Mothering Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Our DS is almost 17 months. He has had numerous ear infections (8 I think) and other illnesses. Right before Thanksgiving he had tubes put in. We've had a couple of ear infections, but we've also had a few weeks of him being well.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Because he refuses to eat when he's sick, we've been in and out of the 1st percentile. Over Christmas his doctor recommended that we begin whole milk and Pediasure to put a little weight on him. I began the whole milk (he's still nursing a few times each day), but I couldn't bring myself to start the supplements. He has had all natural food to this point, with no sweeteners (Although I'm sure he's had his fair share of corn syrup from the antibiotics). The supplements are nothing but chemicals and sugar. So instead, I began giving him oatmeal made with full fat coconut milk before he goes to bed.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Here's where the question comes in... I've also been more adamant about him eating. For example, if he refuses to take a 1st bite, I'll smear it on his mouth so he gets a taste. Often he'll begin eating at that point. Maybe just a few bites, but it's something. We'll also try to get him to stay at the table longer by singing or playing. I've never forced food in his mouth, but I feel like we might be starting bad habits.... But even if we are, I'm not sure there is an alternative. I feel pressured to get him to eat, but I don't want to send him the wrong messages about food. What are your thoughts?</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>On the up side - we have seen progress. In the 2 1/2 weeks after starting the whole milk, oatmeal before bed, etc. he gain 1 1/2 pounds, grew 1/2 inch in length, and 1/2 inch in head circumference. The growth in height and head really surprised me! </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
How does he respond when you smear food on his mouth? I know you said it will get him to eat a few bites, but does it upset him or make him happy? If it's upsetting to him, I'd back off. If he's OK with it, I guess I don't see the problem, I come from more of a baby-led weaning approach with DS so I'd be a bit uncomfortable with that, but I also know what it's like to have a kid who won't eat (DS didn't really eat food until he was 2 years old). If giving him a bit of a taste helps break down that resistance peacefully & gets him to eat, I guess it's better than PediaSure (or a feeding tube!) That being said, I do think not forcing food on my DS paid off, once he started eating he became the best eater I know, not picky AT ALL and will eat any veggie, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. loves all food. Maybe it's coincidence, or maybe it's our different approach to eating, who knows.<br><br>
Also, I read recently about a product called PediaSmart?? I think that's what it was... I guess it's a less-processed, chemical-free, organic alternative to PediaSure. Just thought I'd mention it in case you do decide to go that route!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your response Crunchy Mommy. DS doesn't typically mind when I smear food on his mouth. He often finds it quite funny.<br><br>
We didn't go the baby-led weaning route, but have tried to be very aware of his cues when it comes to solids. However, with his illnesses it got to the point that he was going into ketosis very often. I could smell the acetone on his berth and I knew he was burning body fat. I know it hurts to chew and swallow when he has an ear infection, and I get his appetite being suppressed when he has a stuffy nose. But having weekly episodes of burning body fat is pretty alarming. There are times when I can't help but wonder if his body is getting enough for healthy development... especially when, as I mentioned above, we had 2 good weeks and his head grew 1/4 inch!<br><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
<p>Hmm "funny" at that age is sometimes a sign of confusion or strong emotions in conflict they don't quite know how to express. I wouldn't smear or force because you might have even more trouble down the line.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Our daughter was diagnosed as "Failure to Thrive" due to her weight staying the same for about 6 months. It has been incredibly stressful trying to get her to eat and at times it is really frustrating. DD is 2 and only about 21.5 pounds or so. But on her most recent visit we learned she gained almost half a pound.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Since meeting with a nutritionist we got a lot of great tips for timing meals. Below is what works for us:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-for snacks go with SMOOTHIES. I use whole milk yogurt, almond butter, ground flax, banana, a bit of kefir and some whole milk. I put it in a straw cup and she just sucks it down. She would only drink a few ounces at first but once i got the consistency right she'll take 10 ounces in one sitting. It also seems to be stretching her stomach out more so she can pack in more food.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-Let them learn what hunger is. My daughter was always snacking and never hungry enough to eat meals so we fed her meals at the table with well spaced snacks. Food never stayed down for more than 20-30 minutes so she would eat while she go the chance. Our nutritionist told us to STOP chasing her around with food. It was becoming a power struggle and she wasn't eating because I wanted her to. She wanted to control something, anything. If they ask to get down they get down. Next snack in two or more hours ...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-Get a divided tray for meals and include one food that you know they'll eat. For DD it is no salt corn chips. Just a few get her interested and eating and she often moves onto other things.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-No television and eat WITH them. This was hard because DD would only eat if she was doing something else or distracted. Sitting and eating with her lets her focus on the food and watch to see what she should be doing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-Have someone else feed. DD eats for DH for her evening snack while i'm in the shower. She also eats a picnic lunch with him on the weekends. I have an idea of why it works but can't say for sure ... it just does.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck. Having a little one that doesn't eat is so frustrating. Hang in there.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
<p>I should also mention that these tips are new and resulting in less conflict and more weight gain. Don't start down that road of getting them to stay at the table longer because they won't take eating seriously later! I wish I had known not to encourage eating with entertainment because they grow to expect it and eating should be an activity all to itself.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><3</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1345405/am-i-forcing-ds-to-eat#post_16880488" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lovepickles</strong> <a href="/community/t/1345405/am-i-forcing-ds-to-eat#post_16880488"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>I should also mention that these tips are new and resulting in less conflict and more weight gain. Don't start down that road of getting them to stay at the table longer because they won't take eating seriously later! I wish I had known not to encourage eating with entertainment because they grow to expect it and eating should be an activity all to itself.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><3</p>
</div>
</div>
<br>
Great point! I hadn't thought of that outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
<p>Thanks for sharing those tips!  Not to hijack the thread, but I too was just told to get my DD to eat (24 mos, 21 lbs).  If she even makes the slightest peep that she's hungry I have a mountain of food available to her trying to get her to eat anything at anytime.  The dr said to restrict to just meals and a snack so we're going to give that a try.  Its hard though when I'm cooking dinner and she's complaining and whining about being hungry.  Before, I'd give her a piece of fruit to snack on until dinner but then she wouldn't eat dinner.  :(</p>
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top