or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Adoption related-Still food obsessed
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adoption related-Still food obsessed - Page 6  

post #101 of 343
I can understand what the PPs have said about not being able to get this thread off their minds; and also about forum crashing -- mea culpa.

I would like to second (and third, and fourth) the other suggestions of increased fat and protein. When I was a child, my mom went through a phase of feeding us very low fat foods. We ate a lot of skinless chicken breast and spaghetti with veggie sauce. During that time, I remember being a bottomless pit. At dinner, I could easily eat 3 or 4 times what my father ate. I was 9 or 10, I think. I would sit at the table past everyone else, continuing to shovel it in. I was really actually hungry, not just grazing. The only time I was satisfied was if I made my own breakfast, which was always heavy on the peanut butter. I think it's quite possible that this little girl is really hungry, despite having gained weight (I sure did, on that diet) and not just seeking comfort or satisfying some pathological need.

I also looked at the picture the OP provided. She does look to be a healthy weight, but I wouldn't call her chubby, really. Her legs and arms look pretty lean to me, and even her belly seems pretty solid. I certainly wouldn't worry about giving her more food if she wants it. But good food, like PPs have suggested like guacamole and hummus, high protein-high fat type things.
post #102 of 343
I don't think the OP has posted a picture of her DD.
post #103 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
I don't think the OP has posted a picture of her DD.
This is what comes from reading responses and not paying so much attention to who posted them! My mistake. It was someone else posting a picture of *their* child. Well, that child doesn't look chubby either
post #104 of 343
Being an adoptive parent also doesn't *preclude* one from having "issues" either.

To be honest, from the way that the OP has presented things, I do think that there is some of the OP's own food issues involved here, it's not like she has not been relatively open about that. I'm a familiar face on this forum, am I allowed to say that?

The stress of foster (and adoptive) parenting often brings out one's issues. Even run of the mill parenting can, much less parenting a special needs kiddo!

I think that while obviously, there is more in play here than the interior life of the parent, it doesn't mean that that sholdn't be addressed.

OP, have you had any success finding a physician experienced working with children who suffer from aftereffects of neglect?
post #105 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
I hear what you are saying and agree with a lot of it. But I'm going to assume that this mother knows the child well enough to know that there's something wrong here. That it's not just a matter of giving the child more to eat. And there could be a hundred things going on. Attachment issues are just a small piece of what can happen to a child who spends her first months in institutional care. And according to this child's measurements, she is tiny but apparently doesn't look that way in real life. My STBAD was about the same size at 19 months but she LOOKED tiny. Except for her round toddler tummy. Something is apparently different with THIS child.
I agree with you, that the mom does know that something is wrong. and I am very impressed and glad that she is reaching out for help. I can see how some bad advice from one pediatrician could set up a really bad cycle in her home.

Anna, what other support do you have IRL? do your partner or close friends have any suggestions?
post #106 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Mac View Post
This is what comes from reading responses and not paying so much attention to who posted them! My mistake. It was someone else posting a picture of *their* child. Well, that child doesn't look chubby either
Having met that poster's child IRL and having seen many pictures of her (beginning when she was first placed with them,) she's definitely slimmed down. She was quite "square" in the beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Being an adoptive parent also doesn't *preclude* one from having "issues" either.

To be honest, from the way that the OP has presented things, I do think that there is some of the OP's own food issues involved here, it's not like she has not been relatively open about that. I'm a familiar face on this forum, am I allowed to say that?

The stress of foster (and adoptive) parenting often brings out one's issues. Even run of the mill parenting can, much less parenting a special needs kiddo!

I think that while obviously, there is more in play here than the interior life of the parent, it doesn't mean that that sholdn't be addressed.

OP, have you had any success finding a physician experienced working with children who suffer from aftereffects of neglect?
I agree with you.
post #107 of 343
I admit, I'm feeling pretty concerned for the OP as well. I hope I'm just overanalyzing why the OP "told her group we wouldn't be returning" after describing that her daughter snacked instead of played with the other kids--but I really hope that's not the reason.

OP, if you are feeling shame at how "much" your DD wants to eat, that is not good and not fair to YOU. I hope the other women at your group were not shaming or mean to you. Lots of people have toddlers who want to eat all the time, and will happily eat with mom nearby rather than run around with other kids. Please don't deprive yourself of things that you like and people that you like because you are worried that they might have a bad impression of you because you have a kid that "wants to eat all the time." That only sets up you feeling more anxious and possibly setting up resentment and anger in the future for something that your DD can't exactly help either. The last thing you need is to feel like your DD is more abnormal, and that you need to fix something--and to have that happen in increasing isolation.

People at the playground are not going to even remember that there was some kid that snacked the whole time. Really. *Good* groups of friends and friendly acquaintances will not either.
post #108 of 343
Too little food, no wonder she's hungry. My DS is younger and he eats AT LEAST double that amount, and he's still nursing a lot. What about giving her different types of beans for protein? You could add olive oil for fat, and veggies to increase nutrition - healthy and yummy.
post #109 of 343
My children aren't adopted, so you can take this with a grain of salt.

My middle dd has digestion issues because of a medical condition that she has. She cannot digest her food properly without digestive enzymes. She was always really low on the charts, 3% - 10% for height and weight.

Her belly was distended like you describe. Her cheeks were some of the plumpest I have ever seen on a baby. Everyone thought she was "chubby" because of her cheeks and belly but really she was underweight. So yes, you can have some chub in certain body areas without being overweight. And the distended tummy has nothing to do with being fat. Have you ever tried probiotics with her to see if it helps with the tummy issues?

I can also say when my oldest dd was your dd's age, she could sometimes out eat my 6 foot tall hubby! We used to go to a chinese buffet that was free for kids under 2, and the waitresses would stand there with shocked looks on their faces while she kept eating and eating. I think they were about to reconsider their policy! But she has always been slim and around the 25% for weight and height. Of course she didn't eat that way every single day. Most kids will have highs and lows in their eating. It's much better to see their nutrition over a weeks time rather than focusing on one day.

You mention that she isn't very active. That could be from not getting enough calories for energy. Perhaps if her protein and fat were increased her energy level would go up. I'm sure you can find lots of good ideas for adding healthy fats over in the nutrition section of the forum. I think once she has more energy she will naturally slim down in her "chunky" areas. A lot of babies seem to chunk up right before they learn to walk, and then slim down once they start walking. I wouldn't really consider 18 months "late" for walking, but then all of mine started walking around 16-17 months. I got a lot of comments about my first one, but by the time I got to my last one everyone accepted that I just had late walking kids!! My second didn't even really crawl, she just log rolled everywhere! Just pointing out that there is a large range of "normal".

Good luck!!
post #110 of 343
I have been following this thread from the beginning, but hesitated to jump in. My children came with the opposite food issues (refusing to eat anything even remotely healthy) and one is still startlingly thin. My suggestions are from a place of raising neglected children, not nutritional advice (although I am a professional Health Educator, go figger!)

I try to raise my children in a spirit of abundance. I want them to know there will always be enough food (even if it is Ramen noodles, yuck), enough love and attention, enough clothes and toys and and school supplies and whatever else they need. I really exaggerate the supply around here - i have pantries and cases full of food, a freezer full, fruit trees and a garden (even though they don't eat the veggies) and more.

I keep a bowl of fruit and a basket of granola bars on the counter. My kids are older so they can help themselves, but the basic idea is that unlimited food is ALWAYS available. Always, day and night. When they first came, food disappeared (overeating and hoarding). But now, 1 and 3 years later, we have sort of reached a balance. If I put out a bunch of candy or cookies, they would be gone in minutes, but they self regulate otherwise. They have even started trying foods at meals - meat but not veggies, alas.

It is not easy to ignore my own training and instincts (nutritional and non-materialistic), but I am meeting these kids' individual needs. Gradually they are stopping asking for everything they see in the stores. No, I never really bought them everything, but I tried to get a treat on each outing. The changes are slow, and we still have miles, and years, to go.

My advice to the OP is to try unlimited abundance. Even if she throws up - not to be mean, but maybe she can learn to recognize the feeling of fullness. I would give it at least a couple months; I don't believe it could do serious harm, even if she does gain some weight.

I wish you the best - I hear the love and concern in your posts, and know you not give up till you figure this out.
post #111 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
To be honest, from the way that the OP has presented things, I do think that there is some of the OP's own food issues involved here, it's not like she has not been relatively open about that. I'm a familiar face on this forum, am I allowed to say that?
I hope I didn't sound snarky, but people were being downright mean to the OP and it made me sad
post #112 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
I wish you the best - I hear the love and concern in your posts, and know you not give up till you figure this out.
post #113 of 343
Re the comment that non-adoptive parents are offering advice: I saw this on new posts and I'm guessing that others are doing the same. They're offering advice because it's a worrying situation.

OP, are you diluting her milk?

IMO she's seeking food because you're underfeeding her. She's hungry.

The meals you listed are inadequate in fats and protein. You need to increase her portion sizes and substitute nutrient dense food for the empty calories you're giving her (eg rice cakes, cheerios). Give her things like meat, eggs and cheese to keep her full for longer.
post #114 of 343
I don't want to pile it on, OP, but you really, truely, aren't feeding her enough, especially if she's trying to go through a growth spurt. It's normal for some toddlers to be chubby, or even down right fat - it doesn't mean they're overfeeding themselves or unhealthy in any way. At your dd's age, my dd could probably have out eaten me, and she definitely out ate her older brother (who was 4 at the time). Now, as a 7 year old, she is underweight for height (and still eats big, but healthfully!). My boys were not as big eaters, but they nursed constantly and I'm sure they were drinking far more than 10 oz of milk a day. Your dd needs more fat and protein. It seems like what you're giving her to snack on is very high carb and that's likely only to make her want to eat more. I'm not a lowcarb advocate, but fat and protein are much more satiating. If she says she's hungry - feed her. Trust her. She might gain weight in the begining and I suspect that will make you uncomfortable, but my guess is that her metabolism is really screwed up right now due to a restriced diet and you're going to have weight gain before she settles out.
post #115 of 343
I hear how worried you are but you need to know that chubby babies and toddlers do not necessarily grow into "fat" children, teens or adults.

It is important that toddlers feel like they are getting enough to eat - especially ones who spent most of their first year of life in institutional care. The way you describe your dd's diet and behaviour it sounds like she is not getting enough to eat to meet her physical or emotional needs. She needs to know - through her own physical experience of eating as much as she needs to, not your verbal reassurances - that she will always have enough to eat. The only way for a young child to learn and trust this, especially one with the background she has, is to experience it physically. With all of the babies I have known who were adopted from impoverished situations, their parents were told of this emotional dynamic with food and that it was one of the most important things for them to respect and help with.

All of my children were big babies. All were in the 95+ percentile for weight and height for their age. They had rolls on their rolls and big bellies as babies and toddlers. By the time they were 3 or 4 years old they were all slim and now as older children they are all in the very low end of the growth charts. Most people would call them skinny - there is no sign of the chubby always hungry little ones they once were. Being chubby babies (which your daughter is not according to the stats you shared) does not mean she has food issues. It means she is hungry and growing. Her genetic makeup will have a lot to do with her eventual size and shape. She is more likely to have food issues if her emotional needs around food security are not met at this stage of her life.

As others have said, toddlers need a high amount of fat in their diet for proper brain development and growth. They need to feel full and content so they can play and learn and do all those other things. Food is a fundamental need and hungry children can't get on with other things until it is met. They need to eat as much as they need in order to feel safe, secure and to have enough energy to play and be content.
post #116 of 343
Hey op...I have a thought for you.I'm on a very restricted diet right now (due to 12 week old DD being sesitive to everything) With 8 people here, I have to look at & make lots of yummy foods I can't touch. I get plain brown rice cooked in rabbit bone broth, almonds, and shakes made with frozen bannanas, pineapple with the juice, brown rice protien powder, and flax oil.

Even when I can eat whatever I want, I tend to think about food alot. I love to eat and I can pack it away! I can severly over eat if I don't exercise some self control - as a kid I would amaze people by going for a 5th helping of spagetti on a camp out. At home, my mom was very much in control of food. Not in a wierd controlling way - just as a matter of fact. She took care of all cooking, cleaning & serving us. We never helped ourselves in the kitchen - but we were never in want and we were fed very natural & healthy food. (FTR I have never struggled with my weight and I am 38)

Back to my point, Tonight I had eaten 2 huge bowls of my rice & almonds, and I was really obcessing over yummy food I can't have. Now when I 'mentally' just want to eat, eat, eat....I could drink several glasses of milk in a row even if I wasn't hungry. It just goes down so easy. Yummy baked goods - I could eat 5 servings even after a meal if I felt like it. I normally don't keep eating when I'm no longer hungry - I'm just saying I can. (I'm just thinking about how your DD isn't stopping herself).....But say at a potluck, when I really do keep eating - a sickening amount! - I do get to a point that I have to quit. (I do think you should let your DD get to that point)

So tonight I realized something. I was SOOOO wanting to EAT! But I made my shake (after eating the rice) and poured a jar for now & one to freeze for the morning. (we use spagetti sauce jars for glasses) Half way through, I had to force myself to finnish, and no way could I have eaten a bite of anything else. Where normally, I could just snack & snack all night.

I thought of your DD. Maybe after each meal give her a large serving of protein shake - more than you think she can drink. Make it thick - lots of frozen bannanas - its hard to drink fast and it goes down heavy. Put it in something she can carry with her - even out to the meeting. The one I freeze just slowly gets slushy through out the morning and I just drink it a little at a time - there's a frozen chunk in the middle.

You can make a shake with anything you want - mine is a blenderfull of about 3 frozen bannanas, a can of pineapple with the juice, 2 big scoops of protien powder (4 scoops if the serving size says 2 scoops) and flax seed oil. We buy lots of over ripe bannanas, peeled & broken into pieces & keep the freezer stocked with them. My teen sons make shakes & I make the kids 'ice cream' with them too. I buy whey or brown rice protien powder sweetened with stevia.

Hope that's a little food for thought!
post #117 of 343
I don't think that anyone is disagreeing that many people who haven't delved into adoption, and all of the issues that institutionalized children can have surrounding food, do not understand the intricacies of this issue.

In this situation, at this point, that is secondary in my opinion. What needs to be addressed first and foremost is that this is a severely limited diet, both in quantity and caloric/fat intake, for an otherwise healthy child of this age. Maybe this child is "food obsessed" or maybe she isn't. It seems kind of hard to tell when, by many people's standards, this isn't a sufficient amount of food for a kid her age.

My bio son, who as a baby and toddler had an unrestricted diet and almost always self regulated just fine, might have seemed "food obsessed" too if he was given the amount of food to eat that is being described by the OP. It wouldn't be a "food obsession" so much being genuinely hungry and attempting to get more food - which is actually a normal response for a hungry kid.

I kind of agree with the PP who asked why, in the name of having tried everything, there seems to be a reticence to try giving this baby a chance to have a period of time of unrestricted eating and see what might happen.
post #118 of 343
Im not an adoptive mom but I do have a 21 month old at home and I know you are worried about overfeeding so I thought you would be comforted by knowing what my child eats. Shes a big eater but she doesn't look it..

Morning- on wakeup (Im hungry is usually the first things out of her mouth after Mommy where you)- piece of fruit while Im making breakfast, sometimes something else if we are low on fruit like apple sauce (I get the unsweetened all natural stuff) or veggie sticks. My girls love veggie sticks.
Breakfest- depends on the day, today she had 2 eggs, 2 pieces of sausage, 1 piece of toast, and a bananna. I think she probably had half her sister's grapes because DD1 wasn't in the mood for grapes this morning.
Mid morning snack- today it was about 1 cup of grapes, about 6 crackers and several pieces of cheese then some snacks at church, pretzels and crackers.
While Im preping lunch she will snack on veggies or cheese sticks or fruit (sometimes all of the above) while we wait. I bring some whereever I am in my purse so when we are out she has something healthy to eat.
Lunch- we went to a friends house she ate about 1/2 cup of rice with about 1/2 cup chicken stir fry mix on top. Then she had a small salad (maybe 1/2-1 cup of mixed veggies)
After lunch snack- she had carrot sticks, celery sticks and 1-2 tbsps of peanut butter
Pre dinner(when she sees me start cooking shes hungry and wants food)- 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese, she also shared an orange with her sister
Dinner- 1 cup veggie soup, 1 piece toast
She will probably want a snack right before bed, usually she has some cut up veggies, cheese sticks and crackers or for a treat I might give her 1-2 graham crackers.
She doesn't drink juice or milk since she doesn't like the taste of either. This is actually on the low end of what she eats since shes recovering from a cold and not quite herself.
I won't go into what my 3 year old eats, between the two we go through a TON of food, they both out eat me and Im pregnant.
I thought it might help to see that your child really isn't eating ALL that much. I know you are worried, Id probably be too, but your baby sounds like shes just hungry in general. Maybe uping her food intake would make life more enjoyable for all of you. Also, uping her protein might help to, my 21 month old is never full if she doesn't get an adequate amount of fat/proteins in her diet.. She will ask for food non-stop if I just feed her grains/starches.
ETA- I think wanting food that someone else has might be an age thing. I was at church today a piece of a protein bar and my friends little girl really wanted it. She just had a TON of snacks, I knew she wasn't really hungry. I think its one of those "kids want whatever they can't have" things. She got really upset when she couldn't have what I was eating.
post #119 of 343
I just want to clarify one more time. I am sorry that I stifled comments on this thread. I also believe that the little girl's diet is light compared to one of my children. I do believe that non-adoptive parents can give advice that is helpful for adoptive parents. But many people were shouting orders at this mom that made it sound like she was neglecting her child. I guess I am personalizing here, because for me (the mom of a child who was neglected), the any accusation of neglect really stings. This mom came asking for help, not be lectured using all caps.
post #120 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
I just want to clarify one more time. I am sorry that I stifled comments on this thread. I also believe that the little girl's diet is light compared to one of my children. I do believe that non-adoptive parents can give advice that is helpful for adoptive parents. But many people were shouting orders at this mom that made it sound like she was neglecting her child. I guess I am personalizing here, because for me (the mom of a child who was neglected), the any accusation of neglect really stings. This mom came asking for help, not be lectured using all caps.

I understand what you are saying and can see clearly why it would strike you this way. I don't think anyone here was saying that the OP is intentionally neglecting her child.

But that doesn't mean the child isn't being neglected, nonetheless. And from the description of the small amount of food this little girl is allowed to eat, I'm afraid I have to agree. Like pps, my kids ate far, far more at the same age.

I can understand how it might be very painful for the OP to even contemplate that the restrictions she's placed on her daughter's eating might qualify as neglect. But OP, I hope you will consider it, and consider taking the advice offered here and give your daughter enough to eat.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Adoptive and Foster Parenting
This thread is locked  
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Adoption related-Still food obsessed