HELP! major, major eating issues - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 27 Old 05-26-2005, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i don't know if i should have posted this in the nutrition thread.
anyway, my 4yo son is pretty much on a hunger strike. well, he does eat, but it's a big, big issue. and he doesn't eat much, and he doesn't eat much of anything.
he used to have the *best* diet! he used to eat mesclun salad with feta cheese and olives and balsamic vinaigrette as his favorite food! i mean he used to *ask* for it, nearly every day. he used to eat nearly anything i made. he used to come to the table when i told him it was mealtime, with no hassle. {note, i'm a single mama of just him}.

nearly all the trouble started when we moved in with roommates...he copies the 5yo's nearly every behavior. she doesn't eat much veggies or fruits, she eats what she wants when she wants, they don't have "mealtimes", she eats in the playroom in front of the video. she causes big tantrums when she doesn't get her way. (sometimes she gets it as a result, and sometimes not).
{moving out is not an option right now; too expensive, and we have 8 months to go}.

now it's gone beyond that. it's not even about the roommate's kid anymore. they weren't even home for the last month; they were gone before we woke up and home after we went to bed.

now he's just refusing to eat, saying he doesn't like anything (unless it's candy or popsicles or "bad food" {his words}).

he used to be way into anatomy and had his own anatomy book. he could name every body part and tell what its function was. now he's decided he's repulsed by anatomy and if you even say the word "butt" (like get both your butt cheeks on the chair) he says "DON'T SAY body parts!!" and won't eat, because you made him think about body parts. if you say the word "insides" he thinks of body insides and "can't eat".

i would take this as valid-- well, 4yo valid-- if he was not able to eat anything. but he has no problem with candy or sweets or boxed mac and cheese. not that i have sweets around much anymore. i didn't have them around anyway, really, but now and then i'd get him a little bit.

before the roommates, he never even had mainstream candy or sweets or juice boxes or anything that wasn't from the healthfood store or that i made. i got a little slack because they were bringing all sorts of stuff home, and have free access, and what could i do except become Big Bad Mama, so i let a lot go, because i decided that our relationship was more important, but this is getting out of hand.

today, we were supposed to go to Health Adventure (a kind of children's hands-on museum). he LOVES it there. but i told him that we weren't going until we ate lunch. we stopped at a really nice spot to have a picnic lunch that i made, and he refused to eat. it was a sandwich that he ate with little (well, less) problems yesterday, and today he "hates it". i packed one lousy apple slice with it, and 3 baby carrots, and he kept spitting it out, and crying, and whining, and saying "yuck". it was this big major deal to where i said "we are not going after all, you've caused too much fuss". it was like an hour of fuss!

one problem is, he has behavior issues related to low blood sugar. his hyperness gets way out of hand, and his impulse control, which is very low to begin with, goes out the window. he gets whacked.
another thing is, he's lost a couple pounds. i didn't notice it physically, but he got on the scale and used to weigh 39. now he weighs around 37ish.

is this normal? do other people go through this? should i just let it go? what in the world should i do? i've told him that he could end up in the hospital with tubes, force fed, but even that doesn't sway him.

help!!!!
it's been like 2 weeks now, this acute problem. today i'm nearly in tears. i SO don't want to create a monster out of food, and here it's become that very thing.
what would y'all do? any personal experiences? any hope?


thanks so much,
pamela

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#2 of 27 Old 05-26-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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I'll start right off by telling you that I'm probably not going to be much help. My 5 year old is a VERY picky eater as well and will eat one thing one day and the next she "hates that".

..but I'll try just cos I feel your pain

Have you tried letting him help make his own food? Like making that boxed mac and cheese he likes but letting him drop in pieces of veggies to make it more "colorful". Or baking muffins and letting him stick raisins into each one or let him make his own cheese sandwich (or whatever) and then let him cut it with cookie cutters...anything where he can help out and make it "his"

Sorry, but that's about all I have for you other than to say perhaps going out and getting a "kid cookbook" they have some great ideas in those and my 5 year old really likes acting like a grown up and using one to pick out and to mostly do her own snacks and such.

Hope that helps at least a little
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#3 of 27 Old 05-26-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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oh...and as a last resort...or intermediate till you can get him back to eating again. Maybe you could go out and get one of those kid shaky drinks. I don't know any name brands, but I've seen the adds. They're like milky looking drinks for kids that have vitamins and minerals??

Maybe make him a milkshake substituting that for the milk part or just freeze it and let him eat it telling him it's a vanilla slushy (or whatever flavor they come in)

?
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#4 of 27 Old 05-26-2005, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*sigh*....he doesn't like raisins, or applesauce, won't eat veggies in his mac-n-cheese...and he loves to make stuff, but the fun is in the making and he won't eat the results (usually). i'll try the cookie cutter idea. he doesn't, as a rule, like sandwiches at all.

what is this shaky drink thingy? we don't use cow's milk; is it something that i can make myself using soy? hmm, now my wheels are turning...if it has chocolate syrup in it, he just might go for it. but probably only for a day *sigh*

he does like this one kind of cereal and soy milk and he will eat frozen blueberries. i can't believe my once-veggie-loving child will not touch a veggie with a ten-foot pole. guess that's what i get for being so smug back when he ate salad every day :-(

any more ideas, PLEASE keep 'em coming!

thanks,
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#5 of 27 Old 05-27-2005, 10:02 AM
 
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If he likes frozen blueberries maybe he'll also like other frozen fruits???

My kids love frozen grapes. I wet them a lil and roll them in just a little bit of sugar and freeze them. They don't taste nearly as good without the sugar. Something about freezing them makes them less sweet. But they luv em that way.

If he likes peanut butter (we buy the natural kind, not Jif or any of that crap) you can try making peanut butter boats. We smear PB on celery stalks or apples. They love those too and they love making them.

We also like making our own mini pizzas. It can be a lil messy and somewhat time consuming, but it's really fun for them and even for us adults to an extent. :LOL I buy a can of regular biscuits (the larger ones) and a jar of pizza sauce and lots of shredded cheese and layout a rolling mat and let them roll their own and I put out little bowls of different toppings and let them put on what they want. I've gotten them to try all different kinds doing it this way. They used to only eat pepperoni (youngest daughter) and mushroom (oldest daughter)..but now they'll eat ones with ham and pineapple and taste a few others.....every bite counts IMO
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#6 of 27 Old 05-27-2005, 10:08 AM
 
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ok..I just did a search to try and find the brand of "milky stuff" I was talking about

It's called Pediasure and it comes in 5 flavors. Vanilla (Regular and with Fiber), Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana Cream, and Orange Cream. I don't think it has any milk in it...but not positive.
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#7 of 27 Old 05-27-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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Can I give another perspective? Why are you making this your problem? Research has shown that one of the main causes of obesity and eating disorders is "food rules". I guess as with breastfeeding, your kiddo has his own hunger and fullness cues and should be supported in following them. In other words, you don't have any control over when he's hungry or if he's hungry, or how much he eats, just what you offer him to eat.

As practical advice (what I have used with my dd) I would simply state, "Are you hungry for lunch?" If he says no, say "OK". If he says yes, offer him a few choices, "You can have salad or a sandwich, or some eggs, with any fruit or veggie you want". If he says, "I don't want any of that!", ask him what he does want. I STRONGLY suggest only having healthy foods in the house for him to choose from. Kids often get into the "dessert is a reward for eating "good" food" kind of thinking that can be dangerous. Then it's easy to say, "We don't have any mac n cheese, but we do have pasta with tomato sauce". If he still says he doesn't want anything, say "OK, let me know when you decide what you want".

You are in a power struggle that will have no winners. You will either break his spirit and "get him" to eat, or you will end up feeding him a bunch of crap and establishing a bad pattern. He will eat when he decides it's worth it to eat. Unless he's dangerously thin (and it doesn't sound like he is) I would try this for awhile and stay away from the pediasure - it's packed with sugar and carbs.

JMHO. I sincerely hope it helps.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#8 of 27 Old 05-27-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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Hm... seems like you have gotten yourself into one heck of a power struggle. I'm not sure how this works if your roommate stocks food that you don't want him to have, but what happens if you back off of the control completely? Stock the shelves (that he can reach or that he's permitted to visit) with healthy stuff. Same with the fridge. Let him eat what he wants, when he wants. Fix meals and offer them, but don't force anything. (Our only requirement is that the kids come to the table and sit down long enough to say grace.) Don't use food as a gate to something (you have to eat to get to go on an outing). I would bet dollars to donuts, um, made-from-sratch-whole-grain-unsweetened bagels that he eats more than you think he will and with better balance if you look at several days running. At the very least, you difuse the power struggle for a while. Then, if you completely can't deal with this approach to food, you can try to encourage stuff again and maybe it will be more successful. This takes the stress away from food, it allows him to be responsible for his own body, it respects his likes/dislikes/needs, and it make life easier for you. In return for those benefits, you give up some control (but you still have a lot because you have the money and control what comes in).
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#9 of 27 Old 05-28-2005, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, all. i *know*i have a major power-struggle going on! lol
i am making this my problem because it's *my* child. my child is my problem.

that said, it's not about hunger or fullness. i totally respect if he's not hungry. it's about manipulation, because he asks me for candy at 6am, before my eyes are even open, and he won't eat anything. well, not much.

what i've decided to do is this. we are going on a candy strike. like i said before, it's not like i brought that much (or that often) into the home. but i think it's better not to have it at all, at least for awhile.

this really started back at eastertime, when the roommates brought in this HUGE, i mean HUGE, bag of candy and they all had unlimited access to it all the time, for weeks. the 5yo was on easter break, and was home with the 15yo, my 4yo, and me, all day long, and she ate candy from sunup to sundown nonstop, in front of my son, every day that she was out of school.

i didn't let my son have unlimited, but i have let him, during and since that time, eat "mainstream" candy, as much as once a week. then he started in on the "if i eat healthy food, can i have candy" and i didn't see a problem with that, so after meals i would let him have some. then he took it and ran. it started in constantly, and now with this "i can't eat i'm thinking of body parts" thing, as well as the "can i have candy" all the time; it's driving me nuts.

plus the ice-cream man comes a couple times a week, stops right in front of our house, right at dinnertime. i told him he could get some once a week, that i was not going to pay $1.50 several times a week for the ice-cream man when we had (soy, non-GMO, non-refined sugar, no artificial stuff,and he doesn't know it's "healthier") ice cream right here in the house. so he says "well then i will buy it", and yesterday ran right down there with his own piggy bank to wait. what can i do about that? it is, after all, his money. but i don't want him to have bomb-pops instead of dinner. he would probably eat the dinner if there was no ice-cream man. or if he didn't eat the dinner, he would at least probably not balk about ice cream so much.

anyway, so i decide to not bring any "bad foods" into the house anymore, and today my roommate brings in this HUGE box of mainstream, artificial colors/flavors, characters-on-the-box popsicles. and the 5yo sits right there and opens them up, right in front of my son, what could i do? be Big Bad Mama again? i let him have one. but i said he could only have one a day.

anyway, about meals, i have decided to put little teeny bits on his plate, and if he doesn't eat, i'm going to do my best to shut up.
i haven't figured out what to do about the nearly constant asking if he can have popsicles, ice cream, and candy, because the answer is nearly always no. i don't know what to do about him trying to go in the snack cabinet (which has chips, crackers, rice cakes, and cookie-type stuff) when it's mealtime.
i mean, he really does constantly ask, from about noon onwards, if he can have popsicles and candy. we make popsicles here out of fruit juice and i don't have a problem with those; it's those artificially made ones, with refined sugar, that i have a problem with. if i let him, he would *constantly* eat that stuff from lunchtime till bedtime. i've let him, just to see.

coming to the table, he won't do that, unless the other family's kids come. he copies what they do.

my roommate did try to hide the box of popsicles, but the 5yo made a big deal out of it.

<<<<I would simply state, "Are you hungry for lunch?" If he says no, say "OK". If he says yes, offer him a few choices, "You can have salad or a sandwich, or some eggs, with any fruit or veggie you want". If he says, "I don't want any of that!", ask him what he does want. I STRONGLY suggest only having healthy foods in the house for him to choose from.>>>>

as i said before, when i ask him what he *does* want, the answer is popsicles, candy, or ice cream. i also don't have complete control over what comes in the house because we have roommates, and they bring in stuff that i would *never* bring in, and we are allowed to share that stuff, and he knows it. and also the 5yo eats that stuff in front of him.

so anyway, i will keep gathering suggestions. i'm sure i will form a plan that works. what my goal is, is to get him fed, off the junk, and our relationship improved.

it's been hard, and i'm sure it will get harder before it gets easier, but thanks for listening.
i'll keep reading!

pamela

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#10 of 27 Old 05-28-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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It's hard when you're not in complete control of what's in the house. If it's not in the house, that's an easy answer! I have this problem at any of the relatives. Also we run into no-no foods at school and playdates sometimes. I try (not always successful) to only give and offer good foods, lots of protein and good things to keep him on an even kilter. If Grandma is giving him lollipops on the sly, I don't say a whole lot in front of him. I might to her, though! We also have the rule that "we don't eat that." I don't know how successful that would be for you with the 5 y.o. in the house all the time, but it works sometimes when we are around the cousins at their house. I have to bring a substitute goody. Do you bake? Maybe you could make some yummies that the 5 y.o. would like. You can put lots of good stuff in a cookie or cupcake. Grind up carrots, zucchni, nuts, 1/2 whole wheat flour, sweet potatoes or the like in them. Sometimes when DS has not eaten well and needs a snack, I give him the snack en route in the car or stroller. He will often eat then b/c there's not much else to do...sometimes we even do breakfast like this. If you don't go out of the house for another reason in the morning, you could initiate a morning walk in the stroller and at least start the day out good! Good luck. HTH.

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#11 of 27 Old 05-28-2005, 11:25 PM
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It sounds like he has joined forces with your roommates. I see this whole thing stemming from their influences on him. I think you need to have a serious talk with them before you can even attempt at dealing with your son. As roommates you all need to respect each others parenting styles and if don't want you son to eat junk then your roommates need to respect that and while they are free to eat it, it would be respectful to do it elsewhere and not in front of your son. It also sounds like you have had structure and your roommates do not.

I honestly don't see how the stituation is going to get better with your son so long as you continue to live with these roommates. I don't think you need to cave into your beliefs and parenting style because your roommates do not agree with them. It would be like my family and my sisters family trying to live together. No way would that work without serious consequences to my family structure and all I have worked for.

Food for thought.
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#12 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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i've told him that he could end up in the hospital with tubes, force fed, but even that doesn't sway him.
You're free to say as you choose... but please consider not telling him that. Maybe it's just me, but.... my parents always told me that when I was little, and it NEVER helped. My entire childhood was filled with memories of being forced, manipulated, and feeling SO ANGRY over food.

I'm told that I used to eat "everything"... and suddenly, at a very young age (I don't even remember it), I wouldn't eat anything. All I would eat was.... chips, french fries, toast, candy, soda... NO meat, vegetables, or fruit. Literally. Every meal was a nightmare... I was constantly being forced to eat. I was so miserable. For YEARS, I was unable to get much of anything down without using soda to swallow it. I once choked on cauliflower because I started swallowing it whole.

I could go on and on... but this post isn't about me. I don't know what my parents SHOULD have done... but the manipulation caused a lot of problems. I can at least tell you that now that I'm older... I've slowly been able to eat food normally again. I don't have the best diet, but I am able to eat meat, fruit, vegetables... although I'm still picky. And I don't need soda to swallow anymore!!

I'd be happy to talk with you more my experience, if you want. Either way.... just be careful.
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#13 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 12:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cjr
It sounds like he has joined forces with your roommates. I see this whole thing stemming from their influences on him. I think you need to have a serious talk with them before you can even attempt at dealing with your son. As roommates you all need to respect each others parenting styles and if don't want you son to eat junk then your roommates need to respect that and while they are free to eat it, it would be respectful to do it elsewhere and not in front of your son. It also sounds like you have had structure and your roommates do not.

I honestly don't see how the stituation is going to get better with your son so long as you continue to live with these roommates. I don't think you need to cave into your beliefs and parenting style because your roommates do not agree with them. It would be like my family and my sisters family trying to live together. No way would that work without serious consequences to my family structure and all I have worked for.

Food for thought.
:
I think the real problem is with your roomate not respecting your rules. Can you have a calm discussion with her about why you don't want junk food in the house?

...wait... just re-read your OP. You moved into her house? Well, she gets to make the rules if it's her home.... ick. I don't know what I'd do. I would probably still try to talk with her about it, and at least ask her to keep all the junk food out of sight and out of reach. But I wouldn't be able to tell my kid she couldn't have something the roomate's kid is eating. I'm so sorry you are going through this. My 4yo DD knows that too much sugar makes her crazy and "sickish" (her word for it). Can you talk to your son about how candy makes him feel? Or does he not have that reaction to junk food? It's so much easier to get my kid to want to eat good stuff than to try to force her to eat what I want her to eat. I think I'd be looking to move ASAP.

The ice-cream man seems like an easier one to deal with. Get him a piggy bank he can't get into himself. You still get say in what he buys, even if it is *his* money.
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#14 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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My almost 4yo would eat popsicles all day if I let him too. He only weighs 27 lbs. and is seen by a pediatric gastroinerologist. One day I hid the popsicles in the back of the freezer and then he started eating real food the rest of the day. If it's not there he can't eat it, but your situation seems tough with the roomates. I know how hard it is to get them to eat, but only they can decide if their hungry and if they'll eat. I was forced to eat as a child, and it brings up bad memories for me. I have to remember that when I deal with ds and the times he won't eat. Good luck.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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I would say that peer pressure is playing a huge role here. It's very, very important for kids that age to fit in. They will copy other kids and kinda try walking in their shoes for a day. My dd will often come back from a playdate declaring that she doesn't like some food that I know she likes. When I press her about it she says, "I don't like it anymore because (friend) doesn't like it." It also goes the other way, "Apples are (friend's) favorite food and they are my favorite, too." This can apply to behaviors, phrases, favorite toys, basically everything.

My toddler is tube-fed because of reflux and eating aversion. When she got her stomach tube at 7 mos old I asked many therapists, doctors, and other parents of tube-feeders when she would get off the tube. They *all* said at age 3-5 years old, because that's when she will want to start eating, after seeing other kids eat. I would imagine that the same factors are at play with your ds.

Maybe you can have him around other kids who like to eat the things he eats and you might be surprised that he'll start eating them again. Otherwise as Karry said, just try not to have those foods in the house. Abi threw a fit about not getting her Trader Joe's cat cookies for breakfast the other day. I said we didn't have any more. She carried on and I said, "Okay Abi, if you can find them, you can have them" and invited her to search the kitchen herself. When she was able to do that, she then asked for, and happily ate, a banana and a yogurt instead.

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#16 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks again, all.

i didn't move into roommate's house, we moved in together into a totally new house. but i didn't realize when i made that decision, how much of a struggle it would be, for us, regarding food and other behaviors (swearing, climbing, jumping, using stuff that is not toys, tantrums).

i *have* talked to her. they do have a LOT less limits. she says she doesn't believe in limits for children; that they have to find their own limits, even if it takes years more than if you were to impose them. she wants her kids to be self-directed, and she thinks it is a good thing that my son is exposed to it because he didn't realize before that he could be free.

she doesn't say any of this with malice; she truly believes that, and she does for the most part try to respect our limits. she just does not get heated up about stuff the way i do.

her kids don't have bedtimes, either. the 5yo will be acting up (you know how) when she's tired and nobody puts her to bed; they will just say "are you tired?" or "can somebody read to her so she can settle down for sleep?" and this is at 10:30 at night on a school night. but they do, most of the time, try to be quiet so *we* can do our bedtime routine.

it's true, if my son doesn't see something, he usually forgets about it after awhile. i do bake, and i am going to try to do more. also i am going to make popsicles with more things in them like soy milk, protein powder, yogurt, stuff like that.

as for bringing junk food, she doesn't bring it in, if she goes shopping alone, but if the kids are with her, they each get to choose something that is not on the list-- whatever they want.the popsicles are what the 5yo chose. it was just very bad timing.

my son did eat granola yesterday when he saw me eating it. he doesn't see me eat sugar, and sees me eating veggies and salad and fruit all the time. roommate (mom) has a pretty good diet but she's at work most of the time.

what kinds of things can you hide veggies in? can you hide raw ones too? can you do smoothies or popsicles with raw stuff? in the blender?

believe me, i *am* looking to move, but i can't do it before the lease runs up. i can't afford to.

anyone interested in a community-style rental household in the asheville NC area? (LOL, i'm sure after reading this, none of you would want to live with me-- but i'm MUCH more easy-going than i appear here).

thanks again,
pamela

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#17 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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I want to hear things you can hide veggies in, too!

These are things I've tried/heard:
smoothies (fruit), quick breads (zucchini, banana, carrot), spaghetti sauce (almost any veggie especially if you puree it), meatballs or "meat"balls, meatloaf, spanakopita-type cheese squares, omelets, macncheese, yogurt, pizza, homemade granola bars, jello molds.

JK on the jello molds...just remembering all the gross jello concotions the moms made growing up! carrots in orange jello etc.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#18 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 01:17 PM
 
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I hide veggies in all sorts of different sauces, then mix it with pasta. It helps my very picky 4yo to pick what shape pasta she wants, and what flavor sauce (pesto, creamy, cheesey, tomatoey, etc). Then *I* pick a veggie or two (or more) and hide it in the sauce. I started doing it with spagetti to get DH to eat more veggies before we had kids. I would chop up the veggies really small so he wouldn't know what they were. One day he saw me chopping up squash and asked me "What in the world are you putting in that spag sauce?!!" and I said to him, "the same stuff I always put in it" :LOL ever since then, I haven't had to chop it up so small.
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#19 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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Maybe have a talk with him about how everyone likes different things, and that is ok? Dd and I talk about this a lot, because she (4) gets upset if a friend doesn't like her shoes, or (today) when dh and I didn't like the smell of her sunscreen (she will only use this super-scented Barbie sunscreen--yech--but seriously the only she will tolerate).

Maybe point out some things that you like that he doesn't....and some things that he likes that you don't. Then you might talk about some things that the 5 yo likes that he doesn't, and vice versa. Dd seems to feel empowered by these talks--she seems to feel more confident about making her own choices, rather than following a friend.

Other than that, maybe you could offer to babysit while the roommate shops :LOL. That way the kids won't be at the store to pick the nasty stuff!
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#20 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Some of this is his age!!!!!!! The park/play thing was him being busy plus maybe testing waters. Unlike babies 4 year olds can be manipulative. My youngest is really experimenting with this. When we go out and she has eaten poorly I bring snacks along, separate and feed, or leave early. When we leave early or step out I tell her she is having a hard time concentrating, playing nice, et because she did not give her body good food to run on. I also warn her that because she didn’t eat we will have to leave early. Not eating healthy foods makes for poor behavior. (I think all my kids went through this phase but my youngest has been the most strong willed on this matter.)

Since you cannot get rid of the food you have to be firm. Other child is not yours, DC is and he will follow the rules.

He will not starve himself, remember that.

When I lived with my mil I had these battles. The food battle I tried to feed ds before nephews got there. Can you get up early? There was times dh would bring food up. Maybe you can bring a tray of food in your room to share with him in the morning. Maybe make meals different times. Don’t forget to give some of the treats. That might make it easier for him, knowing he will get them. Summer is here go on lots of picnics.
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#21 of 27 Old 05-29-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. I'm having the same problems with my 6 year old and we haven't worked it all out yet.

My 19 month old will try anything and eat most of it (although she's getting pickier too, I've noticed), but the 6 year won't. She hates raw carrots--what's to hate with raw carrots? She was eating raw broccoli, but she's now down to raw cauliflower only and that has to have a dressing, usually.

I've always been fairly lenient with her, but it's gotten worse since she started kindergarten. I've tried talking with her about the health aspects of food, but she says she doesn't care, it's her body. She even told me the other day that she's not afraid of dying because we all have to die sometime. But then she'll also say things like, "I hate the way I am, I'm hungry all the time" or "why did God make me this way?" I feel bad, but when I offer her food when she says she's hungry, it turns out that she's hungry for cookies or something.

Things have been working out lately because I've been able to buy more fruit, and she likes that. Fruit, yogurt and cheese are staples.

It's hard, especially when I see other kids eating things like whole wheat bread or even Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, or I hear about kids loving it. They say, "well, if that's all you buy..." Nope, doesn't work that way. For the first 2 years of her life, sprout bread was all I ever bought and she never ate bread. I just figured she didn't like bread, but wham, white bread and she's there. Now she will ask me to buy white bread, or instruct me not to make a sandwich on anything but white bread. The other day all I had was this Rudi's Right Choice low carb bread. She wouldn't even eat that, although it is pretty light in color and softer than sprout bread-it is high in fiber, so maybe that is the problem. I had no choice, so I cut the bread out into a heart shape and then made the peanut butter and Jelly sandwich, which she ate.

Anyway, the only thing I'm basically doing at this point is serving the food for dinner, and then if she tries it and doesn't like it, she can choose to have yogurt, fruit, string cheese or cereal. And when I do find something she likes for dinner (like soft tacos or spaghetti with meatballs), I serve it a lot. Best wishes!
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#22 of 27 Old 05-31-2005, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you guys have been so helpful. thank you!

so check it out!! today we went to Earthfare (this huge healthfood store with an organic cafeteria attached). i didn't think he would be hungry, but i was, so i told him he could get a popsicle (they have only fruit ones or healthier ones) and a soda (same-- no sugar).
we went thru the deli line and he asked for all this stuff. i tried to make sure we wouldn't be taking out a to-go box of stuff that was going into the compost, because this stuff's not cheap. he said for sure he would eat it.
so he picked out some kind of mediterranean noodles with olives and feta, a couple raw veggies with dressing, kale, and potatoes. he ate quite a bit of it! he only picked out one piece of lettuce, one cucumber slice, and one piece of kale, but he ate a bite from each all on his own. and part of my whole-wheat roll.

YAY!!
now i have to hope things are looking up and not just a blip.

we did actually get the soda after, but he only drank a couple sips. i guess he was full from the hibiscus iced tea :-)

we haven't had candy of any sort, in days, and not too many "treats'' either. he's still asking for candy, but i think he knows i am serious. now he asks "just to hold the package" if we are out in a store, but i don't let him do that either, telling him "it's too close to wanting it" (my reasoning being that if he gets close enough to it to hold it, it will increase the craving, and he will think his foot is in the door for me to actually buy it). he asks when he can next have candy, and i say i have to think about it, that i'm not sure, but probably not soon.

i hope this is starting to look up!
he knows he has a bedtime, and that the roommate doesn't, and they were watching a video yesterday when i said it was time for bed. they had said they were going to take a bath together, but she changed her mind and said she wasn't going to. so my son said he wasn't either. i stood there in the doorway and calmly said "she doesn't have a bedtime, but *you do*, and it's time NOW". and i picked him up and brought him into the bathtub. he squawked, but didn't have a raging hitting fit like he would have not long ago.

oh hope, hope!

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#23 of 27 Old 06-01-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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Good luck, Pamela! I'll simply repeat what others said; a good part of what your son and you are experiencing is his age. If you weren't living with this particular roommate, your ds would still have some sort of issue to manipulate, though maybe not to this degree.

Kids are all different (duh) and while my kids eat a relatively wide variety of foods compared to other kids, they still went through this very same developmental phase at that age (and ds still is).

You have 8 months left to the lease? Your son will manage fine for even another year eating a variety of garbage. If obesity is a concern make sure physical play is a big part of his life.

Quote:
i *have* talked to her. they do have a LOT less limits. she says she doesn't believe in limits for children; that they have to find their own limits, even if it takes years more than if you were to impose them. she wants her kids to be self-directed, and she thinks it is a good thing that my son is exposed to it because he didn't realize before that he could be free.
This caught my eye. This would be SO frustrating to me! It's hard enough dealing with neighbors who parent this way (an issue we had, though I don't think they actually had a parenting philosophy, they were simply too distracted and otherwise occupied to actively parent their kids), I can imagine it would be doubly difficult living with it.

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#24 of 27 Old 06-01-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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Haven't read everything yet but just wanted to share a little story--when my son was 3-ish he had so far eaten a fairly pristine diet but always wanted to eat the stuff his cousins ate--unlimited candy, chips, soda, etc... That Easter he got a whole bag of Dove chocolate from MIL, and he bugged me and bugged me. (I used to confiscate the excess and he was none the wiser)

So finally I just said YES. You could just imagine how delighted he was--he ate chocolate after chocolate, happily and w/gusto. Can you guess what happened?? Unfortunately (and not at ALL what I thought would happen BTW), he ate himself into a stomachache, threw up and felt miserable the rest of the day. And he's never OD'ed on any kind of food since.

So...RELAX. It's a loooong way before he's truly starving himself or on a feeding tube. Let him think apples and carrots are icky--that can change anytime. And it just plain ridiculous to assume that a kid would eat anything "all day" IF you let them, b/c you've never let them try, have you?? They'll never really appreciate the value of healthy eating unless it comes from within themselves, rather than as a regime being forced upon them.
Plain milk tastes way better when it's plain b/c you want it that way, rather than it being plain b/c somebody wouldn't let you have chocolate in it, yk?? Good luck

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#25 of 27 Old 06-01-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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We went through a similar (but less extreme) stage around the same age,
also inspired by viewing what friends eat. DD is now seven, and still picky. BUT....I totally backed off the control... and things are totally fine. I even let her have her own "candy stash" (this started when she was 6), and you know what....her desire for candy, cookies, sweets, etc went way way down. She still has christmas cookies in her "stash"! Your sons body
won't let him eat only junk for weeks on end, eventually he'll crave feta and olives again (or at least bland cheese and cucumbers! LOL!).

Keep offering the good stuff.....It;s hard to let go, but I think you'll be OK.
yes, but definitely have a talk with the roommate too!

Karen
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#26 of 27 Old 06-12-2005, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, so here it is june 12th. my son had a 2-day fever on sunday last, and monday. so he (expectedly) didn't eat at all those two days. then he didn't eat at all for the next couple-three days!! he was fine, too, no fever, completely back to normal, but went on a food strike. yikes! he'd lost 10% of his body weight! i was seriously freaked. at least his fluid intake was good, and his elimination looked normal.
the 5yo went to texas with her dad and will be gone till july 10 or so, and we are going on a 3-week vacation starting next saturday the 18th.
SO, here's the update: i did, after that food strike, finally start getting my son to slowly eat some stuff. his diet is still not anywhere near what i would like it to be, but he's eating.
in all this, he was still asking me for the ice cream man, candy, popsicles, etc. and i flatly put my foot down and said *no ice cream man* (his very favorite thing) until you start eating regular meals again.
he's getting slowly better. he still won't eat his "old" (last week) favorite foods, but i can get him to eat one bite of vegetable, or whatever. i was going to let him get ice cream man today, but it rained and the ice cream man never showed.
anyway, just thought i'd give an update.
~obesity is not a concern for my kid (i'm way fat, but he's way skinny, and will likely stay that way-- has his dad's genes).
~he will not be allowed candy freely until he's eating like a normal person again.
~he has had free access to large amounts of candy, and either gotten sick or not, but either way it's had no effect whatever.
~talking to the roommate is of no use whatever. they are going to do what they are going to do, and it's my job to parent my own kid. they think i'm being way too controlling, of course, because they don't have limits, and all i'd get is a lecture, so i'm better off making my own decisions and keeping my mouth shut.
~i think he's getting used to this way, and i think that's a good thing. he's not acting resentful at all (YAY), and i'm being matter-of-fact and not angrily controlling-like.
so it's an uphill road, but i am feeling better about it.

thanks!
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#27 of 27 Old 06-16-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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Hey Pamela,
I'm getting my MS in wholistic nutrition, and I was going to blow by this since earlier it sounded like you had gotten a handle on it, but there were some things in your last post that concerned me...
He knows your buttons, he's 4. They are champion manipulators from here on out. The days of innocence are over. I clearly remember the day I realized that my ds, now 6 was truly manipulating me. It was a sad, sad day for me, but that's his job. And my job is to set the limits and stick with them.
You made a comment that
Quote:
he will not be allowed candy freely until he's eating like a normal person again
. If you go this route, you will be back here again, and again, and again, because he knows. Smart kid. I've got one of those too. They are dangerous. Think of it as in the world of average discipline, not the AP kind that most of us practice-if you ground your kid due to whatever heinous thing they could have done to get grounded, and then a day into it, you let them out of the house, what have you taught them...that they can still do the heinous thing, but if they're well behaved for a day or two afterwards, the rules change. Bad, bad, bad, especially for the teenage years.

We have bedtime issues in my house. I cannot let him stay up 15 minutes beyond bedtime because he pushes, and he pushes, and he pushes, and he's tired, and he's wild and poorly behaved. Since we co-sleep, I have watched this child, stay awake just to spite me. Thankfully, the body finally gives out eventually, but you can imagine how the next day can be.

Why change your old rules? They were working. Just because he's gotten the taste for conventional sweets doesn't mean he has to keep getting them. I'm sure it's the peer pressure, and watching the other child get what she wants all the time, and a whole host of other things that are coming together to create this behavior, but don't think it's going to get any better if you continue to give him high fructose corn syrup, which by the way is in just about everything, including most likely, depending on brand, the boxed mac and cheese you referenced.
Quote:
i think he's getting used to this way, and i think that's a good thing. he's not acting resentful at all (YAY), and i'm being matter-of-fact and not angrily controlling-like.
Maybe this is because he hasn't had it. For some kids it can be like crack. Makes them crazy with cravings. You mentioned in your first post that he has low blood sugar induced behavior issues. If that's the case, then he's probably got some insulin resistance issues that will manifest later in life as he grow (not to worry, very common), and the worst thing you can do for him from the health perspective is give him crap.

Sorry if I upset you, but I'm afraid you're going to be posting about this same thing in 6 months.

And I don't think you're a hard ass...I'd live with ya, especially in Asheville I'm a believer that kids need schedules and rules. Doesn't matter how crunchy I am...if my kid doesn't have a bedtime that's bad for him and bad for me, lol.

Peas,
Sue
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