In Response to Helping Child Lose Weight:
Our 6 year old is a tad overweight (could stand to lose 3 - 5 lbs to be more healthy). She is TERRIBLY picky and feels she needs to eat all day long. We have tried all sorts of fruits and veggies and she won't eat them. What can we do to help replace the high carb items with snacks that are going to help her?
Posted by tracie602
It is great to hear that you are trying to take steps to help your daughter live a healthy lifestyle. Just as every adult is different, so is every child. Your daughter has a natural way of growing that is right for her body and, although it may not appear ideal, her body knows how much to eat for it to grow that way. Instead of focusing on the weight itself, try to include more activity into her daily life. Summer is a great time to do things as a family such as go on a walking, biking or try a new activity! Keeping the body busy generally keeps the mind off of food, and being active is beneficial to anyone.
When it comes to having a picky eater, don’t fear you’re not alone! Children have much different palate’s than we do, and they take awhile to expand. Continue to encourage her to try new foods without forcing them and in time she may decide she actually likes them. Studies show that children need to be introduced to food seven times before they actually know if they enjoy eating it or not.
At your daughter’s age she wants more independence with eating, but she still needs structure and support of family meals and scheduled snacks. This will help prevent her from wanting to graze throughout the day and will instill good eating habits for the future. Try to schedule three meals a day at set times and make rules about snack times. For example, she can have a snack after school at the table, but no snacking during homework or watching television.
If you enjoy reading, I highly recommend the author Ellyn Satter. She is a registered dietitian and her books are wonderful for parents searching for guidance on feeding their children.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Alexandra Economy, RD, LD
Winona Hy-Vee Dietitian