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Sleeping and Food issue

443 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  crazyeight
The easy one first:
My son has always slept well and still does but about once a week he wakes up crying, sometimes he is awake and standing up waiting for me to hold him, sometimes hes still in dream state crying and i have to pick him up, pat him or turn on his nighttime music to get him to calm down. i asked if toddlers have nightmares and a friend says yes. does anyone else have this prob? is that the only thing it could be? any suggestions on how to keep his little mind at ease from whatver scares him? he doesn't have a nightlight in his room as he has always had complete dark to go to sleep (except naps).

The hard one:
My son eats cottage cheese, cereal (adult), sometimes canned (rinsed) fruit, yogurt, cheese (string, shredded, sharp, mild, colby anything), mac and cheese, animal crackers, goldfish (anything "bad" for him of course), whole wheat bread (sometimes), peanut butter on graham cracker sticks (just added this one finally...was wanting to add something with protien by "tricking" him...), prunes (needs to cause of all the cheese/milk products), and TONS of whole/1% milk (which I water down b/c its expensive and to keep him hydrated better).

That is pretty much a complete list of his food (he may add something like ritz crackers if we are eating that or noodles if its out of our bowl). As you can see NO veggies and NO meat. I have tried "sweet" veggies like sweet peas, baby carrots, and green beans but he hasn't tried them even when i take a bite out of it and give it to him. I have tried giving him Hamburger helper (yeah i know but what can i say...) and he picks out even the SMALLEST piece of ground beef on a noodle or something.

Obviously I don't have to worry about broken bones (or noggins...) but I worry about his protien intake (i had been mixing tofu with his cottage cheese but i hate the stuff and ended up not doing it anymore) and the whatever stuff hes supposed to get from veggies. I am also afraid that he is shying away from fruit now too as i put it on his tray the last few days and he hasn't eaten much of it (really just likes the grapes and pears out of the mix). I try to offer him what we eat but we are very basic; tacos, meat and pot with some veggies for me (hubby won't eat veggies either..), chicken with rice (which my son did eat for a few days but now refuses) and the like.

Is this also normal: I make mac and cheese and put it in the fridge...he won't eat it rewarmed not even when i eat it....

I know that toddlers are picky but the ONLY change in this diet for the last 6 months has been NOT eating spaghettio's (thankfully), adding mac and cheese, and yogurt.

I really wonder if this is normal as i LOVE meat and was raised with it. My best friends son (though she is somewhat a vegan) eats some red meat and chicken but he DOESN'T like reg. milk or fruit.

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Just wanted to reply to the food question - don't worry about the protein intake with all the dairy he seems to be getting. Even the ceral and bread are good sources of protein. A piece of cheese has the same protein value as a piece of meat. Don't you just wonder some days how your child EVER grows? Some days they just exist on air, I swear!
do you think i should force the issue? now he has cut it even thats possible i have no idea.

past 2 days at least has been cottage cheese for breakfast, usually 2 servings, MAYBE some life cereal (this is a treat for him its usually cheerios which he has stopped eating...again). lunch is mac and cheese even though i give him string cheese and bread. and he has 2 snacks a day animal crackers and graham crackers with PB. thats all he has eaten, won't try anything, won't eat the cheese, nothing!!!

i am about to blow up. i just don't know whether to let him fill up on mac and cheese and cottage cheese but keep offering everything else even though its a waste...
whatcha think
Sounds like a pretty normal toddler diet honestly- this is why toddlers need to still nurse- how long ago did he wean? Would you consider relactating?

Gosh, from your list of foods it sounds like protein is all that he's getting. I wouldn't worry about that at all.

I have maybe two suggestions, and thats all I have.. because I too have a toddler that doesn't eat so many different foods..

First.. try to find a different beverage for your child to drink than milk. Milk is actually a complete food, so if he drinks alot of it he's likely full. And a full tum doesn't lead a little person to being hungry and being willing to try new things. I would suggest rooibos tea (herbal and it tastes sweet without sugar), or water. I have established with my son a routine that is clear and that he understands.. he can have milk when he wakes up, before his nap, and at night-night. After a week of half-hearted protests he doesn't even drink what I do give him anymore. Milk just doesn't offer much in the way of nutrients so I felt like I was doing him a disservice by not stepping in. Now he eats a much wider variety of food than he did. We're not 'there' but we're on the way.

Second.. instead of the milk.. offer to make a smoothie for him? I blend a whole ripe banana, some frozen fruit (organic strawberries, mango, blueberries, peaches) a big dallop of almond butter (beware of allergy concerns) and enough nut/soy/ricemilk to nearly cover the fruit and blend. Liam LOVES this.

About the meat thing.. don't sweat it. He doesn't need it and given the level of hormones and funk in what is widely available today.. he's better for not having it. If you're really uncomfortable with the nurtition he's getting, look into a natural vitamin and mineral supplement like this:

I mix about an eighth of a teaspoon in a mix of 4oz organic unsweetened apple/pear juice and 4oz water. Liam calls it 'green juice.' He asks for it every day and thinks its a treat because its the only time we have juice. All I know is that it makes me feel better that he is getting something 'green' in his system.

Otherwise all you can do is give him the example of eating and enjoying your food. Exaggerate and talk to whoever is eating at the table with you about all the really good food. Be sure to give your son a portion of everything you are eating (however small) and make the serving size of his favourites smaller and smaller so he'll still be hungry after finishing what he does like.

There is a book that someone here recommended in a similar thread that has been instrumental in putting me at ease. I was right where you are with my frustration about a year ago. Now.. I'm OK. If I have time to dig in my attic for it tomorrow, I will. Can't remember the title offhand.

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For a while there (months!) my dd's diet was 90% cottage cheese and cheesy noodles.
One thing i would do is mix a heaping helping of brown rice in with her cottage cheese with some shredded carrot and tiny diced tomato. Though she would mainly eat the clumps of cheese she still got a little other stuff.
She is a very constipated toddler and eventually i started explaining to her that it was not too good for her belly and she phased out of it.
Now she rarely eats it.
All she wants now is tofu ice cream sandwiches!
its good that you point out that alot of the milk and cheese he eats is protien. i get mixed up with all that stuff. just know the basics as that is what i was raised on.

i did try to introduce water but he didn't take to it, have been trying to remember to water down his milk more and more but keep forgetting. maybe we will just go cold turkey. now that i think about it we WERE going to go cold turkey and then we got accepted for WIC and they give us 9 GALLONS of milk a month and i didn't think i would go through that much so i let ethan go back...guess we'll cut back again and see if that helps. he does get juice every once in a while, watered down as WIC buys that too, keeps me reg for the pg too.

Mixing things with cottage cheese-noticed that hes VERY good at picking even the tiniest pieces of food out...urgh....what happened to toddlers not paying attention!! but will try it with something besides reg. meat.
Relactating-can't now that i am prego and he quit nursing at 7-8 months, was to impatient and wanted to see the world. i wanted to go at least another 5-7 months but he had other plans.
Smoothies-he likes them when i make them and i bought him cups with straws and....he didn't like smoothies in those cups. must have it out of my cup with his own straw and i don't make them every day.
Giving him portions-will definitly try this when we have a kitchen table and we are on the same eating schedule...if that ever happens. Dh has an odd job and i eat much more frequently than ds does and at different times.

will take this info and understand that his will is stronger than mine....ever heard that saying? you can never win an argument with a toddler?
its true....
Thank you and keep the advice coming!!
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Sounds normal for a toddler. Jake goes through food jags too. We keep offering the good stuff but sometimes for days on end he will only eat crackers. Or he'll only eat Life cereal (he's addicted to the stuff, better than cookies I guess). Are there perhaps things you haven't thought of to try? I just discovered that Jake loves scrambled eggs. Some days I make him homemade pancakes...ok, that's really just a treat for me
We found that Jake LOVES to dip his food in something. So he gets some syrup in the morning with his pancakes. Ketchup with his chicken, etc. It gets him to eat more than he would otherwise. Does your ds eat with a spoon or fork by himself yet? I worked with Jake a lot at about 18 mos or so with using a spoon. Now that he can do it himself, which of course is still fairly messy btw, he eats more things. He usually has oatmeal for breakfast (he loves that peaches and cream kind), or he'll eat yogurt or apple sauce just because he can do it himself. Oh and right now he LOVES those yobaby yogurt smoothies (they've got them at the commissary for I think about $2-3 for a 4 pack). It makes a good snack.

It sounds to me like you're offering all the right stuff and that's all you can really do. Try not to get too frustrated....they'll see that and may turn it into a power struggle later down the road.

Oh and for the nightmares thing. Yes they definitely have nightmares. If they are actually moving while dreaming though (like not just twitching but standing up yet still dreaming) then they might be night terrors. Jake has had nightmares since he was a newborn. The ped said it wasn't possible but he would be in our arms sleeping and then his little face would start to squinch up (is that a word? lol) and then he'd cry this little pittiful cry but still be asleep...within 30 secs or so he'd be back to a peaceful sleep. Lately Jake has started talking in his sleep, something he definitely gets from dh. Freaks me out every time. At 2 a.m. I will hear Jake babbling or just saying, "no, no, no, no" over and over again since it's his new favorite word.
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i have just introduced the spoon to comes with yogurt attached. gets that only once a day since i feel odd giving him "regular" yogurt. to me yogurt is WAY to sweet, even the off brand slightly flavored ones. seems like all they do is add sugar (that corn syrup stuff) to everything!! thought about geting plain and pureeing my frozen strawberries and doing that but still wonder if the plain is less sweet. BTW very, hands covered, bib fun...

haven't tried dipping...he won't eat meat, not even right off our plates after seeing us eat it night after night after night....will have to try pancakes, as i recall he liked them but only when we were eating them at the same time. it can't be for breakfast though. i get lightheaded cooking if i haven't eaten or is to early in the day. i also have a problem synching our meal times up. we eat breakfast mostly at the same time but the rest of the day is totally off all of us eating at different times. thats another reason i think he doesn't try much, hes never hungry when i have something good and i am not eating when he is eating.

i like oatmeal and grits going to try that. he doesn't like bad cause we get a ton from WIC.

he woke up last night fussing, went in comforted him and turned his music back on and he stayed up another 1/2 hour. fussing every time i was just about to fall asleep. not sure what that was about. he did fall asleep in his high chair and never got to have his night cap (milk...whoda guessed) so i gave him half a glass and he went to sleep then. yeah i know not good for him to fall asleep with it but i wasn't about to wake him up all the way, let him drink the milk and then brush his teeth woulda been up for hours!!

still on the mac and cheese but had fries...yummy and chips. wow. feel like such a successful parent.
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