The Fat Issue in our House

After school snacks!

After school snacks!

Over the past year I’ve made a concerted effort to eat more healthily and exercise more. I must admit its a bit up and down, but on the whole its positive and as a size 10-12 I’m below the average size for a woman in our society. The husband has also joined the gym and to be fair does go along regularly, I try to limit available treats for him at home, but losing the weight is proving more of a challenge. For us though, its also influenced by the shadow of middle age, with all of its changes, there definitely is such a thing as middle aged spread!

The battle that i’m having at the moment is with the children. I’m really aware that their diet and lifestyle is probably not as healthy as mine was. We eat different meals and have different like and dislikes to in the past. The way we live is also very different, even three year old Ned thinks nothing of going into the kitchen and helping himself to whatever he wants to eat. Its just what they do.

Clearly this poses a lot of issues, not least that i’m being eaten out of house and home. It costs a fortune to feed my growing brood and its only going to get worse. One of the major problems is the cost of fruit and vegetables. I can get through £12 in strawberries a week, thats only 6 packets and since one packet just about feeds 3 children you can rule them out as a healthy snack. I could go on; one melon would make a small after school snack for them, its a packet of apples a day in our house. Compare this to 22p for a packet of Sainsbury basic biscuits and you can see where the money goes and why you’d offer a few biscuits for snacks instead of something healthy.

This lot wont last long...

This lot wont last long…

The problem i’ve now got is that the children are getting a little chunky. Now, I’ve read all the stuff about how you need to empower children, not mention their weight and so on because you don’t want them to develop an eating disorder. However, i’m stuck, they know all about healthy eating. They love healthy food. They love food.

So, i’m conflicted I’ve been trying to subtly cut down their food. I dish out dinner more often than I let them serve themselves from bowls on the table. I fill the fridge and cupboards with as much healthy grazing as I can. I take them out on their bikes, scooter and they go to various sports clubs including swimming each week. However, they are getting plump.

I’m coming to the opinion that I need to talk to them about getting fat and how bad it is. This is in contrast to a lot of the recommended parenting advice. But what do you do? I don’t want them to get fat and then struggle to lose the weight, surely its better to deal with the issue before it happens. But then what if this leads to eating disorders? The trials of parenting! Advice appreciated…

2 Responses

  1. caril hedges 23rd April 2015 / 3:20 pm

    Can you not up the walking/exercise to compensate for the odd chunk ..and I have to say, they will probably unchunk as they get older…and grow. Seems a shame to be mentioning it! The teens I tutor are so body conscious it’s scary!

  2. Attachment Mummy 23rd April 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Interesting article, I totally know where you’re coming from. We try to provide all the fruit and veg our girls want, but it can nearly bankrupt you in a week! The much-discussed idea to tax unhealthy food and use the money to subsidise healthy might be a good idea, but it would be a very brave government to actually do it.

    I’ve just started recording our weekly food bill in an attempt to see how we can change things round and get the same amount of good stuff for less, but I think it’s going to be an uphill struggle. At least fruit picking season isn’t too far away which means healthy snacking becomes a little cheaper, and fun too.

    As for talking to your children, maybe try a discussion about which foods are best for our bodies and get them involved in menu planning? Our eldest (5) has a basic understanding of which foods we use to get the best nutrition and then the other stuff is a small extra, but without ever using the idea of fat or overweight. Luckily at the moment they all eat healthily and walk/run/play outside a lot, so we don’t have the problem, but that may change!

    It’s definitely one of those aspects of parenting which is far harder than you realise before you get there. Good luck! (Apologies for the essay!!)

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