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#1 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I was typing this out and accidentally hit something that erased everything, but i apologize if this comes through twice. I'm starting over now...

We adopted a little girl from Ethiopia 11 months ago. She is now 19 months old. She has always been food obsessed. We have still made no progress. I have written to you guys before, and I am begging for some help because no one I have been to or talked to has given me anything that can solve this problem. I have tried multiple suggestions, and everything seems to make this problem worse.

For example: This morning I gave K a good breakfast (1 cup adult oatmeal, whole milk yogurt mixed into oatmeal, blueberries, and a handful of Gerber puffs) We immediately drove to the park where there was a large group of moms I know meeting. As soon as we got there, though, K saw a banana that someone had. From that moment on, she would not do ANYTHING except suck her thumb, ask for food, stare at the table with snacks on it, or drink a bottle. If I tried to distract her or put her down for even a second, she would shreik like she was having pins stuck in her. The playground, the toys, other kids....NOTHING interested her. She was only focused on getting some food. I broke down and gave her a cookie, and she happily ate it, but once it was gone she only would ask for another. She was miserable, so was I, and we left early. My other kids were not happy.
As I watched other toddlers, my heart continued to sink into despair. Will I ever have that? Our dreams of having one more child to enjoy, nurture, etc., are gone, since we cannot really enjoy her unless she is eating or drinking a bottle. I have not once, in 11 months, felt like she has ever been satisfied. And if she is satisfied, it is only for 20 minutes or so until she starts asking for something else, or asking for a bottle, or if she sees food it doesn't matter if she just ate. I realize that all toddlers like to snack, taste others' food, etc., but there is NO POINT that she gets to where she has had enough and wants to other things.
At home, I can put all food away, and after a good meal she will play for a while. But if someone else wants a snack, she will be MISERABLE until she gets fed again, too.
I am at a loss. I have seen nutritionists, psychologists, etc. She is growing, gaining weight, and is getting an adequate amount of food. She is well porportioned weight to height.
She was overfed apparently, in the orphanage, and came home quite heavy. My pediatrician gave me the advice (she was wrong, I now know), to feed her a certain amount, and stop her even if she was crying for more. I did that for 3 months, and she lost some weight. When I realized how much she had lost, I asked a NEW pediatrician what to do. Her advice, as well as the nutritionist I saw, was to make sure she got 900 calories a day, and if she still wanted more, not to give it to her because that was enough (her activity level is low, and she only started walking at 18 months).
I am starting to lose my mind. I have decided I cannot go out into public anymore where there will be food. I have already stopped going to my book club and my son's playgroup, because those situations had become hours of misery as I could not focus on anything but her crying and whining for more food.
I have never gotten to the point where she is DONE. NEVER!!! Where we can happily go on to other things. Where we can do normal things again. She always wants SOMETHING. If it is not food, it is a bottle. If it is not a bottle, it is her sitting there sucking her thumb and focusing on the box of Cheerios on the counter, or my son eating a banana.

I have NO satisfaction of seeing her content as far as food goes. NONE.

I am losing my mind. Literally..

I am wondering if there is a solution, short of letting her eat nonstop, which will also curtail my regular life as I will have to stay in the kitchen all day, every day cutting up fruit or watching that she doesn't put too many Cheerios in her mouth at once. And should I let her get obese from eating nonstop and not moving from the high chair? Is it a good idea to let a child think they can eat all day every day? Will I be trading once problem for another? Will I ever have a normal life again??? I am pretty close to despair right now since I have other children and this problem is so pervasive. It is not like giving her an extra snack, or increasing her meal size, can be a solution. There IS NO amount of food that will satisfy her.

She does not have that disease that makes people eat nonstop. She has been checked by a physician. I don't know what else to do.


I am BEGGING for help. I have contacted professionals, and still have not gotten any help. She has NO attachment problems. This is definitely NOT an attachment issue.

Someone please just tell me what to do. I cannot take anymore.....

Thank you and God Bless anyone that can help me solve this so I can get our lives back and start living again.


Anna
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#2 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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I clicked on this thread and now I feel I should post because I don't want you to see the number of views and get discouraged. However, I am (1) not sure if I have anything I can offer you above and beyond the nutritionists and pyschologists, and I have to think about that, and (2) I am on a lunch break at work and need to get back, so will have to return to this thread later.

I hope venting was at least some release for you. Hang in.

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#3 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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P.S. Can you make a list of things you have tried to post here? I know you described what you did on the doctor's advice, but I am wondering about the pyschologists and other professionals.

I'd hate to make things more frustrating for you by suggesting things you have already tried. For example, have you tried giving her a fanny pack or backpack full of non-caloric and low-caloric foods (celery sticks, or the like...if she is able to handle those without choking) that she can have on her all day?

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#4 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I'm sorry, you sound absolutely overwhelmed.

Would it be possible to spread out her 900 calories through out the day? Instead of 3 square meals a day and a snack, just let her eat the same amount of food all day. It would be extra work for you, but it might nurture her need to continually be eating. Let her have a continuous stream of food. Let her eat Cheerios all the time.

Did you learn anything useful about your dd from the psychologist? Is this typical behavior for these orphans?

Perhaps I'm not getting the full scope of the issue. While her eating habits and behavior don't seem typical, and they do seem extreme, I don't exactly see anything wrong with it, other than it's totally stressing you out. Understandably!

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#5 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

First of all, I have no idea of any low calorie food except for rice cakes and puffs that she can have at this age. Cooked vegetables she gets at meals, but raw stuff is out of the question for this age.

But here is what happens if I give her a bag, or cup of something, with something to carry in it all day. IT IS GONE IN 5 MINUTES. Then, if I refill it, IT IS GONE AGAIN IN FIVE MINUTES. Etc., etc.......

I don't know how to do that when she will eat it ALL, NONSTOP, UNTIL IT IS DONE. I would be refilling the cup every five minutes all day. Then what? Put her in the high chair for a meal, and then let her go back to eating nonstop inbetween meals? She will not look at it and then go play. If it is there, SHE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!!!! So I am stuck.... or so it seems.
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#6 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
As I watched other toddlers, my heart continued to sink into despair. Will I ever have that? Our dreams of having one more child to enjoy, nurture, etc., are gone, since we cannot really enjoy her unless she is eating or drinking a bottle. I have not once, in 11 months, felt like she has ever been satisfied.
I just wanted to say I know how you feel and it is so hard. For my daughter it was not food, it is 100% undivided attention. If we give our other two children any attention, the negative behavior started. Watching other toddlers play used to make me cry. The good news is that things have gotten SO much better. My six year old has come so far. She is watching her brother play right now and letting me answer this question But it was very slow going. Even at six, in some ways she is still two or three.

In my experience, pediatricians are way to obsessed with weight and eating. Have you consulted a pediatrician who specializes in adoption? This is our adoption pediatrician:
http://specialists.childrenshospital...ict_id=9901160

Here is a nice article about her:

http://www.childrenshospital.org/chn...-04/angel.html

I don't know where you are located, but I wonder if contacting Dr. Alber's staff coudl help you find a similar doctor in your area. When I met with Dr. Albers, she spent a lot of time talking with us about food and food issues. Though my daughter has many issues, food is not one of them. I Know that she would have specific recommendations for your daughter.
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#7 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram3113 View Post
Hi,
I don't know how to do that when she will eat it ALL, NONSTOP, UNTIL IT IS DONE. I would be refilling the cup every five minutes all day. Then what? Put her in the high chair for a meal, and then let her go back to eating nonstop inbetween meals? She will not look at it and then go play. If it is there, SHE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!!!! So I am stuck.... or so it seems.
Just curious, does she make herself sick?
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#8 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Then maybe some intensive behavior therapy might help. I'm just winging it, and I'm not sure how to do this, but it seems to me you might be able to find a way to reward her for not eating, for learning to wait. Positive rewards for focusing on doing something else.

Forgive me, I don't remember what's developmentally typical fun for toddlers anymore my kids are older.

You'd need to start out small, like playing with her in a sand box for, like, 2 minutes. Make it clear to her that she can eat those slices of banana after she fills all three buckets of sand with the hand shovel. Then to get the rest of the banana she needs to pour sand over some toys, burying them. Show her how it's neat to watch the sand slowly pouring out of the shovel. Same thing with water instead of sand.

Read to her. One more page, then you get a bite to eat. Two more pages and you get a bite to eat. Three more pages and you get a bite to eat! Etc. Like I said, I'm making this up.

You mention a psychologist. Did the psychologist observe this behavior? A child occupational therapist might be helpful.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#9 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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My suggestion would be to have her evaluated for SPD. It seems to me that she is really oral sensory seeking. If you learn some tools to increase her sensory input in other ways it could really help.

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#10 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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My suggestion would be to have her evaluated for SPD. It seems to me that she is really oral sensory seeking. If you learn some tools to increase her sensory input in other ways it could really help.
THis could be true, or it could also be true that oral input could help fer avoid food for a longer stretch. Maybe soemthing like a z-vibe or a vibrating teether?
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#11 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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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.

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#12 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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My first thought is a food intolerance. Is it possible that she's sensitive to something she eats regularly? I've heard of cases (and I've seen in myself) where bingeing is associated with trying to fill a nutritional need that's not being met because an intolerance is preventing proper absorption of nutrients. (Celiac is an excellent example, and contrary to popular thought, doesn't always cause visible signs of malnourisment.)

I don't like making food conditional upon doing other tasks first. To me that sets up a pattern that can lead to disordered eating. Of course I've not dealt directly with such issues before so I may be way off base here.

One other thought after re-reading some of the posts is that it does sound a bit like an attention/comfort issue. Does she still obsess over food when she's being held and cuddled? Does she maybe associate food with comfort?

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#13 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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It sounds like she gets a lot of sweet things but not a whole lot of protein. Could you try giving her something more filling for breakfast, like sausage? What about cheese for snacks? I know you are trying to watch calories, but they aren't everything. Our bodies store and process sugar differently than protein. I can eat fruit all day and not feel full. Give me some meat and/or full fat dairy and I can go until tomorrow without eating. Same for my son. Maybe you can get some whey protein powder and add it to milk or a smoothie or whatever.
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#14 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Are your pediatrician and nutritionist specialized or experienced in working with kids from institutionalized settings? The advice you were given sounds more "standard" than anything I was ever told to do when caring for neglected kids or kids who hoard food as a foster parent. I'm also well experienced with pediatricians that want to force diets on kids (having a DD who is off the charts with both height and weight but because she is proportional has an excellent BMI--every pediatrician's visit they look at the weight percentile and lecture about obesity...even when I asked about her BMI they stuttered and then said, "but we only go by the weight precentile." sigh). However, it sounds like there was a legitimate concern, I just wish you had someone who could support you more than, "Eh, just only give her X amount of calories per day."

I wholeheartedly agree with Pumpkin's advice to seek out a *specialized* pediatrician and nutitionist if you've not already. I think an adoption specialist would be ideal. But if push comes to shove, I would start asking around on foster parent boards/groups to see if any of their kids have had issues with that (it's very common) and if they had any doctors that seemed to be helpful.

Low calorie foods: Have you tried soft fruits? What about those mesh-on-a-stick things that you can put an apple slice or two in for a kiddo to gnaw on ( they're more for babies though, not sure how they'd hold up to toddler teeth! Also, well, they are kind of gross and messy sometimes). Extra firm tofu (maybe not if you're concerned about soy) mixed in with some finely diced fruit? Or hard boiled egg whites, diced? (those are low calorie and high protein!) Finely diced chicken?

I think it's unrealistic to expect most toddlers to carry something with them and just graze from it unless that is how they are. Most of the toddlers I have known (including mine) will eat everything out of their snacky cup or baggie when they're given it unless they don't like it--they don't have self-regulation at all. I think most go through bottomless pit stages on a fairly regular basis, but it would be absolutely draining and exhausting to have to deal with that Every. Single. Day with no ending in sight.
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#15 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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I don't like making food conditional upon doing other tasks first. To me that sets up a pattern that can lead to disordered eating. Of course I've not dealt directly with such issues before so I may be way off base here.
Yeah, I don't think I do either! Like I said, I was just winging it.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#16 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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It sounds like my kids! You do not know this child's genetic makeup. My nephew weighed at one year what my daughter did at two. He got his mom's chunky monkey baby/toddler jeans. My sil's mom was worried about my skinny kids, then worried that they ate more than her chunky grandbabies. Some of this can be genetic chunk that disappears after toddlerhood.

Also, what do you expect a child's response to be when they see someone in their own home eating? At that age they like to share and being told no hurts their feeling. If you don't want her to snack don't eat snacks in front of her -- that is mean in any situation. I think if you polled you will find many people's toddlers expect sharing.

Her breakfast consisted of a lot of carbs, and very little fats or proteins. That meal would send me on a sugar crash. Kudos on the whole milk yogurt though. I cannot eat oat meal because it does not help keep my sugar level -- I don't care what research says my body acts differently to oats. I would add a solid protein, half boiled egg, left over chicken/fish, or bean source to see if they satisfies her more. I had one child that was only happy if she got a solid protein (mainly eggs) for breakfast.

Does she throw up?
Does she have bms daily? More than once a day?
Does she get juice? or Cows milk?
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#17 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I'm sorry I have no experience in this area, but I do have a 16 mo who loves food, and fruit is his favorite....
I just have healthy snack ideas for you.

I started steaming carrot sticks and green beans, and I just leave them in my fridge for when he asks for fruit and he's already had some. (He eats them cold) Also, defrosted frozen peas are a good snack.

I've also been making these "cookies" in the food processor, I'm not sure about quantities, I just fudge it.....Put in some cashews or peanuts, chop em up, move to a bowl....Put in some dates, and maybe some raisins, chop that up, and put in another bowl. Gradually add the nuts to the fruits, mush it up with your hands, and make it into flattened balls. (Wrap in cellophane for an on the go snack, or put on wax paper.) Stick em in the fridge. They're really good.

Good luck.
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#18 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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My son was drinking over a gallon of milk a day when we got him at 22 months. To reduce his milk intake we just gave him as many extremely watered-down bottles of milk as he wanted (constant). You could try that when you go out. If you water it down enough, it is practically just water, but it is still cloudy like milk.
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#19 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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Another thought, could you do an "all you can eat bootcamp." Set aside a few days (maybe a long weekend, when you can muster help with the other kids) and let dd eat as much as she wants. Just prepare lots of acceptable food in advance, steamed veggies and fruit and everything else she can eat in unlimited amounts.
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#20 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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i agree about the protein/good fats thing. i often eat and eat but eat the wrong things so i am never satisfied/full. cereal and milk or oatmeal and milk would not set with me for 30 minutes before i was looking for something else to eat. same with fruit.

also the bottle thing might be for comfort but it makes total sense, at this point in time my ds is nursing sooo much, but he needs the good fat so i do not restrict at all. maybe try traditional foods forum?

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#21 of 343 Old 08-23-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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One things about the bottle. I nursed my neediest child for four years, because she need it. Non-nutritional nursing on a breast is not bad as a bottle. Maybe their is a need to respect non-nutritional sucking -- maybe weaning to water.

Also, Ethiopians are more likely to be lactose intolerant. Yogurt typically isn't an issue, but it should be a consideration.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2787744
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...080.x/abstract
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#22 of 343 Old 08-24-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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Okay, I am back. A lot of what I want to say echos what has been said.

1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Are your pediatrician and nutritionist specialized or experienced in working with kids from institutionalized settings? The advice you were given sounds more "standard" than anything I was ever told to do when caring for neglected kids or kids who hoard food as a foster parent...I wholeheartedly agree with Pumpkin's advice to seek out a *specialized* pediatrician and nutitionist if you've not already. I think an adoption specialist would be ideal.
2.
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What about those mesh-on-a-stick things that you can put an apple slice or two in for a kiddo to gnaw on ( they're more for babies though, not sure how they'd hold up to toddler teeth! Also, well, they are kind of gross and messy sometimes).
I didn't mean to offend by suggesting celery sticks. My kids were able to handle that kind of thing at that age, which is why I suggested it but put in the caveat about only if it doesn't cause choking (and a lot of times, I do realize, kids who gorge will take in too much and tend to choke more easily).

If she is a kid who is likely to choke, the mesh-bag-on-a-stick thing for babies is a great idea. It can also be filled with ice chips to increase her water intake, as water helps the body sense when it is full. My kids sometimes used it for teething ice as toddlers, and they did not have an issue with biting it.

The other food suggestions have been good. And I really agree that the key may be in part on keeping her filled with proteins. Cheerios for me is really the non-stop edible food.

3.
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I think it's unrealistic to expect most toddlers to carry something with them and just graze from it unless that is how they are. Most of the toddlers I have known (including mine) will eat everything out of their snacky cup or baggie when they're given it unless they don't like it--they don't have self-regulation at all.
That may be true, but if you are at your wits end, I actually think it would be worth trying it in the "boot camp" style that pumpkingirl suggested. I don't mean fill a little snacky cup. I mean get the kid the biggest lunch box or mess-proof backpack she can handle and prepare a huge amount of food ahead of time to keep refilling her box/backpack with. Stuff it to the brim.

I just threw out the idea earlier thinking of things you might have tried, but now having thought about it, I think it could be an interesting experiment. You may have to be the one ultimately in charge of handling it, and you may put a requirement on it like that it stays in the kitchen or that she has to eat at a small table she can get in and out of by herself (to avoid messes), but the point is that it is readily available.

(For what it is worth, this is actually what we did with our own kids from a very young age. We follow the Montessori philosophy, so essentially we chose a low shelf and made that into the kids snack shelf. Every night we prepared snacks and put them in these sturdy little jars from IKEA that had easy on-off lids, and put those on their snack shelf. Then the next day, whenever the kids felt hungry, they could take a jar and bring it over to their little table and help themselves. My developmentally delayed son started doing this sometime between 13-18 months of age, so it is possible. The hardest part was teaching him that he had to remain seated at the table or that it meant he was done and needed to clear his place...it took patience on our parts, but once he learned that, it worked pretty well. Granted, between the two of them, only my daughter came to us with a history of being overfed, and she never had major issues as a result, but my point is to refute the claim that toddlers can't handle having access to food.)

I would do this for a couple reasons...first, it would help you assess where she is at better. I think there is a chance that the more you stress about this, the more her behaviors will exhibit. So if you give yourself a weekend where you are prepared and ready to just let her eat and eat and eat, and see what happens...then you can get a better idea of what is going on. Essentially, I am recommending that you isolate the behavior from factors like a limited food supply and your own frustrations. Second, I think you also find out whether some kind of system giving her unlimited access to healthy, low-caloric foods would work. She might surprise you! I hear you throwing the idea away because it sounds crazy, and I know it does, but sometimes things like this work in counter-intuitive ways.

4.
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Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
I just wanted to say I know how you feel and it is so hard. For my daughter it was not food, it is 100% undivided attention. If we give our other two children any attention, the negative behavior started. Watching other toddlers play used to make me cry. The good news is that things have gotten SO much better. My six year old has come so far. She is watching her brother play right now and letting me answer this question But it was very slow going. Even at six, in some ways she is still two or three.
Yes! Yes! And this is why I think that working with an adoption specialist as well as perhaps a behavioral therapist, if you are not already, might be tremendously helpful. As many folks here know, we did PCIT-A with our daughter, and it was really helpful with a lot of her behavior.

5.
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Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
Just curious, does she make herself sick?
This is a hugely important question.

6.
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Originally Posted by WifeMomChiro View Post
My suggestion would be to have her evaluated for SPD. It seems to me that she is really oral sensory seeking. If you learn some tools to increase her sensory input in other ways it could really help.
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THis could be true, or it could also be true that oral input could help fer avoid food for a longer stretch. Maybe soemthing like a z-vibe or a vibrating teether?
Trying a vibrating teether or z-vibe is a great idea!

7.
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It sounds like your daughter had gotten used to a steady stream of food, and also uses it for comfort.
What I would look for in a behavioral therapist is someone who has experience helping a child slowly transfer one comfort-seeking behavior to another.

I know you said she doesn't have any attachment issues, and you and the professionals you worked with will know best. But sometimes attachment stuff can be really subtle. When my dd came to me, her comforts were all things *outside* of our relationship. Over time, we've been able to transfer some of her comfort-seeking behaviors to some things that are relationship-based.

What we did is really seek to respect the comforting effect she already had going. For example, when dd came to us she was feeding herself from the bottle. She would sometimes cry for the bottle when she wanted to be comforted, not necessarily because she was hungry (which was also age appropriate). But she didn't want us to hold her. So we respected that she *needed* the bottle for comfort. But slowly we began to help her associate the bottle with *us.* So we weren't taking away what was comforting, but were bringing that thing to us. That puts you in a position where you can eventually can begin to phase out the original comfort item (which wasn't what we did with dd...the bottle was age-appropriate, we just wanted her to begin to associate the bottle with attachment) because you have begun to put the feeling of comfort into a replacement context.

8.
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Originally Posted by texmati View Post
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?
You sound frustrated because your life with your child totally revolves around food, but the above is still a valid question. Is there some way that you can set her up to get her needs met while you also get your needs met?

Quote:
can she carry around a watered down juice bottle?
Or milk in a sippy cup (to avoid spills throughout your house, since she'll be carrying it around) and then maybe start replacing the milk with increasing amounts of water-milk mix until it is just water (you don't want her to get baby bottle rot in her mouth)?

9.
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Originally Posted by tsfairy View Post
One other thought after re-reading some of the posts is that it does sound a bit like an attention/comfort issue. Does she still obsess over food when she's being held and cuddled? Does she maybe associate food with comfort?
It would indeed be helpful to know this.

10.
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Also, what do you expect a child's response to be when they see someone in their own home eating? At that age they like to share and being told no hurts their feeling. If you don't want her to snack don't eat snacks in front of her -- that is mean in any situation. I think if you polled you will find many people's toddlers expect sharing.
True enough.

11.
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Originally Posted by melon View Post
I started steaming carrot sticks and green beans, and I just leave them in my fridge for when he asks for fruit and he's already had some. (He eats them cold) Also, defrosted frozen peas are a good snack.

I've also been making these "cookies" in the food processor, I'm not sure about quantities, I just fudge it.....Put in some cashews or peanuts, chop em up, move to a bowl....Put in some dates, and maybe some raisins, chop that up, and put in another bowl. Gradually add the nuts to the fruits, mush it up with your hands, and make it into flattened balls. (Wrap in cellophane for an on the go snack, or put on wax paper.) Stick em in the fridge. They're really good.
Those are all good suggestions but anything with dried fruit can cause blood sugar spikes, so may increase her hunger later even though it has protein too.

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#23 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

Thank you to all of you that responded to my post looking for help/advice. I first want to say that nothing offended me because anything that was said trying to help me is fine with me. If I didn't agree with something, then I don't agree. But I have to say I agreed with almost everything. I am going to try to respond to some of the questions that came up, though.

My daughter has never thrown up after eating because I have never let her eat nonstop. I'm not sure if she would throw up or not.

Yes, it seems like she is a bottomless pit, although occasionally she will say "all done", but never when there is still food on her plate.

I have 3 other children, so I understand that all toddlers will want to share and watching someone eat might not sit well. But my other children, once they were full, would rather go and play than hang around the kitchen. I have usually had the experience that when we are out at a playground or someone's house, actually, that my other children will barely eat because they'd rather be playing. With K, she will DO NOTHING except eat.

K drinks about 10 oz. of milk a day and no juice. I water down her bottles because she still wants 4 or 5 of them.

I am thinking about the bootcamp, but I think I'll need some valium first. Watching her eat endlessly is difficult for me because I am so afraid I am teaching her unhealthy eating habits.

Someone suggested unlimited bottles. I would LOVE to do that. However, if I give her a bottle, she always completely finishes it, to the last drop (and then sucks on the air for a few minutes). So if I refilled it, she would sit and do it again. and again... Should I try it and see if she stops after 4 or 5?

Someone suggested SPD. What is that?

Thank you all again,

Anna
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#24 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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With SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) she would be seeking oral input from things other than food as well. My son needs constant oral input and he seeks that from chewing the collars of his shirts ad licking everything he finds.

And generally with SPD (although I am no expert) kids who sensory seek in one area (oral) will have other sensory behaviors as well (seeking or avoiding). So you would notice that she maybe avoids loud sounds or seeks out intense play.

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#25 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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I know this is difficult for you, but I think you might just try the one suggestion that has been offered over and over but which you haven't implemented yet (I don't think): offering unlimited access to food. You have gotten some great suggestions about how to put boundaries around it and make it work - really, what have you got to lose? I know it causes you anxiety, but it might just be the ticket to help your daughter.

This board has very few international adoptive parents on it, but the problem you describe is not uncommon. I would suggest seeking out support from others who have adopted internationally, particularly from countries where children were institutionalized before placement - China, and Eastern Europe come to mind. I'm sure you can find more "been there, done that" folks who could ease your mind.

I would also google "International Adoption Clinic" and find the one closest to you and get some expert advice from someone who will really understand the situation and can offer advice you can trust.

I do sincerely wish you and your daughter the best.
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#26 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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When you say she drinks 10 oz of milk a day...do you mean each bottle is 10 oz and she drinks 4-5 of them? or she drinks 10 oz of milk TOTAL each day?

What would happen if you gave her something she could have to "eat" but is difficult to consume quickly? Im at a loss for many ideas, but i'm thinking along the lines of a frozen banana...something she can chew/suck on but she cant gobble up and ask for more?

I think at this point you really can't say "she'll eat til she throws up" or "she'll keep eating and never stop" until you actually try it and see. Which i know is hard but its possible she DOES have a limit you just havent reached it yet. Or maybe she doesnt have a limit then you'll know.

And you said she's been checked for Prader-Willi Syndrome? That would have involved a genetic test.

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#27 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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I am thinking about the bootcamp, but I think I'll need some valium first. Watching her eat endlessly is difficult for me because I am so afraid I am teaching her unhealthy eating habits.
I often think that sometimes with adopted kids, going against your gut is the hardest part For me, it is showing affection to my daughter after she has done something very bad. Intellectually, I know I need to teach her I will love her no matter what, but my gut tells me I am rewarding her behavior.

Could you maybe change the way you think about it? Obviously, healthy eating is very important to you. But if you are feeding her three square meals a day, then there are foods she can eat non stop. Would you feel that it is teacher bad habbits if the thing she was eating non stop was steamed carrot sticks or broccoli floretts?

Quote:
Someone suggested unlimited bottles. I would LOVE to do that. However, if I give her a bottle, she always completely finishes it, to the last drop (and then sucks on the air for a few minutes). So if I refilled it, she would sit and do it again. and again... Should I try it and see if she stops after 4 or 5?
I would keep going until she is just done. BUT there are always complicating factors. My daughter would not sleep unless she still had some milk in her bottle. She also had medical problems that gave her dangerous diaper rash. So we were contantly weighing our need for sleep (so we could be good parents) against the medical issues that too much milk created. Unless there is a reason you can't give her unlimited fluids, I would try and see what happens. I would also say that in my experience of a child deeking comfort from a bottle, 10 oz of milk isn't that much. It may seem that way compared to a typical child, but lots of 19 months old still nurse a lot at that age. My bio daughter was close to done then, but lots of kids are not.
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#28 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so here is my question: Allowing free access to food (which I guess I am coming to believe is the only thing that is the right thing to do since nothing else I've tried has helped) is difficult for me, but I am going to have to do it.

1. She came home VERY CHUBBY, so clearly she allowed herself to be overfed even then.

2. She is STILL chubby, and I feel like she would eat 10 times more than she is now. So I can pretty much assume that she will gain ALOT of weight if allowed unlimited access to food, even if it is vegetables/fruit.

3. How do I do this logistically. She is 19 mo. old and needs finger foods, and we have an active life. Do I really just hand her a mountain of food in the car/stroller/family room/wherever we are and allow her to eat until she says she wants to stop?

4. What if she doesn't stop? What if she eats until she throws up?

I'm frightened of this scenario, and it is what has been keeping me from doing it. I wish I could hire someone to feed her for me......


Thanks!

Anna
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#29 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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2. She is STILL chubby, and I feel like she would eat 10 times more than she is now. So I can pretty much assume that she will gain ALOT of weight if allowed unlimited access to food, even if it is vegetables/fruit.
I hear that you are very worried about her long term health. I don't think she will necessarily gain weight. I personally would not give her unlimited fruit, but I would give her unlimited veggies.
Quote:
3. How do I do this logistically. She is 19 mo. old and needs finger foods, and we have an active life. Do I really just hand her a mountain of food in the car/stroller/family room/wherever we are and allow her to eat until she says she wants to stop?
I steam a bunch of carrot sticks, broccoli and what every other veggies I am feeding my kids once a week and keep a huge container in the fridge. They are not allowed unlimited food, but they are allowed unlimited veggies. It sounds like you would be doing this once a day, not once a week. I carry them around in gladware type containers. Ironically, I do for the opposite reason you will My kids don't eat, so when they express hunger and try to get me to buy them an unhealthy snack, I have the veggies ready, at least so they can have something healthy first.
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#30 of 343 Old 08-25-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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Okay, so here is my question: Allowing free access to food (which I guess I am coming to believe is the only thing that is the right thing to do since nothing else I've tried has helped) is difficult for me, but I am going to have to do it.

1. She came home VERY CHUBBY, so clearly she allowed herself to be overfed even then.

2. She is STILL chubby, and I feel like she would eat 10 times more than she is now. So I can pretty much assume that she will gain ALOT of weight if allowed unlimited access to food, even if it is vegetables/fruit.

3. How do I do this logistically. She is 19 mo. old and needs finger foods, and we have an active life. Do I really just hand her a mountain of food in the car/stroller/family room/wherever we are and allow her to eat until she says she wants to stop?

4. What if she doesn't stop? What if she eats until she throws up?

I'm frightened of this scenario, and it is what has been keeping me from doing it. I wish I could hire someone to feed her for me......


Thanks!

Anna
I'm FAR from an expert, but my 2 brothers were adopted from Korea, and my older (by 6mos) brother was CHUBBY. OMG he was CHUBBY - not even chubby, he was FAT as a child. Seriously, as a baby he would eat until he started burping up food. He still eats like crazy (but he is NOT fat - not even close he is 5'10" and maybe 140 or 150?), and just LOVES food. He was a chubby kid until he started school, and then he just shot up in height, and never got chubby again.

Seriously, he was the chubbiest baby anyone has ever ever seen, he had rolls EVERYWHERE!

I really don't have any advice, I just wanted to share that with you. He also hated bottles - he literally just wanted to dump the milk down his throat no sucking involved.
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