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post #121 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
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.
I agree. OP obviously is very concerned about her DD, and knows that something is "off," and came here for advice. I really hope that she's not reading this thread as a pile-on, because I don't think that anyone means it that way. But I do think that the girl is very hungry, and isn't receiving nearly enough food. I'm mainly upset that the doctor, who really should know better, is on board with this. Does he approve of the fact that the DD's milk is being watered down? I assume so, since the 900 calorie diet was his idea: and I find that horrifying. That's akin to watering down formula in a younger baby, particularly since the DD isn't getting very much fat in the rest of her diet. OP is just following her doctor's instructions, and I think that the first thing she needs to do is get a new doctor for her DD.
post #122 of 343
This is a really loaded issue - and people feel really strongly about it. Nobody likes to think of the possibility that a kid may be going hungry. I think most people get that this mom has tried to seek out resources and maybe got some bad advice - and so she is continuing to seek advice.

I keep thinking about this thread, and what I keep coming back to is that this child's behavior is being attributed to an adoption related issue. It may be an issue stemming from her time in an institution - it may not be. It just seems like a lot of feedback from different moms on here is that this may be much more simple than that. The kid may just need more food. It is potentially a pretty straightforward thing to address. Many, many people on here have shared their experiences of their children eating a lot more. I think it seems unfair to the mom and the child to attribute it to something much more serious (that she is "food obsessed" stemming from her experience in her orphanage) if the more simple possibility (she simply may not be getting enough food) hasn't been explored a little more.
post #123 of 343
I have a 19 month old and a nearly 4 y/o. We call them little linebackers. They literally eat all day long. Together they finished off a whole LARGE honeydew mellon on Sat, and were still asking for more food. KIDS EAT A LOT, and generally they poop a lot too. My son is 24 lbs, my DD is 32 and will be 4 y/o next month. They are NOT fat kids by any means, they just eat a lot.

Also, my DD has that "pot belly" look. She always has, it is just how she is. As she is nearing 4 y/o it is lessening, but most of the time it is still there.

Typical of my 19 month old, exerpt from Sunday. I can't even TRY to add up the calories here. Way more than I eat, and I am pregnant.

Breakfast- 7:30 am:
2- 8oz size bowls of Rice Krispies and Hemp milk (dairy intolerant). Then he finished DD's cereal (what was left of her 2nd bowl).
Apple Kashi Cereal bar
Full banana
6 oz hemp milk in a sippy

Snack at 10 am:
4 oz oyster crackers
water in a sippy
1/2 of an orange (mostly just sucked the juice out of it though)
Munched on an apple, ate 1/2 probably

Lunch at 12:
8 oz size bowl of pasta, peas, carrots and ground beef.
Milk in a sippy

(enter nap for 3.5 hours, and that is why he didn't eat for a while)

4 pm snack
Veggie sticks
1/2 orange
Water in a sippy

5:30- Dinner
Chili w/ beans- 8 oz bowl
2 pieces of bread
Sippy of milk

7 pm-Before bed snack
Full apple (ate all but the seeds )
Few handfulls of popcorn.
post #124 of 343
Anna,

How are you guys doing? Hope all is well
post #125 of 343
Thread Starter 

Update

Hello all,

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts. I want to reiterate that I appreciate EVERYONE's opinion, not just the ones that are what I want to hear. I am asking for opinions and am aware that not all opinions will be fun to hear, but may be the ones that I NEED to hear.

I have looked into a new pediatrician for my daughter and have an appointment in the middle of October.

I am clearly overwhelmed by the magnitude of responses but it is obvious that my daughter may simply be hungry and becoming food obsessed because she is not getting enough. Through all of this, I do believe, though, that there is also a psychological component, but that may have been initiated or compounded by her being hungry. So it will probably take more than "just give her more food" for her to learn to regulate her own intake. I HAVE tried letting her eat as much as she wants, and have only stopped her just short of vomiting. I have also experienced her occasionally saying "done" and wanting to get out of the high chair (all the food on her plate is gone) and then seeing me open the pantry door and asking for Cheerios. I KNOW she is full, she has said she is done, but would still continue to eat to the point of getting sick.

Nevertheless, I am accepting the scenario that she has NOT been getting enough to eat, especially enough fat. I have slowly increasing the amount of initial portions I give her, then providing seconds when she asks for more, and following her cues.

I think that one issue that compounds this problem is that I can literally see her stomach become HUGE after a meal. Since the day she came home and would never stop (yes I have tried), I was trying to use other methods to know how much to feed her. When she gets out of the high chair and looks 9 months pregnant I felt that she had had enough. I don't know why other kids can eat double what she eats and not look like that, but I was using it as a clue that she had had enough. She is gaining weight rapidly in the past week, even, and she still would eat more and eat constantly.

However, I will say that after a good meal, if there is no food visible she has been happy and only has a problem when there is food around. It is like she completely loses control when there is food around, even if she is NOT hungry. But hopefully that will end eventually and she will learn to self-regulate.

I know that some people can't understand this adopted child issue, and that is fine, but there is definitely more to this problem than simply not getting enough food. I have found a few other parents in similar situations, and no matter how much food they give their children, and no matter how much they let them eat, they will also never stop.

Thank you to everyone, and I hope I can continue to update the forum so that in the future if there is anyone who needs similar help they have information available.

Anna
post #126 of 343
Have you told her ped that she becomes hugely bloated after a meal? Have you talked to a ped nutritionist and had them WATCH her eat? (and therefore see her get hugely bloated) The huge bloating would be a major concern for me - adopted or not - and I'd want to find out why thats happening, and what needs to be done to address it. The eating tons doesn't sound too bad in and of itself - its the bloating that would concern me, especially since feeding her less doesn't seem to temper it, and if you feed her less she's hungry.
post #127 of 343
I've had a similar experience with a foster daughter. She was food obsessed and would happily eat, most all the time. When she returned home for a visit, her mom let her eat to the point of vomiting. It never happened in my home, but I know it was possible from that. She was 18 months at that point, we had her from the time she was 14 months. She also had BM problems though and I'm not sure how they were related.

Any time I was in the kitchen she would scream at me- she believed I had food and was hiding it. It made doing the dishes and cooking dinner a pain.

I'm really not sure how helpful that is, but I guess it is common in some kids?

My DS is 4 (adoption is final next month) came out of foster care. According the the social worker, he has always been food obsessed (since he came into care at 18 months). One hospital nurse told us that she sees it a lot in cases of mothers using drugs or alcohol while pregnant- something about it seems to make the kids always hungry. I honestly think he could eat and eat and eat.... probably until the vomiting point, but I cut him off after he eats as much as I do. And I'm pregnant!

I also wonder if he had his formula cut with too much water as a baby or something- in order to sell the extra for money. Maybe that lack of nourishment could cause this?

I'm watching his baby sister closely because we've had her since birth practically, but she had most of the same exposure to drugs and alcohol. So far she is not obsessed with food, and is the typical random food eating 18 month old.

DS is not overweight though (the first DFD I mentioned was quite a pudgy girl with a big tummy). He has no fat anywhere on him and currently he is shooting up like a weed. I'm not sure where the food goes though...
post #128 of 343
Thread Starter 
I went to a "feeding team" of specialists at our local Children's Hospital. They were mostly unhelpful because they really only dealt with children who had problems eating enough or eating certain things. They had never encountered this problem and they don't have any experience with adoption either.
But the one pediatrician I saw there said that it looked "normal". I have had three other children, and none of them looked like this after a meal. Another DD (bio) was pretty chubby until she hit about 3 years old, but never like this, with the HUGE stomach. She was just all over toddler chubby.

She does have an umbilical hernia, and weak abdominal muscles. Since her stomach expands so much even with just water, I am wondering if it is just that her muscles are weak. I don't know if I should see a GI specialist or someone else about this. Her current pediatrician has really been no help.

I think if I didn't see her stomach getting so huge after a meal I would probably not been as concerned about how much she was eating, right from the beginning. I had never experienced this and thought it was an indication that she was eating too much. Especially since she seemed to be eating huge amounts and never stopped at any point.

In retrospect, alot of things combined to either cause her current issues or exacerbate them. The issue now is how to fix the issue.

Also, we are going to be in Disney for 10 days in a few weeks. If anyone has any ideas for high protein/fat snacks that are easy to travel with, I would appreciate it. I am not sure how smart it is right now to take this trip, but I can't cancel it on my other kids. Traveling with a food obsessed child is not something I really want to take on, but we're going to do it anyway. My main concern is that she will want to snack constantly in the stroller but I don't know what to give her that I can easily carry with us.

Thanks,

Anna
post #129 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
She does have an umbilical hernia, and weak abdominal muscles. Since her stomach expands so much even with just water, I am wondering if it is just that her muscles are weak. I don't know if I should see a GI specialist or someone else about this. Her current pediatrician has really been no help.

I think if I didn't see her stomach getting so huge after a meal I would probably not been as concerned about how much she was eating, right from the beginning. I had never experienced this and thought it was an indication that she was eating too much. Especially since she seemed to be eating huge amounts and never stopped at any point.
Weak abdominal muscles could contribute to the problem (I'm not a dr, but it just seems to make sense). maybe you could post a quick question on the special needs parenting forum and see if that sounds like it could be most or all of the problem? You could also ask your ped for a referral to a physical therapist (to help strengthen the muscles) or something, and see if they can help you.

If I were you I wouldn't give up. You're obviously concerned, and doing as much as you can to advocate for your dd. You said you have an appointment in Oct with a new ped - do you think you can take a pic of your dd when she first wakes up that morning, and then feed her right before you take her to the dr? That way the dr can see with their own eyes how much your dd's stomach is bloating - let her eat as much as you can handle that morning. The more info you can give a dr, the more help they can be. Good luck!!
post #130 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
I went to a "feeding team" of specialists at our local Children's Hospital. They were mostly unhelpful because they really only dealt with children who had problems eating enough or eating certain things. They had never encountered this problem and they don't have any experience with adoption either.
But the one pediatrician I saw there said that it looked "normal". I have had three other children, and none of them looked like this after a meal. Another DD (bio) was pretty chubby until she hit about 3 years old, but never like this, with the HUGE stomach. She was just all over toddler chubby.

She does have an umbilical hernia, and weak abdominal muscles. Since her stomach expands so much even with just water, I am wondering if it is just that her muscles are weak. I don't know if I should see a GI specialist or someone else about this. Her current pediatrician has really been no help.

I think if I didn't see her stomach getting so huge after a meal I would probably not been as concerned about how much she was eating, right from the beginning. I had never experienced this and thought it was an indication that she was eating too much. Especially since she seemed to be eating huge amounts and never stopped at any point.

In retrospect, alot of things combined to either cause her current issues or exacerbate them. The issue now is how to fix the issue.

Also, we are going to be in Disney for 10 days in a few weeks. If anyone has any ideas for high protein/fat snacks that are easy to travel with, I would appreciate it. I am not sure how smart it is right now to take this trip, but I can't cancel it on my other kids. Traveling with a food obsessed child is not something I really want to take on, but we're going to do it anyway. My main concern is that she will want to snack constantly in the stroller but I don't know what to give her that I can easily carry with us.

Thanks,

Anna
I just wanted to reach out and give you big hug. I'm so glad that you are getting help, and it really looks like you are turning over every stone.

I know how difficult it must be to see so many posts with advice.

First off... I just wanted to say that different body types can react differently to being full-- for example, my son's belly get's hard and round after eating-- even a four ounce bottle. He can still put away food like nobody's business. Also, I think thinner kids show changes in their belly more; my 90 pound friends complain about pants being tight after eating, but I never had that issue.

Secondly... I have some ideas about healthy high protein snacks. These are all veggie, so other's might have different ideas. High protien/fat is easier to come by in animal products, so that will probably open up your options. Also a post in nutrition and eating for suggestions on snacks would probably get a lot of responses.

Being a vegetarian, I've had good luck in explaining to the theme park people that we needed to bring in our own food due to dietary restrictions, but ymmv.

You could have a small cooler with the following:

*hard boiled eggs
*nuts, if you do nuts
*string cheese
*rice and lentils-- i know this sound odd, but it's our go-to sack lunch food for DS. We steam the rice and lentils (and spices and a bit of butter), and pack them in little Tupperware containers.
*premade sunbutter/peanut butter sandwiches
*milk, formula
*carrot sticks
*peas
*soy beans

We also do a lot of cut fruit for our son's snacks (it summer and all the yummy's are in season.) low(er) call option for those are watermelon, apple (high fiber), oranges.

If you can change your hotel to one with a kitchenette; it would really open up the food options for your DD (and your whole family.) If not, use every amenity they have-- request access to a microwave, and ask for things to be placed in the fridge in the kitchen. Hit the grocery store once you first get their, and load up on essentials for your daughter.

I've traveled a lot for work, and it's amazing what you can do with a mini fridge and helpful hotel staff.It's not the same, but we don't allow our son to eat processed food/food prepared outside at all, so we are constantly packing and bringing food *everywhere*. It's annoying at first, but it really becomes second nature. We just recently did a 6 day trip to new york/new jersey and it wasn't as bad as you might think.

If you need any help at all planning logistics, lmk.
post #131 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
In retrospect, alot of things combined to either cause her current issues or exacerbate them. The issue now is how to fix the issue.
I just wanted to say that I've read your previous posts/threads, and I totally agree that *something* is off besides just the food. But I think the first step is to make sure she's getting enough and then work from there.
post #132 of 343
Anna thank you so much for posting your update. I know it must be difficult to hear so much feedback. Please keep coming to this community, to struggle together with other adoptive parents. Many of the moms here really understand the psychological component deeply, having lived it. Your tenacity is admirable.
post #133 of 343
If it helps any, my DD's stomach does that after she eats. I have never thought it was a problem (she's my firstborn), is four, and still does it when she eats a big meal. I do think her abs are a bit weak, but she does fine with life in general so I haven't looked into any therapy or anything for it. I just encourage her to do physical play.

It's great that you are talking to people and figuring things out. I know I don't understand the nuances of what you are dealing with.

As far as at the theme park - I think if you just let it go and don't worry about her snacking in the stroller all day then it won't be a problem. What's the worst that could happen if she did? She might upchuck (likely wouldn't, but that's the worst I can guess). Well, a clean outfit later and you're fine. Beef jerky, cheese sticks, tiny diced things, nuts, all good options, IMO.

Tjej
post #134 of 343
While I was dealing with my son's dairy intolerance, we took a trip to Disneyland. Even though Disney is very accomodating for people with food allergies in their own kitchen (you can call ahead and tell them your food restrictions and their chefs will make special items with policies in place to prevent cross-contamination, etc), they were also fine with us bringing in food for my son and I (since were both off dairy) even though it isn't generally allowed. They didn't ask for any sort of documentation from a doctor, either. If you want to be able to have a pack of food for your dd, I'd probably call ahead and let them know that she has a medical condition and needs immediate access to specific foods and see what you need to do to bring it in for you. We didn't call ahead and the security people who check bags and backpacks told us it wasn't a problem when we explained, but if you get a less understanding security officer, it might be better to have some sort of contact person that you can refer them to or a letter from Disney giving you permission to bring in food.
post #135 of 343
Just a thought...
Has she ever been tested for acid reflux? My dd that has the tummy bloating issues has severe reflux. The Dr's didn't realize how bad it was until I insisted that they do the tests while she was on her reflux meds (they usually have you stop the meds before the test). She was refluxing even with the meds she was on.

You have mentioned before that she likes to drink a lot. That can be a sign of reflux. It helps their throat to feel better after having the acid in it.
post #136 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
She does have an umbilical hernia, and weak abdominal muscles. Since her stomach expands so much even with just water, I am wondering if it is just that her muscles are weak. I don't know if I should see a GI specialist or someone else about this. Her current pediatrician has really been no help.
My DD also has a hernia (being monitored by pediatrician). Her stomach does seem to bulge much more than DS. But even if DS ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, his stomach doesn't stick out at all. They are just different. She may end up needing surgery on her hernia, but they are going to wait until 2 to make a decision I think. They want to look at it again at 15 and 18 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
I am not sure how smart it is right now to take this trip, but I can't cancel it on my other kids.
I think it is good that you don't cancel the trip. The older kids will come to resent your DD if they see that her "issues" are causing them to miss out on things. Hopefully she will be so excited about all the sights that she won't eat constantly. Good idea about bringing snacks.

And Polliwog, she was quite square when we got her. Hahaha. Looking back after you made that statement at pictures, I was like yeah, she totally was. She was busting out the side seams of a 12 month dress on Mother's Day at only 9 months.
post #137 of 343
Anna, a friend of a friend of mine had a little girl who was adopted from Russia and had issues with over eating and hoarding food. It was psychological according to the doctors, and the treatment was to allow her to have access to food all the time. This little one could pack it away! Sometimes she did vomit. But after a while (I think it was a couple of months at least) of knowing that there was always food, and she was never ever hungry any more, she forgot her fear of being hungry, slowed down, learned to listen to her stomach tell her it was full and now eats like any other child.

My point is that it was psychological, just like you think your daughter's issue is, and the treatment was to teach her that there is always enough food by having an abundance. Not to reinforce her fears by limiting the food available to her.
post #138 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
i have absolutely no experience with adoptions (or two year olds, for that matter) I do have food issues, though-- My inner child would very much be like your daughter.

It sounds like your daughter had gotten used to a steady stream of food, and also uses it for comfort. Me too. I constantly need to have some thing with me; even if I've just eaten or am going to eat. As in, wake up, have breakfast, grab something to eat in the car. Go to work, hit the break room (soda, water, ect). On the way home, either eat something in the car, or think about what to eat when I get home. I'll eat 3 times in the evening; once when I get home, dinner, and right before going to bed. Here's the thing-- until I got married i had nooo idea that other people didn't eat this way. My family eats this way. Most of my extended family eats this way. Food is out all the time. (No, we aren't all overweight). It's a free for all 24-7. My mom has a special place on her counter just for snacking, and my dad would cut fresh fruit to pick at all the time. The kitchen was never closed. Not everyone was eating 24-7, but the availability was there.

I can only imagine being moved from that kind of environment to one where food was restricted. It can be very stressful. I agree with pp's to start out small, and also maybe adjust your thinking about food. Why is it that she can't eat every 20 minutes? can she carry around a watered down juice bottle? Perhaps keep a tray of small healthy finger foods out all the time?

Again, I know I don't have any experience as an adoptive parent, so please if I"ve offended or overstepped, let me know and I will edit/remove my post.
I haven't read all the replies yet but I wanted to give a big to the above! That is so me! I can remember the feeling of "scariness" that creeps in on any "Day 1" of a diet.

My sil, who is very thin and healthy, says she also has this habit of making sure she always has a drink or food available "in case she gets hungry" that she doesn't know where it came from. She logically knows she can get food pretty much any time she needs it, it is just so ingrained in her.

Hugs, mama! I hope you can find a solution!
post #139 of 343
Thread Starter 
I am hoping to respond again,but we are going away for a few days and wanted to let you all know I won't be back for a while. I am taking the printout I made of all the responses because it has been so inspiring and helpful to hear everyone's opinions.
I will let everyone know how our vacation goes when we get back, but in the meantime I will tell you that my daughter has been VERY HAPPY this last week. Since I have increased her intake, she is MUCH HAPPIER, although she still has a long way to go because she still exhibits no control around food. But for now, I am thrilled that at least she is happy and more active.

I wanted to post the information I found out from my adoption agency, but it will have to wait until I get back.

Thank you all again,


Anna
post #140 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
I am hoping to respond again,but we are going away for a few days and wanted to let you all know I won't be back for a while. I am taking the printout I made of all the responses because it has been so inspiring and helpful to hear everyone's opinions.
I will let everyone know how our vacation goes when we get back, but in the meantime I will tell you that my daughter has been VERY HAPPY this last week. Since I have increased her intake, she is MUCH HAPPIER, although she still has a long way to go because she still exhibits no control around food. But for now, I am thrilled that at least she is happy and more active.

I wanted to post the information I found out from my adoption agency, but it will have to wait until I get back.

Thank you all again,


Anna

have fun on your trip! It's so wonderful to hear that she is doing better with the increased intake. I hope that the success continues. I think that pp is right, she'll only learn control if allowed access to food. It is wonderful hear about your dd doing so much better.
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