomachs... with small portions and good foods. Good luck.

Maretta - posted on 08/10/2010

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Nothing helps our kids like learning from example. She will learn from you doing things with her like snacking with more grown up foods like veg sticks & dip etc also you suggesting you both go outside for a while and throw a ball around. I dont often mention weight but try hard to initiate more activity. Entice perhaps by saying you only need to kick the ball around for 10 minutes (but you and I know that once you start.... no one notices the time). Ive found my girl actually liked outdoor stuff.... but wanted some company!

Ursula - posted on 08/10/2010

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you are so right valerie..and thanx for the ideas it sounds Yummie..wil definitely get some tortilas!! =D

Ursula - posted on 08/10/2010

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you are so right valerie..and thanx for the ideas it sounds Yummie..wil definitely get some tortilas!! =D

Rebecca - posted on 08/10/2010

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A little change will go a long way with kids - it's when you're an adult it gets stubborn. I'm overweight, and I don't want my kids to be like me so I changed everything when my daughter was born and did things right, right from the start. She drinks water for thirst and milk before bed and with breakfast (she's now 15 months old) and we don't have fizzy pop (the calories in them are unbelieveable - and they're not even food! Or remotely thirst quenching! I know why they're called empty calories now!). She has either veg in her meal or fruit after it (or both) and even though she loves sweets and chocolate, it's only had on a sunday when we visit the grandparents. I can't remember who said it, but someone said to eat like we were in the 1900's when there weren't all these packaged stuff. I agree. But make it a nice mix of the two. Baked beans aren't bad for you!! For my partner, who hates veg, I boil and blend a good few portions of veg and add them to anything that has a sauce in it. Casseroles, gravy, soups, pies... I think it depends why she's overweight as to what the solution is. But I wish you the best of luck - I see a lot of people with overweight kids who just don't seem able to see it, and I feel so, so sorry for the kids.

Valerie - posted on 08/10/2010

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Your daughter does not buy the groceries, you do so you have total control over what she eats! Fruits, veggies & dips, pitas, yogurts,..the options are endless! Look up healthy foods for kids on google and tons of ideas will be given to you!

Lindsay - posted on 08/10/2010

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it's all about cutting calories and increasing physical activity. maybe instead of giving her sandwiches, you could give her half of a pita with her favourite sandwich insides, with lots of crunchy vegetables to dip in a plain yogurt dip. kids love to dip things, you can get them to eat pretty much anything if you have something to dip it in! lol, apples and peanut butter for one. you can also wrap "sandwiches" in tortilla's in replace of using bread. there are lots of great flavours of tortillas now, sundried tomato, and spinach are my favourites!!! Good Luck!

Elisabeth - posted on 08/10/2010

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Cut out sugar except for fresh fruits and make sure that she only eats whole grains. Do this gradually though if she is used to eating candies and treats daily....little changes every day. You can make those things just not appear in your grocery basket anymore.

Angela - posted on 08/10/2010

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I would suggest more raw veggies and fruit for a sweet tooth attack. Exercise is important also. Keep her active, give her a well-balanced diet with healthy portions, and a lot of love.

[deleted account]

Unless you are all eating well, and moving, it's just going to be seen by her as a punishment. Don't say anything-do stuff. Go to the park, kick a ball around, get her involved in soccer or softball or swimming, and you find something to do, also. Kids this age are growing so fast that it's not a big deal unless she's really overweight. Get her moving, and only have healthy foods in the house-no chips, no soda, read labels and make sure you can pronounce all ingredients in the foods you're buying, and she'll be fine. This time of year, there are Farmers' Markets everywhere. Take her with you and let her help you pick out the fruits and veggies you're buying. Let her help you make them into meals. She'll love it, and you will, too.

Stifler's - posted on 08/10/2010

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I agree... I lost 10kg and had one fun size chocolate every night during the process.

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