I am a mother of 4 kids. My 1st child was picky as an eater...but NOTHING compares to my last child. I'm about to put my head through a wall. I don't know what to do w/ her.
Little back ground. My DD did not eat solids until she was 10 months old. Trust me...I tried! So for 10 months I nursed her every....2....hours. By the time for her 1 year check up she was nursing & eating bits of cereal...that's it. Her Dr. was alarmed as she completly feel off the growth charts & she was starting to plummet. Her check up revealed she was healthy & she had no problems. So my Dr. said she's a bad eater & is very active & not to panic. She said to keep nursing, but we had to suppliment. We would try to suppliment her at home before we took her to a pedi nutrition specialist. If she gained weight...great...if not...off to the specialist. My Dr. said I had to get her weight up & to abandon all thought of what I thought was good nutrition...which was so hard to do. I had to put wieght on her. My Dr. gave me the diet out lined & I about died.
Her diet...fat. Anything fatty...give it to her.
These are the things she ate.
Pads of cream cheese, butter, pure cream instead of milk, cereal / cream & breast milk.
That's all she would eat...but she ate it. And a month later she had gained weight & my Dr or I wasn't worried. Now I had to keep her on the high fat diet & start to incorperate healthy foods....which I thought would be easy....HA!
Fast forward...she's 5. She eats cream cheese on bagals & fajita shells. Mac & cheese. Some cheese.Crackers. Cereal. Yogurt..creamy. Some breads...usually white. Chicken nuggets...(& not the good kind...more like Aldi's chicken balls). Pancakes. Milk. Juice & pizza.
That's it. No fruit or veggie in any form. No chicken, no beans, no eggs, no pork, no beef. Nothing. & yes I have tried hiding foods. She can smell a blended carrot from miles away!
I have tried & tried. I have placed w/o complaint or suggestion foods on her plate...like a slice of banana..for every meal for 15 days (I read somewhere if you offer a kid a food it takes about 15 times of seeing it before they try it.....that's crap!)
My other kids will encourage her.
I offer healthy snacks.
I model good eating.
I got junk out of my home.
I honestly think I have tried everything.
Tonight I was done. We had corn, plain chicken & spaetzle noodles. She refused to touch a thing. So I told her she had a choice, try bites of the food or go to bed (it was 5:30pm.)
She went to her room. It's 10:19 & she is still awake...luckly....blessedly.. looking at books. Her TT only lasted 15 minutes.
I have dealt w/ a picky eater...but at least he ate eggs in any form & carrots & apples. I'm really at a loss of what to do w/ her.
Has anyone gone through this & do you have any suggestions.
I'm going to bang my head against a wall now.
That's a tough one!! I have a picky eater too, but not to that degree. But I know the feeling of wanting to bang-head-against-wall. I've tried the typical suggestions (get her to help you cook! let her pick out fruit at the store!). Nothing works. Mine will eat fruit and vegetables, but she'd rather not. She would live on pasta and cream cheese bagels if she could. Since yours likes creamy yogurt, what if you made a "milkshake"? So it would just be yogurt and ice. Then if she likes that, you could sub a little frozen fruit for the ice (frozen strawberries work great). And if she is ok with that, add a tiny bit of high-quality protein powder? And gradually up the amount of protein powder and fruit (but go reallllllly slowly so she doesn't freak out).
My dh will not eat vegetables and rarely eats fruit. I dub him the 'anti-vegetarian'. For him it is a very strong sensory aversion -- he's a 'super taster' and he's got strong texture aversions as well. So strong that like your dd, he would choose to go hungry rather than eat. Because of that, I wouldn't recommend that approach. It led to life-long issues with food for my dh. His diet looks a lot like your dd's: grains, cheese, meat, potatoes.
The fact that your dd's issues started so early suggest to me that it's also something sensory with her. Thus, I would assume that she cannot (as opposed to will not) expand her diet without help. I have a couple of reading suggestions:
Just take a bit: Easy, effective solutions to food aversions and eating challenges (The same author has another book: Finicky eaters: What to do when kids won't eat)
You might also want to read: The out of sync child to see if this is part of a more general pattern.
Are you in the US? (The mention of Aldi and spaetzle makes me think you're in Germany.) If you are in the US, and these books don't help, I'd seek out a referral to someone who deals with feeding issues or an occupational therapist. (Sometimes feeding therapy is handled by occupational therapists, sometimes by speech-language pathologists.) If you're abroad, I'm more at a loss to help, but maybe someone else can.
I'm here in the US, just an addict for german food!
Thanks for the books. I will be looking for those at the library today! You know, when she refused to eat when she was real little, for a brief moment I thought maybe its sensory issues. But then after all this time, I just chalked it up to me...being freaky. I fiqured I created this mess & it's all she knows. Let's face it, for years I was happy she just ate....even if it was crap.
Last night I just had a freak out moment. I realised she ate nothing by juice, milk, water & cookies (hanging my head in shame) for 4 days while we where at Grandpas for Christmas. The when we got home she had cereal for breakfast & cream cheese bagel for lunch & nothing for dinner. That's all she ate for 4-5 days! (and Grandma made some goooodddd food!) Tuesday night I just had it. I totaled up everything in my head & began to think my kid is slowing starving. Her face is pale & under her eyes are light purple. My husband just said it was the stress of the holidays...& that can be true. But what if it wasn't? What if she has been malnurished all this time...which how can she not be & I never saw it!
But today after reading your comments, I calmed down & took her sledding with her sister. When we got home she had a slice of cheese, some chez it crackers & I made hot chocolate w/ milk & a scoop of powdered milk just for good measure.
So thanks for talking me off the edge. I feel like I need to really look into this & stop looking at her like she is just stubborn. (bad mommy, BAD!) I'm off to the store & the library!
Does she have any signs of food intolerance - diarrhea, constipation, undigested food in stool, rashes, dark eye circles, runny nose/congestion, etc? Have you tried a gluten and/or dairy free diet? Do you supplement zinc? Zinc is often used to treat failure to thrive because zinc deficiency can cause loss of taste and smell. It is not something to supplement carelessly, but a conservative dose may help.
thank you for the book suggestions. i too have a picky eater, though not nearly as much as the OP. he's 5 now, and instead of adding foods to his diet, he's eating fewer and fewer foods. i've just about had it. i don't know what to do. i want to do a gluten free trial with him, especially, but i have NO idea what he would live on...he's a carbo kid.
This may be a bit too late for the OP, but for others that have clicked here, there's a great dietitian that has TONS of great stuff on feeding kids on her website:
Hope that helps!
I too am suggesting Ellyn Satter. She is the bees-knees of kids and eating. If you go to a ped. nutritionist (which I probably would) they will probably be using all of her materials.
I also wonder if there is some sensory things going on.
Find a Feeding Therapist. (my son has been to 2 different ones. He hasn't made huge progress but at least he's starting to eat different brands of the foods he likes.)
I put baby food (organic) in pancake batter. I've tried mashing my own fruit/veggies but it just doesn't get as smooth as baby food.
I can put anything in the batter as long as it doesn't change the color drastically. I also add cinnamon (and sometimes pure vanilla) to the batter. The cinnamon is a must!
Here are some of the baby foods I have added to the batter so far (not all together, mind you):
* Sweet potato
* Carrots (only half a small jar to start)
* Blueberries & Apples
I also mash up fresh avocado and put it into the batter.
My next step is to figure out how to add greens to the batter.
Mama, Painter, Special Needs Coordinator