How Can I Help Manage My Daughter’s Weight in a Healthy Way

One mom is worried about her daughter's weight after a pediatrician called it out. Here's how local parents reacted and the advice they offered to this momma.

Close-up of feet standing on a scale

Each month, we pose a parenting question from local moms and dads to local moms and dads. In October 2020, one local mom wrote in concerned about her daughter’s weight and how she can help her daughter manage it in a healthy way. Here’s what other local parents had to say on the topic. 

Mom’s Question: 

My 10-year-old daughter gained some weight during stay-at-home orders. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but her pediatrician pulled me aside after her back-to-school physical and handed me a few pamphlets. I don’t want my kid to obsess about her weight, but with fall sports canceled, she won’t be participating in a lot of her usual activities. We do eat healthy. Do I let it go and just make sure she’s active, or should I follow some of the pamphlets’ recommendations, like food logging?

Parent’s answers 

I would definitely say don’t start food logging your 10-year-old. I noticed during quarantine a few weight changes with my girls and myself. So, I started bike riding with the little one and kept telling them we had to watch the greasy stuff because of our family’s history with diabetes, etc. I explained to all my children that the number on the scale doesn’t matter but it’s important to make sure you eat healthy. – Judy L.

Find a new pediatrician. Seriously. Throw every pamphlet away. Kids on the verge of puberty can often put on some weight so it’s probably not entirely quarantine. – Jennifer D.

Would you contest a bad vision test? No, you wouldn’t. If your teacher said they were struggling and needed extra math help, would you contest that? No, you wouldn’t. But for some reason, the weight seems optional. We have an obesity crisis in children in this country. Our docs need to be able to tell the parents when the child is at risk and parents need to listen!!!! – Nicki B.

I think your pediatrician is overreacting and if you’re doing the right thing by your child with her eating home-cooked meals and she’s playing outside, then you keep doing your plan. – Brett S.

If her weight increases this next year, maybe THEN take the ped’s advice but let the child get back to sports and “normalcy” before taking much action. This time we are in right now is way too stressful as it is! – Sara H.

Kudos to the doctor for pulling you aside, rather than making your daughter self-conscious about her weight. … Trust me, you want to nip this in the bud. I was the fat kid in school and kids were horrendously cruel. If you can avoid having your daughter go through that, please do. It’s easy to fix if it’s just a few pounds, but it’s nearly impossible once it becomes a habit/lifestyle. – Lisa B.

Do a food and calorie log. You would be surprised how many calories you are eating. – Kati S.

I would be as open as possible about it and maybe encourage some more family exercise. But to be honest, I think a lot of us gained some weight during quarantine, my 10-year-old looks a little heavier to me and the doctor told me so as well so I am pushing the vegetables and pushing the exercise. I would not say anything to the child, of course. – Sam V.

My kids did the same. I just made an effort to get out on walks with them, bike rides, and invite them to do yoga with me when I do. We are, by no means, some super fit family, I just decided we should get outside and move more than we were. – Chris C.

I can tell my child has gained some weight as well. Free access to snacks and no running around with friends unlike a normal day at school. I have cut back on some of the snacks we keep in the house and encouraged some better choices. I also try to get him out more on walks. On the flip side, he grew a few inches and now looks about the same as before. Bodies change as kids grow; you know your child best. I wouldn’t worry about things like food logging unless you see more weight gain without a growth spurt. – Liz A.

Don’t worry about weight right now. She’s still growing. Stock up healthy foods and leave it be. She will lose that weight when she has growth spurts if she doesn’t lose it all when things get back to normal. – Jennifer L.

Are you struggling with a parenting dilemma? Send it to us at editor@metroparent.com and we could post your question to other parents on social media.

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