My daughter is a compulsive over eater at seven.

Cindy - posted on 09/14/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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From the time she wakes up to the time she goes to be she wants to eat. It doesn't matter if it's junk food, fast food, or good old fashion home cooking and doesn't matter if she hungry or not. She doesn't always want to eat vegetable but she'll eat fruit. I have no idea how to solve this problem. She over weight and I'm pretty sure that it I get her to slow down on her eating her weight will stable out.

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Jenny - posted on 09/28/2009

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i myself am a compulsive over-eater, and a lot of my issues with food comes from emotional issues. i do find that drinking something will often curb my "appetite", but sometimes it's still emotional. i would try to find out if there's something bothering her, and try to deal with it, if there is.
good job on having her drink more water! that's a great start! and approaching the issue now, rather than waiting until it's completely out of control, is excellent. kudos! and good luck!

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Kerin - posted on 10/01/2009

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I think you need to just limit her! Tell her no when she has already had enough. As her mother it is your job to have that control. I assure you even if it upsets her that she will thank you for it in the long run. I'd stock up on some really healthy snacks and limit her to a certain amount a day when she feels she needs something. I suggest Chewy Granola Bars, Fruit snacks, Fruit, Cheese cubes (not too many!), Vegetable crackers, Yogurt (the real fruit kind not the pure sugar kind they market towards kids), healthy cereals (Honey Bunches of Oats, Special K, Granola cereals, Honey Nut Chex), etc.

Hope that is helpful!

Sky - posted on 10/01/2009

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In my opinion the best things you can do are.



1. Replace unhealthy food with healthy versions.

White bread with - pita or light wheat bread

Candy with- Fruit chews

Ice cream with -light yogurt

Chips with- carrot sticks



2. Put her in a sport or other physical activity.



3. Don't pressure her about her weight you will create a self conscious child.



4. Reward her for eating healthy by giving her stickers and prizes everyday that she eats healthy or does some physical activity,



5. Always remind her that you will love her no matter what :)

Sara - posted on 10/01/2009

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Does she complain of stomach aches a lot or any other problems. My daughter never really knows when she is full. I had to teach her when she was full. It was horrible when she was a baby. My in laws are the same way they are always hungry. I also did small meals and portion control. But this started out as a toddler. Because she would literally eat till she puked. So I asked the pediatrician who what why and when. He asked a ton of questions of family history and stuff like that. She doesn't have the sense of when to quit eating. She never feels full I should say. She wanted to eat all the time. But there are also some other physical problems that can cause this like thyroid and blah blah blah. Your best bet is to talk to a dr and a nutritionist and figure out a plan. Maybe some counseling will help her too. That way she can express herself with out feeling judged and it helps take some of the problems away from you. I would definantly be talking to the dr first.

Allison - posted on 10/01/2009

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Quoting Holly:

I am having the same problem with my 9 year old son. I struggle because I don't want to point out his weight and the amount he eats because I don't want to hurt his feelings.. but I can't just let him eat himself into obesity.. I don't know what to do either..



I also feel that I would hurt my sons feeling by reminding him to slow down with eating but yet the other kids are all pigging out. Only having enough food for two or three days and nothing else really helps, portions sizes are wonderful and if you only make enough for the exact amount of people makes it easier to say no cause it is gone, but here is some fruit.. Good luck

Allison - posted on 10/01/2009

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I have a problem simalar to yours, I have a four year old that eats so much I don't where he stores it. he is tiny but I have tried to figure out how to slow him down. My ten year old is also bad with eating since he started a med that increases his appetite. Now what we do is go to the store and buy only meals and snacks for three days at a time. we have nothing in my house to eat except those items. this has come in handy for me and my husband cause there is not night snacks and with this all the kids are learning that they don't need food all the time, if it is not here they can't eat it

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different things work with different kids but i've got a few kids and this works for mine. set meal times with a snack in the morning and afternoon the same as at school - a piece of fruit or raw veg nuts that kind a thing a hot evening meal with at least 3 types of veg and a small pudding only if they eat all the veg plenty of water throughout the day and lot of physical activity when they're not running around we play games paint sing and dance around the living room etc to keep them busy after having anorexia when i was younger i try to educate my children about body fuel and how having too much of the wrong thing can make you ill but also how being to thin and not eating enough of the right thing can make you just as unwell

Cindy - posted on 10/01/2009

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YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!! That's exactly how she is and I also don't want her to feel deprived. Sometimes I think it's a power struggel but what can I do. I've tried the tips but it has it's ups and downs. I try to stay consistent but it's hard not to get inpatient and frustrated with her.

Robin - posted on 09/30/2009

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My friends daughter, that I babysit, is like this. She is almost 8. She can sit down at any givien meal and eat more than a grown man, I'm talking like 2 or 3 plates to my one. I don't let her, of course, but she always tells me she is still hungry and wants more. I try to give her one good size plate of food and tell her that is all she is getting. I don't want her to feel like she is starving but I don't let her overeat. It's hard to deal with and I feel bad sometimes

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Quoting cindy:

Thanks for all the great advise. I've been having her drink water which has slowed down a lot of the over eating. I tell her if she can finish a glass of water first then she can have her snack and I haven't bought any juice pack's or bottled juice per doctor's orders (she told me to give her a piece of fruit rather than the juice). It has been a struggle and I know it will be an uphill battle, but I would say this has cut down her food consumption by 20% and we're sending her outside or taking her to the park so she can work off those extra calories.



I actually read somewhere, not too long ago, that a lot of times when we think we're hungry we're sometimes actually just thirsty-so this sounds like a good idea.



I think that the suggestion of giving her 5 smaller meals rather than 3 large ones is also good-this way she feels like she is eating more, because she eats more often, but she isn't always eating until she's stuffed and then eating snacks when that full feeling goes away.



Aside from that, just modeling healthy eating habits is all I can think of-showing her that healthy food is good, and that we all need to eat more of it and less of the junk food.  (This is something I'm going to have to work on. *sigh* But I can't expect my son to do it if I won't. lol)

Cindy - posted on 09/29/2009

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I did the water thing. After dinner I waited twenty minutes and gave her apples sauce but she still wanted a popsicle so i told her to drink two cups of water she drank them so i gave her what she wanted then wanted yogurt so i gave her what we had left. We still argued over it. Sometimes I wonder if the wanting so much food is a side affect to adderall I stopped giving her.

Cindy - posted on 09/28/2009

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it does help, thanks. She has gotten into the habit of eating infront of the tv my husband does it and so she's following that example. I've tried to get him to stop but I'm fighting a losing batlle on that one.

Pamela - posted on 09/21/2009

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Hi Cindy

i just read your post, i would recommend that you get her to drink water first if she is feeling hungry because her body is probably sending her the message she is thirsty and she thinks she is hungry, it happens to everyone. If you get her to drink water throughout the day and in-between meals you will find she is feeling satisfied and full more often. I would also recommend that you don't let her watch tv while eating as being detracted by tv can prevent children from learning when they are full as they are too interested in watching tv and keep eating out of habit. If that makes sense.

Hope that helps

Cindy - posted on 09/21/2009

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Thanks for all the great advise. I've been having her drink water which has slowed down a lot of the over eating. I tell her if she can finish a glass of water first then she can have her snack and I haven't bought any juice pack's or bottled juice per doctor's orders (she told me to give her a piece of fruit rather than the juice). It has been a struggle and I know it will be an uphill battle, but I would say this has cut down her food consumption by 20% and we're sending her outside or taking her to the park so she can work off those extra calories.

Kelly - posted on 09/14/2009

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simple. if she wants to eat outside of meal times make her eat veggies. offer things like peanut butter, ranch or even apple sauce to dip them in. If she is really truly hungry she will eat the veggies.
your kid will only eat what you present to her so if she is to heavy do not offer her junk like chips, candy and fast food. Even at home cook the healthy way. steamed veggies, a variety of salads, grilled or broiled meats, no red meat try to serve chicken , turkey and fish. Offer her grains that are on the low end of the glycemic index and eliminate things like butter, oil and sugar. with type 2 diabetes on the rise and even occurring in children now it is important you nip this in the bud NOW before it is to late.
No more soda and no more empty calories. padlock the fridge and cabinets if you need to and get her on an exercise routine like soccer or t ball. if she is still compusive after all of that than put her in councelling

Jamie - posted on 09/14/2009

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Jessica, you cant just watch what you eat you have to watch portions. You can be fat eatting brown rice and veggies if you over eat.



You need to monitor her food. No junkfood in the house, this can help the whole family. and you need to control how much and when she eats. She sounds like she could benefit from 5 or 6 smaller meals rather then 3 large. Also, get her into activities, if shes not at home bored she wont think about food.

Jessica - posted on 09/14/2009

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Just to start, let her eat as much as you do now, but only fruit, nuts, and vegetables (if she is really hungry she'll eventually eat whatever you give her). I have never seen anyone gain weight by eating too many carrot sticks haha! Make sure you kepe her busy. If she's eating when she's bored, get her active, or participating in something, whether it be a craft, or chores around the house... Good luck!

Holly - posted on 09/14/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 9 year old son. I struggle because I don't want to point out his weight and the amount he eats because I don't want to hurt his feelings.. but I can't just let him eat himself into obesity.. I don't know what to do either..

Bethany - posted on 09/14/2009

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Hi Cindy!



I struggled with compulsive eating... when I was about 15 years older than her. :/ So a bit of an age difference. What I did was tell myself over and over and over that "I eat to live, I don't live to eat." It took a couple years to fully take hold, but now I eat only when I'm really hungry, and view hunger as just a part of life, not as something horrible that has to be "fixed" immediately.



You're her mom, so you could help her start to see food that way, although approach it at her age-level (my daughter is 1 1/2 so I can't help you there!).



In addition to changing her perspective, I would suggest keeping junk food out of the house. Have healthy, tasty snacks she enjoys, but not a lot of processed food. And take a bag of apple slices or other snacks when you go out so that you're not tempted to just pick up fast food in the run. Help her enjoy healthy fats, like avocado or nuts. For dinner don't make her empty her plate. If she wants seconds ask her if her stomach is satisfied, and instill in her that you don't have to burst at the seams at every meal. As a family avoid fast food, and try healthier options like a sandwich shop. Encourage her to stay active and to enjoy the outdoors.



One of the most important thing is for her to see you exhibiting restraint with your own food choices. Kids learn by example, so make sure you're doing what you want her to do. :)



Good luck!

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