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How to control your childs eating

Hollywood, FL
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How to control your childs eating

I have a friend who is a little overweight and so is her 5 year old daughter. All her daughter wants to do is eat. She wont just eat a little snack, she will eat handfuls of snack. Her mom, who is my friend, gets very upset about it. How does she control this? She doesnt want to make her daughter feel bad or develop a complex.

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  1. Does she portion out the snack before hand? That might help so she doesn’t overindulge, and then your friend wouldn’t have to make an issue of telling her to stop eating. When she asks for more, she can offer something healthy and that way the amount she eats is less of an issue.

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    1. well it is almost as if it doesnt matter. She will eat anything and everything. Healthy snacks turn unhealthy when they come by the hand fulls. SHe always wants to eat. It is never enough, but her mother is the same and she admits it. She comfort eats. And does not know how to stop. She doesnt want to. She only wants to because she is overweight.

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    2. I would say that portioning the snacks out ahead of time is a great idea, but also to limit snack time in itself. I would think there’s no reason to have more than 2 snacks a day… Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner. So portion control, quality control (as in the types of snacks given), and quantity control (as in the total number of snacks per day allowed) would definitely be my answer. And I know the little girl will probably take time to adjust and in the meantime, she’ll be upset, but ultimately being overweight is harmful to her, and it is her mother’s job to protect her. I would never put a 5-year-old on a diet, but I would definitely make a conscious effort to provide the best food choices possible in the appropriate portion sizes for that age. And the mom also needs to lead by example. I hope that doesn’t come off as harsh…it’s just so much easier (and healthier!) to prevent weight gain than to start the dieting roller coaster. I’ve heard plenty of friends say they started dieting at age 8 or 9, and it makes me really sad.

      Also, I wonder what makes someone hungry all the time. Is the girl legitimately hungry or just bored or is there something else going on to make her want to comfort eat? Or could the weight gain be something medical and not necessarily what or how much she’s eating?

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  2. Good point, Michele, about healthy snacks only being healthy in moderation… And Kristen has a good point about limiting the number of snacks daily… Is the five-year-old active? Maybe a total lifestyle boost is in order- which could happen on the family level so the little girl doesn’t feel targeted.

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    1. Well, she is active, maybe she could be more active? Shes five! I know she doesnt sit around all day. Her family does need a little boost in the exercise department. It just stinks that this is my friend and she really has trouble with this. Her and her child. I just wish I could help her more.

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  3. I think it is important to consider why a five year old would want to eat all the time. There are some (rare) medical diagnosis in which people have insatiable hunger but more common are psychological reasons. The mom is right not wanting to make her daughter feel bad or develop a complex. She needs to look at her own internal dialogue to make sure she is setting the right example for her child as well. It’s really hard but as women we need to be good role models for our kids. Modeling good food choices and limiting the negative talk (I shouldn’t have, I’d like to have more but can’t, etc) is really important. I think that offering good snack is also key. Fresh fruit, raw veggies, nuts and seeds are good options, especially for those kids who tend toward handfuls of carbs.

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