RECIPE: Wanted: Suggestions

june_2007January 9, 2008

My grand daughter lives with us. She is 11. She weighs 142 pounds. She wears size 14P in womens jeans and they are getting tight. She is very bashful and doesn't make friends very easy. All the kids tease her at school. She is a couch potatoe and does not like to do any kind of excersise. Her dad tries to take her to the track at school, but after less than 1/2 lap she quits.

Can you please share and diet type recipies that are tasty, but low in calories? I am really worried about her weight. There is Diabetes, Heart problems etc running very strongly throughtout all sides of her family. One grandpa is on dialisis, another grandpa has only 1 artery due to coronary artery desease.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I'd suggest she meet with a certified dietician, it's a free service at our local hospital. Children that age often respond to an "authority figure" better than to a family member. She probably doesn't realize how many calories that she's consuming. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 3:21PM
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I'd remove all the junk..and replace it with fruit and veggies..even my kids will eat apples..try new things for her. And tell her she has to try one'll find things she her's not good to put her on a "diet", but to limit her intake of CARP and maybe her portions.
All in all it's definately activity..
Have you heard anything about Dance Dance Revolution? It's a video based dancing "game". If she likes music and has a place away from prying eyes she may just try it out.
A bicycle is a good place to start too, but she needs a partner. Even if it's up and down the driveway. Oh and that half a lap as many times a week will build up to a full lap then 2, 3 and so on. Her activity needs to be increased, even if she quits early long as she's moving as many days a week as possible..she'll get stronger and healthier a little more each day.

My heart breaks for her..I was never a skinny kid, but I wasn't obese either...I was active..but you definately don't make the "groups" when you don't fit the desired profile.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 3:56PM
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I would have been a big couch potato but wasn't allowed to be at that age. I never wanted my mother to see me sitting down because she'd have found more chores for me to do. It sounds like food is her comfort.

We didn't have junk (chips, soda, etc.)in the house. If I came home from school & said I was hungry I was offered fruit because otherwise dinner was spoiled. Air pop some popcorn for an evening snack. It's a LOT cheaper & better for her. If she drinks a lot of Coke, get fizzy water & flavor it. Bake the chicken instead of frying it. You can "brown" hamburger for casseroles, sauces & that sort of thing by putting it in boiling water & breaking it up, then draining off the water. That cuts a lot of fat & she probably wouldn't notice.

Salsa isn't fattening if she likes spicier things & you can bake cut-up tortillas for chips. What kind of food does she like & maybe we can come up with lighter recipes.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Thank you for the suggestions. They all make sooo much sense. Yes, I think food is here comfort. She is from a divorced family. Mom and dad have 50/50 custody, but she wants them back together. This can not happen. Mom wants multi partners. How do you explain this to 3 little girls that love both parents? Right, you don't. So she eats.
I will talk to daddy tonight when he gets home about the dietition. In the meantime I will call and find out what is available as far as neutrition. She is getting picky about what she will and will not eat. But I the choices are only things that are good for her problem, she won't go hungry I don't think. I will just have to only buy healthy food and limit the amounts.
Any more suggestions are appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 4:43PM
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I wonder if Weight Watchers has teen/junior programs. That way she can take ownership of her diet.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 7:43PM
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At this age, she can't eat it very easily if it's not in the house - right? Make a clean sweep of the pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator. It's the new year, put everyone in the family on a healthy eating program.

Get her and her sisters to help plan, shop, and prepare for the meals in the household. Get everyone in the habit of taking a walk each day. Cut down/out the fried foods, ice cream, cookies/sweets, chips/snacks, and soda - for everyone when they are at home. Everyone will be healthier.

She has to participate in this and want to make changes. You need to support her with outside help and making changes in the home, but you can't do it all for her.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 7:58PM
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If she is suffering because of the parents separation and her situation, maybe some professional counseling would help. This would be in addition to any dietary needs.
She is only 11 and this problem will only get worse. You are a good grandmother to try and help her now.
Best wishes for both of you.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:54AM
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Buy her a Wii!
I am only partly's a hot new computerized game that gets a kid off the couch to play it.
Another is Dance Dance Revolution. It's the kid version of Richard Simons tape of "Sweating to the Oldies! LOL!
But seriously, if she can find someone to play it with, getting her up and moving in addition to the food suggestions made would help to slim her down a bit...or allow her to grow into her weight.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:43AM
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Would she be interested in signing up for some type of lessons at a sports club? I'm thinking badminton, tennis, paddle or any kind of movement classes. All the tennis players I see here are slim and active. How about bowling after school?

All above are good suggestions too. Diet and exercise will certainly help her with her self image.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 6:25AM
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I know Weight Watchers does some things for teens, and there is also a group called Overeaters Anonymous. I'd try and get her hooked up with one of those groups. Also get her involved in food prep. Maybe buy her some healthy teen cookbooks and a subscription to Weight Watchers magazine. Have her cook a healthy dish for the whole family once and a while. She's got to exercise somehow, maybe make it a family affair to take a walk after dinner or join the Y and go a couple nights a week to swim or take some kind of class.
Also, yes, she might need and benefit from emotional counseling. Ask her school's counselor for some recommendations.
You're a good grandma!
Good luck, and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 12:51PM
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We went out and bought the Dance Dance Revolution with an extra pad so her 10 year old sister can dance with her. She is only slightely over weight. She is very aware of the kids teasing her sister and how it hurts her.
Her daddy has an appointment with a school counselor. Hope this helps.
We have went through the pantry, cabinets and fridge and got rid of everything high in calories.
She is excited about loosing weight and I hope she keeps her positive attidude. She wants me (64 year old with lung cancer in remission) to dance with her. Gotta say I have went from 89 pounds to 161 pounds in less than a year. I could use some excercise, but radiation and chemo took the bottom 1/3 of my right lung. But I did and will continue dancing as long as I can breathe. My husband, kids and grandkids are my life, and I will do anything to help them. Thank you all for the suggestions


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:01PM
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June I was a very overweight girl all through elementary school. Kids at that age are unmerciful with teasing etc. Monitor that as well. I think all the above posts are excellent ideas. Making healthy food choices, getting her involved in those choices are very important. Eating is only part of the problem, She needs to get "moving"! Excercise is key to her success. Not just physicaly but mentally as well. If she has depression issues this will help greatly! Does she have a pet? It may not be a viable solution, but having a puppy to care for and walk everyday may help. Also many of the schools are now forming after school walking clubs. You are such a good Grandmom to be so concerned. Hope this helps. Gina

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:17PM
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June, hurray...sounds like alot of giggles will be coming from your house soon!!!!!
Hey even if you can stand a few's worth it right?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 7:04PM
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Hi June,

Maybe setting some goals with a nice reward attached... such as eating healthier and loosing 10 pounds have a grandma/granddaughter day out for a pedicure or trip to the mall for a new outfit. I agree that getting help with the emotional aspect will help the most. Kids that age are brutal and will find anything to pick apart someone. I feel for her. I have 9 and 7 year old girls so I know how emotional they can be. Good luck I hope she gains the self esteem she needs.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 4:01AM
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I have a very similar situation. My parents separated when I was 8 and divorced when I was 10. I always had weight problems and they got worse after they separated. I went from a house with 18 acres to an apartment, and the stress did not help. Part of this was becuase my mom wouldn't say no to what I wanted. If I wanted to come home from school and eat a huge snack before dinner, I could, or if I wanted to eat a whole package of cookies, she didn't say no. She is an awesome cook so I would go back for helping after helping. Now I'm 22 I have still battled back and forth, up down, up, down. I have to reverse my eating habits for the past 20years. When I was a senior in high school my mom's friend got me to join weight watchers. Best thing I ever did. I started to eat less, and watch what I ate. But I had to do it by myself. She is younger and will have your help. It will be much easier. And you are now seeing many younger kids going with their mothers or fathers. They have special programs for kids to make sure they are still getting the nutrition they need, but it teaches portion control and how to eat healthier.

But definitely cut out all junk food. Portion control is very big, and exercise. I played basketball in high school and loved it. If she doesn't like sports, how about just taking some walks?

I have a history of diabetes in my family as well, I can relate very well to her situation and it is not easy! Still to this day it is a battle. Hope some of this helps at all.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 8:39AM
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My husband and I joined Weight Watchers on line. I don't like to go to the meetings. The on line version is easy and fun to have instant access to how many points a certain food is. You fill out a profile ....age, weight, height etc and the program individualizes a plan for you....telling you how many points you can have a day etc. You record everything you eat and the computer keeps track of everything for you. If she is a computer person, she might relate to this idea. There is even an activity tracker. It's exciting to track your weight loss electronically!

I think everyone has offered wonderful ideas here! Maybe going to a Weight Watchers meeting with other young people would be helpful. She would meet others she could relate to. They would become each others' support systems.

Good luck, you sound like a wonderful grandmother! I too am 64 and a grandma!......We have a 19th g-child on the way.

Blessings to you and your family! Geri

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 11:19AM
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I'm sure many who read this will recognize these suggestions, but here goes:

Never eat while watching TV, reading, etc.
Chew each bite 20 times.
Only eat when you are hungry.
Put down the knife and fork (or food, such as pizza) between each bite.

In other words, really savor your food.

These are from Paul McKenna, but I have read the first three in other sources also. Just passing it along; hope it is helpful.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 1:56PM
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