Friday, May 13, 2011

Food Wa.rs

I may (or may not) have shared that MT (my almost 3 yr old , WHOA) is always on the thin side. (he can/does wear 12 mon/18 mon bathing suits/shorts and they fall off) He can wear the small sizes as long as the length is longer. This is all because he is absolutely NEVER hungry. Well, He never admits to being hungry. The Dr's office is constantly on me when we go in. He weighs 22-27 lbs. He fluctuates. Basically, He is the same weight as he was at his 12 month well baby check. They have suggested many different ways to bulk him up, But all include eating food, and he is simply not interested. He will go DAYS, 4 to be exact, with out mentioning hungry or eating, if I allow it. What this means is, Each meal is an epic battle. And usually an Epic Fail. And Extremely Frustrated Mommie/Toddler and a 17 month old that is learning unbecoming mealtime behavior.

Honestly, This has been going on since Birth. It took 45/50 mins to get a 4 oz bottle in him. He refused to breastfeed (latch) until he was 8ish weeks. We went to see LC's, Dr's, etc. Nothing seemed to be physically wrong. It was a huge struggle. We had a big transition to solids. But Finger foods were a huge success. Then they became the norm. I do still rely on finger foods.

The thing w/ finger foods, None of them are a constant. There is not One "Go To" meal. He could love one thing one meal and absolutely refuse to eat it the next meal/day. OR He may eat the Same thing for all 3 meals. There is no rhyme or reason. Like I stated, For me, It feels like an Epic Battle every meal.

He is old enough now that I do ask for his input when it comes to meals. I usually let him pick something that we eat. But even that can be a struggle because usually his answer is "no thanks, I fine" when I ask him to chose between X and Y. I have also tried weeks of not allowing him choose and just give him something to eat. Not allowing him to help choose does result in more of a battle.

Another tactic is, he requests to be fed. He never wanted to be fed before. (and G does not want to be fed - he feeds himself, mostly - so it is not to be like his lil bro) I attempt to feed him but I have to make sure I keep the bites at the size he wants or he will refuse to eat that bite. There is an imaginary standard of size in his head and I have to comply to this. Mind blowing .... Beyond frustrating

Also, When he announces he is done, He is Done! If it's bite 1 or bite 20 ..and He declares he is Done and if you request/get stern and make him eat another bite, All food that you got in him will be vomited all over you, him and the table. Trust me on this one. He will gag, gag and gag until he throws every last bit of this up. Maddening

I usually end up preparing 1 meal - then having to go find something else in replace of the meal he will not eat. Even if he agrees to eat a meal, he can and will change his mind before you get him to sit and eat it. I had to stop using time outs or going to bed w/o eating because, That IS what he would rather do.

All of this goes on at least 2 times a day. It STILL takes about 30-45 mins to get him to eat a very small amount of food. I am completely anxious (strung out) over all things food at our house. I do worry myself over this. Because Food affects his moods. If he has gone far too long to eat, HE is a BEAR. An Angry bear. and getting him to eat when he is in this state is like poking the angry bear .. See the Vicious Cycle?! Anxiety! Tears, "Issues".. He know he has control issues. I have NO doubt where he got those Control Issues from. Every time I look in the mirror, I am haunted by those control issues.

Most assvice I receive is to just back off and not stress over it. Let him go days w/o eating. But honestly, his attitude and tantrums are so much more fierce w/o food that either way I am damned. It does seem to get worse/better but I can not find a variable to either.

MT is delicate*. You have to handle him w care. And very gently. And sometime, I do not have the time, energy, creativity, and patience it takes hour after hour to stifle the frustrations. But, after the dust settles, My brain reminds myself of the mother I said I would be before I had children. She would have been a MUCH better mother in these situations. But she is not here, These children get Me as the mom. And I am very hard on myself ( MT inherited this trait) Which is another reason after all is said and done, I do understand him, It doesn't make it less frustrating - But I am really trying to find solutions to make everyone as happy and healthy as possible

*on another post I need to chart the many similarities of MT's conscious and Mine. He inherited quiet a few of my personality traits and I have to be so careful with the way we embrace them - because Mine were not always embraced

** the dr's have suggested food therapy and I am not sure I am interested in this,YET. Going to more dr appoints, paying co-pays, coordinating schedules and all that create more problems - So I am not sure I am interested in this avenue yet.

14 comments:

seussgirl said...

I'm so sorry you have all this extra stress! Being a mom is stressful enough. Just a thought: I can't remember how soon he turns 3, but our state has county programs that are free for under 3 for developmental issues, that include feeding struggles and sensory problems. Maybe you could find something just to get him evaluated? If he doesn't qualify, they may still have helpful tips! I sure hope you find help.somewhere!

HereWeGoAJen said...

Farah, that sucks.

If I run across any blogs with kids that have similar issues, I'll send them to you. :)

Amy said...

Lexi is 2 and still wears 18 month pants and those sometimes fall off her. She weighs 23 lbs and you can see every rib and every vertebre of her spine. Meals are a battle here as well. I try to make sure she always has snacks available to her...fruit snacks, fruit, veggies, chips, cookies (yes, I feed her these things because she needs the fat).

She refuses all meat, so I try to "hide" it in ravioli (which she will eat on occasion).

I guess I'm just sayin...you're not alone in your struggles with food. As I type this, Lexi is snacking on cheese puffs...and I don't care because she's getting some fat.

One thing I DO do is give her PediSure. She will drink that.

BigP's Heather said...

I second the pediasure. And we also use the V8 fusion drinks - she just thinks it is juice but she is getting servings of fruit and veggies too.

K won't eat veggies or meat. Every meal is a battle here too.

Also, I once knew this boy who would never eat and it turns out he a condition that his body always had a "full" signal. He never, ever felt hungry so he never wanted to eat...

Searching said...

Does NOT sound like fun!!! :( I do remember you having very rough struggles after he was born. He's been tricky and opinionated from the start!

Does he do things like gogurt, smoothies, sorbet? Def give the pediasure a shot, or Boost Kid Essentials. Does he like choco or strawberry flavoring in milk? Can he do food dyes? If yes, you can try coloring the food to make it more interesting. See if he will eat blue oatmeal or a carrot with blue sauce (ranch colored w/blue food coloring, or try fruit juice like a squished blueberry in applesauce). What about different types of utensils, containers, or bowls? If he isn't hungry then that's not much of a help, but if you can pique his curiosity you might be able to get him to eat w/o being hungry. Maybe try shapes days. One day go on a hunt for round foods and then make a game of everyone having that, then a day where you have 3 bites of each thing. They DO have therapies & even an eval would be something. Have they ruled out any medical problems? Are there certain foods he refuses to eat (proteins, dairy, soy)? Sometimes they know which foods make them feel bad and they have an underlying metabolic disorder or food intolerance. If it is ANY food (kinda sounds like that?) then I would think that's less likely to be the problem. Hang in there! You are trying your best and you ARE a great mommy!!!!

sharah said...

I was going to mention pediasure/fortified milk drinks as well, but looks like several suggestions for those already. It sucks to have to deal with this, but you aren't alone!

alison said...

Our good friends have a 4 year old with a severe feeding disorder (he actually has a g-button for nutrition, but he also had leukemia and was able to get the button because of that) (the leukemia and feeding issues are completely unrelated in his case). Anyway, he's been in the feeding disorders program at the Mun.roe-Mey.er Institute in Omaha for nearly a year now (http://www.unmc.edu/mmi/pfdclinic.htm) - it's such a slooooow journey back to "normalcy". He, like MT, was not the kid who would "eat when he was hungry" - he would just refuse to eat indefinitely.

Treatment has been a lifesaver for them, but they have a looooong ways to go as I said. If you ever want to talk to another mom who's been there, let me know and I can put you in touch with our friend, she's fab.

Barb said...

I'm so sorry Farah. You are a good Mom. You are doing the best you can. These problems are rarely as simple as the assvice suggests.

Janna said...

I'm so sorry, Farah!! We have food battles in our house as well, and they are absolutely no fun! I can't stand meal time!! I finally quit arguing with her, gave her the plate and walked away because I was tired of the tantrums that ended in me cleaning up vomit. And there were times when she would eat just a few bites and she was done. So I started giving her Pediasure in the mornings with breakfast. She has gained, and honestly I think it's because of the Pediasure. I know there are days when she doesn't get the amount of calories that she should get, so I'll give her another Pediasure with dinner. I sneak her cookies and candy because I can't let my other daughter see it due to her being a few pounds overweight, but I know that she needs the calories. I know it's not ideal, but I have a friend whose a dietician who said at this point she just needs fat, no matter where it comes from. Food issues are horrible, and I truly do feel for you. I'm so sorry!!! Praying it gets better really soon!!!

hope548 said...

That sounds so incredibly frustrating. I get frustrated with mine sometimes, but it doesn't compare to this. I hope you turn a corner soon.

Jen said...

Farah, that sounds awful! I know they get pickier the older they get... I'm sure you have checked, but does he have reflux or any other digestion issues that make him uncomfortabe to eat more than small portions? It could very well be personality, but since he's been doing it since he was a newborn it makes me wonder...

Suzy, Not a Fertile Myrtle said...

Ugh. I wish I had some advice or assvice for you. I do know that a friend's son had similar issues and they did food therapy and it was a big help to them.

Hope the battle doesn't last too much longer.
{hugs}

Stacy said...

Farah, we have know a child that we have seen grow up and he only eats/drinks 3 things. French fries, pizza, and milk. He has sensory issues and those are the only foods he will consume. He is now 13, having lived off of this diet his entire life. He is skinny but doing just fine otherwise. I don;t knwo if he gets multi vitamins or not but I kow when we were ahving trouble getting James to eat anything but chicken nuggets and Dr. Amy suggested giving him a multi vitamin. We started when he was 3ish and still continue now.

Katie said...

I'm SURE you have tried this, so I am sorry it's probably useless assvice, but have you tried pediasure? Or making him milkshakes? I mean, I know you don't need to be making a special meal or anything, but I was the same way when I was a toddler and my pediatrician used to have my mom make me milk shakes and put that pasteurized egg product and carnation instant breakfast in them to bulk up the calories. She would put peanut butter, bananas, anything she could dream of to make them more caloric and fattening.

Also, is he congested at all? Will didn't want to eat before his adenoidectomy. The ENT who removed them said eating would have actually have been painful because of how enlarged they are. Just a thought?

Anyway, I also agree with others. Most states have programs that will pay for issues like this because it is threatening his health and well-being. Perhaps ask your pediatrician's office for information on how you can qualify for this. I'm sorry this sucks so much, please keep us posted.