Posted by: jojo | 2008/10/15

Daughter' s diet a worry, too many carbs?

10yr old daughter is hungry all the time. Weight 37kg, height 150cm. Swims, plays outside daily, reads a lot. Eats about 9 carb portions per day, more if we let her. Pronutro and 2Weetbix for brkfst, 4/5 slices of bread daily and pasta/potato/rice at supper. Chicken, peanut butter, ham, fish as protein and 3 fruit and lotsa veg brussel sprouts, brocolli her favourite. Always 2nd helping. She eats all different foods and is not fussy. Two choc bars a week, some biscuits and sweets, will always ask for more. 11yr old brother the opposite. Never asks for food, eats all veg and fruit but no butter, marg or avo. Both like nuts and drink only soya milk.

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Our expert says:
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Dear JoJo
I worked out your daughter's BMI which equals 16,4 so although she is heavier than average for her age, she is also much taller than average and so her BMI is still within the normal range (provided her height is 150 cm?). Carbohydrates are not the problem when it comes to gaining weight at any age, but the fats we add to the carbs (sour cream and mayonnaise added to potatoes, butter or margarine on bread, crackers, etc and oil used for cooking) are usually the culprits. Fat provides 37 kJ per gram, whereas carbs only provide 16kJ of energy per gram (a considerable difference). From what you mention the carbs your lassie is eating should not cause weight gain. Nuts and peanut butter are healthy foods but they are also very high in fat and energy, so you could ensure that she has small helpings of these foods. Seeing that it does not appear that you daughter is overweight (a BMI above 19.86 is the cutoff point), I would just ensure that she does not eat too much fat and does at least 30 min of exercise (swimming, brisk walking, cycling or skipping) every day.
Best regards

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