so grossed out by the way he eats! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-07-2003, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It might seem weird, but I have a real problem with this. I am actually less grossed out when I change a poopy diaper than I am when I feed him. The puree is nasty, he smears it all over his face, hands, clothes, high chair, etc. etc. and then he shrieks when I try to clean him off. : I dread feeding him because of the mess. It's really bad. I have tried really hard to get past this, because I think he must pick up on how disgusted I am (it's hard to hide it) and I don't want him to have food issues or self-esteem issues because of it, but I just can't seem to get over it. I have always been a picky eater myself - I used to wipe my fork off when I went from the mashed potatoes to the beans on my plate, for instance. I still can't stand to eat off someone else's plate. I guess I'm kind of a weirdo about it. I can't give him biter biscuits because they get so slimy, I can't stand it. Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me? How can I get past this??
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Old 06-07-2003, 04:05 PM
 
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This is how babies eat. They haven't quite got the aim to get it where it needs to be. this lasts for a long time in some children.

I don't mean any offense by this but have you considered counseling? it sounds like you have some food issues and trying to be too neat with ds or not feeding hiom because you are scared of a mess may be passing some of those issues on to him. Also as he gets older and starts drinking after you, grabbing stuff off your plate, eating stuff that has drpopped on the floor (or stuff that other people dropped on the floor) you might really have a hard time dealing with it. And it is normal fo kids to act that way. we can all encourage kids to have good manners and eat neatly but lets face it. some kids are just messy and clumsy. My 6 year old still gets lots of food on her face and her friends are the same way. so it seems normal. How is your child going to feel if, at any age, you are constantly hovering over them wiping thier face, in essence telling them "you can just not do this good enough" or severly limiting what they can eat to things that are dry and messless. it is more than just quirky eating habits. there are some real issues here. If it were just you it would be one thing but your son is already having to deal with how they effect him.

Would it perhaps be easier if you didn't loo while he was eating and thenjust cleaned him and were done with it for the day? You could just put him the bath or even take him out and hose him off (its summer ).

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Old 06-07-2003, 04:35 PM
 
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I can relate.

Today at lunch I had to hide in the kitchen while dd dipped her pbj sandwich in ketchup. So very gross.

Last night at dinner I had to pretend not to see the lettuce and rice floating in her water glass. Again, very gross.

I also found purée a little icky.

I don't think it's a big worry. You (and I) can live with being grossed out.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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You're not the only one...a few have posted about this in the past. Counseling, aversion therepy, just not looking. This is not normal, and in its extreme forms I think it would be hard not to have this affect parenting. There was one women so bad she sends her kids to their rooms and has them come out and start over if they don't eat in a way she can handle (like chewing too noisily!) Would keeping wipes for you on the table help? finger bowl? Larger bibs and a drop cloth under the chair you can launder, and place the high chair tray in the dishwasher? When DD gets very messy eating we strip her clothes and hose her down in the kitchen sink in a mini-bath.

And trying to work up to less messy finger foods as soon as you can might help. My dd liked finger foods and did not like puree at all...mastering finger foods early has made her overall, a pretty neat eater for a toddler. And now she likes to use spoons and forks, I have never made her use them. We also only give her a small portion at a time and get down from the high chair right away once playtime begins. At the same time I give her snack foods out of her high chair and other neater foods she can "play" with as much as she wants.
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. I am certainly not going to rebuke a 7 month old for being a messy eater - I recognize this as a personal hang-up of my own and I am not going to take it out on Cole. It's just, no matter how I try to hide how repulsed I am, sometimes I know my face is saying "eeewwww", and I don't want him to know I think the way he eats is gross. It would be much better if I *could* clean him up a little as we go - not compulsively wiping off every bit of food or anything, just some periodic damage control to keep him from getting totally covered in goo. But he screams and cries when I clean him off, so instead of punctuating his meal with tantrums I just wait until the end and clean him off all at once. Let me tell you, he gets pretty gross by that time. Today for instance, I was feeding him broccoli, carrots and cheese. In addition to his usual smearing and dribbling (he likes to hold the spoon and help put it in his mouth) he was letting the food drool back out of his mouth a lot so he eventually was covered with greenish slime. I know I feel more strongly about it than most people, but who wouldn't be grossed out by that? I need a way of looking at it or something I can tell myself when he's all covered with gunk that will make me see it in a different light. I need a change of perception, KWIM? And I'm having a hard time finding it.
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Old 06-12-2003, 01:12 AM
 
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I work in the rehab field with kiddos and often see children who have severe texture issues, food avoidance problems. They have difficulty eating, progressing to new, more difficult types of foods, etc. Try and think of what he is doing as a developmental milestone. It is actually good for him to be all messy and gross. He is learning so much about his body - where his mouth is, his cheeks are, his lips. What different foods feel like. How to control his saliva and yucky green slimy drool. He is getting so much sensory input during the feeding experience. Eating is actually the activity we do that has the most senses, muscles, systems involved - next to sex of course!! ! Hope you can find a way to look at things differently!! Good luck and happy feeding!
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Old 06-12-2003, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm. Thank you, Jennaleeck.
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Old 06-12-2003, 02:17 PM
 
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I second the moving on to finger foods idea. It's much less messy and my DS really liked it so much better. He never got the hang of the mushy food.
Good luck!
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