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TOPIC: Do you count Calories for your kids?

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April 7, 2013 11:40 AM
Ok, the ONLY reason any of us are on MFP is because we got seriously screwed up in our "programing" either as kids or young adults, and we over-eat and NOW have to count precisley in order to retrain our ways of thinking and to LOOSE the weight.

Children are blank slates AND not born overweight - so as a parent, there are things you can do to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle...this is your chance to "program" them correctly. Don't allow them to emotional eat (my 2 year old cried when the older sibs went with daddy to the store, so I said, "don't worry, we'll have a treat" AHHH I just taught her to emotional eat - now I don't do that) Don't reward them with food - kids are much more responsive to your time and attention and praise as a reward than to food (unless YOU already started that habit with them, in which case, it's time to slowly wean them...) also teach them self control! It's always fun to go to a party and have extra treats, but be watchful of them that they are just having ONE piece of cake or a couple candies, not bagfuls....if you teach these things to your children as you're just spending time with them, you don't have to burden them with counting calories and a hyper awarness of their image etc.

That's my two cents! :)
  26632852
April 7, 2013 11:47 AM
Definitely not but my kids 'eat to survive' .... the sooner they can get down from the table to go out and play again the happier they are!! My kids are 5 and 9. I'm lucky in that they love fruit, salad and most veg (haven't quite won with Brussels sprouts yet!) and they eat healthy through their own choice. Of course they also have the odd sweet or chocolate treat but they are just as likely to ask for fruit salad as they are for ice cream. They go with what they fancy and they stop eating when full.

In terms of their weight, they are towards the lower end of their healthy weight range.

I could probably learn a lot from my kids' great relationship with food!
April 7, 2013 3:14 PM
QUOTE:

Ok, the ONLY reason any of us are on MFP is because we got seriously screwed up in our "programing" either as kids or young adults, and we over-eat and NOW have to count precisley in order to retrain our ways of thinking and to LOOSE the weight.



Not why I'm here at all! I joined MY FITNESS PAL. Monitoring my nutrients and intake ratios and exercise in order to facilitate improved FITNESS (and appearance, health/longevity and athletic performance). I have no weight loss or gain goals. I have strength and endurance goals though!
April 7, 2013 3:39 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Ok, the ONLY reason any of us are on MFP is because we got seriously screwed up in our "programing" either as kids or young adults, and we over-eat and NOW have to count precisley in order to retrain our ways of thinking and to LOOSE the weight.



Not why I'm here at all! I joined MY FITNESS PAL. Monitoring my nutrients and intake ratios and exercise in order to facilitate improved FITNESS (and appearance, health/longevity and athletic performance). I have no weight loss or gain goals. I have strength and endurance goals though!


That's incorrect, you said you're here for appearance, health and longevity. what does that have to do with strength and endurance goals?
Edited by Pu_239 On April 7, 2013 3:40 PM
  11390926
April 7, 2013 3:44 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Ok, the ONLY reason any of us are on MFP is because we got seriously screwed up in our "programing" either as kids or young adults, and we over-eat and NOW have to count precisley in order to retrain our ways of thinking and to LOOSE the weight.


Not why I'm here at all! I joined MY FITNESS PAL. Monitoring my nutrients and intake ratios and exercise in order to facilitate improved FITNESS (and appearance, health/longevity and athletic performance). I have no weight loss or gain goals. I have strength and endurance goals though!

That's incorrect, you said you're here for appearance, health and longevity. what does that have to do with strength and endurance goals?

Incorrect? how?
April 7, 2013 3:48 PM
QUOTE:

My kids? no they aren't overweight, I was just thinking as a teaching experience. Same as you might teach a 6 year old about spending and saving and giving money they receive as allowance for chores .




My kids know I log my diet. They know that some days logging reminds me to eat up if i have had a lot of big workouts in a row. We have done a lot of talking about fueling a car and having the right kind of food and the right amount of food. I tell them that calories are not good or bad...they just are...like gas is not good or bad it just is...but not enough and the car does not work and too much gas and you either have to carry it around in red cans or it spills all over the ground. Sometimes it is ok to eat treats and sometimes you need to eat fruits and veggies....
April 7, 2013 4:17 PM
No, not at all! I have 5 children. My feeling on this is if you count their calories they will have more issues later on. It will just make things worse. Your healthy changes will help your kids. My kids know that at snack time we follow the serving size if it is cookies etc.. but if they are hungry before dinner a piece of fruit is okay. My kids know I will not buy pop tarts because it is loaded with junk. My kids will talk about certain foods having junk in them. It is about teaching them about healthy eating habits. It does not mean my kids eat no snacks because I buy them cookies etc.. but it is about trying to get healthier like I will buy whoo nus instead as it is not complete junk. We love ice cream at my house too!! But the kids will get it if you teach them!! Also have them exercise with them!! It is about changing the choices. Yesterday it was cold out, but I told them I wanted them to run in a circle in the house for 10 minutes to get some energy out. It's all about change the same as us right??
  11400663
April 7, 2013 4:32 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Ok, the ONLY reason any of us are on MFP is because we got seriously screwed up in our "programing" either as kids or young adults, and we over-eat and NOW have to count precisley in order to retrain our ways of thinking and to LOOSE the weight.


Not why I'm here at all! I joined MY FITNESS PAL. Monitoring my nutrients and intake ratios and exercise in order to facilitate improved FITNESS (and appearance, health/longevity and athletic performance). I have no weight loss or gain goals. I have strength and endurance goals though!

That's incorrect, you said you're here for appearance, health and longevity. what does that have to do with strength and endurance goals?

Incorrect? how?


Oh, i thought we where picking random threads and knit picking.
  11390926
April 7, 2013 4:39 PM
No but we do have a strong whole foods policy at home. Snacks are popcorn, fruit, veg, 1/2 sandwich, etc. cake, candy, etc are for a birthday, holiday, party, etc. I hope to teach them good choices not calorie counting.
April 7, 2013 4:44 PM
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Not only no but HELL NO, we set guidelines and watch what our kids eat but there is no way.
  15000910
April 7, 2013 4:51 PM
I don't believe any child should be counting calories until they hit puberty. Once kids hit puberty, its not uncommon to gain a lot of weight due to all the growing and changes all at once. However, until the child hits puberty...just alter the diet such as cutting out sodas, limiting desserts, etc.

Include healthy meats, veggies, and fruits even as snacks. Switch out chips and other bad foods for popcorn or healthy nuts.
Small changes will let them get more on the healthy track without altering their self-esteem or confidence.
April 7, 2013 4:55 PM
I think when I have kids I'll secretly count calories for them.. not obsessively or anything just to make sure they are getting enough of what they need and not too much junk.
April 7, 2013 4:55 PM
My sons are both on the low side of their healthy weights for their age. I struggle the other way with trying to get them to consume more calories without telling them I'm trying to get them to consume more calories. I want them to always be able to literally trust their guts to eat when they're hungry. They eat healthfully most of the time, and I allow junk food on the weekends.

If your kids are overweight, I'd suggest making changes to their lifestyle. Get them outside more often. I'd also make appealing snacks for them, already set aside in little bags/containers with the proper serving size in them. Carrot sticks or baby carrots with little containers of ranch dressing or Greek dressing veggie dip for dipping, fruit already sliced, mini bags of popcorn instead of full size, any sweets or fatty snacks can be separated into proper serving sizes, etc. At dinner, I'd trade out a starchy side dish and put another veggie side in its place.

This might help you discreetly retrain your child's brain of how much food they should be eating in one sitting without giving them a complex about it. Model your good eating and fitness habits, and then when they eat like kids on the weekends or over at someone's house, it's not such a big deal.
April 7, 2013 4:56 PM
I am trying to get my baby to gain weight. He is in the 5% and has been consistently since birth so yes now that he is not breastfed and doesn't like to eat a lot I am watching the calorie count carefully to insure that I am getting quality down him since quantity is not an option.

My 4yr old was the same way but he eventually grew out of it, so I am likely just being paranoid.
  23991935
April 7, 2013 5:04 PM
My children right now are on the lower end. So I tend to let their bodies dictate when/how much they eat.

If their weight ever gets to a point it's higher than the doctor we would like, we'll discuss where to go from there.



Kids these days don't go out and play as much as they used to, we really work to make them and our family more active.
April 7, 2013 5:20 PM
I don't count my kids calories. That's a little intense for me.

However, you made a great point about emotional eating. I also treat my kids when something goes array. I think that is a lazy way to resolve circumstances (on my behalf) . Good point.smile
April 7, 2013 5:22 PM
No. We try to teach them about eating vegetables, drinking water, sometimes foods and staying active.

My daughter is normal height and weight for a preppie (ie the first grade of primary school)- and asked if she was fat last year, because another little girl in her grade told her that she and other girls were.
April 7, 2013 5:36 PM
No I don't I just try to cook and buy healthy foods and I try to work out with them when I can. They are younger and have a much faster metabolism so as long as they are keeping active and they are eating healthy foods for the most part I don't worry too much.
  33852377
April 7, 2013 6:00 PM
No way. I try to give them as much healthy stuff as I can but I don't give their weights very much thought. Growing them big and strong is the name of the game right? So far they are good eaters, like healthy foods as well as treats and I figure their little bodies will tell them when they are full. When we grow up we lose that ability but they still have it loud and clear.
  26726482
April 7, 2013 6:16 PM
He knows I count my calories but he also knows that he doesn't have to count his own because he's 8. However he reads food labels and gets that certain things are worse than others. Like things with high sodium numbers or high sugar numbers. He's well aware that fruits and vegetables are better for him than marshmallows, for instance :-) He's a little thing so I always stress that he should eat good foods so he can get strong and big.
  37429894
April 7, 2013 6:45 PM
My 10 yr old daughter is not overweight at all. A very active, healthy kid who is actually pretty slim (naturally). However, no matter how slim or not-slim, a kid can always learn healthy eating habits. No, my daughter does not count calories, and probably couldn't tell you how many she needs in a day. She does know how to work our kitchen scale and measuring cups to weigh out her snacks. She knows how to read food labels and look at ingredients. Plus, she also knows moderation. Just because she measures out her goldfish, that doesn't mean she can have 5 different carb/cracker-like snacks in an afternoon. She knows to eat the rainbow and get food from many sources (i.e. dairy, protein, grains, legumes, fruits and veggies). She loves salad, but loves to eat raw cookie dough with me on (very rare) occasions! :)

Both my husband and I have experienced being overweight (not during childhood), and my husband has diabetes (which also runs rampant in his family). We feel it's important to give her the tools to make her own decisions, just as we teach her about saving money and choices with friends.

But, no, never use the word diet with a kid. Even as an adult, I cringe at that word. Don't count their calories, just be aware and offer many healthy choices.
Edited by JuliannaEP On April 7, 2013 6:48 PM
  32696038
April 12, 2013 8:17 AM
QUOTE:

I am trying to get my baby to gain weight. He is in the 5% and has been consistently since birth so yes now that he is not breastfed and doesn't like to eat a lot I am watching the calorie count carefully to insure that I am getting quality down him since quantity is not an option.

My 4yr old was the same way but he eventually grew out of it, so I am likely just being paranoid.


Please remember - 5% is STILL healthy!! the %'s chart is based on HEALTHY children - if your child drops below 0 or greater than 100, then you have a reason to be concerned - your child is just simply at the lower end of HEALTHY - no "failing" in any sense!! I wish doctors would communicate that more clearly - the chart is one based on HEALTHY children.
  26632852

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