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 14  

post #261 of 343
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

  Yeah, I'd love to find something better as a "filler" between meals.  But I give her apples, sunflower seeds, almond slivers, garbanzo beans ( I think they contribute to her bloating/gas problem), etc.   All of the ideas are great, except that a lot of them are not handy to walk around the house eating, or travel in the car with (I won't give her celery sticks, for example, as she puts so much in her mouth at one time that I am afraid she will choke).  She eats rice cakes dipped in hummus, almond butter on everything, hard boiled eggs, etc.   But if I give her egg, for example, she will be done with it in 5 min.  Then she wants another one.  Then another.  If she wants 2 dozen in one day, do I just let her eat 2 dozen eggs?   If she wants an entire pound of sunflower seeds in a day, do I let her have them?  I just wanted something that she could feel like she could control, and eat, and always have with her, and feel like she will never run out.  None of this is about HUNGER.   She isn't hungry after the meals I give her.  She really couldn't be, but she doesn't recognize that.  She needs to learn it, and learn that she can stop when she's full and there will be more food at the next meal/snack time.  

 

I don't know-I could be going about this all wrong.  I'm giving her plentiful meals with all of the foods mentioned, but no matter how much I give her, or what types of food, she still wants to eat and not stop.  

 

I'm going to try to upload a picture of her distended abdomen, which for a long time led me to believe she was hungry, or gluten intolerant, or lactose intolerant, or something else that would make her want to eat like this.  But I wouldn't even know what kind of doctor to try now, because they have all said she doesn't have parasites.  I took her off of gluten and dairy and peanuts in the hopes that it was contributing to the distended abdomen and the hunger.  But it has been almost 2 months, and no change.    I have spent $600 in the past 2 months on supplements (an excellent expensive probiotic, digestive enzymes, homeopathics for parasites, etc., etc.)   And there is no change in her belly, although for a while it seemed like there was.  So obviously the gluten and dairy are not the issue.  

 

Her belly button looks weird because she has an umbilical hernia.  And her stomach is about half this size in the morning, and swells up like this throughout the day.  It is not fat, for the most part.  It is hard, and looks terribly uncomfortable.      How horrible is it that I wished she actually had parasites that would explain the swelling and the hunger.   I still have in the back of my mind that I should take her for further testing for parasites, but I wouldn't know where to go since the doctor at the International Adoption Clinic said her tests were negative.  

 

She is lethargic, apathetic, has a distended abdomen (but not the weight loss associated with parasites), irritable, etc.   I'm at a loss, and I don't know where else to go or what else to try.  I have exhausted all of my ideas, and I'm just trying to ignore the distended abdomen as a symptom and dealing with the hunger.  But when she is also so lethargic, etc., I don't know what to believe.

 

By the way, she is almost 28 months old, and weighs 29 pounds and is 33 inches tall.  No, she is not extremely overweight, but IS chubby.  I have absolutely no problem with her being chubby, but when her extreme hunger is coupled with her other symptoms, I suspected there was something else going on  She has risen from the 10th percentile in weight to the 50th (?) in the past year, while dropping from the 50th percentile in height to the 5th percentile.  None of that seems right.  She is ONLY gaining weight, but not growing.    

 

  There is the story in a nutshell.

 

  Thanks for listening.

 

 

post #262 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post

I have switched to rice puffs since they are lower in calorie than the Cheerios (gluten free kind).  But she is still bloated and uncomfortable, and has gained a pound already.


Honestly, I think this is cause and effect. She is eating all the time because the cheerios and rice puffs are not giving her any nutrition. Please switch her snacks to higher protein foods, it really sounds to me, as someone who has btdt, that she is in dire need of protein and filling food. And she will put on weight, I'd be worried if she didn't. She needs to grow. Just give her good food to grow on.
post #263 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post



I think you're missing the point.  As a fat person I can tell you that when your brain wants to eat, you eat!  You eat way beyond what is comfortable.  You could eat ANYTHING and still want to eat more and more.  I truly don't believe this is about what foods the baby is eating. 


And I truly believe it is partly about what the baby is eating.

I forgot til just now, my parents fostered. They had a little girl who was like this. One memorable day, she ate a whole loaf of bread and butter, 17 or so slices, then went home to my mom. And then ate a full lunch. I don't believe that would be possible with higher nutrition dense food.
post #264 of 343

anna,

i have been following this thread since the beginning, but have yet to post.

you are doing an amazing job!

 

do you have a way to get some time away from your daughter? can she go to daycare/ babysitter/ mother's day out/ respite care ANYTHING to give you some time or space?

she sounds like an incredibly intense child, and it really sounds like you need, and deserve, a break.

 

i have dealt with a child who simply would NOT stop eating. she would never feel full. she needed someone to hold her hand at the dinner table to prevent her from taking other people's food off of their plates. she needed very strict control over her diet, eating habits and accessability to food.

she needed to know that food is ONLY eaten at the diningroom table. NO WHERE else, ever. she learned that food was not an option anywhere else. not in the car, on outings, anything. of course, this did have exceptions, like being gone for a whole day, but the routine was important.

she would still try to get food if it was available, but having food only at the table helped.

but, she was 12, deaf, with brain damage/ autism. very different than your daughter.

 

there are some kids that really can not control their own eating. you don't yet know where your daughter lies on this issue, but if she can't control her own food intake, then you may need to do it for her.

i know you have gotten a lot of food advise, and really tried everything, but i want to tell you one other idea i have.

TINY portions. at each mealtime, give her just a tablespoon of each thing. give her a tiny baby spoon to eat with. refill her plate as many times as she wants, with itty bitty portions, as long as the family is eating.

 

 

but, anna, i just want to reiterate what the pps have said.

 

you are doing the very best you can by your daughter, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself. you are doing everything a mama can, and that is amazing.

 

but please remember, having some time away from your daughter might be what you need to  continue to be a great mom. even sending her to the grandparents, or even a respite home for a weekend might help you out.

 

 

 

post #265 of 343
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Irish Mommy.   I have thought that myself, but I couldn't believe she could still be hungry after some of the meals she eats, so just gave her something so she could at least satisfy the "need to eat something".  But I will try  your idea, as soon as I get a list together of things I can give her.  I know she won't eat a lot protein foods I have tried, unfortunately.  I feel like she needs meat, but she rejects any chicken or turkey, and will only eat meatballs as far as meat goes.  So maybe this weekend I will enlist my other kids to help me make a huge batch of mini meatballs she can pop in her mouth and try that.   

 

  Thank you all so much.  While I don't want people attacking me, I DO want people to give me some different opinion than mine, otherwise how will I find an answer, since I obviously don't have one myself.  

 

  Anna

post #266 of 343

I wonder if you could allow her all the food she wants, but make her "work" for it?  I don't want to sound mean here, but the vision I get is one of the gong things that they have for dogs... you know, it's like a rubber toy shaped like a cone and you stick some treat inside and the dog has to lick and bite and burrow his mouth in, in order to get the treat.  It keeps them busy. 

 

I'm not suggesting you give her a dog toy, but some sort of way to keep the food at a "distance", like in a Tupperware-type container with a tricky top on it that she has to "struggle" to get her hand in and out.  Do you get what I'm saying?  My daughter had a special toddler cup with a top on it made out of silicone with slits in it.. each time she put her hand in it to get out the Cheerios or whatever, she'd really have to manoeuver her hand around, grasp the Cheerios and fiddle her hand around to get it out.

 

I'm wondering if you figure out a type of contraption, cup, bowl, box or something that makes getting the food just the tiniest bit tricky so that 1)it takes her *time* to feed herself and 2)might give her the impression that this way of eating might be too much of a hassle and that it might not be so worth it to eat ALL the time.  I'm not sure exactly what type of contraption you could come up with, I'm just throwing out ideas here......

 

Do you think she'd be the type of child who would get just too frustrated?  Or is she the type that could remain fixated/focused/determined enough to spend a half hour figuring out how to get a handful of Cheerios out of a box compared to the 3 minutes it takes her to eat them now?

post #267 of 343
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, I have controlled her portions for 18 months now.     And that is partly what contributed (I believe) to her having this problem.  She wanted more than I gave her.  Was all this started by something else (adoption trauma, sensory issues, GERD, parasites, H. pylori which she had but was treated for, etc.???), I don't know.  But I DO know that it is now at least partly an emotional thing.  I NEED her to know how to control her intake and regulate HERSELF.  I don't believe it is healthy for me to try to regulate for her.  Like I have said I have tried that.  At first, I gave her too little (not knowing), then I gave her too much (thinking if she got more than she needed she would stop).  Neither method worked, and both methods hurt our relationship and attachment.   

 

I believe wholeheartedly that she can learn self-regulation.   But getting her there is difficult.  I have found a doctor that specializes in Ellyn Satter's feeding methods, and she will counsel me through the therapy.  But it is difficult, expensive, and very time-consuming.  For the sake of my other kids, I need to wait until school is over for the year so I can plan on spending every waking minute in the kitchen for a while.  I am prepared to do that, but I DO need help and counseling in order to figure out the little details, and to emotionally support me.  

 

familyfeedingdynamics.com  is the website of the doctor.  She has excellent success, but I wanted to try this other method (constant food all day long) in the hopes it would accomplish the same thing but  be easier to deal with while I take care of my other 3 kids.  

 

I have NO ONE to help me with my kids.  My mother doesn't want to be bothered, my sister  doesn't want to be bothered, etc.   I have talked with my neighbor about her daughter being a mother's helper a couple of days a week, but again, it is expensive!  And my heart breaks because I don't want to be away from her.  I just want her to be happy and I want her here with me while I make her happy.    I waited a very long time to bring her home to me, and although I recognize every mother's need for a break, I don't want to WANT one so badly.  It makes me very sad.

 

Anna

post #268 of 343

just out of plain curiosity if you did keep giving her the boiled eggs would she stop at 4, 5 or 12? obviously you don't want her to get sick, but even my dd has over done it on cake and sweets at grandmas and that really gave her a learning experience. before, it was like she didn't have a full meter but then after that incident she realized she couldn't eat half a chocolate cake and be okay. sucks she had to learn that way though...

 

i would not worry about the chubby at all either... but the distended abdomen and lethargy/uninterested in play are what would concern me too. im sorry i wish i had more to offer... just keep listening to your intuition and being her advocate. hug.gif

post #269 of 343

hug2.gif Oh mama, I wish I could give you a 1000000000 hugs and then send you out to your favorite coffee shop/restuarant with a good book while I watched your kids for a few hours!!!!

 

You're doing amazing.  You are an amazing, amazing mama!!

 

I would go back to the adoption specialist, and ask for more testing, and more help (but thats me, and I've never been in your shoes, so maybe I'm not right) - the not growing taller worries me more than anything.  Is her body not producing growth hormone (again, this could be me not understanding your situation fully, even though I have read the entire thread)?

 

I do hope that you find something to help your beautiful baby girl!!  You're amazing, and SO strong - your little girl is so lucky to have such an amazing mama.

post #270 of 343
Thread Starter 

That is so funny, because I have one of those "contraptions"!!!      It has a lid, and slits in the plastic lid.  She has to dig her hand in there and pull out the puffs.  She pulls out a handful, and another handful goes flying around the room!!!!  I think I have been vacuuming 10 times a day lately to pick them all up.    I make her help me, but then she looks like a dog eating food off of the floor.   But if I didn't give her the thing with the lid, she would spill the whole thing.  

 

No, she would do whatever it took to get to the food.  That is why Irish Mommy might be right and she needs something she isn't getting.   She acts like she is starving.  But you can see clearly in the picture that she isn't starving, even if you discount the distension.   If she didn't have the basketball tummy, I think she would look like the healthiest chubby two year old.  Although most 2 year olds are starting to slim down by now.  But her food obsession also keeps her from moving too much.

 

I have seen glimpses of her true self, when she isn't consumed with her eating problem.  She is beautiful, loving, sweet, loves music, loves to dance (I have seen her start wiggling to music even while crying).   I have glimpses of the joy we could be experiencing right now.     I know it's in there.  

 

We keep music on all day in the hopes that it will make her move and forget about food.  She knows all the words to the songs, and can imitate specific dance steps better than children twice her age.  She is super smart.       I feel bad for her.   And I love her. But there are also times during the day that I'm just tired of dealing with her and want her to go live somewhere else for a while.

 

 

Anna

post #271 of 343
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookatreestar View Post

just out of plain curiosity if you did keep giving her the boiled eggs would she stop at 4, 5 or 12? obviously you don't want her to get sick, but even my dd has over done it on cake and sweets at grandmas and that really gave her a learning experience. before, it was like she didn't have a full meter but then after that incident she realized she couldn't eat half a chocolate cake and be okay. sucks she had to learn that way though...

 

i would not worry about the chubby at all either... but the distended abdomen and lethargy/uninterested in play are what would concern me too. im sorry i wish i had more to offer... just keep listening to your intuition and being her advocate. hug.gif


I will try the boiled eggs.  It certainly can't hurt, and if she throws up, then maybe that's what she needs to do until she learns how to stop.  She certainly won't be the first child in this predicament that eats until they throw up.    And just maybe, she is craving protein so the eggs will help her in that area, too.

 

 Anna

 

post #272 of 343

Why don't you try giving nutrient dense foods like eggs (as many as she wants), cheese, yogurt.  ANYone could eat a zillion rice puffs a day and not feel full, because there is nothing to them.  You can't expect her to get over her food obsessions until you give her actual food.  Especially food with FAT in it.  

post #273 of 343
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post

Why don't you try giving nutrient dense foods like eggs (as many as she wants), cheese, yogurt.  ANYone could eat a zillion rice puffs a day and not feel full, because there is nothing to them.  You can't expect her to get over her food obsessions until you give her actual food.  Especially food with FAT in it.  


Please don't imply that I don't give her "actual" food.  I give her plenty of food.  The puffs are only for her to have something to feel like she is eating in between her 3 meals and 2 snacks so that she never feels like there is "no more" food.   So that she can feel like there will always be something she can eat.  

 

post #274 of 343

Anna - Are you getting any counseling or support? Is your partner supportive?

 

Adoption is a major life change and can cause depression very similar to postpartum depression. Obviously your daughter's health issues have had to come first, but I worry based on your recent posts that you may need some more help coping with the adjustment to being her momma too. And don't discount the added stress of parenting a child with, what it sounds like are some special needs. This is such an important time for attachment and bonding. I would hate it if these issues distracted you from getting the help you need to facilitate that in a healthy way for everyone. 

 

I hope that is not overstepping. You sound like you really want the best for your children and having a healthy mother is very important.

post #275 of 343
Thread Starter 

I'm absolutely sure I have post adoption depression.  I have sought counseling, and am starting a program of nutritional therapy to help rebalance my neurotransmitters.   I refuse to try prescription anti depressants.    But yes, you are right, this has overwhelmed me emotionally and although I feel bonded to her and love her, I also haven't had a break from her relentless problems for 18 months and that would stress anyone.

 

  Anna

post #276 of 343

Anna, I'm sorry if I missed it in this long thread but has your daughter seen any specialists? I'd recommend asking to go to a gastro specialist and take it from there. At the very least they will rule in or out the celiacs or other absorption issues. A good children's hospital will be able to help a lot.

post #277 of 343

I don't mean to thread hack either, but I read through the majority of this thread, and her stomach pictures really look exactly like a little girl I used to watch who had celiacs or wheat allergy, I can't remember what exactly, but there is a difference.  Not a mild case, but a very severe case, so even the smallest bit led to intense pain and bloating right after meals.  If I remember correctly she did have fairly normal bowel movements.  I watched her from before they knew and through the process of diagnoses.  We had to chart all her food intake and bowel movements, and make note of what foods she seemed to have an adverse reaction to.  Unless the foods she is eating are listed as completely gluten free, they may still have gluten in them.   

 

Even if this is true, it may not be the cause or even necessarily related to her eating patterns, but it would probably help her feel a lot better.  I know that they say food charting, and a food elimination diet is the best way to figure out if someone has a wheat and/or gluten allergy.  

 

I would also add that it sounds like giving her open access to food sounds like a good idea, but at the same time I would try to really shift the focus away from food.  So, let her eat when she wants, but don't make a big deal about it.  Focus on your relationship with her in other ways, and try to treat the food as a non issue.  Even if this means she chooses to be eating while you color, paint, go for walks, or read books together.  

 

I wonder if she was not receiving adequate nutrition in the orphanage, and her body is playing catch up now that it has access to wholesome foods.   Also she may be just gaining weight right now, but will start gaining height later.  

 

Honestly, having worked with a number of toddlers I would say the amounts she eats sound very low, and it doesn't sound like nearly enough protein or fat. Tricking a toddler into eating fats and proteins is a whole other issue.  But, her belly really does look like a food intolerance to me, and the fact that it is fine in the morning and worse once she eats would be a big indicator of a food allergy to me.  

 

I hope this helps, if not, please disregard any or all of what I have written.  I hope you are able to strengthen your bond with her, fortunately you are figuring this all out when she is young.

post #278 of 343

 

I have seen glimpses of her true self, when she isn't consumed with her eating problem.  She is beautiful, loving, sweet, loves music, loves to dance (I have seen her start wiggling to music even while crying).   I have glimpses of the joy we could be experiencing right now.     I know it's in there.  

 

We keep music on all day in the hopes that it will make her move and forget about food.  She knows all the words to the songs, and can imitate specific dance steps better than children twice her age.  She is super smart.       I feel bad for her.   And I love her. But there are also times during the day that I'm just tired of dealing with her and want her to go live somewhere else for a while.

Anna,

 

I can hear your heart breaking and I am so sorry :( I wish that some of us lived closer to you, if nothing else but to have some people there to talk and support you! Although it is a very different situation, I can relate to your feelings of love and frustration. I just wanted to say I am sorry that you \have been feeling attacked and even though I don't have any experience with what your going through, I wanted you to know that I think you are doing a fantastic job and it is clear how committed you are to your little girl. It is easy for us to say what you should or shouldn't do, or what we would or wouldn't do, but the truth is YOU know your dd best and none of us have the right to judge you.

 

I had one idea, have you tried frozen foods? Even fruit, like a frozen banana or frozen whole grain bagel? Maybe some frozen meatballs in one of those baby mesh things? Just because things that are frozen take longer to eat, maybe they would occupy your dd longer and it might give you just a few more minutes out of the kitchen.
 

 

post #279 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post




Please don't imply that I don't give her "actual" food.  I give her plenty of food.  The puffs are only for her to have something to feel like she is eating in between her 3 meals and 2 snacks so that she never feels like there is "no more" food.   So that she can feel like there will always be something she can eat.  

 


Well obviously she is still hungry, so you need to give her something that actually fills her up.  Just putting little nothings into her mouth over and over is not going to make her feel full.  Cheese.  Yogurt.  Nut butters on bread.  Skip the rice puffs.  

 

post #280 of 343

It is not obvious that she's still hungry. Her brain may be but her body is likely not.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post




Well obviously she is still hungry, so you need to give her something that actually fills her up.  Just putting little nothings into her mouth over and over is not going to make her feel full.  Cheese.  Yogurt.  Nut butters on bread.  Skip the rice puffs.  

 



 

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