A success, of sortsI just wanted to update people on this situation because so many people took an interest in it when I initially posted this thread.
After Desta's January visit to the HIV doctor (at which time her bloodwork again indicated nutritional deficiencies), we implemented a "vegetables first" rule at the dinner table. Desta has to eat a serving of vegetables before she gets anything else for dinner, and if she wants seconds of anything (usually she wants seconds of the high-carb portion of the meal) she has to eat everything else on her plate first.
I know that this is not in keeping with the MDC way, but Desta visited the HIV doctor again two weeks ago and we just got the results of her blood tests on Thursday. Her T-cells, which had been dropping, have climbed 300 points and all her other bloodwork, including that which had previously indicated nutritional deficiencies, was fine.
I talked to Desta about this and about the fact that the HIV doctor said that the high-carb, no veggies diet she prefers could be contributing to her fatigue, and I hoped that she would understand the connection between her eating habits and her health, but she didn't seem to. I think that the connection is too vague for her. Since she was still feeling ok, in her mind everything was fine.
I don't like forcing her to eat, but she has gotten used to it and it's not really an issue anymore. We just told her that we are her parents and we are responsible for making sure she stays healthy and that's the way it is. We initially had an argument about it, but when she saw that dh and I were united and that we were not backing down, she accepted it.