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Old 09-06-2008, 09:11 AM
79 posts, read 289,486 times
Reputation: 112


Here is the situation. My 5 yr old son is acting out not at school but mainly at home. His pedi doc told me to watch his weight because he is big for his age she said lowfat milk and watch his food choices. I know I am to blame because we have such a busy schedule and he gets out of school and is hungry we pull through a fast food. The thing is he wants to eat constantly. He told me the school lunch was not getting him filled up enough. I started packing his lunch but I try to pack a good healthy lunch for him but the minute he gets in the car he starts acting out saying I am hungry and at home after he eats dinner no more than 15 minutes to a half hour he starts wanting snacks if I do not give them to him he jumps up and down and starts saying your mean and then runs off to his room crying. Do I just fill the fridge up with fruits and veggies and let him snack away? He likes fruits and most veggies. I know him acting out is from him eating snacks and eating to much and I know I have to stop giving in to him. Can anyone suggest a good book, a certain diet, websites? I would really really appreciate it! I just need help and suggestions. I love my son and I want him to be healthy and happy. I hate that I give in to him so he can be happy but I can't stand that he throws fits so he can eat and I know some of his behavior is because he is eating not so healthy things. He is really good in school his teacher told me he is one of the best behaved in the class so that is not a problem he is good at home most of the time except for this big problem with food if he don't get it he throws fits then if I give in and give it to him he is happy but then it seems his beahvior is different.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:09 AM
8,862 posts, read 14,836,504 times
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Did you ask the doctor about his being hungry so frequently?

More than likely if your son has grown accustomed to certain snacks/fast foods he doesn't like the change of menu.

I don't know how much a child of his age can comprehend about nutrition but I would look for courses on healthy eating and maybe opportunities for physical activity--such as sports that support better food choices.

Sometimes when the 'Coach' or anyone-other-than-Mom advocates an idea it results in fewer emotional moments. I don't think it is ever too young to teach responsibility for one's own body. Like a machine it must be fueled properly to work efficiently.

Last edited by TakeAhike; 09-06-2008 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:26 AM
Location: NE Oklahoma
1,036 posts, read 2,652,808 times
Reputation: 1081
Put a bowl of carrot and celery sticks on the cabinet and tell him go for it. NO salad dressing, my mother in law drenches vegis in salad dressing to get the grands to eat them...just adding TONS of calories and fat to an otherwise great snack. Do not provide Chips, candy, pop, or other high sugar snacks. Just don't have them in the house. Be prepared for that after school hunger. Have a bag of sliced apples and oranges.... or something similar. Bananas are great and almost all kids love them. Make it a high protien by adding Peanut Butter if he isn't allergic. My kids eat celery, apples and bananas all with PB. Have fun and by all means ask the peditrician. More than likely it is a habit (much like me).... but the healthy snacks will help.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:16 AM
Location: South FL
9,444 posts, read 15,407,358 times
Reputation: 8031
Originally Posted by FLGAL76 View Post
Do I just fill the fridge up with fruits and veggies and let him snack away? .

Your child has a healthy strong appetite. My guess is that if he seems to be on overweight side (which I assumed only because you said your doctor wants to put him on low-fat diet), it is not because of how much he eats, but what he eats. Cut down on simple carbs and substitute it with vegetables, fruits, fish, greens, meat... I mean you are blessed that your child likes fruits and most veggies. Do you know how many moms wish it was the case for their children? Including me.

Here is a good book that I found useful and although I disagree with some of it, I think mostly it's a good guide:

Amazon.com: The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood: Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track (Sears Parenting Library): William Sears, Martha Sears, James Sears, Robert Sears: Books
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:00 PM
79 posts, read 289,486 times
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Thanks so much to all that have responded. Thank you for that link for the book. I will be looking into it. He does really like fruits and most veggies. We started buying celery and dipping it in peanut butter because they served that at school lunch one day and he came home and told me how much he enjoyed it so were doing that. He loves baby carrots but wants the ranch dip. Should I just get low-fat ranch and give a bit on the plate for him to dip? would that be ok? I got yogurts,sugar-free applesauces,sugar-free jello. He loves salads he likes me to order him a Char-grilled southwestern salad for him at Chickfila but is that to much for him to eat? I have ordered it before for him and he ate half and then we put the rest in the fridge and he ate the rest later that night. I figured it would be better than a fried chicken sandwich or nuggets. I know it is my fault because I give into him but I am really going to put my foot down because I know him acting out on days is because he had McDonalds and a soda or some chips or cookies so it is his diet I am pretty sure of that. Is there any good easy healthy cookie or snack recipes anyone have?
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:16 PM
3,842 posts, read 9,429,247 times
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Couple questions: Are you wanting to cut back on calories? Are you wanting to cut back on sugar intake? Are you working on training him portion control? Does he eat for comfort or out of boredom? How much exercise is he getting?

Be careful of all the no fat sugar free this free that free in processed foods & snacks. What they put in to compensate for what they took out is at times just as bad. Fat free items are saturated with sugar. If sugar free, pay attention to what sugar substitute is being used.

Is it possible that your ped can recommend a local pediatric dietican? Your insurance should cover seeing a specialist of this nature.

Avoid the dips. No need for them. Just extra calories, fat, & sugar. He may not like it at first but he'll get use to it.

Also, keep in mind some fruits & veggies actually have a very high sugar content: grapes, carrots, apples, apricots, raisins. Keep these in moderation.

If possible, when he gets home, give him a healthy snack as were recommended by the other posters. Then, take him outside for awhile to get some fresh air & to just play.

He's a child but sounds like a boy with an appetite. Nothing wrong with that. It's up to you to figure out how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for him.

Don't take away ALL the fun stuff unless ped says so though then he'd be on a doctor dictated diet & doesn't sound like he is or needs to be. Once a week make it a special treat to get a few cookies or a bowl of ice cream. Not in huge amounts, but an amount for a child. And make it special.

Good luck. Sounds like you are starting off on the right track.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:00 PM
4,249 posts, read 8,138,831 times
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Three most important things that cut on calorie intake are:

portion control, meals on time (no snacking in between), and playing (actively) outside. No processed food preferably (no food from boxes and no fast food).

A portion is the size of a palm of your hand. Whining about snacking may be hard to resist, but you are the mother, you have to remember that it's you who sets rules and not him. If you feel that there is a serious danger of hunger (can't justify though any such danger) give him a simple snack, like croutons that can be made in advance from old bread in the oven in 5 minutes.

I think your biggest problem is breaking down to his wishes. You have to toughen up, mom. Better now than dealing with his health problems down the road.

My kids are thin but I can understand their whining force. I simply tell them that the kitchen is closed, until next mealtime. If they were overweight I would literally put a padlock on the fridge.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:06 PM
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 2,947,521 times
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I think one question I would ask myself is if he is really eating his lunch. Maybe you can ask the teacher?

also, I remember my toddler asks for snacks whenever she is bored or stressed. The minute she steps foot into an unfamiliar situation she asks for a snack. So maybe you can feed him a healthy snack after school then distract him with an activity or something? Is there any way for him to get more exercise? I realize that may increase his appetite even more, but if he is truly overweight, then exercise must be part of the solution.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:35 PM
Location: Big skies....woohoo
12,421 posts, read 2,853,683 times
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My daughter's favorite snack was a bowl with corn chex, cheerios, and pretzels. I put one double stuffed oreo on top. She absolutely loved it. Then when she got to be about 5 or 6, I made her a menu of things and I would get her "a plate with 3 things." Ha ha It could be grapes, pretzels, and a banana or corn chex, raisins, and raw broccoli. But anyway...we made it fun and she could choose off the menu.
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:58 PM
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 3,037,482 times
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Portion control is key. You've got the right idea with giving fruits and veggies for snacks. SMALL AMOUNT of dip. Too much Peanut butter isn't good - too much sugar. Too much Ranch would be too many calories. Fruits and veggies alone is great, though.

I agree that maybe he really is bored. A small snack every 3 hours or so is OK. Any more than that and he is probably eating for a reason other than being hungry.

Talk to the ped. about the problem you are having. Make an appointment and bring him with you. Let the Doctor help you explain healthy eating habits to your son.
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