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Talking to a young teen about eating habits/amounts and weight.


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DD is 14 and though she's thin she's putting on weight rapidly. She went from a size 1 to a 3 at the beginning of November and now she's outgrowing her size 3 pants.

 

She's a former athlete and is still made up of a lot of muscle but she can seriously out eat DH. It's not necessarily what she's eating but more about the quantity and that makes me wary of broaching the subject with her. If I could just say for health reasons she needed to cut out sweets and junk it wouldn't worry me as much as talking portions with her.

 

How do you tell a young girl she needs to eat less without planting a seed for some kind of eating disorder?

 

I don't know...Maybe I'm over thinking this thing.

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She's fourteen? And a size three? I really don't think you have anything to worry about. At all. Honestly, if you tried to talk to her, I think you'd do more damage than good. Kids grow rapidly at that age and go through growth spurts. Unless she's actually overweight, I'd leave her be.

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Your dd sounds like she's still very small, but I hear you. My 14yr old has begun eating more than usual & it is showing on her. But, I struggled with my own weight/food issues (well, still do actually) and I don't want that to happen to her. So instead of making an issue of it, I'm trying the approach of providing and emphasizing healthy meals/snacks and exercise. Gone are the days of frequent desserts! HTH! :grouphug:

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She's fourteen? And a size three? I really don't think you have anything to worry about. At all. Honestly, if you tried to talk to her, I think you'd do more damage than good. Kids grow rapidly at that age and go through growth spurts. Unless she's actually overweight, I'd leave her be.

 

Agreed. Be very careful how you approach any discussion of weight and food consumption. All through high school and college, I let a throw away comment my mother made to me in eighth grade determine my eating choices. I don't blame my mother for the decisions I made, but I would tread carefully when it comes to food and teen girls.

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I realize that there is no real danger here of her being overweight now, but if I am understanding you correctly, you are worried about developing habits that could lead to a future of having incorrect potion control.

 

I would talk to her frankly about eating habits. How she needs to listen to her body. If you are hungry, eat. If more food doesn't satisfy, try healthier food.

 

I have a super skinny child like this and we are adding raw food juicing to her diet instead of larger portions or letting her graze the kitchen all day (since she usually picks the LEAST healthy thing to graze on).

 

I tell her she can have seconds at meals, IF the seconds are the at least 1/2 of the other (she can more potatoes IF she has some veggies and chicken too)

 

I sometimes make her wait a while between helpings for her to let her stomach catch up on what it has been given (when the food expands she will feel full, but if she ate more first, she will have a tummy ache).

 

Focus on her being alright with what she is doing now (weight) but you want to start some heathly habits for later in life.

 

Listening to your body is super important for the future.

 

Just like teaching a child to write. Yes the backwards "s" is cute and everyone can understand what she is writing, but we must train the body and mind to do things correctly, so that writing well is something they don't think about, they just do.

 

We start healthy habits now to make the future easier.

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I would not mention at all anything about quantity.

 

Food quality, however, is a subject we are constantly discussing in our home.

 

Yes, this.

 

The only discussion about food quantity in our home is 'Please just eat until you're full". Which covers both sides; don't stuff yourself, and don't get down from the table hungry so that you're bugging me to fix you more food in half an hour. :tongue_smilie: And everyone, all of us, know we should follow the 'Please just eat until you're full' mantra. And everyone gets to gauge for themselves what 'full' is. No one is to comment on how much or how little another person ate. It flat out isn't their business. (Unless you're mom or dad training a young one to 'just eat till they're full', IYKWIM.)

 

We do talk a LOT about food quality however. Mainly because it was NEVER discussed with me as a child, and I had no clue, and consequently have battled my weight my entire life. I want to set my children up for success and health as much as I can, and I think discussing food quality, choices, moderation, etc. is a good way to do that.

Edited by bethanyniez
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I have been very blunt about it with my 13 yr old son. Not in a mean way, but he is 13 and in a men's small because he has packed on several pounds. He has a belly and getting man boobs. Due to my own issues with weight and working at losing it I have been very blunt about my concerns about his health due to weight. I focus on the importance of good food choices, exercise (he hates any and all exercise and sports so it is hard to get him moving). He is a computer game/comic book "nerd" so getting him active is tough. I had been trying to beat around the bush so as to not hurt his feelings until we went to the ER for his hand. Both times were were there his blood presure was high normal and his O2 sats were low. From that point on I got blunt. I do not want him having weight related health issues, or struggling like I am to lose the weight as he gets older etc. His uncle got the kids a Kinect for christmas and Ds says he will do Zumba with me (I am buying it this weekend) and he has started doing the Leslie Sansone walking dvds with me.

 

Eating is a different issue altogether. He is a binge eater and sneaks food, he has done so since he was a toddler. If I buy cereal he eats the whole box in 1 sitting, if I buy bread he eats the whole loaf. I have started restricting the carbs that come into the house. He will go to the store and spend al his money on junk foods and then sit down and eat it all at one sitting, if he doesn't have his own money he steals mine. He once stole a $20 I had for gas money, used to buy cookies and candy and ate all $20 of crap in 1 sitting. It is something his therapist is trying to deal with, it goes with his obsessive thoughts and impulse control. He think sof food almost constantly, and will sneak out of bed at 3-4 am to eat etc. So that is a harder struggle teaching proper portion sizes to someone like that.

 

So far the key has been making sure I bring the right foods home and don't buy the crap at all, limiting the carbs in the house, and teaching proper foods to eat, the portion stuff will come as he progresses through his therapy I hope, and pushing the exercise piece. If he was an active teen boy the amount he eats would not be noticable, but because he is so sedate, it just packs on. I have made it very clear to him we are not talking about dieting or him losing weight. I told him I want his blood pressure lowered, his O2 raised, his muscle tone and endurance increased and if he maintains his current weight great! But if he doesn't do those things he is going to be a very sick, overweight boy.

 

It doesn't down like your daughter is in that situation. My 12 yr old daughter still fits children's size 10 clothes. Last month she still fit the size 8 but she got a tiny pooch and is now in a size 10. As long as you are providing healthy foods and openly talk about healthy nutrition and exercise(which I am sure she knows from being an athlete) than I would not worry about going from a 1 to a 3 (or in my case from an 8 to a 10). You do not want it to become and issue the other way and have a child that is already so thin start thinking they need to lose weight and dieting.

 

It is such a fine line between pushing them to chose well and pushing them into the eating disorder realm, whether they are over weight, average or underweight. I have to be careful with both of the kids, but with my ds his health was at stake so I had to jump in instead of walking that line, and hope that it is the right decision.

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I did something similar around that age. It is a time of growth spurts, so that is part of it. The other part is, she is growing into her adult body, which may not be super slim, and that's OK. The third part of it is, she (and everyone else) needs to know about good nutrition and developing healthy habits.

 

I would approach it this way. Talk about what YOU are doing for YOURSELF (or for the family as a whole) in terms of meal planning, including nutrition, portion control, developing habits, etc.

 

I don't believe that every mention of good health habits is going to create an eating disorder. But you need to be sure you are always focusing on health, never looks. If your daughter is that thin (assuming it's natural for her), it's not likely that she'll eat herself into obesity, at least not while she's still growing taller.

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About a year ago, my daughter went through as serious growth spurt, with pant sizes lasting only a few weeks, to emerge with a figure like a grown up woman needing clothing size 6 (as I) at 14.5 years. We have similar body types. I admit it can be quite unexpected seeing them go from a child's body to a woman's body - but that is what is happening around this age.

 

I would not mention food quantity, and I would not demand that your DD cut out all sugar and junk food.

I would talk about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and the importance of being fit and active - and, more importantly, model such eating and activity.

With a young girl who is of normal weight I would always prefer to emphasize exercise and activity over dietary restrictions.

I would also address eating out of boredom; it is easy to mindlessly much stuff.

Edited by regentrude
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She's obviously growing. I ate a lot at that age and grew over 8" in less than a year, going from petite to average height/weight caused a lot of hunger.

 

My teen son could eat more than my dh and me combined at one meal. Then one day I noticed that he had shot up over 6", his shoulders got broad and he's now bigger than my dh.

 

She'll slow down the eating on her own after her growth spurt. A 14yo in size 3 is really, really tiny...

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Don't. She's going through a growth spurt and unless everyone on both sides of your family for generations are extremely tiny, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Seriously, it is probably just normal growth, especially as it is likely her last growth spurt. If she were a boy, would this even cross your mind?

 

Honestly, I think a LOT of my weight issues are centered around the big deal people made about me being 5'6" and 130some pounds at 13. I was put on a diet. What I wouldn't do to be just 160 pounds now!

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She's obviously growing. I ate a lot at that age and grew over 8" in less than a year, going from petite to average height/weight caused a lot of hunger.

 

My teen son could eat more than my dh and me combined at one meal. Then one day I noticed that he had shot up over 6", his shoulders got broad and he's now bigger than my dh.

 

She'll slow down the eating on her own after her growth spurt. A 14yo in size 3 is really, really tiny...

 

:iagree: Some kids grow out a little before they shoot up, and still end up with perfectly normal proportions in the end.

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DD is 14 and though she's thin she's putting on weight rapidly. She went from a size 1 to a 3 at the beginning of November and now she's outgrowing her size 3 pants.

 

She's a former athlete and is still made up of a lot of muscle but she can seriously out eat DH. It's not necessarily what she's eating but more about the quantity and that makes me wary of broaching the subject with her. If I could just say for health reasons she needed to cut out sweets and junk it wouldn't worry me as much as talking portions with her.

 

How do you tell a young girl she needs to eat less without planting a seed for some kind of eating disorder?

 

I don't know...Maybe I'm over thinking this thing.

Was she breastfed, especially for a long time? That makes a real difference, as the breastfed kids often gain at puberty and then slim way down. I've noticed it in several families.

 

When not breastfed, they may stay really slim but then balloon out later, a worse result!

 

It is NORMAL to eat like a horse when you are 14! They are growing and changing rapidly. Most boys grow half a foot or more that year (with girls, it is usually a little earlier).

 

Is she getting some exercise and eating mostly good, healthy foods? Then she's fine! I wouldn't talk about quantity, but make sure your family emphasizes quality of foods as important.

 

By the way, I watched a fascinating documentary today called, "Forks over Knives" with lots of medical information about how processed food does not engage our fullness and stretching receptors in the stomach so people necessarily overeat this food because they are honestly not feeling full. But the same is not true for whole plant-based foods. Very interesting!

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As long as she's eating healthy food, I don't see a problem. First of all a size 3 is not big for a 14-year-old. I'd also consider that age to be "growing girl" so it would be normal to put on weight when you're growing, right? I mean, even a 5/6 is not a huge size.

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I will admit to not reading all the replies so this may be a repeat. As long as you are modeling good eating habits and encouraging physical activity you probably don't need to do anything. I was an athlete and at 14 I could easily eat two big macs at one meal (not that my parents let me do that often because we ate ate home). Going up in pant sizes at 14 is pretty normal as girls begin to mature. If your daughter isn't currently overweight don't worry about it. Portion size should only become an issue if she is at an unhealthy body weight or fat percentage. Otherwise, chalk it up to a growth spurt and don't allow excessive amounts of fast food or junk food. I grew 2 more inches after graduation so she's probably still growing too.

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No one is to comment on how much or how little another person ate. It flat out isn't their business. (Unless you're mom or dad training a young one to 'just eat till they're full', IYKWIM.)

 

:iagree: So glad to see someone else who feels this way. I find it astonishing how many people find it acceptable to comment on what a child eats when they would never make such comments to an adult. "Aren't you going to drink your milk?" "You didn't eat any strawberries!" Etc. Irritating, especially when you're trying to teach your child that analogous comments like "Grandma, you ate a LOT of cake" are rude.

 

My rule of thumb, unless you're talking about a parent and child: it's rude to comment on what anyone else eats or doesn't eat.

 

Of course, that has nothing to do with the OP's question about talking to her own dd. It just reminded me of situations that we've encountered.

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I just measured her (didn't tell her why) and she was 5'5" which means she's grown an inch since the last time we checked a few months ago.

 

I don't know if this is telling of anything but even at a size 1 she was curvy. I think a lot of it was muscle....legs, shoulders, etc...but she recently needed to go from a C to a D cup which makes me think hormones are definitely playing a part in making her hungry.

 

Also, she sometimes complains of being bored so this could have something to do with it, too.

 

As far as family history, my mom and I were both very small until our late 20s. I could stand to lose 20-30 pounds at this point in my late 30s.

 

I'm not going to say anything about portions but I am going to ask her if she wants to do the couch to 5k program with me. I'll stress cardio health, not weight management, and tell her I think I'd do better with a partner...which is true.

 

Was she breastfed, especially for a long time? That makes a real difference, as the breastfed kids often gain at puberty and then slim way down. I've noticed it in several families.

 

That's interesting. She was breastfed for 11 months.

 

You said she used to be an athlete? Is she not working out now?

 

Not much. She plays outside with the kids some and occasionally shoots basketball or something but not on a regular basis.

 

She used to do competitive gymnastics.

Edited by Trresh
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Was she breastfed, especially for a long time? That makes a real difference, as the breastfed kids often gain at puberty and then slim way down. I've noticed it in several families.

 

When not breastfed, they may stay really slim but then balloon out later, a worse result!

 

 

 

 

:glare::glare::glare::glare:

 

Not true.

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I'm surprised that so many people think a size 3 is really small. I'd agree it's smallish if it's a junior size, but for a regular size I don't think it's particularly small for an athletic young teenager. Goodness, I'm a 4 and I'm carrying more weight than I should be. It isn't a large size, but it is possible to wear that size and be putting on fat. (And yes, sometimes putting on fat precedes a growth spurt, but not always.)

 

I think the exercise plan is a good one. I think Couch to 5K would be a bit on the easy side for a generally athletic teen who was a little out of shape, but some kind of consistent exercise is good for physical and mental fitness. I can't imagine how my parents or I would have survived my teen years if I hadn't been an athlete. :)

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DD is 14 and though she's thin she's putting on weight rapidly. She went from a size 1 to a 3 at the beginning of November and now she's outgrowing her size 3 pants.

 

She's a former athlete and is still made up of a lot of muscle but she can seriously out eat DH. It's not necessarily what she's eating but more about the quantity and that makes me wary of broaching the subject with her. If I could just say for health reasons she needed to cut out sweets and junk it wouldn't worry me as much as talking portions with her.

 

How do you tell a young girl she needs to eat less without planting a seed for some kind of eating disorder?

 

I don't know...Maybe I'm over thinking this thing.

 

This sounds exactly like my daughter. I understand what you are saying. I noticed the other day she is developing a little belly. No, I don't think she's unhealthy right now, but I do worry that if she does not change her eating habits she could be very soon. I think we do have to be proactive in some way. A size 3 IS small but it can climb rapidly. My girl went from the 1-3 in about 3 months. At this age I get her active in the kitchen and with grocery shopping. I've also gotten her some books (the AG book right off the top of my head) that talk about proper nutrition and exercise for teen girls. We talk about nutrition as well and I tell her about bad habits I formed as a teen that have led to me being overweight with a lot of health issues as an adult.

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As long as she's eating healthy food, I don't see a problem. First of all a size 3 is not big for a 14-year-old. I'd also consider that age to be "growing girl" so it would be normal to put on weight when you're growing, right? I mean, even a 5/6 is not a huge size.

 

There is so much vanity sizing these days that 5/6 or even 3 might not really be teeny weeny. I would go by height/ weight, not size.

 

Also (to OP) your perception of what she's eating might be incorrect, either under or over estimating. I thought my three year old was eating like a horse until I actually kept track of what she ate. It really wasn't that much. I use the calculators at database at

 

http://caloriecount.about.com/

 

My 14 y.o. son will eat an entire pizza in one sitting. That may sound like a lot but it's 1 1/2 cups flour, a little tomato sauce, and about 6 oz of cheese... about 1600 calories. A kid his age/ height needs probably about 2300-2500... which is about what he instinctively eats each day. He's 5'9" and 125 lbs.

 

Also, why a "former" athlete? 14 is kind of young to retire! Can she take up some activity, even just walking?

 

She definitely could be going through a growth spurt, as well.

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:glare::glare::glare::glare:

 

Not true.

Well, it is merely an observation on my part, based upon my obviously limited sample of relatives/friends/acquantainces as well as information my extremely experienced midwife (delivered over 600 babies + mother of five) shared with me.

 

What part is "not true" and why?

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Well, it is merely an observation on my part, based upon my obviously limited sample of relatives/friends/acquantainces as well as information my extremely experienced midwife (delivered over 600 babies + mother of five) shared with me.

 

What part is "not true" and why?

 

 

So your midwife followed the lives of all 600 kids she delieverd and she came to this conclusion??

 

You can make your limited observations, it doesn't make them true. Just another person with their very limited observations fanning the flames of the Breastfeeding wars.

 

 

Was she breastfed, especially for a long time? That makes a real difference, as the breastfed kids often gain at puberty and then slim way down. I've noticed it in several families.

 

Several families doesn't make it a fact.

 

When not breastfed, they may stay really slim but then balloon out later, a worse result!

 

Again, several families doesn't make it fact. This is just such a controversial thing to say. Can you show statistics on this?

 

I have 3 other siblings we were all breastfed, and we were slim and then all ballooned up.

 

 

Breastfed or not breastfed this is a typical age for kids to put on a little weight. It's called a growth spurt. Like a previous poster said (Mergath?) a lot of times you will see them grow out before you see them shoot up.

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My 11 year old dd is 5' and weighs 93 lbs. She wears a size 12 or 14 in kids, which I think is around a 1 in juniors. She is beginning to get quite a few curves and has a tiny bit of extra weight around her tummy (which I have just attributed to the onset of puberty and the fact that she's getting ready to shoot up in height). She eats like an adult. Sometimes I'm shocked by how much food the kid can eat. We are active and eat pretty healthy so I'm not worrying about it at all at this point.

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Momto4kids: You can make your limited observations, it doesn't make them true.

 

Several families doesn't make it a fact.

 

 

Again, several families doesn't make it fact. This is just such a controversial thing to say. Can you show statistics on this?

 

 

Goodness, I must have really hit a nerve. I was merely commenting that I have noticed this in many families. BTW, I was very successful in home birth yet not successful myself at totally breastfeeding, despite working toward that end until my nipples bled and even the lactation consultant couldn't help. I didn't have enough milk. So I am not grinding an ax here, as you seem to think I am doing.

 

Apparently, you have noticed something else, which makes our opinions just that - opinions. No offense of any kind was intended. I WISH I could have totally breastfed to a year or two and tried desperately.

 

I have 3 other siblings we were all breastfed, and we were slim and then all ballooned up.

 

 

Well, ok then. That is your experience.

 

Never breastfed here, as my mother had my same "no milk" problem, and I also gained weight because I overate especially when kids were young (and you don't go anywhere because the kids are in bed so you sit on the sofa and eat ice cream at night watching tv......well, that was me!).

 

Breastfed or not breastfed this is a typical age for kids to put on a little weight. It's called a growth spurt. Like a previous poster said (Mergath?) a lot of times you will see them grow out before you see them shoot up

 

 

I'm certain that the patterns I have noticed may not be universally true. Just noting my experience and observations, while making no judgment call either way.

 

Maybe it is entirely irrelevant. Maybe it isn't.

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I require exercise. If one of my dc is not in an organized activity which involves exercise at least 3-4 days a week, some exercise must be done. My dd (14) sport (cheerleading) alternates from 2 to 3 practices a week. I told her she had to run or add something. She's took tumbling, but she may drop it and do something else. Youngest ds (10, has down syndrome) swims 3 days a week. My oldest has always had trouble with sports. At 17 he works out in the fitness room of a community center. My dc have always been permitted to choose the activity they wanted to pursue for exercise (within family time and cost constraints), but they've always had to exercise.

 

Required exercise has not prevented weight creep in all of us. I tell the kids they could very well be at their thinnest right now and need to be careful. Dd and I were at the grocery today. I told her to pick out the snacks she wanted in the produce aisle. She knows she's been eating the wrong food too late at night. She said to me I never buy celery and she wants that. So, she picked celery and apples and romaine. Then we hit the dairy aisle and got nonfat greek yogurt. So, now she's got some choices she wants.

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Unlike myself, none of my kids have a weight issue. I give them all the advice that I wish I had the self-control to take--eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. I think that works for the vast majority of people, as long as there are no underlying issues. Teens are hungry in general, and I would expect a teen girl to go from a size 1 to a size 3 as she develops womanly curves.

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She's 5'5", a former competitive gymnast (until recently)... and 14.

 

I'm voting growth spurt and hormones (which, as you pointed out, she's went from a C to a D cup).

 

I have an athletic frame (very muscular, with curves, inverted triangle shape... wide shoulders, narrow hips...even after 5 children). When in excellent physical condition, I wear a size 4 (today's sizes) and weigh about 140 pounds... and eat about 2000 calories a day. That would be me maintaining a body fat percentage of about 18%, which is very low for a woman of my age. Which is why I'm shooting for maintaining a size 6, instead of a size 8-10. But, for a 14-25yo, living an active lifestyle -- assuming she has an athletic build -- a size 3-4 would be about perfect for a 5-5" woman.

 

I agree with everyone who says to focus on these things:

 

1) drinking water.

2) being active, for the sake of a lifetime healthy habit.

3) focusing on quality NOT quantity.

4) eating slowly, and until she feels full.

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I'm surprised that so many people think a size 3 is really small. I'd agree it's smallish if it's a junior size, but for a regular size I don't think it's particularly small for an athletic young teenager. Goodness, I'm a 4 and I'm carrying more weight than I should be. It isn't a large size, but it is possible to wear that size and be putting on fat. (And yes, sometimes putting on fat precedes a growth spurt, but not always.)

 

I think the exercise plan is a good one. I think Couch to 5K would be a bit on the easy side for a generally athletic teen who was a little out of shape, but some kind of consistent exercise is good for physical and mental fitness. I can't imagine how my parents or I would have survived my teen years if I hadn't been an athlete. :)

 

Maybe sizes have changed? I was a 5/6 in 8th grade and crazy thin. Three doesn't sound big to me for someone who's 5'5".

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Maybe sizes have changed? I was a 5/6 in 8th grade and crazy thin. Three doesn't sound big to me for someone who's 5'5".

 

That's what I was thinking. At the time I got pg with my oldest I was 5'4", 118lbs and in a size 9. I was very thin, but I had slightly wider hips (chilbearing hips my mom used to say when I was a teen). If my hips were narrower I would have been in a 6 or so. My aunt was in a 1 back then and I remember her being pencil thin with zero hips or curves. I would think that moving from a 1 to something larger to accomodate hips and womanly curves developing would be a good thing.

 

OP I must say too at 5'5" your daughter is now taller than me. My ds13 that I mentioned is 5'1 or 2" and 120ish lbs, so a little overweight. My dd 12 that I mentioned being in a size 10 children's is 4' something, not sure of her exact inches but she comes to my shoulder and I am 5'4" so I am thinking about 4.5 feet ish and she weighs 63lbs. She is a tiny little thing but is just starting to develop her curves. If she suddenly jumped 2 sizes I would likely be shocked at first but then realize it is just a growth spurt. Unless there was no upward growth at all.

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I think sizes have changed quite a bit. I'm probably 2? inches shorter than the 14 year old, am a couple months pregnant, carrying extra weight before that, and I'm a 4 right now according to Target and Old Navy. I'm normally built muscularly with curves, and have some hips. Right now I'm beyond that into slightly overweight. I am far larger than most athletic young teen girls.

 

My point about the size is that it is still possible to be unhealthy at that size, at that height. With the way sizes run today, it isn't necessarily a shockingly small size.

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I was crazy thin and wore a size 7 at 5'8".

I think they have altered sizes downward to fool women into thinking they are smaller.

 

My daughter is 5'8", only a little over 100 pounds and wears a 3, sometimes 5, depending on cut.

 

I was slightly taller and only a few pounds heavier at her age and I think I wore a 9.

Edited by TranquilMind
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I just measured her (didn't tell her why) and she was 5'5" which means she's grown an inch since the last time we checked a few months ago.

 

I don't know if this is telling of anything but even at a size 1 she was curvy. I think a lot of it was muscle....legs, shoulders, etc...but she recently needed to go from a C to a D cup which makes me think hormones are definitely playing a part in making her hungry.

 

Also, she sometimes complains of being bored so this could have something to do with it, too.

 

As far as family history, my mom and I were both very small until our late 20s. I could stand to lose 20-30 pounds at this point in my late 30s.

 

I'm not going to say anything about portions but I am going to ask her if she wants to do the couch to 5k program with me. I'll stress cardio health, not weight management, and tell her I think I'd do better with a partner...which is true.

 

 

 

That's interesting. She was breastfed for 11 months.

 

 

 

Not much. She plays outside with the kids some and occasionally shoots basketball or something but not on a regular basis.

 

She used to do competitive gymnastics.

 

Children and teens, when well fed and properly nourished, eat to grow and will often eat like a truck driver to meet their enhanced calorie requirements needed for growth spurts. If she is not eating crappy foods, but eating healthy foods and it's just a matter of portion sizes - I'd let it go, she's likely in a growth spurt, especially if she's grown an inch in the last month - do you realize the calorie requirement to do that? To gain a full inch in a month with it's anticipated additional 10-pounds? Try an excess of 35,000 calories in the month! That calorie need will come from fat stores she lays prior to the growth spurt and calories she's eating in excess of basal needs. The body knows when it's getting ready to grow more and triggers hunger to lay fat in storage to allow for that growth!

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I think they have altered sizes downward to fool women into thinking they are smaller.

 

My daughter is 5'8", only a little over 100 pounds and wears a 3, sometimes 5, depending on cut.

 

I was slightly taller and only a few pounds heavier at her age and I think I wore a 9.

 

It also depends on the size of a persons frame, body fat percentage, etc...

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Well, if you're into it I'd do so from a Biblical approach and I'd also consider using words like healthy and unhealthy vs fat and thin. Don't destroy her body image!

 

If she's an active athletic she's going to NEED to the excess calories because she's using them, however if she's not using them she'd only be finding that excess calories resting somewhere on her persons.

 

You could also approach it as a health class if she's homeschooled. ;) Don't be pushy about it, just bring out the books as though it were a new subject. :D

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I don't have a teen, but with my large eight year old I made a point of reconstructing our kitchen.

 

I keep the fruit he loves on hand. I have a rule for everyone, "one dessert a day, period," and I make low cal meals he loves.

 

I also don't buy ice cream, cookies, or any of that. Yes, we have some candy around, but not high fat stuff. For awhile I was letting him have Weight Watchers desserts. He loved them and never saw the wrappers so didn't know they're WW.

 

I don't allow either of my boys to eat in front of a show or in their bedrooms.

 

We also all -- even our skinny boy -- talk about balanced eating. In other words, we eat really well the week or so before we go on vacation where we know there will be "fun" food.

 

We do the same w/ Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. but I also limit how much "fun" food is around on the holidays.

 

We also talk about what a "serving" really looks like. Many in our culture think 1/2 a pizza is a serving. Of course, it's not. I've taught my boys how to read food labels and none of it is directed at my bigger boy. My thin boy needs to learn healthy habits as much as the other son.

 

We also rarely to never eat at fast food restaurants. I almost said "never," but I occassionally grab a bean burrito at Taco Bell. Just a bean burrito -- never anything else. And I share it w/ my bigger boy as a snack not a meal. My thin boy won't eat anything at the place.

 

I think the moms and dads can go a long way in helping to establish lifelong healthy eating habits. (And, with this plan, of course nothing happens overnight.)

 

I'd focus less on her clothes size and more on developing good habits.

 

Alley

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She's fourteen? And a size three? I really don't think you have anything to worry about. At all. Honestly, if you tried to talk to her, I think you'd do more damage than good. Kids grow rapidly at that age and go through growth spurts. Unless she's actually overweight, I'd leave her be.

 

 

:iagree:

 

At 14 I think I was a 5. When I was 17 I was a 9. I was *NOT* fat or overweight. I just grew. I had a 22 inch waist. I had to wear a 9 because of the 36 inch hips I was blessed with.

 

I would wait and see, it could just be the holidays too :)

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