It's this last behavior that disturbs me. Most people I know, including K's brother M, will not eat through their protein, salad, vegetables, and whole grain at dinner, declare they're "stuffed," and STILL insist on the cookie I refused them at lunch. If they get the cookie, they will not eat it all. If they do eat it all, they will not beg other family members for tastes of theirs.
When we ask K, "Does your tummy want that, or just your eyes?" she always responds, "My tummy." When we tell K, "We're going to wait 5 minutes to make sure we have enough room for dessert," she waits and then eats even if the rest of us don't. K once sold M a toy she had purchased with $19 of her own money so she could use the $2 he gave her in a vending machine. For a candy bar. This kid listens to her desire more than to her physical hunger, no matter what.
My question: Should we get her professional help?
K's BMI jumped up this past year. She'd always been a little higher in her weight percentile than her height percentile, but now the gap is considerable. She's strong as a little ox--and we know muscle weighs more than fat--but her pediatrician is concerned.
In case you're interested:
-We eat a high-vegetable diet with little meat.
-We eat no white grains and little flour.
-We eat little sugar that isn't in fruit, and almost no juice.
-We eat breakfast.
-We put vegetables on the table first and leave them there. Higher-calorie foods remain on the kitchen counter.
-We allow one treat per day--that's our control. We allow the kids to choose what it is--that's theirs. We regulate the portion size, of course. And we never have truly decadent food in the house anyhow.
I serve healthy food in a health-supportive way. I can't help it if K suddenly rejects a chicken dish she used to love and loads up on mashed potatoes, or trades away her unsweetened peanut butter sandwich at lunch for someone's Trix Yogurt and sugary granola bar.
My question: As the family cook, what else can I do?
I have my own weight and food-related issues, among them shame. (I could write a blog just on these.) I've put on weight since becoming a parent, but aside from the number on the scale, none of my other numbers have changed (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterols). I model good eating habits by focusing on lean proteins and produce, chewing my food, and trying to eat only until I'm satisfied, not stuffed. And I still beat myself up.
My question: How can I help K regain a healthy weight without bringing my issues to bear on her?