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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Jennifer - posted on 10/02/2011

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change the eating habits of the whole family and work in more excersize without drawing attention to the fact. sign him up for sports. let him help cook heathly meals (whole foods often has kids cooking classes) opt for nutrient dense foods- foods that have the most nutrition per calorie and steer away from empty calorie foods. there's a series of kids books out called Mitch Spinach that shows children having fun eating healthily -I've seen them on amazon.

Natalie - posted on 10/02/2011

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I acTualy have the same issue with my son, I try to make sure he gets fruits and veggies in him , water and sports he plays one each season, it's soccer right now, he also plays wii

Jenn - posted on 10/02/2011

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Get him more active in something he enjoys: sports, walking, playing active games like wii, etc. Model good eating habits and make a whole family change. I somewhat disagree that sugar makes you fat - in reality ANY excess calories are what make us "fat", whether they come from sugar, fat, or anything else. But, because of the way our bodies use food for fuel, it's best to put the best fuel into it to keep it running optimally. Whole grains (don't eat white bread), foods with high fibre content, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and drink lots of water.

Deanna - posted on 10/02/2011

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For starters, don't tell him that you think he's getting fat unless you want to completely destroy his self-esteem. (My mom did that to me.. so... been there.) You just have to do your part to teach him about balanced meals and proper portion sizes, never using the word "diet" cuz he's only 8. Encourage him when he gets home to go outside and ride his bike, or go outside with him and throw a ball around. Reserve giving him candy, except for one after dinner as a small dessert. My son, who is 9, has a small snack after school (sometimes grapes, sometimes a chewy granola bar), then dinner, then a small dessert. Nothing else until the next morning. So if your son is snacking all day long, just tell him it's not time to eat right now. Of course you have to be the role model for him and not start snacking either! :)
I hope this helps you. God bless.

Leslie - posted on 10/02/2011

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Find more things to keep him active. Try to get him out of the house and moving as often as possible. As far as a diet do something healthy but still within your budget so that it doesnt burden you and you still can stay on track... Make it fun for him..

Angela - posted on 10/01/2011

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I feel its best to make a change to the eating habits and more active activities if u dont c a change id ask a dr

Jane - posted on 10/01/2011

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read all of our replies and work out what is best for your son and your whole family, but I would look at SUGAR it is in every thing we buy. cut the really high things out then start cutting out the others - everyone one will benefit. and also exercise - being outside.

Faith - posted on 10/01/2011

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May I suggest doing nothing. Children naturally go through growth patterns that may include added weight at some point. Focusing on his size or calling him "fat" is not going to help. All four of my kids were at one point fat despite a more or less healthy lifestyle. My heaviest is now 6'3" and weighs only 175 pounds. I guess my point is, don't be too drastic and label him for life!

Nenita - posted on 10/01/2011

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I have two boys. And we choose to serve them vegan food only eating vegan food. Even how much they eat they both slender. I think the best way is to be careful what we feed our kids in order for them to grow healthy

Nenita - posted on 10/01/2011

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I have two boys. And we choose to serve them vegan food only eating vegan food. Even how much they eat they both slender. I think the best way is to be careful what we feed our kids in order for them to grow healthy

Aleese - posted on 10/01/2011

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Like the other ladies said, moving to better foods, but do your best to make sure that the new foods that you introduce to him are tasty. Don't forget your seasonings to doctor up your healthy foods so that he looks forward to them and poke around online until you can find some healthy treats that you'll all enjoy. Whatever your usual guilty pleasures are try searching for "healthy whatever-you-like recipe". And make sure that it's the whole family who is eating healthy and not just your son.

Susan - posted on 10/01/2011

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It is not just what he is eating, but when he is eating and PORTION size. Try finding out what normal portion sizes are for his age, and then weigh and measure what he eats. He may be eating okay but eating portions sizes that are out of line. Also consider what is in what he eats. For example there are browinies that are simple brownies, with no frosting etc. There are also brownies made with cream cheese then topped with cream cheese and frosting. Both are cosidered brownies, but the calorie difference is very wide. Of course there is looking at the nutritional value of the foods he is eating and how active he is. All of these issues are important. He is not too young to become somewhat aware of these issues, as long as they are not made into a major issue. I did not start these discussions with my children at this age, and I am sorry...they would have been better off as adults if I had.

Dolores - posted on 10/01/2011

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A child can be overweight and healthy. Being overweight don't always reflect upon the child's intake of food or lack of exersize but a genetic makeup could also be the cause. Don't get me wrong a child should be healthy but takeing things completely away will not help substitute with fruits and veggies and limit the sugar intake to a minimum. but also remember that making the child feel they are overweight will only give them a complex and make them feel less then what they are.
This is why so many childeren and teens today have eating disorders.

Karen - posted on 10/01/2011

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All these posts are god. My husband started doing long hikes with my son and during it they talked about good things to eat and the need ro cut down on junk. Then I bought him an agility ladder so he could get flexible. As he lost weight and for better at sports he stayed motivated. He is no longer the short "fat" kid with glasses and looks good as a 14 year old. He wil always have to work at keeping his weight down. Now I also try to keep high sigar convenience foods away from hoise.

Lei - posted on 10/01/2011

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It depends on what you mean by "getting fat." Plenty of children start to look chubby right before they grow taller. Just be careful not to give your son a complex about his weight at 8 years of age. If he is not active, then getting him involved in a sport, or Wii Fit, etc is a good thing to do, anyway. If he is eating too much junk food and candy, then weaning him off it and finding healthier things for him to eat that he likes is good in any situation. You could maybe change it to where sweets and junkfood are an occasional thing, rather than the usual thing. Good luck!

Sherri - posted on 10/01/2011

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@Dolores but some children are. Heck even worse than that some children are plain fat. My son was one of those children we worked hard on it and now he is a healthy happy 14yr old.

Felecia - posted on 10/01/2011

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Definitely watch what he is eating, but getting some physical activity is topping my list. If your son is not physically inclined or simply not interested in sports, this will only cause frustration for both of you.

Dolores - posted on 10/01/2011

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I hate it when people say a child is over weight. My daughter is a little bit but unless it is severe don't worry about it too much. He is young and will grow out of it. Keep him active and don't completely cut out junk food but cut down. Whatever you do don't let him know that you feel he is overweight cause it will only upset him and cause him to feel less then what he is. Trust me. I am dealing with a simular situation.

Mary-Grace - posted on 10/01/2011

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First of all, at 8 years old, DO NOT tell him he's fat. his eating habits he gets from you, as well as his activity habits. If you're providing processed, sugary foods for him to eat at meal times, and that is what you eat, of course that is what he is going to eat! If you want him to exercise, he needs to see you exercise! he will be more willing to do it, and his self esteem won't suffer, if you do it together. Active families make healthy families.

Natasha - posted on 10/01/2011

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THE first thing you need to know if gaining weight means that you are taking in more calories that you are burning. That is why you aren't suppost to sleep after you eat because there is nothing for your body to do with the food except turn it into fat. A good diet with all the essentials is important and excercise. when i was eight i spent all day in school then after dinner i would ride my bike to and from friends houses anywhere from 4-10 blocks... then running aorund and sports as well.... i was in good shape..so excercise is important. If I were in your situation i would bring him to the doctor and explain the situation and ask to see a nutritionist...they can give you a diet plan and they can tell you about anything else like vitamins. Good luck

Melanie - posted on 10/01/2011

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Keep an eye on portion size and how many times a day he's eating as well as what he is eating and exercise. Model these behaviors (don't eat something you don't want him eating, get out an exercise together, etc.) Don't keep it in the house if it shouldn't be eaten. If all there is is fruits and veggies, etc, and they really are that hungry, they will eat the healthier food. If you still aren't sure what is enough or too much, keep an accurate journal of what he's eating (it won't benefit you to cheat!) and consult your pediatrician. Good luck to you...

User - posted on 10/01/2011

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I have the same problem with my 10year old son, he's only starting to show an interest in sport now. However my daughter was very chubby around the same age (8-11) and was made fun of at school even though she was very active with sport. She's now 13 and has a beautiful figure, she's still involved with sport. I tend to agree with some of the other comments on here that some kids just get chubby during that period of their lives, I'm sure he will settle when his height starts to shoot up. In the meantime all you can do is encourage activity and limit high fat, high sugar foods. Explain to him the concept of energy in needs to be equal to energy out, this concept made sense to my daughter when I explained it to her. Good luck, and don't worry too much.

Melody - posted on 10/01/2011

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Hi, since I have introduced a thermomix into our kitchen I have removed all preservatives. I make my own mueslie bars, cereal, bread etc. It is easier than you would think and taste great. Best of luck.

Donna - posted on 10/01/2011

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Lots of kids get chubby around this age. It's the bodies way of making sure they have the energy stores to go through puberty. If he keeps him weight steady he will get taller and thin out. Give him lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies. You don't have to cut out all treats. There is nothing wrong with a cookie or two just not half the bag. I think this is a normal part of growing up.

Amy - posted on 10/01/2011

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I had 2 fat sons around that age (9 & 11) and the first thing I did was get them used to 100% whole wheat bread, whole wheat spaghetti, etc. It took about a month of their complaining, but now they can't stand white bread. Also, I made sure we had fresh salad with every dinner. Whole grain (not quick cooking or packets of) oatmeal for breakfast with a handful of frozen berries and nuts and a little cinnamon. I added a little honey or brown sugar in the beginning to get them used to it and added less and less each day until there wasn't any extra sugar. Plain yogurt with fresh fruit (or frozen is always a good option - just make sure it doesn't have any added sugar). Make sure they eat fruit (even 1/2 and apple) every 4 hours and it will curb that sweet tooth! We also got rid of the video game systems - they made them so lazy! Limit tv and they discover playing outside is fun!!! It took about a year, but they are both normal weights now (they aren't skinny, but are healthy looking) and are now 17 & 19. Whenever my 19 year old decided to buy and make his own food (i.e. tv dinners) he tells me how awful he feels! So I'm hoping it will remain a lifelong habit to eat healthy! Good luck to you both!

Helen - posted on 10/01/2011

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a little of each of those approaches - increase the exercise, and reduce the calorie intake, making sure that he has a healthy and varied diet to ensure he has all the minerals and vitamins he needs.
I don't think cutting out the candy completely is needed, but reduce and only have as treats.

I know that it.s easy to say and harder to do, especially with him being 8, so you will probably need to lead by example!

good luck and enjoy!

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Take away the sugary, fatty food. he wont miss it for long and as much as it will be hard for a short time he will thank you in the future. My son loves ice cream/ice looies and sweets but I stopped buying them and after a couple of days he stopped asking and after a couple of weeks he actually went off them - good luck x

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/01/2011

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healthy snacks! especially school lunches.dont buy quick things like lunchables.pack healthy...limit pop and juice and if you can get him involved in activity thats great too.

Christina - posted on 10/01/2011

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For starters, take him off of everything that has high fructose corn syrup in it and limit the sugars and starchy carbs.

Cate - posted on 10/01/2011

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Hi Denise, I have a son with the same problem please nip it in the bud before he gets older. It takes 2weeks to develope a new habbit let his be a life style change. At 8 years old you still are the major contributor to his diet cut it way back. If he wants candy let it be dark chocolate an antioxident. Milk chocolate is filled with extra fat and sugar give him fruit instead. Don't keep snacks around the house if he is desperate for a snack make him some fresh popcorn give him celery with peanut butter(full of protien to keep him fuller longer) nuts are a good snack and so are raisons. Hard boiled eggs only give him whole grains cut out white bread. NO SODA or candy stay away from prepackaged foods and frying instead of grilled adds easily 200 calories and get him involved in as many sports as he let's you martial arts is great. He's too young to understand anything about being to big but you're never too young to learn healthy habits be encouraging about sports and exercise don't even mention his weight control his habits. You can do this oh yeah no sugar cereals or empty calories lead by example and give water water water

Laurie - posted on 10/01/2011

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as a parent it is your responsibility to get him off the couch and into activities that burn calories...take a walk with him, talk with him about his likes and dislikes (wouldnt hurt you either.) what goes on withhis friends and school. Get him involved with sports and not sitting infront of the tv or computer. Change food habits for the whole family, make better choices , healthier choices. Candy is a treat or reward not an everyday thing. Make available fruits and veggies with dips, cut out alot of the potato chips and definately limit the sweet sodas and watch the juices too..alot of them are loaded with sugar or frutose......What about doing outdoor games with family and friends....take a ball to the park and invite friends...bring plenty of water

Belinda - posted on 10/01/2011

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Sit and talk with him about his weight, and help him understand the dangers of it, then help him decide the best way to handle it, Pick out foods that are a good substitute for candy and sweets. Then decide if sports or just exercise will best suit him. He has to decide and understand or you will be spinning your wheels and make it where he wont listen to you

Amber - posted on 10/01/2011

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I would make sure that you only buy healthy snacks and food. Make sure that you also set an example and eat these foods also. Load his dinners up with veggie sides and baked or grilled meats. Definitely do not keep sodas in the house and limit sugary juice intake. I always keep go gurts, cheese sticks, pretzels, fresh fruit, sugar free popsicles, and Nutella in the house for snacks. Pack his lunch too if he is getting junk food at school during lunch. Another thing is to try and get out everyday, even if it's for 30 minutes after dinner. Good Luck!

Linda - posted on 10/01/2011

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Hey Denise! You and your son and every mother on here is born with the same number of fat cells that you will have for the rest of your life.. Your son is not getting fat.. he is just increasing his toxins within his fat cells... which in turn expands the fat cells... These ladies are correct.. we need to set examples for our children in the way that we take in toxins... some toxins are environmental and cannot be controlled by just one person but the intake of toxins can be.. Organic whole foods, fresh fruits, nuts, lean meats are great foods... stay away from pork... no artificial sweetners, no packaged lunch meats (toxins are in these) stay away from white.. i.e. sugar, white bread, white pasta.. do whole grain breads and pastas.. there are tons of ways to prepare food that are good for you that make them taste wonderful! You do have access to the internet so look up ways to make heathy foods taste great! Throw out or donate all the junk foods and toxins.. you will be surprised at how better you and your family will feel and how much energy you have to go out and become more active... Good Luck.. Stay heathy!!!

Kim - posted on 10/01/2011

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having a disabled daughter who is lethargic and loves quick energy foods makes dieting and exercise a nightmare.. however several times in her earlier years she actually slim right down. one time she was on medication but another time we bought her a pair of roller blades and she loved them so much the weight just fell off her.. it's hard with kids but i think if you do as Michelle suggested as much as possible but add something fun to his daily routine you may get his metabolism going.. Good luck!

Cardensphoto@gmail.com - posted on 10/01/2011

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Cut out the dairy, add fruits and veggies. Get rid the processed crap. It's not " food" anyway. Is he interested in any sports? Adding even a walk a few times a week is good. Make it fun, and make the walkouts of a scavenger hunt.

Lata - posted on 10/01/2011

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my brother got chubby around age 8.. ate very healthy, normal size meals & exercised alot. he was very aware of his weight, so be gentle. there was no reason for his sudden weight gain, except maybe the stresses going on in the family. anyways... serveral years later he just shot up & in.. very tall & slim. around 16.. now 24 he is still very slim. keep eating healthy & sports.. he will grow out of it.. and be on his side :0) good luck xxx

Sherry - posted on 10/01/2011

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I studied fitness & nutrition back in the day and have semi kept up with it. You don't want your child on a diet, you want to help him make a lifestyle change, so don't start out too drastic.

Any movement is good- go for family walks or bike rides. see if there is a sport he loves- if not, get out in the yard and toss a few balls or even play frisbee. Inside and no money for the gym? If he likes gaming, a lot of the Wii games get you moving but they are fun and you don't feel like you are working out.

If you do a lot of processed foods now, try switching to homemade versions so you can control the ingredients.

When the girls were little I kept fruits and veggies as easy to grab as snack cakes & chips- and they were the only foods that were fair game, meaning they didn't have to ask to eat them.

You don't need to give up all "treats", moderation is key especially if that's what he is used to- over time he will develop a preference for wholesome, nutritious foods and the snack cakes will taste like crap, but ease into it.

Sorry, this is reading like a novel, but I want to add one more thing- if portion control is a problem, repackage things into one portion. If he eats huge meals, serve a brothy soup, salad or raw veggies like celery, snow peas, bell pepper strips etc 30 minutes beforehand with a nice big glass of water or iced or hot green tea.

Hope these help- feel free to msg or email me for more ideas, sorry this got so long.

Dianne - posted on 10/01/2011

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First take him for a check up to make sure he is not dealing with a medical issue that is causing a weight problem. If he is health then just change your foods as advised in other comments. Do NOT say the words diet or fat. just encourage the words healthy.

Leah - posted on 10/01/2011

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I think regular healty meals an exercise will help.
He can have sweets, crisps or whatever as a treat every so often cutting out completly prob won't help as you still need some fats/sugars to be eating a healthy diet.

User - posted on 10/01/2011

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A couple of things occur to me. First of all, is he overweight. Have you had him weighed and measured by a doctor? Once you've established that - then it's exercise, smaller portions and healthy eating.

A lot of kids and parents "think" their kids are getting a lot of exercise but they actually aren't. If it was me, I'd strictly regulate the amount of TV / computer game time. Aim to walk as many places as possible rather than go in the car. Make sure he doesn't have money to spend on sweets either at school or after an activity but pack fruit etc.

Some healthy (so called) foods are loaded with sugar, even natural sugar such as smoothies and juice. A smoothie takes little time to drink / digest for example. If you gave him the fruit equivalent in fruit form it would take hours to wade through it all.

But really nothing beats hours of "playing out" or sports activities,

Finally - lots of kids go through a chunky stage when they'll suddenly shoot up. But you'll know if this is the case.

Carri - posted on 09/30/2011

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Just talk about healthy food and unhealthy food. And lots of excercise, fresh fruit and veges. Bananas fill you up more than an apple, but you can make fruit fun by having some yoghurt to dip it into.

Good luck, but starting early means good habits for a lifetime.

BELEN - posted on 09/30/2011

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try using green barley juice. i've tried and it's more than the benefit of loosing my kid's weight. it also strengthened their immune system.

DENISE - posted on 09/30/2011

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what happens to the kid who is eating correctly and exercising
and gains weight

Rachel - posted on 09/30/2011

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Well, watch his diet, sure, and make sure he is getting enough outside play time, but know that a a lot of kids, especially boys, chunk up a bit before they hit a major growth spurt. Take him to the dr. for a physical, and have them check his blood sugar and thyroid function as well. But whatever you do, don't call your kid fat where he can hear you

Eileen - posted on 09/30/2011

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Did you ever consider taking him to the park on the walking trails? You can teach him to run and besides being beneficial it can also be fun for both of you. Grandma Eileen

Tisha - posted on 09/30/2011

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my son is now 9 and he was the same way. Usually when he has a growing spurt he will eat and eat and eat but then grows. He recently became more involved in sports and has thinned out alot, but his eating habits still havent changed any.

Heather - posted on 09/30/2011

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I would talk to his physician before even calling him fat. Is he do for a growth spurt? Lots to consider before you make a leap to judgemental thinking. Some kids store up and get chunky before a growth spurt. Now if you know he's not eating healthy and too much junk food is involved by all means change the eating habits of the household. But, weight by itself is not an issue unless it's due to unhealthy eating habits. Again I stress speak to his physician who can check his blood counts and make sure things are at an unhealthy balance before jumping to the my child is fat judgement. My son will gain about 10lbs right before a growth spurt and has done it every spurt since he was 5. Seriously talk to the pediatrician.

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