Kids with oral aversions & feeding problems Support - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 5 and while we have made lots of progress over the years, it still is not easy.

He had severe oral aversions and would gag or vomit almost at every meal. I was spoon feeding him until about several months ago when he started to slowly self feed. He was eating completely pureed food until he was 4 ish (although he also can tolerate dry, crunchy things).

He does really good for a while eating, and then like now, he gets in a slump where he barely eats anything for days on end.

I wish I had been more articulate about the problem when he was a young toddler. Everyone told me that a hungry baby will eat. Yes, true, except for mine. Mine is happy to starve. When we finally got him evaluated it took so long for anything to happen, that nothing did happen. (there are other factors here, long story).

I feel so blessed that his younger brother eats like a horse. He eats anything and everything and says, "yummy". It's like a miracle to me.

I am not ashamed to say that I am one of those mothers who would pay money if my kid would eat a piece of pizza or a hot dog or a hamburger or a cookie or ice cream. He's never eaten any of those things and while I'm not a big fan of the standard american diet, once in a while a slice of homemade pizza would be nice or similarly with the others.

Anyone else struggle with similar?
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#2 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 12:24 PM
 
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This is my 2 yos list:
spagetti(noodles cut short, sauce only(tho I can blend any veggie in with it and he doesnt care)
pizza(any kind, even with veggies)must be cut into small mouth size pieces
banana(will only ever eat half, has just started holding it on his own
yogurt(again, only half, must be trix kind or yo baby organic
ice cream. any kind in a cone or bowl, not fussy about ice cream lol
chicken of any kind as long as it is plain
french fries any shape or kind
ketchup
any kind of junk food cookies, m and ms, chocolate

oh and he will drink oj, apple j, water, and strawberry milk once a day(about 4 oz, only at night)\
raisins, occasionally

thats it. he ate so many more things, but has recently cut out a lot of food like sandwiches, french toast and pancakes.

It is so tiring fixing the same ol food and eating at mcdonals when we are out(because there is no other food available that he will eat)
when he gets hungry he begs me for cookies and stuff but when i offer him a healthy option, refuses and would go hungry if i didnt short order cook his food.
this is beyond faddiness. beyond controlling me. he will cry and scream of FEAR for the new foods.

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#3 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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Mine is awefuly young to add to this list, but I am doing it anyway.

He feigns sleep when ever we try to feed him. He has oral aversions from being intubated and would rather not eat. The doctors kept on saying that babies eat when they are hungry enough, but mine won't.

The SLP today said maybe he would if we waited long enough, but that may take a couple weeks, she doesn't think it is sound advice.

We have tried all sorts of bottle out there, ever LC in the area and three feeding clinics now. We have made some progress, but it is still a great day if we can get more than 10oz into him and my 5.5 month old is still in 0-3 month clothing.

The last feeding clinic didn't like the Haberman Feeder and had us stop using it... He lost 3oz in the last two weeks. I wonder what they are going to say Thursday about that.

We are now stripping my baby naked every feeding, vibrating his mouth cheeks, and left arm before we attempt to feed him and torturing him to try to keep him awake long enough to eat.

He is the happiest baby I have met, as long as we don't try to feed him.

5.5 month of pumping and force feeding my little little boy. I hope there is some hope in sight.
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#4 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Liba, knowing what I know now, I would have pressed harder to get my son OT when he was younger. His doctor at the time also said that a hungry baby will eventually eat but I failed to impress upon him that this was not a normal case. Well he was my first and I just thought it would get better and it didn't.

Transitions, my 5yo's list of things he will eat is very small too. It's very frustrating.
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#5 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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Liba, knowing what I know now, I would have pressed harder to get my son OT when he was younger. His doctor at the time also said that a hungry baby will eventually eat but I failed to impress upon him that this was not a normal case. Well he was my first and I just thought it would get better and it didn't.

Transitions, my 5yo's list of things he will eat is very small too. It's very frustrating.
It was so nice to finally get validation today that my son isn't among the babies who will eat when they are hungry. I mean, I knew it, but to hear it from a professional was very validating.

We are working with a PT and a couple SLPs, not OTs at this point. They are into the sensory aspect of his eating issues though so hopefully we are on the right track.

My son LOVEs his z-vibe. He puts it in his mouth and cries when he drops it or we take it away. We tried to use it to wake up his mouth for eating, but he much prefers it to food. It is helping with spoon feeding him his milk though. We use the spoon attatchment and feed him his thickened milk on the vibrating spoon.
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#6 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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Hey, ladies! I am going to bump this over to Special Needs.

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#7 of 139 Old 12-17-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Transitions View Post
This is my 2 yos list:
spagetti(noodles cut short, sauce only(tho I can blend any veggie in with it and he doesnt care)
pizza(any kind, even with veggies)must be cut into small mouth size pieces
banana(will only ever eat half, has just started holding it on his own
yogurt(again, only half, must be trix kind or yo baby organic
ice cream. any kind in a cone or bowl, not fussy about ice cream lol
chicken of any kind as long as it is plain
french fries any shape or kind
ketchup
any kind of junk food cookies, m and ms, chocolate

oh and he will drink oj, apple j, water, and strawberry milk once a day(about 4 oz, only at night)\
raisins, occasionally.
Oh my god, I wish DS would eat this much! Here's my son's list:

Smart Puffs
Milk (combo of cow's milk and rice milk) with nutritional supplement

That's IT. Nothing else. Used to include one specific type of Newman's Own cookie, but that's been phased out apparently. Before we moved he also would eat bananas, sometimes pizza, and plain bread with nothing on it. He won't even drink water. We have to sneak icecubes in his milk to get water into him. For us it isn't a sensory thing, which is quite frustrating because OTs haven't had any luck helping us as a result. It is definitely about controlling what goes into his mouth, and knowing what that experience will be. This is also frustrating because if we could figure out how to get something else into his mouth just a few times and have those times be a pleasurable experience, he would start eating them regularly. I too would pay money to see him eat an array of junk food. So much for our dreams of feeding our children a healthy mix of organic foods with lots of fruits and veggies, huh?

Oh, and DS2 is shaping up to be a normal eater, thank god.
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#8 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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This looks like the place for me. I'm actually terrified that my daughter is anemic, because now she won't take her iron, either. She will only take yummi bears vitamins, and they don't have iron.

At this point, she is doing a lot better than she was a month ago. However, she is still only eating goldfish, peanut butter, crackers, and ice cream. Sometimes pretzels.

I just realized that she also will eat muffins and homemade chocolate chip cookies and chocolate frosting, too.
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#9 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}]

My five year old only eats about 5% of the foods he used to eat 3 years ago. He drops a food every month (sometimes more).


He is receiving OT from Children's for SID, and will be getting therapy for his severe anxiety and be going to the feeding clinic soon.



There are days when he will only eat noodles. So I feel all your pain! It's a hard job trying to "sneak" things in wherever I can. And my 13 year old has a few eating issues involving gagging too. And my hubby has SI issues. I never get to make one meal... if I did half this family would starve.

There are days when all I do all day is feed people. It's hard not to burn out.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#10 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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YoungSon is 10, and until 6 months ago or so, ate mainly popcorn and water. Occassionally meat (like steak with no sauce), crackers, chips. Then he had a choking experience, and literally put himself on a clear liquid diet: broth, clear fruit juice, water. A couple months ago, he added those gross colored "kid's" yogurts, and chocolate bars. Last week he added fish crackers and chips. Only the mamas here could understand what huge progress this is!

The amazing thing is that he is somehow alive and healthy.

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#11 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 01:50 AM
 
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Yes, Thystle, I guess I'm just used to that part now. But I often make three dinners. One for my younger daughter and myself, since we will eat anything. One dinner for my husband, who has a very limited range of foods he will eat, and one for my older daughter who has eating aversions. I do at least two loads of dishes a day, often three.

When going out, I pack two lunches: the healthy organic lunch for my younger daughter, and the goldfish, JIF peanut butter, and animal crackers for my older daughter.

Her pedi ruled out any physical problems, but I am still worried because we didn't do a blood test or take her to an ENT. Have any of you done that?
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#12 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When we took my son to be evaluated by the ot and psychologist (can I mention that we never got the help we needed even though they determined him to need help?) and they did take a blood test that showed he was anemic.

They gave us a liquid iron supplement and it tasted sweet.

I'm also making several dinners etc. It is very hard not to burn out trying to think of something he will eat.

He hasn't been able to eat well this last week and I think it's because he is sick. Yesterday he was begging that he was hungry and when we couldn't find something that he would eat (Everything, even his usual favorites made him gag) he lay down on the carpet and sobbed. OMG...
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#13 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 09:52 AM
 
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.
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And my hubby has SI issues. I never get to make one meal... if I did half this family would starve.
This is my family too!! Older son will eat a bit more than said hubby and ds2, but hubby will only eat meat and potatoes(no fruit or veg at all), so its meat and potatoes everynight, combined with spag or pizza and some fries, and then all my veggies!LOL I am NOT NOT NOT picky at all!

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#14 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 10:51 AM
 
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.

This is my family too!!
Me too! I often say my DH eats like a three year old and my three year old doesn't eat. You guys sound so patient with your DHs. I find myself frustrated with him about it. DS is just a child, but DH is a grown man. If it's really a SI I wish he would make some effort to deal with it, both for his health and for what he models for DS.
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#15 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 12:08 PM
 
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Kerry, trust me, I am not patient about it with him. I've just given up.
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#16 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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Kerry, trust me, I am not patient about it with him. I've just given up.
Yup.
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#17 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Me too! I often say my DH eats like a three year old and my three year old doesn't eat. You guys sound so patient with your DHs. I find myself frustrated with him about it. DS is just a child, but DH is a grown man. If it's really a SI I wish he would make some effort to deal with it, both for his health and for what he models for DS.
I used to get very frustrated with him. He used to just blame it on his mothers VERY horrible cooking as a child.

We finally figured out what was happening when we were researching what was wrong with our then 3 year old. And the realization that my husband had ALL the same issues... he can only wear a certain type of clothing, HAS to always be wearing shoes, hates most smells, won't eat many foods, etc... We then learned later on that another doc thinks he might have some FAS going (he was adopted).


So now that I know what is going on I am more sympathetic to it. And I have through patience been able to get my husband to try more foods.

But some days I do still get frustrated... the days I feel like I have 4 toddlers to take care of!




What is helping is that now I am trying to "train" my hubby to NOT make faces or say bad things about food in front of my five year old... unless the food is like rotten. I say train as he will have to be reminded many times before it becomes a habit. I want to minimize any possible "I am copying daddy" issues that might occur.






As for testing. A long time ago when ds5 was about 2-ish I had both older kids tested for food allergies, celiac, lead poisoning, etc... It all came back negative. I simply "made" the ped do it. I wanted to make sure we were not missing anything. I would like to have them do some now, but he would have to be sedated this time as he can not handle it.


And then we had his OT eval done at Children's Hospital. I highly reccomend having testing done there and NOT through a public school!!!!!! They seem to get the ball rolling better and do a MUCH better job!

Resistance is futile Matey
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#18 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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The reason I have stopped in my head with the "grow up already, you are an adult" towards my husband is the realization that NO ONE ever helped him as a child. He is also dyslexic and had to find that out in college for himself. His parent's simply spanked him or punished him for being "bad". He never got help and never learned coping skills for any of this. It's amazing he functions as well as he does!


I also have been making him come to ds5's OT with us... so he can see. I think it is doing something in his brain, to see his son struggle... he is "opening" up a bit more.



Try to step back and realize that if an adult has SI issues (ESPECIALLY if they were NEVER addressed as a child)... they have had a lifetime of coping skills they made up for themselves to keep themselves "safe". It's hard to undo those. Unless you also suffer from something similar you can NEVER know HOW hard it is for them. Yelling at them won't help. It will only put them back into themselves where it is "safe".

How would you feel to see strangers yell at your child? To watch relatives yell at your child over things he can't control?
Try to think of how many times others yelled at your spouse... they are wounded inside too.


Now most days I am just happy to get people to eat something even remotely healthy. I am thankful they can eat at all. I am thankful I don't have to tube feed anyone.


If they were to die tomorrow would I really care if I had to fix something different for them today?




(yes I have been thinking alot on this lately)




.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#19 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds View Post
He hasn't been able to eat well this last week and I think it's because he is sick. Yesterday he was begging that he was hungry and when we couldn't find something that he would eat (Everything, even his usual favorites made him gag) he lay down on the carpet and sobbed. OMG...




{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}


Could he eat a popsicle at all?


If he truly can't eat, you may want to take him in.


{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Resistance is futile Matey
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#20 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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Try to step back and realize that if an adult has SI issues (ESPECIALLY if they were NEVER addressed as a child)... they have had a lifetime of coping skills they made up for themselves to keep themselves "safe". It's hard to undo those. Unless you also suffer from something similar you can NEVER know HOW hard it is for them. Yelling at them won't help. It will only put them back into themselves where it is "safe".

How would you feel to see strangers yell at your child? To watch relatives yell at your child over things he can't control?
Try to think of how many times others yelled at your spouse... they are wounded inside too..
I know all this - I'm just expressing my frustration about it. It's hard to see him not make a real effort to take care of himself, especially in front of our kids. I do know what it's like to have deeply ingrained issues left over from childhood - but I've also taken steps to help myself with them. Wanting him to take those steps too doesn't make me any less compassionate about what he's gone through and goes through when it comes to food.

FWIW, I don't yell at him. I don't yell at anyone.
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#21 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today was much better. I finally got him to take some paracetamol for his pain. It turns out his throat was hurting. It took several hours to persuade him to chew the tablets.

He ate so good today it was amazing. The hardest thing for me has been to release those feelings that on the days when he eats well, that means I'm a good mom. And the days when he can't eat or when he's overly gaggy That means I'm a bad mom.

He ate today:

1/2 cup oatmeal made with milk and butter
1 pbj on whole wheat
The juice of 2 oranges
1 piece of sweettart like candy
1 yakult
1/2 cucumber with salt
1/2 head stir fried broccoli
6 fish sticks :
3 very small crackers
2 spoonfuls of yogurt
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#22 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing that used to help a lot was when my son chewed gum. Another thing is that I used to let him blow bubbles into a glass of water with a straw before taking a bite. I also used to feed him while he took a bath. Something about being in the warm water helped a bit. Those things aren't working for us now that he his feeding himself.

I'm curious Thystle, when your son gets treatment, what that treatment looks like, especially for the anxiety and feeding clinic. I'm worried I'm not doing enough.

My 2yo won't eat unless he feeds himself. It's like night and day between my kids. They couldn't be more different regarding food and feeding.
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#23 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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I took my daughter in to see her pediatrician today. I felt so embarrassed, because her iron levels are great. The bruises were normal childhood bruises on her shins, but no real explanation for the dark circles under her eyes.

Overanxious mom strikes again. Even though she had refused her iron supplements for over a month, apparently there were sufficient stores of iron.

Pumpkin Seeds, that's quite a menu for one day!

Wearing shoes all the time is a sign of sensory processing dysfunction? My dh always wears shoes.
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#24 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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Can I join? I've got a 4 year old with sensory issues. He can't tolerate many, if any mushy foods but regardless, he hardly eats at all. He was in OT until he turned 3 and had made great progress ... but in the last year he's gone back downhill (eating-wise ..everything else is great!) and I really need to get him back into OT.

Our biggest problem is that he loves PediaSure, and prefers to drink it over anything else. Of course, if he's drinking that, he's not hungry for regular food. People say just cut out the PediaSure and he will eat! Well, I know you guys understand that just is not true ... he wont eat, he'll starve himself before he'll touch food some days/weeks. It's so hard.

He likes crunchy, mostly colorless foods. So tortilla chips, corn, crackers are pretty much all he wants to eat .. and that is IF and WHEN he ever feels like eating. He lives off PediaSure, which is so very expensive.

I'm going to watch and join this thread, and hope we can find a good pediatric OT after the first of the year.

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#25 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You just can't wrap your head around it unless you have a child like that, isn't it? The best validation that I got was when my son was being evaluated and the OT said that whoever told me that "he would eat when he was hungry" was wrong.



I said before that I was spoon feeding my son until a couple of months ago. I used to feed him this pureed soup I would make and hide a lot of things in it, but now he won't eat it because he won't self feed it and he doesn't want me to feed him anymore. So now I'm trying to find things that he can eat without gagging.

I know I'm rambling, but there has been many a day when I thought I was the only one going through this. And to think I used to consider myself a foodie. Now I think of food and I just. get. sad.


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People say just cut out the PediaSure and he will eat! Well, I know you guys understand that just is not true ... he wont eat, he'll starve himself before he'll touch food some days/weeks. It's so hard.
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#26 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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My 2 1/2 year old isn't really pick per say...he likes a wide variety of foods when he is willing to eat...he just doesn't like eating in general.

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#27 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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kchoffmann {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I was being all encompassing when I said yelling. I was trying to get a point across. I still get frustrated too and I rarely yell.

If he is not willing to help himself or you out, he may be depressed or you may both be in need of counseling to get at the "root" of what is going on. It may be a power struggle.






I am anxious to see what they do in the feeding clinic also. I will let you know as soon as he gets in. Right now in OT they have him do "hard" work (vestibular) and then "snack time". It is rather scripted and follows a protocol. So my son has not been as "receptive" and "compliant" as some. But I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I am desperate enough for him to try anything once.




I am also using alot of the Nourishing Traditions ideas (over in the Traditional Foods forum). And I will buy him "better" stuff than the rest of us eat if my food budget is tight. Meaning he will get the organics before the rest of us. I figure since he does not eat as much he should get the best first. I was happy that he is now starting to ask if something is healthy or not... and occasionally will "allow" a food brand switch to something "better" if he thinks it's not healthy. Like when we got him to switch to organic trans fat free faux Oreo's instead of the real ones. Ofcourse there was that one day I accidently bought the wheat and dairy free ones and he cried for an hour after putting one in his mouth.




Our biggest thing to "get over" was the "wasting food" struggle. It was hard to get everyone to stop getting mad at him for wasting food. It's hard for many people to step outside the box and try to remember he is not doing it on purpose. But removing the "shame" helps a bit.


Oh and mine does eat better if he does heavy work/vestibular stimulation first.


Ok I am rambling now....

Resistance is futile Matey
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#28 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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PumpkinSeeds ... would he eat the soup if it is in a cup?



Anytime my son showed an interest in a new spoon or silly bowl or cup I would buy it. I have a whole assortment of little things to try to make it "fun".


Would he respond if you let him choose some new cups (or bowls or sppons or those little feed bags thingies, etc...) all by himself? Even if you just put something in it every "meal" and it takes him a month to try it? Over and over again until he accepts it?

Resistance is futile Matey
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#29 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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PumpkinSeeds, welcome to the SN forum! There are many parents here whose children have feeding issues. I think feeding issues are soooooooo hard to deal with on so many levels. I mean, a mother's first instinct is to feed her child, and when you can't, it's just an awful feeling.

My dd's story is the sig link below, click on GERD. Basically she has had a feeding tube from 3 mos old for GERD, vomiting, refusing to eat, lack of hunger. Now she's almost 3 (in Jan) and doing better in many ways, but still not anywhere near normal with eating. The tube has been a blessing in disguise.

My dd has recently been dx with E.E. It's an allergic condition of the esophagus that comes from food allergies or inhaled environmental allergies. It's very hard to diagnose it, and can only be done through biopsy. It also is hard to find out which allergies are bothering her because a skin test won't reveal them. Different kind of allergy cells. The dx explains a LOT. I was wondering of your child has had any tests done for this condition, or for food allergies in general.

My dd is hand-fed most of her food, and when we are able to devote the time to her, we can get enough calories in her without the tube. But she eats so slowly with solid foods, and she has a hard time eating purees without gagging, and she won't drink milk or smoothies (just a little bit, like 2 oz) so it's a struggle.

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#30 of 139 Old 12-22-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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Ooooooooooh one more thing.


I bought him a little Easy Bake Oven and he seems to want to "bake" snacks for himself alot more. It's worth a try!

Resistance is futile Matey
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