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I...have...HAD IT!!! with DD's food issues. - Page 2

post #21 of 74
Thread Starter 
Thank you... I admit I am very cranky today. Very, very cranky. Will review recent posts.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells View Post
I'm really amazed at the number of people on the Nutrition forum who think a diet of 85% Kellogg's cereal and 15% Elio's frozen pizza is an acceptable diet, and that my concern about it is the only problem.

Many reponses seem to assume, despite all that I've written to the contrary, that DD is generally eating from all food groups and that I'm just cranky because she didn't eat all her green beans. Or that I think she should clear her plate.

She eats nothing but cereal and the occasional bit of the poorest quality pizza you can buy.

I am really honestly stunned by this attitude. It's like telling a parent of a child with a major heart disease and experiencing problems with it that "way too much of your life is centered on your child's disease." Not only that, it's like THE SPECIAL NEEDS board telling a parent that. Since here I am supposedly writing on a forum filled with people interested in nutrition. Yet here you guys are, telling me that my child's diet is fiiiiiine and I need to take a chill pill, because we all know that Kellogg's Corn Flakes alone will feed a growing child optimally.

The irony strikes me that probably most of you guys are pro-breastfeeding because of all the benefits. But I guess the minute the kid is weaned, Kellogg's is all your child needs for a strong body and mind.
Oh, I'm not telling you that your child's diet is fiiiiiiiiine. I said I'd get rid of the cereal. *I* don't feed my child cereal because it's crap. *I* don't have it in the house. *I* don't offer them crappy frozen pizza. *I* don't start my day out by asking my child over and over again what she would eat. I put food in front of my girls --who, again, are also really, really small for their age--and if they don't eat it, they don't eat it.
If I played games and when those didn't work, they got to have a big bowl full of crappy cereal with Daddy, or a big old slice of crapizza, I guarantee that's what they would have. And it wouldn't be their problem. It would be mine.
post #23 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Nak...

My DD has nursing issues, so my new best friend is a pediatric dysphagia specialist. And through her, I've learned that picky eating is a much more complicated issue than I had previously thought.

This is from her website. Basically, if you feel you're doing everything "right" and still have problems, an expert can help you find therapies to help her accept new textures, etc. I'm not saying that your DD has a problem that's more than youthful stubbornness or a love of pizza; I'm not qualified to say either way. But I did want to throw it out there that pickiness really can lead to more serious problems down the road, and that there are experts out there that can help.
Thanks for the link, and I read through all of it.

The things I've taken away from that link and previous suggestions are:

1) Tiny, tiny portion sizes. I do feel like this would help. I think one reason DH gives huge portions, besides just not thinking about it (I think he does it without thinking; to him a bowl of cereal is a huge thing so he pours the same bowl he'd do for himself) is just so he doesn't have to constantly retop the bowl. Well, I'm willing to retop it 100 times. She DOES eat better with tiny portions. Sometimes she'll ask for more before she's even begun but I know better: "sure, as soon as you eat that, I'll give you more. There's plenty."

2) She has responded well to some "fun" in foods, though even that's gone out the window lately. But she saw a recipe for "rainbow rice balls" once, and I steamed brown rice in beets and added tiny beet chunks for a pretty pink color, along with cheese and basil (she actually likes basil). And it's not enough to have it pretty colors, I have to shape it into a ball. Fine I'll shape it into a dinosaur if it helps. Heck, maybe I CAN, I do have a huge collection of cookie cutters... HMM, I gotta think what I could cut out with those cookie cutters!!! Giraffe PB&Js? Lion-shaped homemade pizza? Maple-leaf shaped ... what, help me out here guys!! I think this could actually help!!

3) I do have a few dishes that are interesting. I have a dish meant for devilled eggs, they have cute ducks and bunnies on them. And I can put tiny foods in the spots for each egg - a devilled egg in one, 3 olives in another, you get the idea. I did actually try this a month ago and she was excited but didn't eat much. But I can try again. I also have an Asian rectangle flat plate that she likes. Maybe I could even take her to the store and have her pick out a special plate or bowl of her very own. Our dish collection is 100% eclectic anyway, nothing matches. I'm willing to go so far as to associate a certain dish with a certain plate. So rice and beans ONLY go into this cool dish. Apple and peanut butter snacks ONLY go into this other cool dish. Hey, I think this is a cool idea, I might ask her to buy FIVE very different plates and bowls, and let her decide what goes in each of them. So if she wants the special BRIGHT RED SQUARE PLATE she knows that hamburger goes on it. Of course the drawback is that she might just request a food because she likes the dish but still refuse to eat the food. But worth a shot.

4) I think the cereal just has to go. She can have oatmeal for breakfast, or fruit and cheese. She can have dinner for breakfast for all I care but I think she is literally addicted to cereal, the quick rush of sugar to the bloodstream. Cereal is VERY easy to digest - it just doesn't last long or help a growing body. I'm fine with cereal in moderation, but moderation doesn't seem to be happening. She may be like me - I don't moderate very well. I have a sweet tooth, and the easiest way for me to fight it is to eschew it totally. Some people don't understand and think that I'm making sugar a bigger thing than it has to be, but it's the opposite. When I moderate, sugar is always there in my mind, lurking, a temptation. When I completely take it out of my diet, it's gone. No struggle. I move on with my life. Maybe she's like that too. She can still get treats every now and then, but I think she's literally dependent on cereal, and maybe it should just go.

5) I should follow a stricter schedule for meals and snacks. We all tend to eat just whenever. We are all home together (DH and I work from home and DD homeschools) so schedules just aren't a major factor for us. I do, however, appreciate the value of a schedule. We don't let DD go hungry, believe me, but maybe just saying, "OK, it's 12 o'clock and that means we eat lunch. And there's no more food until the 2:30pm snack" might make a shift in her thinking. Right now, it's like her whole life is a great big smorgasboard. Well, a smorgasboard with only cereal on it. Whenever she's hungry she gets the food, but it is better to have a predictable routine. Maybe letting her experience hunger might help too (I know that sounds bad, but I don't mean it like that - but she expects if she's hungry, that she will be fed within 3 minutes. As opposed to, it's 4:30 and getting close to dinner, and we start getting hungry and look forward to dinner and anticipate it).

I do expect and accept "phases" - if she goes through a few days when she hardly eats anything, DH worries a lot but I tell him it's ok. Then, sure enough, she'll go through a day or two where she eats quite a bit. I expect that. And I don't expect perfect nutrition every day. If she gets enough protein in a WEEK I'm good. I know I sound overanxious to most people, but honestly I'm laid-back about this stuff - to a point.
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2mygirl View Post
Oh, I'm not telling you that your child's diet is fiiiiiiiiine. I said I'd get rid of the cereal. *I* don't feed my child cereal because it's crap. *I* don't have it in the house. *I* don't offer them crappy frozen pizza. *I* don't start my day out by asking my child over and over again what she would eat. I put food in front of my girls --who, again, are also really, really small for their age--and if they don't eat it, they don't eat it.
If I played games and when those didn't work, they got to have a big bowl full of crappy cereal with Daddy, or a big old slice of crapizza, I guarantee that's what they would have. And it wouldn't be their problem. It would be mine.

I was really judgemental (not to their face, but in my head) of people who had kids with food issues when my oldest was little. I thought there had to be something THEY were doing wrong to cause it. My oldest child ate almost anything, no problems at all.......Then my 2nd was born. I took the same food approach but this one eats very, very few foods. I know about nutrition, I know how to cook, I know about food! However , it made no difference. Sometimes a kids food issues are part of their make-up. That's how they are. Some outgrow it with patience, others don't. It's not always something the parents are doing wrong, but sometimes there are things a parent can do to help their child with this issue. Sometimes the kid will defy all attempts. I don't believe it's usually a willfulness or stubbornness issue, I believe a lot of times it's a sensory issue.
I'm touchy myself on this subject because of some opinionated people who assumed that my child is picky because of something I did. What they don't know is that my first child was usually in the 90th to 110th percentile in growth and height. Clearly he wasn't fussy.

Note to people on the other end of this spectrum...people with 'big' kids......my first is now all grown up and tall and thin.
post #25 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagull View Post
I am with you that there is no difference between Raisin Bran and Coco Puffs, but there are better choices for packaged cereal. We only use plain cheerios. If your dd is eating bowls of the sugar stuff, no wonder she isn't in the mood for other food. It must be so frustrating to try to cook for your family. I guess if it was my child, I would find a doctor to run an allergy panel. What if your child has an allergy or intolerance to milk for example, that is mild enough to not show obvious symptoms but would make the child not feel like eating more food. Is your child really active? I know that my "picky eater" will eat anything in sight after swimming. So that is when I load up raw veggies in the cooler.
Good luck.
I would love it if we only had plain Cheerios in our house. If I were a single mom, that would be it. But I'm half of a parenting team, and DH brings home the cereal he likes. (I am unable to drive so he does the grocery shopping - he knows my feelings on cereal and that's all I can really do).

She eats these cereals which I am ok with in moderation (though we've NOT acheived moderation with them):
- Special K
- Rice Krispies
- Cheerios
- Kashi
- Corn Flakes

And the stuff we consider treats but DH stll buys:
- Raisin Bran
- Honey Bunches of Oats
- Life

An allergy panel is a consideration. If I ask for an allergy panel, do I need to be able to say what I suspect, or do they just do a general panel? Because I have no idea what she could be allergic to, if anything.

And I'm not sure if I can say how active DD is. I don't know anything about kids, really, just DD. I'm certain she's not lethargic. She swims, plays. She can jog with me for about a half mile, sometimes up to a mile. She is not as active as other kids I see, she can't climb things (hypotonic) and is quite calm compared to hyperactive children. I think she's normally active, though possibly a little on the "less active" side but not "sedate."

I have, however, noticed that large amounts of activity don't seem to affect her in terms of appetite nor sleep. It's weird, we can spend all day outside running and swimming and her appetite is the same and she doesn't go to bed any earlier. The only time I ever saw that happen was when we went to Disney, and she conked out in the car on the way home.
post #26 of 74
My ds is also rather picky, as is a close friend of his. I've seen his friend's parents struggle with her over the foods she will eat, and get angry about her issues. I get angry with ds about it too sometimes (especially the throwing away good food), but really I think it's wise to avoid a power struggle around food, which is what it sounds like you've ended up with. I think it's the age and unfortunately as the mom of a seven year old, I have to say it does continue or in some cases get worse as they get older. One thing: it's better not to call sweet foods a treat, but instead call them what they are sweets; in our house treats mean toys or getting to do something you really love.
You don't mention meat. Are you vegetarians or does she refuse meat? Does she have food allergies or intolerances? Was she born premature? Many premies aren't aware of their own hunger. Does she eat when she's around other kids eating things she wouldn't normally eat? I know a lot of folks say just cut out all the junk and let them go hungry until they eat acceptable foods, but I know in our case if we do that, ds will have terrible temper tantrums and be impossible to deal with, because he will let himself get that hungry. If she has so many things she won't eat, she could benefit from treatment by a feeding specialist -- can you call your pediatrician or children's hospital for a referral?
I would guess gluten and dairy would be her most probable sensitivities, as they are common, and since they are some of the few foods she will eat (both because they are addictive if there is an intolerance and because eating a lot of something frequently can cause an issue). Also, gluten and casein both exacerbate sensory issues in those who are sensitive, which in turn makes them picker eaters (vicious cycle).
Will she drink green smoothies?
post #27 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I'd be totally concerned too and it would not be acceptable to me for my DD, 5, to eat that way. I think everyone is telling you to chill out because you seem like you're wigging out, and that you are blaming yourself way too much. Try to break it down, what is going on, and figure out how you can change it.
I am known to wig and I acknowledge that. Unfortunately, I tend to wig more when people tell me I'm overreacting

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
What time do you usually eat? What's your daily routine like? Are there any times of day that she actually seems hungry? Do you have any kind of schedule of when and where she eats? It sounds like she is making a lot of the choices and it's making you nuts. What's her activities like during the day--is she doing anything active to stimulate her appetite?
I've responded to each post in turn so in a previous reply I admitted that our eating routine could use improvement. We don't have artificial schedules due to our lifestyles, so we would have to make the effort to implement one. Which I'm willing to do.

She probably does something moderately active 6 out of 7 days a week - going to a playground, swimming at the lake or Y, jogging with us, or playing with the kids next door (they are an exercise routine of their own, believe me). She is not the most active kid in the world, but does get outside and do stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
It's great that she likes fruit--what do you think she likes about fruits? The colors or the sweetness? Would she try something like sweet potatoes with a little maple syrup? Can you slice strawberries into salad and get her to try it that way?
Yeah, she likes fruit because it's sweet. She has my sweet tooth. Though some people have some (valid) concerns about the glycemic index of fruit, I do not restrict whole fruit at all. Juice is considered a treat, but whole fruit is a perfectly valid food to eat around here - it can be dinner for all I care. I also do make her smoothies. I dump coconut oil in them to get some fat into her, but my attempts at sneaking protein (namely peanut butter or tahini) have failed I got caught. I've been known to sneak single leaves of baby spinach in, too, but I can't get away with it too much because it turns it quite green. Yes, I'm willing to serve sweet potatoes with maple or honey or applesauce with plenty of cinnamon. Good idea. The strawberries in a salad would not fly, though We typically add a bit of fruit to our salads and she would never, ever, ever, ever eat a leaf of lettuce or spinach. Just the berries. And she'd probably reject them just for TOUCHING greens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Sounds like smaller portion sizes are a must. Personally--I might just stop buying cereal. But if you don't, what if you buy her own small cereal bowl. Make it special. Let DH know that is her bowl for cereal snacks.
Sounds brilliant, and she has 2 such bowls but if they are dirty DH will reach for whatever. LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
All you can really do is keep offering the good stuff, and keep the bad stuff out of the house. Sounds like it will be a major battle with your DH, but it might be worth it. We make our own pizza once a week, and then I have leftovers on hand. Not as bad as the frozen stuff, at least I know what's in it and the quality of the ingredients.
I consider my homemade pizza a health food, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
My DD turned 5 in April and she weighs 36 lbs. She's slender but not skinny, and perfectly fine according to the dr. I find she likes plain foods--so, sliced chicken, single vegetables, not big on sauces or casseroles. She also changes her palate fairly regularly. A few months ago she was big on "yummy yummy tilapia" and then told us last night that she doesn't like it anymore. She has also informed me that she is no longer into string cheese or a "granola bar person" anymore. I find that usually happens once I buy in bulk from Costco. So, now the puzzle is figuring out what she IS into now. I think she's a good eater, but in a way we're playing the same guessing game that you are.
But when she rejects tilapia, does she replace it - sooner or later - with something else she likes? Mine is not and we're down to just about nothing at this point.
post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells View Post



But when she rejects tilapia, does she replace it - sooner or later - with something else she likes? Mine is not and we're down to just about nothing at this point.
So far, yes. She used to really like mixed diced veg--I bought a 5lb bag of it at Costco and she decided no more! But then she got into carrots with ranch dressing. So, okay.

I mentioned schedule--I don't ever tell her she can't eat if she's hungry and it's off "the schedule" but what I do when she's hungry at 4 is feed her a mini-meal. If she's really hungry at 4, and dinner is coming soon, I make her a plate of a few pieces of sliced chicken, carrots or broccoli and dip, string cheese in the past or some crackers and cheese. That way, I know she's getting something "meal-like" when she is hungry. I cook a couple of chicken breasts every Monday and keep them in the fridge-I actually started that last year because I needed to lose weight and I visited a nutritionist. I keep them on hand for salads and to add to pasta meals where I don't want to fill up on carbs and my husband does.
post #29 of 74
Hmm. DD's a surprisingly good eater now, at 2.5, but when she was 1-2 she vastly preferred breastmilk over solids. I found that she got bored with eating if I didn't sit with her. Even when she was physically capable of feeding herself, and presumably hungry, she didn't want to sit there alone and eat. The more involved I was - not cajoling, but sitting there talking to her, giving her a bite, giving her the spoon, letting her feed me - the more she'd eat. She's still a bit like that (although she makes an exception for things she REALY loves, like pastries and chips!).

Have you noticed she eats more if you're engaged with her during the meal? Or, heck, if you're not?

My only other idea is making some of her healthy foods less healthy (temporarily!) to wean her off cereal. I mean, if the alternative is her eating sugar-laden cereal, you may as well add a ridiculous quantity of maple syrup to yoghurt and offer her that. It'll be more nutritious (well, I believe processed cereal is actually harmful, not just worthless, so it's definitely an improvement on that!).Then maybe, after a while, you can start decreasing the maple syrup.

Honestly, though, it sounds like she could use a good workup for... something. Allergies? I don't know, but I think you may be at the point where medical intervention is required. Isn't there some vitamin or mineral deficiency that causes loss of appetite? I don't think you're making a mountain out of a molehill at all, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you.
post #30 of 74
OK, here's what I was thinking earlier - I think some of it has already been mentioned though (I just skimmed replies):

It does sound like more than just "picky" eating to me.

*does she have sensory issues related to food? This is not something I know much about (I have one kiddo with SPD but he's a seeker, not an avoider, so I haven't needed to research that particular topic much), but if you think this is a possibility, there are moms on the special needs forum who will be able to give some pointers.

*I would seriously look into allergies/intolerances. You could get her allergy tested, but the testing most doctors do will only look for true allergic reactions, not sensitivities or intolerances. The best way to find out is to try eliminating the foods that you suspect may be causing problems. Dairy and gluten are the 2 most common, soy and corn are common as well. It sounds like she is probably eating a lot of wheat and corn in the cereals, and I'm assuming she's having milk with the cereal too? Kids can become very addicted to the foods they are sensitive for, and crave them (and refuse to eat anything else). Honestly I would probably cut the cereal out completely. That tends to be easier for a lot of people than trying to moderate their intake of a food that is addictive/problematic.

*Could be nutritional deficiencies involved. I think it is a zinc deficiency that can cause suppressed appetite? Have you tried any supplements for her? I'd at least try to get a good quality multivitamin & mineral supplement - maybe a liquid one that you could hide in juice (does she drink juice?)

*Will she drink smoothies? You can hide lots of stuff in there

*I would really try to focus on nutrient-dense foods for when she will eat. eg. avocados, nuts, etc. It sounds like she is eating very little fat? Kids (and adults) really need healthy fats, but I'm sure you are aware of that.

*I say this gently, but... it sounds like your DH is in some kind of denial here? Or just really not on board with decent nutrition? (and I understand that you are not looking for perfection). What do you think would help get him on board? I just think you are going to have a tough time if he is constantly contradicting your efforts (plus if he does the grocery shopping, he needs to be buying appropriate foods).

*If you really don't want to cut out the cereal completely, and you can't get DH on board with this whole thing, maybe you could divide the box of cereal up into individual servings ahead of time? (just use little baggies or something - I know it's not environmentally friendly, but at least if they just have dry cereal in them you can keep reusing them for the same purpose). That way even if DD's little bowls are not available, the baggies would serve as a reminder of appropriate portions, and DH couldn't "forget" and pour a gigantic bowl.

*I don't think I would wait tooooooooooo long to see some improvement here. I know you said you don't like doctors generally (and I agree that they are not usually the best people to consult with about nutrition!!), but it is *possible* that your DD could have some kind of underlying medical issue that is affecting her appetite. Would you be willing to see a naturopath? Or even a holistic nutritionist could give you some pointers (I don't think they can order tests though, but I could be wrong about that). Maybe try posting in FYT for suggestions. Maybe someone will even know of a decent doctor.

Good luck, mama, it does sound tough. I think you are right to be concerned though. If *you* think it's a problem, trust that.

ETA: Oh, and I would definitely be concerned about her iron levels. It doesn't sound like she is getting much/any in her diet? (the cereal might be fortified, but if she is having it with milk, she won't be absorbing the iron well. Plus you need vitamin C to absorb iron).
post #31 of 74
I haven't read most of the other answers, but I think you are headed in the right direction with limiting/eliminating choice and cutting out the struggles. I think the back & forth about "are you sure you want this" is probably feeding the fire. It sounds like it's creating a dynamic where she is getting a lot of power, and too much responsibility. I also wouldn't ask what she wants for dinner. I never ever do so with my children. I make one meal & that's it. They can eat or not, but they will not have anything else, including bedtime snack. Knowing that they would simply get a snack of their choosing an hour or two later eliminates any incentive to eat dinner. In my house, the "kitchen is closed" after dinner. A healthy child is not going to go into hypoglycemic shock because of lack of a bedtime snack.

I would definitely do away with cereal - it seems like a big problem, both nutritionally (empty calories!) and in terms of the whole struggle. I do Trader O's, but my kids can only have a small portion (one of the small Ikea kids' bowls about half full, with milk) if they're still hungry AFTER they've eaten something nutritious/protein rich for breakfast.

I would also suggest that mealtime is mealtime, and not a time when one get up & go play for a few minutes. This is a big thing for me - we sit down to eat, napkins in laps and use our manners. We don't answer the phone, play, get up and down, etc. If the kids leave the table (except to go to the bathroom or answer the doorbell, or some other such thing), dinner is over. We don't come & go.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday2004 View Post
I was really judgemental (not to their face, but in my head) of people who had kids with food issues when my oldest was little. I thought there had to be something THEY were doing wrong to cause it. My oldest child ate almost anything, no problems at all.......Then my 2nd was born. I took the same food approach but this one eats very, very few foods. I know about nutrition, I know how to cook, I know about food! However , it made no difference. Sometimes a kids food issues are part of their make-up. That's how they are. Some outgrow it with patience, others don't. It's not always something the parents are doing wrong, but sometimes there are things a parent can do to help their child with this issue. Sometimes the kid will defy all attempts. I don't believe it's usually a willfulness or stubbornness issue, I believe a lot of times it's a sensory issue.
I'm touchy myself on this subject because of some opinionated people who assumed that my child is picky because of something I did. What they don't know is that my first child was usually in the 90th to 110th percentile in growth and height. Clearly he wasn't fussy.

Note to people on the other end of this spectrum...people with 'big' kids......my first is now all grown up and tall and thin.
But your reaction is your fault. My second doesn't eat much. She's tiny. In the 3rd percentile for weight and the 5th for height. I could do what the op is doing and follow her around all day and ask what she might eat and then hop to it and cook it up right away and waste forty dollar of food a week. Or I can do what I do do. I serve healthy food. I'm amazed at parents who offer their kids junk food and then are astonished when that's what they choose to eat.
post #33 of 74
OP, I think your ideas moving forward are great, the smaller portions, fun presentation, slightly more scheduled mealtimes.

A couple more ideas....

Maybe you could try bento boxes? Those would go along with the small portions and creative presentation, and you could prepare them in advance and keep them in the fridge. Also, for green smoothies, I find that when I incorporate blueberries the whole thing is purple and not brown/green. Experiment when she's not looking, but I find that if I do a few handfuls of greens, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, the overall effect is purple. The coconut oil is a great idea as an "extra" and I sometimes do flax seed meal too. You also can try freezing the smoothies into popsicle molds to make it fun and to make manageable portion sizes for her, so you don't have to make one big smoothie that she might not be able to finish. Also, if she likes ice cream (what kid doesn't?) you could try the frozen-banana-ice-cream-trick. Slice up a banana and pop it in the freezer for at least an hour, then puree until smooth and creamy and I swear it tastes like real ice cream. No added sugar or anything. You could even sprinkle on some cereal as a topping. I also tried it recently with frozen mango chunks and it came out more like sorbet than ice cream, but still delicious.

I hear you about your DH. Mine is similar. He likes to give DS treats, and I've learned I can't stop him completely but I can set limits. DH knows it's important to me and tries to meet me in the middle. Maybe with your DH, you can ask that he only buy the cereals that are OK with you in moderation? And only offer a certain portion size (1/2 cup maybe) and then if she's still hungry, she needs to eat something else.
post #34 of 74
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the helpful comments (and I thank the unhelpful comments to take a leap). Some people are very smug when they have the opportunity to raise a child just like they like. Either they are single, their husbands are completely uninvolved, or totally onboard. And their mothers and MILs, same. Unfortunately I don't live in a bubble and I'm not the only one who affects how DD eats. Clearly I'm versed in nutrition and I'm not "astonished" that DD is eating the cereal that is offered. Making a special effort to blame me when I have ALREADY ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY (read my posts) is just unhelpful, so please get off my thread immediately and go "help" someone else if that makes you feel very big and wonderful.

OK, on to more useful things... I've talked to DH and he's at least onboard with a rule of cereal in the morning only. If she chooses a bowl of cereal for breakfast, fine. But she doesn't get cereal any other time of the day. So that means that at the end of the day, when she hasn't eaten anything, she doesn't get to fill up on cereal before going to bed.

He's also potentially open to just chucking the cereal altogether, but a little reluctant. We agreed that we'd try the cereal in the morning since we already have several boxes in the pantry. And he promised to not replace those boxes for the time being (normally he'd run out and get another box every couple of days). And we agreed if DD either 1) was eating more of other foods or 2) was NOT eating anything else (yes, total opposites) that we would not get any more cereal, period. In other words, if it's "working" enough that he feels comfortable that we can replace her calories with something else (i.e. she's eating other stuff) he's ok with not having it around. Conversely if things are so bad that she holds out for cereal and eats NOTHING ELSE I've convinced him this is a severe addiction and the cereal is just going to have to go. I hope to god this scenario doesn't happen, not only because it would be more serious, but I would be having to deal with an extremely anxious husband who, even if he's technically agreed, would not be comfortable getting rid of the only thing she eats.

DH is sort of interested in nutrition; in fact he's the one who got me started with it when we met. I did not eat vegetables at all, for example, but he liked vegetables a lot. His mom went through a health kick (like all our mothers in the 80s did, I think) and he took to it just fine. He eats more than I do, and the "extra" is not stuff I cook so it's frozen pizza or PB&J, but at the same time he eats all the from-scratch stuff from the CSA I make. But he is terrified of DD not eating enough.

The irony is, and I have to remind him of this, is that he himself was hospitalized for not eating enough as a kid. It was a terrifying experience for him. Almost traumatic, I'd say. They'd threaten him to get him to eat food. They never asked what food he liked. They told his mother what to feed him and the list had everything to do with calories and not nutrient density. He was a kid who liked carrots as a snack, and instead of finding that out and suggesting having him dip them in peanut butter, they said "no more carrots. Feed him chocolate ice cream." (He didn't even like chocolate then).

He was only a kid but I've asked him if he felt he was ill, and he did not. He felt the hospitalization was completely unnecessary and also counterproductive. He thought maybe a nutritionist might have been helpful for some gentle consults and ideas to increase the nutrient density of his favorite foods, and that would be it.

So maybe it's not ironic, but maybe this is the terror he's going through. He is desperate for DD to avoid what he went through, even if he's not being rational about it. I think he's thinking "if we don't get enough food into her somebody is going to take her away and put her in the hospital."

BTW, "thanks so much" again to the poster who felt so much enjoyment judging me and my family. Maybe the above makes it a little more clear that I'm not an idiot who is "astonished" that my kid eats junk food. I admitted it was my fault and wanted advice on how to get out of this awful cycle. I am not doing this alone, or I'm sure I'd make a lot more headway. But I'm dealing with a lot of complicated factors.

I too grew up with the FTT label hanging over my head (though never actually officially applied) and honestly, though my mother is a nurse and a cook, I ate cereal and macaroni and cheese myself throughout childhood. (I hated pizza). Now my mom rolls her eyes at what a "health nut" I am because I've learned to eat "food." These things are complicated and it must be nice to live in some other world where everything is so simple and straightforward.
post #35 of 74
I think you should try to see a specialist.
I have a cousin who was like this growing up but her list of food was slightly longer and she was chubby which is probably genetic. It started very young and was quirky and cute at first and everyone said relax she will grow out of it. She had the same list when she started high school that she had at 4 years old. Her parents aren't "crunchy" at all but definitely worried because there was no way that was good nutrition and it really handicapped her b/c she couldn't do things like go to sleepover camp.
I think they eventually saw someone and she now does eat other foods, as a high school senior, and goes to camp etc but I think it was work and not a natural progression.
My little sister really tiny as a kid and still very pick, she won't eat salad and most veggies even though she is quite concious of nutrition.
So treating it like something that will go away on its own can really backfire.
Your DH doesn't sound like he is on board with the changes you want to make. You keep saying you want to get rid of the cereal and then state he buys it and won't stop. Do you have a way you can get him to change. My DH also buys cereal all the time (although right now it is for himself) and I certainly can't stop it. How about organic versions of the same cereals so at least they are less chemically you could even put the bags in the kellogs boxes so she won't know.
I really do think you need to see a professional who know more than us on how to work on expanding a food palate since your DD doesnt seem like typical pickiness but something quite a bit more difficult.
post #36 of 74
Sorry--I had to do a quick skim of the posts as the kiddos are calling but just wanted to throw this out there...have you had her tested for any food sensitivities, etc.? I only ask because DS was a super picky eater (and addicted to cereal) for a period of time. Even though it was the organic, whole grain cereal it still wasn't good for him. Turns out he is sensitive to both gluten and dairy. He's always been thin and had been super picky removing those two things from his diet helped tramendously.

Another anecdote...my 10 year old sister-in-law has been super thin (serious FTT issues), extremely picky, only wanted to eat cereal, etc. Turns out she has a sensitivity to corn. It took 4 years for her parents to figure it out as every specialist they saw just told them she'd grow out of it or tried to put her on meds (one of which made her suicidal!). But at their wits end with her, they put her on the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet and within 3 days they saw a huge shift in her and now a couple of months later she eats a very healthy diet, is happy, has gained 9 lbs. etc.

Just a thought anyway--hang in there!
post #37 of 74
"I am really honestly stunned by this attitude. It's like telling a parent of a child with a major heart disease and experiencing problems with it that "way too much of your life is centered on your child's disease." Not only that, it's like THE SPECIAL NEEDS board telling a parent that. Since here I am supposedly writing on a forum filled with people interested in nutrition. Yet here you guys are, telling me that my child's diet is fiiiiiine and I need to take a chill pill, because we all know that Kellogg's Corn Flakes alone will feed a growing child optimally."

This is what my second post was responding to. I take offense to the fact that I read the OP, I responded kindly and suggested that the op get rid of boxed cereals and offer healthful options she herself would eat. That way food would not go to waste. I said that my girls are also really small so I know what that's like. I also thought, and think, that obsessing about a kid's diet is the most unhelpful way to deal with a "problem." It doesn't work and it just adds to your stress. Again, it took time and I worded it nicely.
The comment I got back was that I have no idea what nutrition is and what an idiot I am to think that cereal is fiiine. If op doesn't agree with me, and has no interest in my suggestions, that's fine but there is no reason to be insulting.
And, by the way after my dd1 was in NICU and having seizures and not getting oxygen and it was terrifying and it was unclear how disabling this would be to her life, the BEST advice I got was from the doctor who told me not to let our lives center around her sickness. Yes, it was part of our lives but dh and I made sure the sickness wasn't the center of our lives. DD was the center, not her issues. BEST ADVICE EVER.
post #38 of 74
I was very picky as a child. I think it stemmed from a minor psych issue. OCD? maybe.

I would rather starve than eat somthing I had previously decided in my head I would not eat. Texture was a big deal. I would rather eat bland food than something I did not understand. I loved cereal.

I also never enjoyed eating food until I was much older. In my college years I began to enjoy some favorites. When I met my husband I learned a lot. I feel like a went through some kind of food puberty. I am now a foodie.

Also, when I was younger I never experienced hunger. I would just feel faint if I hadn't eaten in a while. I used to always get upset at how people were always wanting to eat and making me eat. I still get upset with this.

--
Anyway, no advice. Just commiseration. I am going through this with my DD. I am getting what I deserve. We try not to make it an issue. I focus on nutritian and calories seperately. I try to keep only healthy foods in the house. She is only 2, so I still have a lot of control.

Really, I should be asking you for advice. What would you different?

I like the idea about super small portians. (Although, sometimes I get frustrated because if she finishes something and asks for more, by the time I get it she has changed her mind. Then I wish I had just given more to begin with. Maybe she would have ate more.)
post #39 of 74
I haven't read all the replies, so forgive me if I'm repeating... but I think I'd do a couple things:

1) stop asking her what she wants. She obviously doesn't really know, so make what you want. She can eat it or not just like she's doing now, but at least this way you'll be eating what *YOU* want to.

2) Stop giving her other options than what you made. If she doesn't want to eat pasta for dinner, fine but thats dinner.

3) Stop giving snacks, especially bed-time snacks. DS1 got like this too - but after I refused to give him snack for a few days and he went to bed hungry he stopped 100% refusing dinner.

4) As you said, cutout cereal, period. Just refuse to buy it/let it be brought into your house for a while. If its not there, its not an option.

5) Get DH on board with all of the above. If he's not on-board its not going to work. As long as she knows if she goes whining to dad for cereal he'll give in, she's not going to eat anything else.

Good luck!!
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
I just want to point out that the reason Raisin Bran is high in sugar is because of the raisins. Compare a box of Bran Flakes with Cocoa Puffs, and I think the Flakes (w/o raisins) will be a lot lower in sugar.
I agree with this to some extent. But, I was going to pick up some Raisin Bran recently, and noted that the raisins are coated, and the coating contains both HFCS and trans fats. I just wanted to scream. So...if my kids want Raisin Bran, I'll buy some bran cereal, and pour in raisins. It hasn't come up yet, though.
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