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Help for my step-daughter
jhilton1 posted:
I am soooo glad that this community surfaced because this is a hard subject, I have been looking for tips for my step daughter. She is 9 and she has been on a steady incline of weight for the last three years (when her parents divorced) Its because her mother takes them out for fast food for every meal, she says she has no time to cook. We eat very healthy at our house but we cant battle all fast food all the time for half of the month. Its really bad when they will call and their dad asks "what did you have for dinner" and she will say "we went to Sonic and I had cheddar bites, the coating off of onion rings and a pop" or she will say that she had a mcdonalds meal (Adult size meal, not a kids meal) and that wasnt enough so she ate her sister's leftovers from the mongolian bbq place! Or they ate popcorn at home for breakfast because their cereal was stale, but then they went to mcdonalds so she ate again. We have talked to her about nutrition, portion control, and told her that we cant control where they eat when she is at moms, but she can make healthier choices when eating. But it doesnt change! and when we talk to his ex she gets defensive and wont hear it. Im scared for her future, and her health, but what do we do?
Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:

I don't have much advice for you, because I have found myself in the same boat.

My 3 step-children are with us nearly full time now, but in the past we were in the same situation. My step-children are all slender, but that was sort of part of the problem. I think that there is a perception that skinny = healthy. And that is simply not so! Just because the poor food choices have not caught up with their weight yet doesn't mean it won't, and their teeth and development depends on a healthy, balanced diet.

We approached it like you are. We made out home healthy and balanced. It was kind of a drag, because we couldn't have treats and desserts as often, because they would have pop-tarts or (seriously) candy for breakfast at their mom's, so desserts or anything like that was off the table for us, because we felt like we had to load them up on lean protein, whole grains, low fat dairy and fruits and veggies when we had them.

I wish you luck in figuring this out. It is so important to be dillegent when they are young to teach them good habits for when they get older. I hope others will have actual advice for you, since all I can say is that I totally understand your frustration, and I feel for you!
jhilton1 replied to Foreverinyoureyes2's response:
its really sad, I just dont know how to help her. I have checked her BMI and she is is in the high risk zone medically! She acts sad when she sees her weight, or when she accidently grabs her (older) stepbrother's jeans and cant get them on, and she eats healthy with us, and then when she is at her mom's house its like she isnt under the watchful eye anymore so she eats horribly! Same thing with her grandparents house, my father in law caught me in the mall one day and was telling me he just found out how different she eats at our house from their house and he is at least trying to help. I remember going over there for dinner once and she ate more food than I did, I finally had to take her plate from her because she kept going back, and not 10 minutes later she asked for a muffin and when when her dad said no she pouted then went to complain to grandma about it! I dont know how to help her and I feel like the evil step mom when I make her stop eating!
nursingbug replied to jhilton1's response:
Well, I don't know if I can help, but I will put my two cents in. I don't see how she can be successful unless you get mom on board. 9 is a very young age to be making independant choices against what her mother expects of her. Can you go, or your husband go, to a pediatrician's appointment? kind of hard to say they are wrong, and that may help convince her. Or talk to a nurse at her school if they have one.
My last comment may be kind of offensive, but I don't mean it to be, so forgive me. I think they still have camps for kids with weight problems. That way she could learn how to eat better away from mom, and meet other kids with the same issues. Then she may be able to be more sucessful, even if mom still doesn't want to hear it.
I started gaining my weight at about the same age, and at my biggest (adult) weight I was over 300 lbs, so if she can start improving now, that would be good. I wish you the best of luck!
prettygirlsmommy replied to jhilton1's response:
I know exactly how you feel. It's hard dealing with what I say "baby mamma drama" when it comes to your spouses kids and how the life you live in your house hold is different than the childs mother's house hold. I deal with the same issues with my fiances ex and to top it off she has always acted like her Sh** don't stink and treats me like I didn't know what I am talking about because I am younger than her and I haven't been a mother long enough. My fiance and I have a daughter together who does have a weight issue. I never thought in a million years that she would have this health issue. Even for my step daughter she is a big girl (not fat,) she was healthy looking, but not over weight, she is tall for her age and so is my daughter. They get it from their father who is 6'1. We would get into arguments with my step daughters mother about not just diet but how she was raising her period. Some adults just need to let bygones be bygones and move on with their lives and make the best of what we have. We have to work together when it comes to the kids especially in these type of situations. My step daughter is 14 going to be 15 this year and I've been with her father since she was 5 and let me tell you not one thing between the difrences or disagreements between us and the mother have not changed! Now this woman (your dealing with) may be different and our situations are not completely the same, but we both have to deal with people who do not know how to accept a helping hand when it's given and just slap it away not realizing it's the benefit of the kids. It's a shame that a grown woman or any adult wouldn't want better for their own child even if the advice comes from the father and their new wife or girl friend. I have to deal with my daughters weight who is 7 yrs old and is type-2 diabetic and takes metformin ER and has high cholesterol. These are issues her father and I are trying to work with and if someone came to me and was concerned and wanted to help with my child I would appreciate the tought because their are not a lot of warm hearted people out there to at least take the time and motion to help out someone elses kid. Hang in there you and your hubby, be the postive enforcement that little girl needs and talk to the daughter about the health issues, tell the daughter to make the better choices. My best to you and your family, God Bless.
Christopher Tiongson, MD replied to prettygirlsmommy's response:
This is a tough one. Changes for kids stick best when the whole family is included. Add trying to keep consistency between households, and wow.

I think a vist with your pediatrician with both mom and dad may be the way to start. Both households need to be on board and understand the future health risks as well as how this is affecting the child now.

This could be a chance to explore what the barriers are that are getting in the way of healthy eating and activity.

Identifying the barriers (time, lack of resources, lack of awareness) and then brainstorming ways to overcome them could be the next step.

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