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How have you gotten help for your child's food issues? - Who did you see?

  • I haven't yet - and I could really use some.

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • I haven't - I figured out how to help my child on my own.

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • I tried but the therapists weren't much help.

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • I have - the therapists were very helpful.

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • Other - please elaborate

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • We saw an Occupational Therapist.

    Votes: 10 40.0%
  • We saw a Speech Therapist.

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • We saw a Food Therapist.

    Votes: 4 16.0%
  • Other (EI specialist, home program tutor, child's teacher, etc.)

    Votes: 4 16.0%

How many of your have children with food issues?

1948 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  crazycat
Hi everyone,

I've posted in response to some threads about children with food issues (related to sensory issues as well as "new" items) and haven't responded to others that I wanted to because I didn't have the energy.

However, I'm seeing so many and I've also come across quite a few moms in real life who are struggling with this issue, and not getting very much help from the therapy community about it.

For example, my student's mom's best friend has a son with various sensory and social issues. He has a very limited diet and won't try new things. They've been to many types of therapy, including, believe it or not, a psychologist - who has what I believe are very backwards ideas about the food issues. She's at her wit's end and we're going to talk about it over dinner soon so that I can give her some ideas.

Then, yesterday, I was talking to the mom of one of my student's classmates, who it turns out eats about 6 foods. She asked me to call her for a consultation because she has no idea what to do.

I'm really surprised at the lack of help amoung the various therapists because I see this as such a widespread issue - one that affects children with various special needs - and one for which there are some very practical, simple steps that can be taken. I'm wondering why therapists can't seem to help more and thinking that this is an area that needs research and new people in the field to specialize in it. I realize that many OTs to food therapy, and that some even specialize in it. But there must not be very many of them.

Can you vote about your experience? Who have you seen, and who has been most helpful?

Although I'm not planning on become a food therapist, with so many people asking, I feel like I should become more organized so that I can address the issues in the most helpful way.
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My mom makes the only food my DS will eat, He complains about my cooking ~even~ if i make the same recipe (things i usually wouldn't make)

I'm not sure if this is what you mean but it is a huge issue with me as i want him to eat in a healthy way and i don't want to cook two meals every night. He doesn't have allergies as far as i know, its just a pickiness and stubbornness problem
For most of the children I work with, it's much more than "pickiness and stubornness", which is why I laughed at the psychologist's take on it.

It includes sensory intolerances to certain textures, smells, tastes, etc; and strict rules about what can be eaten and what cannot, and how to eat it; and a very hard time accepting a new way to do things - new shoes, new foods, a new way to get to the playground, etc; and may include things like where to eat, which plates to use, and what gets eaten where. It also has to do with control - for many of my students, food is one of the areas of their lives that they DO get to control, and it's hard to let go of that power enough to realize that they really do like M&Ms even though they never had them before.

I do think that often some of those come into play even with children who don't have an identified disability or delay. They just may be put down to pickiness when there's actually a real limitation that the child isn't articulate enough to express yet.

However, there are many things about the way I go about helping children with food that would be applicable to children who don't have those other issues.

If I can organize my ideas and strategies (with input from all of you), I'll be able to better help my students IRL, as well as have an easier time replying to posts here, especially if I can get it written down so that I can just copy and paste it instead of trying to write out my thoughts every time.
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Welcome to my world.
We finally (!!) have an appointment with a OT next week (my son is just now 4)


Originally Posted by PikkuMyy
It includes sensory intolerances to certain textures, smells, tastes, etc; and strict rules about what can be eaten and what cannot, and how to eat it; and a very hard time accepting a new way to do things - new shoes, new foods, a new way to get to the playground, etc; and may include things like where to eat, which plates to use, and what gets eaten where. It also has to do with control - for many of my students, food is one of the areas of their lives that they DO get to control, and it's hard to let go of that power enough to realize that they really do like M&Ms even though they never had them before.

PikkuMyy, How generous of you to offer your help, I could sure use it. I think my son has sensory issues (but not as radical as pumpkinseeds)

He doesn't like wearing different kinds of things ex/ sandals, it takes a long time for him to wear shorts or other different kinds of clothes that feel different. We actually took him to a Waldorf styled OT(?) and she addressed his sensory issues withb things like hard physical touch, rolling him in a blanket and piling things on top of it (sounds bizzare when i type it out) and form drawings and other things.

Perhaps i'm using too many ingredients or doing something else wrong but i'm sick of his eating habits, he doesn't eat dinner and gorges on sweets later that night. I just can't keep anything in the home. He hides and hoards food and i have caught him eating brown sugar from the bag and he also will eat spoonfulls of salt

Is this just normal behavoir?

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my son is extremely picky. over time his diet has become more and more restricted. Dh is also picky to a fault though. Dh eats no veggies other than salad veggies, and a couple of odd ones-- onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives. He doesnt eat beans of any sort (not peas or black beans or etc). He doesnt like pork or chicken, and will not eat fish or seafood at all. he wont eat casseroles at all, doesnt eat breakfast cereal -- warm or cold. The only soup he will eat is french onion. No eggs unless they are in baked goods. has JUST started to eat nuts very occasionally. The only way he will eat potatoes is french fries.
lol and that is just DH! DS is even more picky-- he eats oatmeal, bagels with cream cheese, envirokids gorilla munch, sweet potato fries, regular fries, yogurt, crackers, any type of bread or muffin, as long as it doesnt have obvious chunks of fruit or nut,fruit leather, a smidge of juice (mostly in form of juice boxes-- 100 percent of course
), kashi go lean blueberry waffles with real maple syrup, sometimes pizza, although he much prefers breadsticks these days. As far as cookies or candy goes, he has very similar tastes to dh-- plain vanlla ice cream or white cake, simple cookies like shortbread 9although he will eat choc chip), gummy fruity candies like those fruit slices that you can buy. He loves gummi bears too. He also likes plain mnm's (well sundrops are what he gets mostly).

I worry mostly about his protien intake. When he was younger he ate much more fruit, a little bit in the way of veggies. He has never eaten meat, but I never pushed it. He used to eat grits with eggs and cheese mixed in, and he used to eat beans rice sour cream and cheese mixed together and he wont do either anymore.

Gotta run, youngest is up, but yes, food is a huge issue in our house, because of both dh and ds. I can only hope the youngest doesnt have the same issues
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With Abi, she had sensory issues but they were undx until much later (the ped kept blowing me off and I didn't know I could get her evaluated through EI). She also had reflux as a baby. She outgrew that part of it but the gagging stayed for a long time. At around age 3.5 she started taking an interest in solid foods more than just small snacks. Before then she lived on Instant Breakfast in whole milk and small bits of select solid foods.

At 3.5 she started to want to be like other kids and she started eating better. At 4.5 she now eats a wide variety of foods. Her weight gain has sped up quite a bit in the last 6 mos since she started eating better. She's not huge by any means (37 pounds at ped last week). At her 4 year checkup she was 32.5 pounds.

Nitara . . long story with her. You can read it in my sig line. She is tube-fed 100% except for chewing and spitting out foods. She may swallow once in a great while. She takes water with sippy cups but no milk or juice. She gags a *lot*, vomits frequently, and suffers from repeat GI infections, as well as ear infections. Nitara saw an OT for sensory issues but graduated from that a couple of mos. ago. She has been in feeding therapy since age 6 mos. and we have seen a lot of improvement with her willingness to taste and chew foods of all kinds. She just won't swallow.
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Originally Posted by PikkuMyy

I'm really surprised at the lack of help amoung the various therapists because I see this as such a widespread issue - one that affects children with various special needs - and one for which there are some very practical, simple steps that can be taken.
we have a lot of texture issues here, and ds has always been on a self imposed "few foods diet"

if you could point me towards some resources that talk about how to deal, i'd be greatful.
I voted "other" because there have been a variety of helpers with my 3 kids. The EI people included SLPs, OTs, and early childhood specialists. One of the SLPs specialized in feeding issues, and one of the OTs specialized in sensory issues. We have also had 3 consults with nutritionists, and I have researched information about hospital-based oral feeding programs and the program established by Kay Toomey. My favorite book on the subject is Just Take a Bite by Lori Ernsperger, and lest I forget, the thoughtful PM I printed out from Pikkumyy (thanks again!). And I am currently working on a degree in Holistic Nutrition because no one seems able to come up with ideas for me that join together what my kids *should* eat with what they *will* eat (that's not a criticism -- it's a lot for *me* to keep straight).

yes - MAJOR food issues here too. Rowan's been a puker since he was about 9mos old when i first started introducing things like pureed food, and then once i started on cheerios it was really bad. he always spit up slightly more than normal before that, but nothing like it became later. he's still bfed. he has a limited repertoire of what he'll eat and will NOT try new things. he gags/vomits often, although he's getting better at preventing a puke when he's gagged...slightly better. he also seems to vomit completely undigested breakfast food as late as we suspect physical GI issues.

we took him to the best specialist in the area. our first appt went well, we thought they'd help. we had a milkscan test and that showed no real reflux. ok, we went back for our followup appt and met the world's worst doctor on the planet.

My son is a very big kid. despite his eating issues (he used to eat VERY little in any given day - like a handful of cheerios all day, that's it) he's always been off the charts for both height and weight...he's 27mos and weighs 40+lbs and is around 38-39" tall. he's big. so the doctor barely looked at his chart, barely talked to us at all and determined that the reason he vomits so much is that we overfeed him. she was so rude that i'm actually getting teary right now just thinking about the ridiculous things she said to us. she said "look at him. he's a fat kid. he needs to eat less, and he won't puke so much." i almost smacked her off of her chair.

needless to say she was NOT any help and i have been so afraid to take him back to another doc since that appt (back in January) because i just cannot take hearing that crap again. we were so hopeful that we'd be able to help him and she just deflated all of my hopes and dreams in a matter of seconds.

i posted about Rowan's eating issues in the Health and Nutrition forum (healthy eating)...i want to learn how to introduce new foods because right now we're not doing well. he eats a good AMOUNT these days, but the variety is dismal.
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We have feeding issues, but they're improving with therapy.
We see an OT now, are on the wait list for EI, and have a SL/P eval coming up in 3 weeks.

He has a long way to go, but it's gotten better. I tried to feed him some broccoli quiche today, and he didn't throw up when it hit his mouth...hey, that's progress. :LOL
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My son had feeding issues that were noticed at 5 months by us but at his 6 month check up his weight was the same as his 4 month check up. its a long story so I'll try to summerize at his 7 month check he weighed the same and was sent to a paediatrition( I use this term loosely) he did tests to apease us and saw Alex at 10 months hospitalized him because he lost weight and continued to lose weight in the hospital he was diagnosed with ftt fitted with an ng tube and sent home with a referal to a feeding team ( which consisted of an ot, st,pt, and psycologist)as the doc said he had an aversion to food feeding team came to the house because of the tube feeds and within two weeks determined it was not the problem.
From the first solid food he took at around 5 months he would not take more than two tablespoons at a sitting and would fuss if I tried to feed him more ( this went on until after he was diagnosed with gerds)

We pushed to get tests done to fing out what was wrong (the dietition that I had then thought we were starving him and was forever pushing the doctor to admit him so they could fatten him up). He was sent to a childrens hospital at 13 months and was diagnosed with gerd he gradually learned to eat more of a variety of foods and more at a time but it was and is a big struggle.

He is 3 now and is currently recieving st and ot for his speech delays and sees a dietition once a month if the appointment is on a week that she is in. needless to say we don't get good results with her due to lack of somthing( he was weighed on a month that she was not there and they didnt' mark the weight down he lost weight the next month but because they didn't mark it down it looked like he gained 3 or 4 ounces and she thought that was great... if you could say that two or three ounces in two months is good for trying to put weight on a kid and of course I did point out to her that he had weighed a pound more the month that wasn't marked down and she said nothing makes me feel that she doesn't even care_ sorry turned into a vent i'll stop now).

We do feel that he has sensory issues but no one else does so they do nothing to help us with that just with the speech.

There are certain foods that if he doesn't like the way it feels on his hand or lip he won't eat them even if he ate them at the last meal or day before it is very frustrating. He also has allergies to foods but the doctors won't test because the tests aren't accurate at this age and there nothing they can do anyway( I was told this by my paed who I used to before he said that lol). We have deterimined three foods that bother him and don't feed them to him and he is alot better I am suspecting another food but its not one he has very often so I can't pinpoint it.

Anyway sorry for the ramble.

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Lucas has food issues as well. He became FTT at 9 months old and we are still dealing with his weight at age 4. At his well check last week he weighed 27 lbs. and was 38". We see a GI specialist who has put him on Prilosec for silent reflux and Miralax for constipation. We also tried Periactin for a couple of months to see if it would increase his appetite, but it just made him sleepy. Lucas just won't eat much at a time.

He likes apples, grapes, yogurt, mac and cheese, french fries, chicken, rice, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots dipped in ranch, pizza, and quesadillas. This is about all the things he'll eat not including sweet stuff like ice cream and cookies or candy. He just doesn't gain weight and has only gained a pound since December. He also will only drink water.

I just talked to the GIs office today and they have agreed to do some food allergy testing on him finally. I'm hoping this will tell us something or at least rule stuff out. We recently saw an OT and he does have sensory issues. We have not had any feeding or other OT therapy. I'm thinking this is something we need.
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We have food issues as well but not the same as everyone else's.

My DD loves to eat. And she wants to eat every minute of the day!

Sometimes I am so down about it, I feel like I spend all day discussing food with her. She has a little bit of a weight problem (nothing serious, she's 44 1/2" and weighs 50 pounds) so I really want to make sure that I'm not placating her with chips and such. She eats virtually no junk that is high in fat and is allowed one sweet thing per day, her choice. She has never eaten candy and the only liquid she drinks is water or 1% milk.

Some of the snack things that I give her are: air popped popcorn, pickles, low-fat yogurt, tons and tons and tons of fruit, whole grain crackers, sugar free applesauce (homemade), homemade zucchini bread that is low in fat/sugar, cheese
: with apples, hummus.

If we are not out all day, she literally hounds me for food.

Can anyone else suggest some other things I can give her which are low in fat and sugar?
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My son has some strange eating habits. I can't figure out ways to help him. He will be seen by plenty of specialists/drs. in the next few months and I'll bring it up then to see if it is connected to his other issues. He is very picky and will only eat certain foods. (he's only 2 so I don't know how much of this has to do with being a picky toddler...)

Originally Posted by Britishmum
We have phases of the same thing, but the hounding is for specific foods - thankfully healthy ones. I'm often at a loss about how to deal with it.

Me too!
If she didn't have a weight issue, I wouldn't think twice about it. But she has an issue and I am so incredibly careful to give her things that are healthy - the problem is if I give her things with no fat at all, she is even hungrier.

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We have food issues due to sensory issues. Ds was on Ng tube feeds until 16 months. He was seen by an OT who worked on sensory issues and a speech therapist who worked on feeding skills. He also has a "funny" chewing pattern but its "functional". He's getting better at 3yrs. He weighs 28lbs and is about 35 inches. At his first birthday he was 30 lbs. After we pulled the tube his low weight was 24 lbs (at 17 1/2 months). He will not eat certain foods, especially anything that looks like it should be hard but is soft (cooked carrots and peas, for example) or anything that is mixed (cereal with milk and soup for example). He also had allergies and has allergies to strawberries now. We also saw a dietician who was somewhat helpful. We found that even though he wasn't getting his calories, he was at least getting most of the nutrients he needed with applesauce, yogurt, sausage, bacon, ice cream shakes (mixed with asparagus and broccoli and anything else I could hide in there without him knowing) with ovaltine and almond milk. He loves crunchy though. The therapies helped somewhat. With OT for example, he is now able to tolerate more and varied sounds and touches. With speach, he has decreased his drooling and is eating a larger variety and will try new things. We have also been seeing a holistic chiropractor which I think has helped most.
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Our 4-yo DS has major oral aversion issues and is completely tube fed as a result. He has had a lot of health problems from being extremely premature, ventilator for almost three years, severe GERD, etc. We are working with an OT who comes twice a month to our home and he also works with the therapists at preschool, but it is very slow going - he is so resistant to everything and because he is tube fed and doesn't tolerate more than 3 ounces an hour or so at a time, he never feels hungry. We have high hopes, though, and just keep plugging away at it with him.
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