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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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Being an adoptive parent also doesn't *preclude* one from having "issues" either.

To be honest, from the way that the OP has presented things, I do think that there is some of the OP's own food issues involved here, it's not like she has not been relatively open about that. I'm a familiar face on this forum, am I allowed to say that?

The stress of foster (and adoptive) parenting often brings out one's issues. Even run of the mill parenting can, much less parenting a special needs kiddo!

I think that while obviously, there is more in play here than the interior life of the parent, it doesn't mean that that sholdn't be addressed.

OP, have you had any success finding a physician experienced working with children who suffer from aftereffects of neglect?
 

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I admit, I'm feeling pretty concerned for the OP as well. I hope I'm just overanalyzing why the OP "told her group we wouldn't be returning" after describing that her daughter snacked instead of played with the other kids--but I really hope that's not the reason.

OP, if you are feeling shame at how "much" your DD wants to eat, that is not good and not fair to YOU. I hope the other women at your group were not shaming or mean to you. Lots of people have toddlers who want to eat all the time, and will happily eat with mom nearby rather than run around with other kids. Please don't deprive yourself of things that you like and people that you like because you are worried that they might have a bad impression of you because you have a kid that "wants to eat all the time." That only sets up you feeling more anxious and possibly setting up resentment and anger in the future for something that your DD can't exactly help either. The last thing you need is to feel like your DD is more abnormal, and that you need to fix something--and to have that happen in increasing isolation.

People at the playground are not going to even remember that there was some kid that snacked the whole time. Really. *Good* groups of friends and friendly acquaintances will not either.
 
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