What can I do when I see my 8 years old son getting fat?

Denise - posted on 09/29/2011 ( 205 moms have responded )

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My son is 8 years old and he is getting fat and I don´t know what the best to do. Sport, change the food, no candys...What can I do?
Thanks.

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Emily - posted on 09/29/2011

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What are you eating? You can't expect your child to do anything if you are not modeling that behavior too. Are you overweight? Your child is 8 years old. They are not bringing thing candy into the home or purchasing the groceries. It's going to start with you. Change what you are doing without saying one word to your child. Remember words hurt a child's self-esteem. But, if you change what you are doing change your activities and what you do for fun with your child then you will see a difference in your child. Instead of watching tv together go for a walk or go kick a soccer ball around this weekend.

Firebird - posted on 09/29/2011

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Oh, and don't tell him you think he's getting fat. You want to teach good eating and exercise habits, you don't want him to develop low self esteem.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/29/2011

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I wish people would stop referring to their children as "fat". It really depends on what you would consider healthy. If he is eating plenty of fruits, veggies, grain, small amounts of unbreaded not fried meat, and a healthy portion of dairy, exercising plenty, and nothing is helping. It could be a medical issue that would need some testing, like thyroid or diabetes.

JuLeah - posted on 09/29/2011

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No trans fats or processed foods. Read labels with care cause trans fats will be listed under different names

Google the dangers of trans fats

Water, no soda, juice ... no dyes ... sugar subs ....

Sports and activites as a family - weekend hikes and such things

I don't think, as bad as sugar really is for a person, telling an 8yr old all of the sudden, no candy will go over well

He might start sneeking it and develop unhealthy habbits around food

So, teach him how to take care of his body - moderation

One piece of candy won't be as bad as 16, right?

Just help him develop healthy habbits

Ohh, getting enough sleep is critial too ... lack of sleep makes you fat

Kate CP - posted on 09/29/2011

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Good lord, people! FAT does *NOT* make you fat! SUGAR MAKES YOU FAT!!!

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Maurita - posted on 10/12/2011

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I wanted to add that the best way is to not use any processed foods. You can't believe the Salt content which has the body retain fluids. I looked at the mayo jar and could not believe the amount per tbs. Check it out. Maurita

Peggy - posted on 10/12/2011

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Is he really fat? I have 4 children and their bodies go through changes....sometimes they seem a little chubby and then a few weeks later they have grown....or their body maybe going through hormone changes. Check with a doctor, different people have different body types, some people no matter what are just not lean looking, but they are not fat. DO NOT tell he is fat or on a diet...just teach him the healthy way to eat and get plenty of PHYSICAL PLAY TIME (not sitting in front of the tv or a WII game). But don't panic..don't put pressure on him.

Pam - posted on 10/11/2011

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more calories in than out makes fat, not eating fat, not eating sugar, but eating empty calories leaves you still hungry so you take in more than you need, where whole foods are more filling, and people are less likely to overeat. I think it is a mistake to make all "goodies" off limits, that makes people crave them even more, and often overeat them and this can start a binge/starve type of behavior, If the whole family is eating regular healthy meals, and getting regular (daily) exercise that is fun, the whole family will be healthier, and that should be the goal, not "thin"

Joyce - posted on 10/11/2011

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My son was getting chunky too, and he looked heavy for his age (8-11 yrs. old), but we just kept him active with soccer and track.....he then went through a growth spurt and is now looking tall and thin. His doctor said he wasn't worried, that he will most likely grow into his chubbiness, as long as he stays active. He is 13 now, and he eats non-stop, but he looks great, is healthy and very active, tall, and developing some muscles, so this could just be a non-issue. (PS: He does eat candy and carbs, but he is also in Cross Country and soccer.....I think it's the activity that is most important).

Audra - posted on 10/11/2011

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I actually went through this (and still am) with my son. We searched out advise from a nutritionist/dietician and the biggest changes we had to make were:
No fruit juices (they are mostly sugar)
Increase fiber and protein intake which includes only whole wheat breads, no white breads
Limit sweets to only 3 (at most) per week
And get your child active for a minimum of 1 hour.
I know this works because my 8 year old son has lost almost 20 pounds in less than 6 months. He also looks and feels healthier as a result of this.

Juniper - posted on 10/11/2011

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I didn't get to read all the posts but from what I read there seems to be a consistant help with suggestions on what to eat and what to avoid.
However like a few have mentioned if you have a good diet going and he is in a sport or gets out for exersice regularly than he could be getting ready for a growth spurt. My brother at that age kept gaining weight and just turned into a round ball (thick legs etc..) that lasted about 2 yrs then he shot up from about 5' to 6'2" over the next yr or so.
Also if you have done all this and you are still concerned ask his dr for advice I wouldn't start any kind of meds or pill type just a good talk on all the possibilities it could be and what to watch for if it could be a medical issue.

Tracy - posted on 10/11/2011

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Lead by example. If you walk him to school or the bus stop maybe you can take and extra street home for a longer walk. Get moving around the house by putting good music on and a vacuum in his hand, he will never know it's work. I read labels with my kids so they understand why I don't want them eating certain things. Took some time on my part to educate myself as to the why but now I have answers instead of "well I heard on the internet it wasn't good". Stay away from the processed foods and fast food. I don't care how places spin "healthy" products, it still has to make money for them so it is processed and quick at the end of the day. NO good! Bad habits I developed as a kid I still struggle with 30 years later so I am trying to instill good habits in my kids so they will struggle less later when weight and slower metabolism will catch up with them.

Jessica - posted on 10/11/2011

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I know what you mean. I sat and noticed that my daughter was gaining more and more weight and where we lived there were seriously NO kids to play with, so she didn't want to go play. I really cut down on what she was allowed to eat. Yes, she complained ALL the time that she was sooooo hungry, but I knew she was just used to eating a lot of crap and it would take time for her to get used to eating right. She was 6 when I started and now at 8, she only weights about 5 pounds more than she did when she was 6 and she's taller, so she has slimmed down a lot.

I took the time and really talked to her about food choices and what the consequences were for each one. She is allowed to have desserts a few times a week, but the depends on what we had for dinner and she knows she can get chips for lunch, but she is only allowed 1 serving and she will count them out.

I feel like it's working out great because I've been told that she makes good choices even when she's at sleep overs. She will have this programmed into her and hopefully carry it with her forever. Lead by example :)

Oh and I did tell her she was starting to get a little heavy and it was unhealthy. I explained that I WAS NOT calling her fat, but if we kept making the wrong food choices and didn't change our habits, she could very well become that way and none of us wanted to see that. I explains that she is a beautiful girl and I would not allow myself to help her to the long road of obesity and I would make more of an effort to creat meals that were more balanced and I would make sure there were healthier snack options. She takes her lunch to school and yes, I will throw a surprise goodie in there here and there :)

She looks back now and she thanks me. You can do the same. I'm glad you've noticed a problem and are going to help your son have a better future. I really believe that you need to talk to him about it. He has to understand that his current eating patterns are negatively effecting him or he will think that you the problem and not the food.


Good luck!!

Serafine - posted on 10/11/2011

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Check out his blood type and allergies as well. Sometimes, different blood types require different types of food. A+ for example, requires an agrarian diet whereas older blood types require more of a hunter-gatherer diet.
And everything you change, do it little by little so he doesn't even notice it. Less sugar and fried foods everyday, a few more minutes of exercise everyday (and less t.v./computer). Etc. This makes the changes more lasting. Good luck and all the best vibes your way.

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Remove high sugar food from shopping list, hide begs in food where possible, leave bowl of fresh fruit in an easy access area. Dont allow snacking on chips, ensure lots of protein snacks which will leave a growing boy satisfied. Get active with him, soccer ball in the park, walking with the dog. Be proactive! Be the leader in a healthy life style You're his inspiration. Good luck

Yumna - posted on 10/10/2011

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I believe, everything in moderation, even sweets. The problem stems from us as parents. It easier to buy takeouts than cook balanced meals. Excercise is also important, however, we need to lead by example.

Erika - posted on 10/10/2011

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oh, and I pack my kids' lunches EVERY DAY... I don't want them eating what is at school cuz I don't know what is in it (my youngest has major food allergies). I include either a tuna or egg salad sand, water, yogurt, apple or carrot/celery sticks with ranch dressing and sometimes a home made cookie or snack that I use natural sugar in.

Erika - posted on 10/10/2011

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Most foods with high fructose corn syrup is just poison!! Most of the children's foods out there contain it.... Drink water, stop the tv, get him involved outdoors (riding bike/ playing ball) and eat nutritious snacks (fruits/veggies/low sugar cereals/yogurt)... I hide shredded veggies in all the meet that I cook for my kids and they have no idea that they are eating it.... My kids don't eat candy, the processed foods that most grocery stores carry... I read all the labels and don't allow much in my house, but at the same time, my kids are no where near as large as the other kids in their classes that eat crap all day long.

Melissa - posted on 10/10/2011

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Try taking a walk 3 times per day for 10-15 minutes, make sure he's getting the right portion sizes. Try and find a sport he likes and try adding more water and less juice and soda. They have lots of calories.

Deborah - posted on 10/10/2011

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Denise, like everyone's said, you definitely want to make sure your son is getting at least 1 hour of active play/exercise every day, and his diet (by that I mean what he eats, not "going on a diet") is the other key. This pamphlet may help:

http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/6...$File/heha-user-guide-years1-13.pdf

It's put out by New Zealand's Ministry of Health, and is actually a guide for school cafeterias, but it contains a lot of useful information that you may find helpful in making sure your son (and all of you) have a healthy diet. I don't happen to agree with everything in it (like the carb servings seem high to me), but it does have a lot of good guidelines about "everyday" foods, "sometimes" foods, and "occasional" foods, and things like that.

It uses the metric system. You didn't mention where you are, but if you're in the States, you can find a handy conversion tool here: http://www.onlineconversion.com/



Note: For some reason this system is not posting the first link correctly. After pagesmh/ it should read 6510/

Silvia - posted on 10/10/2011

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Activity= food. Make sure your child is evolved in any type sport and eat more vegetable and fruits which are great for child's health. Be part of his circle of friends , Learn about them and be alert to any bad food behaviour.

Silvia - posted on 10/10/2011

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Take an action now! Don'T until the adipose cells duplicate in your sons' body.

Lidia - posted on 10/10/2011

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Nutrition is important and so hard with all the hours we put in at work. Make it something you do together. Maybe take a walk to the park and do some fun excercies there, then try a little jogging. Keep it simple. Maybe some fun dance sessions with his favourite songs. It has to be fun and easy. A treat is always great to have, maybe find some healthy alternatives for a weekend splurge. Lots of water, no sugary drinks, including juice - this is a huge contributor that parents don't think about. Good Luck and stay healthy.

Joan - posted on 10/10/2011

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Most kids i know go bigger around his age as long as you eat heathly and he does lots of sport don't worry x

Joan - posted on 10/10/2011

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Most kids i know go bigger around his age as long as you eat heathly and he does lots of sport don't worry x

Roxanne - posted on 10/10/2011

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Two major places to gain weight... sugar and eating snacks and meals in front of the tv. PS: will be easier to do if mom and dad do it too.

Kylie - posted on 10/10/2011

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He's probably having a growth spurt. Maybe find a sport he is interested in and take health options, not easy ones. Don't worry too much.

Tonya - posted on 10/10/2011

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change the diet,eat more friuts an veg,water,go swimming,or go for walks,put him in sports

Amy - posted on 10/10/2011

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No sense repeating what has already been said but another idea might be, Only eat at meals. No between meal snacks Remarkable how much less per day is consumed simply because he/she are full. We have implemented this recently and our 4 year old doesn't even ask for anything anymore. Make mealtime all the food groups, even small dessert but nothing after or later till next meal Water is the drink.

Myra - posted on 10/10/2011

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He is going through a growing spurt! Don't make a big scene and do the outside play together and offer sugar free appetizing foods to replace his snacks

Mary - posted on 10/10/2011

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One thing most parents don't realize is chicken nuggets are full of hormones and will put weight on your child . They are not just chicken but parts of chicken you would not normally eat unedable parts are put in a processor and ground up then the liquid remains are made into chicken nuggets you can buy popcorn chicken instead in bags in the freezer section , But I am not sure processed foods are good for you on a on going basis but I understand parent don't get time to cook every night .

Tdschool - posted on 10/10/2011

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One glass of water as soon as he gets up in the morning, a glass of water 30 min before each meal, no drinking during or 1 hour after each meal. Low glycemic index food. His appetite will decrease.

Mary - posted on 10/10/2011

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First you need to quit carrying in thing like candy and unhealty snacks individal boxes of raisins and fruit work well . Look at your menu every week is it full of veggies like green beans and salad ? Limit game time on the x box or what ever game and TV . I have noticed that most children now have no concept of a time and place for every thing . These things are not baby setters . And there should be a limit . They will find bikes and other children to play with outside are fun .You might try sports if you child is interested in any . You need to look at the whole situation and make changes where the are needed . I am sure one thing is not making your child fat . Usually it takes a lot of changes , good luck .

Jennifer - posted on 10/10/2011

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change things up - for the entire family. make moving more a way of life. don't make it seem that you are having a go or trying to control what he does - make it seem like a part of life as it will need to be for his entire life.

Evette - posted on 10/10/2011

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I'm not sure I understand why this is a problem, but, as mommy, of course you direct his exercise & discourage some foods/candies. However, if he is active, the food itself won't be that much of a problem. You don't have to mention anything to him about his weight, if you're worried about 'hurting his feelings'..You have more wisdom than he does, so, just begin to incorporate more activities, like playground, jumping, sports, bike riding, etc..anything boys like to do...

Della - posted on 10/10/2011

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Make every choice a healthy one. Foods should be healthy. I have give my kids the parameters to pick their own cereal. Less than10 grams of sugar calories; they make the choice with the guidelines. Bowls of fruit are between meal snacks. Be active. Take your child on hikes, bike rides swimming, and tennis. Video and TV are rewards we only have on the weekends. You may need to start with one change and add. But if you eat better and move more your child will benefit.

http://dbadart.blogspot.com/

Heather - posted on 10/10/2011

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As a mother of an 8-year old boy to another I too was taken back when I began to notice weight gain in my son as well. He is a very active boy and we have since birth avoided processed foods, juice and sugars thanks to our Pediatrician who started us on the right path. Packed lunch for us is a requirement as in reviewing the school lunch menu I am shocked at what they consider nutrition. I state this because although I realize you have received a lot of feedback about eating and exercise habits it isn’t necessarily that cut and dry. I took my 8-year along to an appointment for my younger son, which is not out of the ordinary, to run the question past our Pediatrician. It was my intention to work it this way so that he did not feel self conscious that mommy thought he is fat and there was something urgently wrong with him. It worked famously and our Pediatrician explained to me that some boys begin developing as early as 8-years old whereas some may not until closer to the age of 14. This is often the case in children who have reached a peek height for their age. If I didn’t mention, my son is very tall for his age so his comments fell right in line with my son’s growth. As the months have progressed we are now seeing the shift in his body structure. His chest is becoming broader and overall he is looking like a young man. I can’t help but think it isn’t a coincidence that both of our children were 8-years of age when this suddenly came to fruition. If you have the luxury of being able to discretely take your son to a doctor to also determine if this too is the case for him I would certainly recommend it. It certainly gave me relief from beating my head against the wall trying to determine what we were doing wrong. As parents, we are just trying to do what is best for our children but we don’t have control over when their bodies decide to make their own minds.

Miriam - posted on 10/10/2011

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I agree with Jolene Tanner kids at that age should be talked to they understand and if you put it at an angle where your concerned about his health and you are a good example he will understand and you can work together. It wont be easy. I am working with my 9 year old on that. he is a bit overweight hes very tall and I would not consider him fat, but hes thick (which can become fat) but I have told him that we need to worry about our health and my son is very mature we also talk about FAT.. I tell him your not fat but you dont want to become fat and get sick.. he knows what he wants. Its hard because they are used to eating a certain way, but now he's trying. Thats basically what I said too, when your full stop eating. You dont need a snack just because your bored. If your not hungry dont eat and make smart choices.. He agreed :+) Talk to him, you'll be surprised..

Kris - posted on 10/10/2011

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This always hard to watch, bless your heart for taking notice cuz you can still be a great influence. First, get rid of junk foods except on Sunday (or Friday?). Make sure you have raw foods cut up and eat them together often. Go outside and do some things together, play tag or toss a ball or volleyball...get into a serious habit of moving more and eating less processed foods. Quit all fast foods. This sounds really strict in today society but we had to do this too. And it is soo worth it. We don't miss the chips and the breads with high fructose corn syrup. We talk about healthy eating habits and have done some juicing too. Good luck, the hardest is getting started. I am 50 and I feel better too.

Lesley - posted on 10/10/2011

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alot of our probs is fast food. high in calories and everything else..Trying to keep kids to regular meals is a hard thing 2. Light breakfast, lunch and then main dinner .We have all done it .No one says that u have to take everything away fast food but give less. people will always crave what they cant have so give less.It doesnt happen over night but might help.candys cut down on.Make them something to be earned in a way.Hope all goes well for him. good luck

Felicia - posted on 10/10/2011

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I worry about this too sometimes because I was an overweight child, and I don't want my son to have some of the same problems growing up. Something that worked for us is we started Tae Kwon Do together. To find a sport (soccer, baseball etc) and do it together is very encouraging without hurting his feelings. I hope this helps

Jolene - posted on 10/09/2011

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Between the ages of 8 -13 boys tend to store a certain amount of fat for puberty and growth. That said.

I had the same concerns with my oldest child. I wanted to handle it delicately and not cause more damage with eating disorders etc.
I came up with this:


I talked to him at a time food was not involved. I asked him about how much gas the lawnmower took (he mowed lawns for extra money, so it was something he was familiar with) We talked about how no mater how much he'd like to pour more gas into the lawnmowers gas tank it would only hold x amount. That even if he thought he could mow more lawns before filling up again if he put more gas in it just could hold more gas. But our bodies are not like gas tanks. They can stretch out of shape and hold more food then our bodies need to function. And unlike a lawnmower that will just spill the exra gas out that is too much. Our bodies store it into fat. That we need to make sure we are eating only the amount that we need. That we do not need 2nd helpings or large helpings. it was like trying to pour to much gas into the lawn mower.

We then talked about portion size, healthy food choices, that 2nds, desserts etc were ok on occasions but for the most part really not necessary. Not bad. Just too much "gas".

We then talked about working on that, and having a secret signal to remind him while eating. Like call his name and wink at him etc, just a visual that was for him alone, so he didn't feel emabarrassed at the table, to remember "tt much gas" in our tanks.

He is now a healthy fit 24 year old man and still remembers that talk. He didn't feel I thought he was fat etc. Just concerned with trying to put "too much gas" in his tank. That he didn't have the ability to only have 1 gallon no matter what. That he had to decide when his belly was satisfied.

I also used a balloon. I explained that the first time you blow up that balloon it is hard to do, but every time you did it became easier. That our stomach were a little like that. Unlike the gas tank. As we ate too much it was really uncomfortable but as we got used to over eating it was less full filling so we may eat even more next time.

That as he worked on eating the amount his body needed instead of what he wanted. He may feel hungry still. But that he needed to let his stomach shrink back to the size it was suppose to be. That he has to eat healthy and the right portion size.

Hope this might help.

Lisa - posted on 10/09/2011

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Just change his diet without letting him know. If you do it gradually and without making an issue he will lose weight without even realizing. If you have a backyard just go outside with him. He will run around automatically and between that and the change in diet he will be thin in no time.

Janet - posted on 10/09/2011

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Was it because your son wants your attention? My son was like that from a standard weight child to 90% overweight, my child case was because my daughter dignose with cancer thus all family member put attention to my daughter instead that why to let us notice him, he found his way

Cindy - posted on 10/09/2011

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Keep control of the food. He should ask before he hits the cabinets. Make his plate for him and watch portion sizes. Always aim on the low side on portions. If he is really hungry he can get more, that is, you give him a bit more. If there is too much on the plate he will probably eat it, even if he is no longer hungry.

Barbara - posted on 10/09/2011

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The cause of obesity is, quite simply, when a person consumes more calories from food than he or she is able to burn. While there are other factors (family history, illness, medications and so forth) bottom line is it isn't what you are eating as much as how much of what you are eating.

Barbara - posted on 10/09/2011

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First would be to evaluate his eating and excercise habits. Take a week and really monitor what he eats, how much of what foods, and then how much excercise he is getting. Hard to say what needs to be done for him without knowing why he is gaining excess weight. A well balanced diet is good for any child, limiting sweets to an occassional treat, and making sure they get at least an hour of excercise a day is what is best for all children.

Maurita - posted on 10/09/2011

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Make sure he is not eating food high in salt and especially high fructose corn syrup. I would highly recommend no processed foods at all. Keep him active in outside activities and set an example. They watch what you do. I have two children 18 and 20 and they both are physically active. Take care Maurita

Jessica - posted on 10/09/2011

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Unless there is an underlying medical condition ( and if he put on weight really fast without warning you might want to have him checked out) chances are he's eating too much, or eating the wrong things and not exercising enough.

I dont' know why your son in particular is gaining weight but I was an obese child and I can tell you the reasons why, perhaps that will help you.

1) There were no good food choices in the house. The entire family diet was very poor, and they were of the attitude that if it wasn't affecting their weight that they shouldn't have to give it up just for me. Doesn't work that way. If junk is in the house, kids will eat it. They are kids, it's what they do.

2) Nobody said no. I have always been super careful about what my kids eat and how much. When they ask for a second helping or a treat that I don't feel is good for them I love them enough to say no. I wish someone had loved me enough to say no.

3) No one cared if I exercised. I'd like to throw in here that sports do not equal exercise. Not everyone can be an athlete, but everyone can exercise. The only thing that happened when the people at school tried to make me play sports for exercise was that I was an even bigger target for the bullies. I did everything I possibly could to get out of what the school considered 'exercise'. If he's not a sporty kid, he needs to be walking or swimming...something! Not sure if you have a Wii but some of those exercise games work up a pretty good sweat. In some neighbourhoods (like mine) you can't just send your kid outside to play and so this can be a good outlet too.

Hope that helps, and for god sake whatever you do PLEASE let him know he is more than just his weight and you love him no matter what!

Annamarie - posted on 10/08/2011

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His doctor sugLast year my son was off the charts on his weight and height, he was 5, and so this past year I watched how much cheese and milk he was drinking. I limited tv time, and we all drink water all day, no juice, apples for a snack or other fruit. He has slimmed down a lot this past year.

Maria - posted on 10/06/2011

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If your son is active, has energy normal for his age, eats nonprocessed food and is still gaining weight, did he have antibiotics? This could cause yeast imbalance. Give him probiotics. Kids need specific types. Or if his energy is down, his face and eyes are puffy with deep dark circles, check thyroid. Keep in mind standard bloodtests for this are very inaccurate w. lots of false negatives. There are different kinds of thyroid problems and need different treatments. But its hard to get a doctor that does this as it is time consuming to diagnose and must be handled individually.Use a basal thermometre, normally used to check ovulation. If his temperature is lower than what's normal, its a strong possibility it's low thyroid. Incidents have been rising sharply in kids lately.

Perdita - posted on 10/06/2011

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just cut on his sugary and faty food.my kid is jus five and i always make sure she takes in the right food cos i no her dad's family are very fat as well as mine family so i'm very careful on what i give her and also let him have more vege and fruits as michelle waldbillig said more whole grain food it helps.

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