resistant eater support thread - come and join me.....(272 Posts)
I hate mealtimes and have done for 4 years now. DS is 4 and has issues with food (likely due to illness in his first year) since week 4. We finally sought help last year and have seen paediatricians, SALTs and dieticians. It hasn't stopped the number of acceptable foods declining. We are mow down to plain/dry carbs and soft desserts/smoothies and chocolate. We hide supplements in the smoothies!
Over the past year we have got so much better at keeping things calm at mealtimes and trying to avoid pressuring him to eat (i give myself 3 "eat ups" per meal). But all that means is that the stress gets bottled up.
Anyway having ruled out physical and social/communication issues it seems to come down to phobias. He is a cautious chap and doesn't like mess or lumps/bits. The last SALT i saw actually knew what she was talking about and said that if we did nothing else we should do desensitisation exercises. We plan to use the ones in Just Take A Bite [[ http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1932565124 here]]. This thread is partly to record that process and keep us on track.
We dont know anyone else with a resistant eater and so have noone to let off steam with. I hope there are some of you out there in a similar situation who want to share? Particularly if you are further down this road - i want to hope that these execrises will work but hope faded a couple of years back if i am honest
If you have read this and and are thinking about posting about your dc who isnt that keen on veg or that "kids will not starve themselves" then please don't bother. You are way out of your depth and i get enough of this in rl! Sorry to sound rude but i am hoping to find some people who understand how utterly helpless i feel <sob>
Anyone out there?
OK, didn't want to read and run. I have 2 sons who are very very cautious about what goes in their mouths. Unless it's dirt they've pulled out of the plughole, that's fine apparently. But food, no. They're 7 and 4. They're not as difficult as your son, largely because they'll both happily eat piles of vegetables. Sweets no, broccoli yes.
So ds2's list is - dry carbs, chocolate (mousse, cake, biscuits), sausages (the right brand), cheese, apple juice, milk. Redeemed by the fact that he also eats grapes, banana, apple, pear, broccoli, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, and cucumber.
At 4, ds1 was probably at the bottom of the curve. We have added food in since then. Recently he has tried bacon, and I keep mentioning that ham is awfully like bacon! I'm not sure what the desensitisation exercises are - we did "have the food on a plate near you, have it on your plate, smell it, touch it, lick it, put it in your mouth, swallow a tiny bit ..." over months. I'm not sure what worked, or what is just him getting older. Certainly he seems less scared of food now. Texture is still the main issue - he likes meat but won't have gravy, because it is wet. Peas and sweetcorn are fine, but if they're mixed he will sit and separate them.
Ds1 would have starved himself - certainly when I got "tough" with food (eat this, there won't be anything else) his trousers started falling down after a fortnight. Ds2 just throws up. And he has Type 1 diabetes, so that is a major health risk for him.
I'm waffling now, I really don't have any answers. Hope, maybe. MIL says DH was the same. He lived on peanut butter sandwiches, apples and milk for a year when he was 4. MIL told the doctor, who said that sounded like a balanced diet to him . DH is still bloody fussy, and there are foods he can't eat without gagging. But he has a varied and normal diet. Happened in the teen years apparently ...
Thanks for posting!!
I think i just need to know that we are not alone. Thankfully dd has showed me that it is nothing that i have done otherwise i would have gone entirely mad.
Interesting you mention your dh. Mine remembers that he ate very little until his tonsils were removed
but he is still fussy and ds' look quite large to me (not that i have looked at any other toddler tonsils!).
Hi Tricot, I think we might have these issues with DD. Ate fine until about 18mths and has declined since then. Like your DS, DD has a mainly carb diet -brown toast, hot cross buns, breadsticks (sometimes with hummous), basic pizza (no chance of adding anything healthy / green to it) fishfingers and baked beans. Occassional raisins. Has recently dropped yogurt and pasta / pesto. Not sure where to go or what to do - she also only eats with her fingers and we end up feeding her sometimes even though she is now 3 years old. Have been hoping for the last 18 months that its a phase but its getting worse not better - have followed all the advice, don't get stressed with her, don't comment, do offer what she will eat with one or two new things - but to no avail. She seems healthy and will take vitamin supplements. Other than that she is happy and very bright, but very shy, hates groups, is still in nappies, likes routine (to the extreme) and doesn't handle changes well. Will have a look at that book. Sorry I haven't got advice - mayber someone will come on who has been though this and has some tips for getting out the other side.
constant - shy, in nappies at 3.5 and hating groups. Aagh now that sounds familiar! DS also hated singing and group activities. A year on he is unrecognisable (apart from the food) and is turning out to be quite chatty. I am sorry to hear you have the same troubles
but am faintly reassured
Oh thank you tricot - I do hope that she will grow through this phase and the other issues don't bother me too much, i see it as her personality (though i do sometimes worry about ASD - and it has been suggested to me by friends), but it is the food that really stresses me out. She will just go hungry rather than eat, so the usual strategies don't work.
Hey, can I join you guys?
DS, 4.5 yrs. old. Food has been a constant source of worry and stress. Always has been. Like you Tricot, we've seen SALT, consultant paediatrician, dietician. People think I am making it up when I say that he only eats a dozen things.
At the moment he eats Cheerios, Special K, bread with jam, Ski yogurt, banana, strawberry, raspberry, ginger biscuits, chips, home made chicken nuggets, fish fingers and omelette or scrambled eggs. That is it. Whenever he picks up new food, he drops old food. He won't eat pasta, porridge, pizza or ice cream any more.
He did not speak until about year ago. He speaks non-stop now . He has social interaction issues but less so than last year and even less than 3 months ago. Mine also has large tonsils and when he was referred to ent specialist, they said it wouldn't stop him from eating. If he eats a large bite of food as he is getting full he gags. I still feed him when he is tired.
He is super skinny and when he has cold and coughs - he catches a cold every few weeks - he stops eating and we can see his ribs sticking out. It's heartbreaking to see. He also has to eat frequently because he has low blood sugar.
Tell me little more about the plan you are following and why you decided to follow this plan?
yup that all sounds familiar too! I have to say that ds seems remarkably healthy for his restricted diet. I think the supplements help. We give him:
Kindervital (3 types of liquid: multivitamin, floradix iron and saludnum minerals) plus a couple of squeezed vegepa chewable fish oil capsules. I would rather he ate better but it helps us worry less knowing that he is getting all the vitamins and minerals at least.
The just take a bite book has been on our shelf for a while. It covers just about every possible issue which can affect food refusal: from motor problems, through postural problems to phsychological issues. We have worked through different parts and used the tests to rule out certain problems eg we got rid of our antilop highchairs and got a tripp trapp instead as it has foot support.
We think we need to work through the sensory development. We are not too bad as he will mostly accept foods he will not eat on a compartmented plate. Sometimes he will touch it but willl rarely put it towards his face. The programne works through acceptance, touch, smell then taste via different exercises.
Phase i is a food diary to record the different exercises with notes and photographs. 30-40 pages. Get dc to paper the cover with pictures of food from magazines. When making entries get dc to stick in the picture and watch you write the notes. Read the diary each day with dc as a reminder of their learning about new foods. Try to do this away from a standard food/eating setting.
Phase ii is colouring in pictures of food. It is all quite gentle and slow paced!
I forgot to say that the acceptance exercises are designed to teach the dc about food and the body/digestive system so that they realise that the purpose of eating and learn that it is not scary.
My DS is perhaps not quite as bad as yours OP but definitely much worse than the usual "doesn't eat vegetables brigade" He eats around 10-15 things, mostly dry carbs too!
I wonder if all the dc involved have been high needs babies and fit the highly sensitive child descriptions? My DS does. I have also wondered about ASD type diagnosis too but he is an extrovert type in many ways as well so his social abilities make me think not but his need for order, predictability etc. are much more extreme than the average child and he completely melts down if overstimulated etc.
tricot, what was the concern about the Antilop highchair, if you don't mind me asking?
I read somewhere that if they have food issues that hey have issues in other areas. For example, DS wouldn't let us brush his teeth for about a year, trying to get his nappy on when he was a toddler was a battle, same for getting dressed. Also, the same website said that its likely to beau from Truman when they were little. Mine had no chance! Emergency c-section, followed by 4 days in neo-natal unit and then 2 weeks later, back in hospital for filer to thrive . I do believe that all this had an impact? How about you guys, do your DCs fit this profile?
Just to send you some sympathy. My DD2 was like this. DD1 and DD3 were fine, normal appetities, normal fussiness. DD2 however was under a paed and dietician for a few years when she was 1-3 years old or so. She fell off the weight charts, mealtimes were just miserable for everyone. Most days she would eat less food than would fit on my palm (over the course of the whole day, and I have child-size hands...). She was scarily skinny. There was yelling, spontaneous vomiting, crying. It was horrible, horrible, horrible. Though like you, I recognised that I had to be calm about it, it was so hard .
I remember the joy I felt when DD2 first accepted pasta. That was HUGE! Pasta meant that I could get her to eat something hot! I can also remember the mealtimes when I the only thing she would eat was raisins, breadstick and cheese, in minute quantities.
BUT I can now report that at 8 years old, dd2 is now 'normal'. She eats normal things, and more unusual things. I never thought she would eat things like sandwiches, or sloppy food like risotto, or cauli cheese. She eats salmon and roccket ffs! She eats meals, whole ones, not just acceptable foods specially selected and prepared 'just so'.
I just wanted to say that it CAN get better. It did for us, and I never thought it would. I still remember those bad days, but they are very distant memories now. I wish I could tell you what worked, but I think these issues are very child-specific, and DD2's issues were not about lumps for example. For us, totally backing off, not forcing nor even expecting her to eat seemed to help, ie giving her control back. It was very hard though, as she was so skinny, with red eye bags and frequent vomitting. I agree that well meaning poeple offering advice just made everything worse. Unless you have had a child like this, you just can't understand!
Good luck with it. You have my sympathies! Crossing fingers for improvement. With DD it was v v gradual, almost inperceptable. But looking back now, I can't believe how far she's come .
POP - my dd was born on time, at home, in water. Totally untraumatic birth...
However, she was always a sensitive, hard to care for baby. Lots of screaming, fighting nappy changes, fighting sleep etc...
Pop that is so interesting...my DS was also emcs. low oxygen, terribly low heartrate, cord wrapped, v. long labour, 2hrs pushing etc. a lot of stress and some head injuries for him :S I do think it can contribute to their disposition.
Ok, sorry about my post. Stupid iPad! Not Truman but trauma. Not beau but be.
Thanks, Fourtables. I really want DS to get where your daughter is. Hopefully we will get there.
That is the sort of story i was hoping to hear! A colleague's son only ate cheese sandwiches for years - but he only switched to normal food when he went to uni at 18!! I dread a wait quite that long!
pop ds was another home in water baby. Mind you it was a long second stage. I was told that it was stress in the third trimester which resulted in a fussy baby so i always felt guilty about working hard through that period as i was stressed. Latterly i think it is his personality. For a long time i was very angry about the birth thing because i felt cheated - we had gone to great lengths to have a homewaterbirth - so where was my calm happy baby???
angel the antilop is a fine high chair if your dc has good muscle tone. But for those who are a bit more floppy, doing without a foot support can affect posture. I think the example was sit on a tall stool, let your feet swing, allow yourself to slump and then try to eat. It is tricky because your head flops forward so getting food in is tricky. Nonetheless having a foot support made little difference to us but it gave him more control about meal times - he chooses to be there rather than being lifted into place.
The trouble is that there are a multitude of environmental, psychological and biological factors which can come into play and which can be very subtle - from what i have read. So for example a dc who hates toothbrushing they had a selection of exercises designed to reduce oral sensitivity (or manage it). Other exercises are about strengthening muscles (postural or motor/chewing). As these dont apply to us i will not work through them - our issue is definitely in his head...
Hi also girl. I think sensitive children are more likely to have food issues - well based on my sample of 1 anyway!
I'm glad I found this thread, although I'm not sure if I will fit in - dd has a complicated history! She has just turned 4, but when she was born her oesophagus not attached to her stomach amongst other things. She has spent a lot of time in hospital, the oesophagus is completely normal now but she has choked several times which has meant us resuscitating her, ambulances.
So I know the problem with food is down to DH and I, Granny's etc have also let her off with far too much. Due to the panic over choking, she never had any lumps until she was 2 and I think that can affect them.
She should be able to eat anything now, but that isn't what she wants. What she will eat happily is Heinz tomato soup, tinned spaghetti, grated cheese, fish fingers, toast, yogurts and chocolate digestives. She also loves tesco basic pizza, I tried to make a home made version with lots of veg but she wouldn't even try it. She also has bowel problems so this diet is useless.
At the moment we are seeing SALT due to a speech delay, I am also trying to get a referral back to dietician to get some advice.
I dread mealtimes so much, it always ends in tears, tantrums etc. We have tried reward charts, praise, having a "picnic" type meal but nothing. I am so worried about her health.
I will catch up with the rest of thread now.
Oh I feel your pain.
DD2 has CF she is supposed to eat 150% more calories than the average child. She actually eats probably a third of an average child.
She refuses all supplements as she doesn't like the texture (gags and vomits). We are now onto maxijul powder in her drinks which has helped with her weight gain (she's on the 2-9th centile). Those who say oh she'll be fine do NOT realise that if she does eat her appetite decreases even further until she is on mouse bites we have to push food or her bowels block too (another joy of her CF).
She has reduced her breakfast options to a chocolate bar (for her the dietician is happy with this!) on very good days we may get in a waffle oir pancake but these are few and far between she refuses toast or cereal, anything egg based, and anything with a thcker texture i.e. smoothies. and that is just the breakfast joy!
All her meals have to be managed for fat content with medication given for every 5g of fat.
I have not heard of the Take a bite book so will be looking at that later
I will come back an read the thread properly later,
avoiding this mornings drama in the kitchen.
Thanks, tricot. We've been having mealtime issues with my difficult eater (he's not a resistant one so I don't qualify for this thread...) I wondered whether that might have something to do with it. He does have underlying problems like sensory issues, poor balance, oro-motor problems, food allergies etc.
buzzgirly my DS had speech delay and, believe it or not, when he was not speaking he was only eating about 5 different foods. As soon as his speech picked up, he started eating more foods. I know a dozen different food is not a lot, but it's more than double what he was eating last year. [Smile] Apparently, we use the same muscles for eating and speaking. The SALT says that there is definitely a correlation there.
Fourtables thank you for posting - its so good to hear it will pass from someone who has actually been through it!
Can I tell you about my DD? She is 15, and is a normal happy bright girl. She has no major health issues or special needs at all. I have a second DD who eats most things and loves her food!
DD1 never liked eating. I wanted to breast feed but couldn't, so she was FF. She loved her bottles of milk, although had a problem with projectile vomiting for a while. When I started weaning her (at 16 weeks as recommended at the time) she just wasn't interested and spat everything out. I tried home made purées and jars, but the only thing she seemed to enjoy was powdered baby food <yuk> that came free in my bounty pack. Even then she would only eat a few spoonfuls a day. She eventually would eat jars of baby food (nothing home-made!) but never ate lumpy baby food. At 2 years old she would only eat the jars of food without lumps.
We have always offered her our food to try, and by the time she started school she would eat 'proper' food, but very small amounts, and only a few familiar foods. She would never have eaten school dinners for example.
I mentioned it to doctors and health visitors, but because she was otherwise healthy, although skinny, they weren't worried.
She just is fussy. It seems to be more texture rather than taste, for example, she will eat a poached egg, but will cut all the white off (it's slimy) and just eat the yolk. Someone mentioned peas and sweetcorn on this thread - she will eat them separately, if they are mixed, she will sort them and then eat them.
She eats toast, marmite, one breakfast cereal only, pasta with butter, fish in batter, sausages (specific brand), chicken nuggets, chips (only sometimes), lasagne, pasta with sauce (no lumps!), potatoes (boiled or mashed), tinned pasta and sausages (Heinz only, this is her favourite, she would quite happily eat this and nothing else!) roast dinner with some vegetables, plain pizza, scrambled eggs, paté, and I think that's about it. She also loves very salty food, so I have to limit the amount of salt she adds to her food. We try and eat quite healthily, so don't really want to eat her type of food!
She eats very few vegetables, no fruit except apples (I have never met anyone else who doesn't like any fruit), no salad. If we have a Chinese meal she will eat plain rice, prawn crackers, prawn toast, and chicken balls with no sauce. If we have an Indian meal, she has chicken and chips, and doesn't really enjoy it much. She did try some dry chicken tikka a few weeks ago, and quite liked it! Hooray!
She only drinks water, and some squashes, but hates fizzy drinks. That's one good thing about her being fussy!
We have just learned to get on with it, it is just the way she is. She is getting a little better as she gets older, but it is very slow progress. Incidentally, she was very shy when she was little, and hated mother and toddler groups etc. She is still a little shy and quiet, but enjoys school, has plenty of friends, and is generally happy.
Sorry, this is quite long, but I hope it's helpful to those of you with younger children.
So glad I found this thread. I have two DD's aged 3 and 15months. DD 2 is the baby and eats anything and everything you put in front of her. DD1 has a very strict list of things she will eat and things often drop out of favour. This week she will eat plain pasta(can no longer tolerate it having any tomato sauce on it even though that's what she lived on for months). Macaroni cheese, one brand of cereal that she eats dry without milk. One type of yoghurt must have no lumps in it and can only be strawberry or vanilla. Poached salmon, plain rice, chips or small oven potatoes,pancakes, carrots-crunchy not cooked, broad beans, toast with butter or peanut butter and jam and sometimes roast chicken and sausages. Oh and she would quite happily live off baked beans. She is always hungry and eats a lot of apples, grapes, and bananas. Having written it down It doesn't look soo bad but she will never ever eat out of the elite selection. So play dates at others houses are often embarrassing as she turns down most foods, no nuggets or fish fingers for her! And there is no way on earth I could get her to try a sandwich.She does eat healthily I am aware of that but it is soo boring making the same food for her over and over.
I worry about her protein intake because she eats such little meat and I too have had the insensitive 'friend' tell me I am giving in to her and letting her 'win' by only giving her food I know she will eat. I think that attitude stinks but does anyone else think maybe there is some truth to it? I have tried everything, reward charts, treats as incentives to eat, yoghurt if she eats no yoghurt if she doesn't but to no avail. She can be incredibly headstrong and will happily last the day without eating anything. So I make sure to give her foods I know she will eat and limit the crap.
I am scared it will continue and am dreading her going to school and am worried she just won't eat all day because it's not the right food. I have not seen anyone about this. She is slender but not a sickly child and I suppose I am worried I may get a scolding for not addressing it but to be honest she isn't ill and on the other hand they may think I'm overreacting.
Feels great to find others in the same situation and whilst I am aware things could be worse if isn't half wearing me down.
This is a really interesting thread, my DD is 21 months and I think will turn into your 4 yr old, OP.
We struggled to wean, never moved onto lumpy baby food or anything home-made. Her range of foods is limited and she will go hungry rather than eat something she doesn't like / can't eat (wet foods). We've tested this at nursery and she's refused their lunches for weeks now (usually replaced by a cheese sandwich).
She's dropped off the height curve altogether and is dropping on the weight curve. We're seeing a paediatrician and have had a dietician do a report of her food diary. She's getting about 80% of her calories and most of her nutrients (after supplementing - her iron was low previously) except Vit D (which is hard in diet anyway).
It's a relief to find a thread which doesn't have any 'she'll eat when she's hungry' answers - thank you OP, I totally know where you're coming from - because they don't do they.
I'm interested in that book, I think we'll order it for when she'll be open to the 'just one bite' concept.
Per the earlier conversation. DD was a EMC after a (5-day) failed induction (stressful? Yes, very) but I think it's more a genetic thing as DH and MIL were poor eaters too. She also hates the toothbrush (similar reaction to the early days with a spoon). Developmentally she's on the average side of average (ifyswim), is generally sociable but a little shy.
I shall be reading in the hope of getting some tips (and some solidarity for those bad meal times!)
Hi Doneinagain. So your daughter eats about sixteen things. It's great that she is eating quite healthily. Peanut butter and salmon are great for protein as are baked beans, sausages and roast chicken. Those are great positives - we have to look for them anywhere we can . Also, I tend to take food with me for play dates as it means its stress free for both me and DS.
Ah, helpful friends. Don't you just love them? Just the other day a colleague of mine was saying try to make it fun and I was thinking, yes, you try make it fun after four years! I think some children are just like this, it's internalised and no matter what you try, they will only eat what they want to eat. Rewards, sanctions etc don't work with them. Sticker chart made no difference. Classic example: ask a eating friend round for tea and they may copy. Nope. It does not work with him. I can't do the whole you're not going to get anything else thing because of low blood sugar issues but I reckon it would not work either.
The thing is you are doing your best in extremely trying and stressful circumstances. It's one of most fundamentally basic thing that you do as a parent - provide food so that your child thrives, and when they don't eat, you (at least, I) feel such a failure. It's very stressful and parents who have not been here just
don't cannot be expected to understand.
It's reassuring to see posts from other mums with similar dcs. Dd eats mostly carbs and dairy. It's a real struggle to get any fruit or veg into her at all so I'm actually quite jealous of those on here saying there are at least a couple of fruit/ veg their dcs eat!
Dd is definitely a sensitive child generally, having recently weaned dc2 this was completely different and makes we realise how early and deep rooted dds issues were.
doneinagain- I wouldn't panic too much about starting school. Dd started this sept. Just opt for packed lunches and send the same thing every day if you have to. Dd takes a cream cheese sandwich, yoghurt and a chocolate brownie (which she doesn't know has hidden grated veg in, hee hee. The recipe is from mumsnet recipe section). Fruit is offered to all the kids as a morning snack but she says 'no thanks' and that's fine.
I've never sought any outside help with dds eating. This thread is making me wonder if I should. We've just struggled on with it ourselves, hoping it would pass. She is doing ok but is a little pale and prone to constipation.
So glad to find this thread.
DS aged 2.5 eats only dry carbs, yoghurts, fruit purees, and anything 'bad' (cake, crisps!). He won't eat any hot food at all, not even 'bad' stuff like pizza or chips. He typically has breakfast cereal two meals a day, and then crackers with butter, yoghurt and a fruit puree for dinner. I'll include cake, biscuits and crisps every now and then for variety. I cook 'good' meals and we all eat together as a family. Makes no difference.
He has never liked touching 'wet' things, so would never touch e.g. banana right from 6 months old. He only just is ok with touching playdough and painting, but gets very upset if any goes on his hands and wants them washed immediately.
He is also very shy, sensitive, sweet and gentle. He has a speech delay and we're seeing a SALT.
I was a fussy eater as a child, and spend a lot of the time thinking it must be my fault he's like this.
For those seeing dieticians, did you get referred or are you going privately? Do you think its helpful?
What vitamin supplements are people using and why?
Thanks for the book reference OP, looks like it might be worth a read.
I'mnotcute has your DD had her iron levels checked as eating a lot of dairy affects the absorption of iron? It may be worth doing especially if she has any other symptoms of anaemia. It does also effect appetite. Not sure what to suggest about constipation. Have you talked to your GP about it?
I will be very honest and say that I found the whole dietician, paediatrician thing a big letdown. There was a lot of answering questions and very little back in terms of constructive concrete practical advice.
School - DS has to have school dinners where he goes - its not an option! On the one hand I pay a lot for him to eat a piece of bread (apparently that is all he eats) but on the other hand I don't have to worry about uneaten packed lunch and it saves me stress and time in the morning. Yay!
chocolatey i cant paste it in from my phone but i stuck my supplements list in a post above. I got the list off a mumsnet thread and mainly opted for liquids as he has to have it hidden in a smoothie - he wouldnt eat a gummy bear type thing. Your ds.sounds exactly like mine. My ds has never eaten what i would consider a normal meal presented in a normal way. The phobia about wet lumpy food has been there from the beginning. It is so wearing!
We saw nhs salt (self referred) and the gp sent us to a dietician who then referred us to a special eating section of nhs salt provision. We also saw a private paed. There is a lot of hand holding and we have been assured that there is no sinister underlying problem but they cant do anything. It is up to ds. I find that the worst bit is going along to see someone and having to go..thro it all in front of him again (when they advise not talking about it in front of him ) so the best stuff we have had is out of that book (albeit that there is so much in there it is difficult to identify which bits are relevant).
Interesting that there are several posts mentioning: shy, cautious, not liking mess, not liking lumps, resistant from weaning (or before), concerns.about asd, dislike of wet foods. We have issues with mixed textures.
It has taken too long but i dont think that there is any point tackling things head on. He responds much better to subtler tactics and sideways suggestions! I think he might like to have food demystified by learning about it and getting to know what a healthy diet should be. He can then decide what to make of it all!
Chocolateygoo, after DD dropped on her centiles the HV recommended we see the GP who referred us to the paediatrician (we have BUPA, so probably it was quicker than usual) who then requested the dietician report. DD had blood tests to rule out coeliac, thyroid etc (all fine). She did have low iron though (didn't eat red meat or green veg) so we started the Wellkid supplement.
We have a follow-up appointment with the paediatrician a week on Monday so we'll see what the next steps are. He did say he knows a child psychologist who specialises in 'selective/fussy eaters' so perhaps we'll get to see her (we'll have to pay for that I suspect).
I'd like to understand exactly what her issues are and how best to approach introducing new foods. The 'just one bite' looks good in that respect. I've ordered a copy.
I meant to mention DD doesn't like mess. We were painting today and she made me wipe off every little bit of paint she got on her hands as we went. Perhaps more messy play would help - last time we did that corn flour / water thing she just dipped one hand in.
Hello everyone so nice to hear from you all so quickly! Yy to not liking mess. My Dd wails if she gets any messy food on her fingers or on the table and needs its wiped straight away before she can carry on. I have tried explaining it's alright to have a little mess especially when she seems stuck on picking up her toast in case she gets jam on her fingers you couldn't make it up!
We also have to separate her foods on the plate....she eats her fish first,then her rice and won't entertain them touching or anywhere near each other. She stopped eating her pasta with sauce because I kid you not 'mummy it has sauce on it????(despite asking me for sauce!!!)
From about 18 months she too also became very sensitive to too much noise, would lash out when all her cousins came over from feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand is really affectionate to her Dsis but seems to be irritable and lashes out in frustration and anger a lot.
Why does it have to make us all feel like such failures I am such a foodie and love cooking for the babies so its especially niggling that she doesn't Hoover everything up like that.
Thanks for the reassurance that we can just get on with it....and other people just get in the way don't they?
Also some posters have mention SALT what is that?
Am finding this thread intersting. DS1 is 7yo and has gone through exceptionally fussy phases. I did EBF until 6months then BLW and at first, he wolfed down anything that we gave him, and lot of it. He gained weight really rapidly and climbed up the centiles that he had slipped during the first few months.
Then, when he was a bit older, around 18months maybe, one by one he started dropping foods until there weren't many options left. He was also allergic to egg and intolerant to dairy, so there were also dietary restrictions.
When he was 5, he started suffering from reflux. Or rather, when he was 5, he was able to verbalise that he was suffering from pain in his chest and stomach and we realised it was reflux. Looking back, I suspect he had suffered it for a lot longer than we knew about.
He was put on medication which didn't really help and I decided to let him lead the way with what he wanted to eat. He had also at this point started taking a few mouthfuls then saying he was full and refusing to eat any more. His diet consisted of soft sloppy stuff like yogurt, custard, soft sandwiches like peanut butter etc and there was no way he could be persuaded to eat anything else.
Then, just before he was 6, I realised he was tongue tied. We had his tie revised and the reflux disappeared. His eating got a little better, but since we had it revised properly in September (the first one wasn't done right) and now the back of his tongue is fully released, he is willing to try lots and lots of different foods.
I have since learned an awful lot about tongue tie and understand that fussy eating can be a big part of it. It is difficult to chew properly and control the food in the mouth when the tongue doesn't have it's full range of movement. DS1 had a little pocket between two strands of his frenulum where he said food used to get caught which he hated. He said certain foods stuck to his teeth, and he was probably not able to sweep his tongue round to get it off. Certain foods made him gag, even when he was older. It tended to be slimy/stringy stuff like squash.
Whilst I don't think for a minute that everyone on this thread has DCs with tongue tie, there are certain things that have been mentioned several times which DS1 had/did or that are common amongst tied kids.
breastfeeding issues, trouble with weaning - eg choking, gagging, vomiting, sleeping issues, ENT problems, digestive issues and allergy/intolerance, sensory issues, intense dislike of toothbrushing (that's more kids with lip ties, but it's very rare to have a lip tie and no tongue tie), speech problems or speech delay, reflux, high palate and associated dental problems to name a few.
Thing about tongue tie is that unless it's totally obvious, most medics wouldn't know a tongue tie if they saw it and lip ties are dismissed as not important. That's why ds1 went undiagnosed until he was almost 6, and in the end it was me that did all the digging for information.
SALT is speech and language therapy - chewing/moving food around in the mouth and speaking use the same muscles so eating issues can be associated with speech delays.
DD's speech is mediocre (pronunciation isn't great but she tries) but at about the same level as walking etc so I think she's ok. The paediatrician asked about it so I think he's keeping an eye.
Messy stuff I'm a bit concerned about. I'm worried I've fussed about mess (there was so much I'd it), but if you'd seen the photos of weaning days you wouldn't think there was an issue!
PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA I've seen gp about the constipation but not had iron levels checked. She's mostly very well so I'd be reluctant to put her through any blood tests but will see if I can find a way to get some more iron in just in case it's on the low side, thanks.
Wow! I'm glad to have found this thread too!
Dd had a varied range of foods before 18 months old, but reduced them, it seemed, almost overnight. Lots of stress for me and dh, watching her lose weight, her growth slowing down and several times we got to the 'if this goes on for another 3 days, we go to the GP' but I'm relieved to say her appetite always perked up in time, even if the range of foods stayed tiny.
I would be embarrassed to post dd's list of eatable's, it's a bit short on protein but only slightly, we have always given supplements too. She is 6 now and definitely less afraid of food - we have done our best to relax about it, although at times I was worried sick.
We did try the 'tough' approach (well okay dh nagged me into it) and as a result I can absolutely affirm that NO she will not eat it when she gets hungry and YES actually she will starve herself. It was a short lived experiment and never repeated, thank heavens.
In the past year dd has started trying: garlic bread, naan bread, hot chocolate / ovaltine, peanuts, cashew nuts.
Yesterday she had some of my nibbles, raisins and a breadstick - she hasn't eaten either of those things for almost 4 years!
If dd ever ate pasta I think I would be
fecking astounded ecstatic!
I'm not sure my ds2 qualifies as a resistant eater but at one point I thought he would literally only eat yorkshire pudding, chocolate and bananas when he was about 3. He ate much less than ds1 who I had regarded as a picky eater but started eating normally again once was 5. As I assumed it was just a phase for ds2 despite mealtimes being rubbish and the period lengtehning out, I never sought help. Ds2 is now up to about 10 foods (aged nearly 6) predominantly clearly identifiable foods and only in certain forms, certainly no sauces, casseroles etc or we get the gagging type reflex.
What struck me though is my ds2 spent nearly 3 months in hospital from being a newborn having a number of gastro-intestinal surgeries due to a blockage. Maybe there's something to the early trauma idea, even if it doesn;t go as far as being fully resistant.
Thankyou for sharing that link, I will take a look as it might help us.
Good luck with your journey x
Interesting that there are several posts mentioning: shy, cautious, not liking mess, not liking lumps, resistant from weaning (or before), concerns.about asd, dislike of wet foods. We have issues with mixed textures.
Yes, it is very interesting. DS hated playgroups, didn't want to join in singing, he only ate yogurt for 4 months from the age of 6 months (seriously, rejected everything else) still hates getting messy (gets upset and needs his hands to be cleaned straight away), has social interaction issues (paed refused to be pinned down on asd) likes dry food only (although I can occasionally persuade him to have milk with cereal) but cant do certain textures like rice.
For those seeing dieticians, did you get referred or are you going privately? Do you think its helpful?
DS lost a lot of weight, dropped on his centile after a particularly bad bout of flu and this triggered an automatic referral to the dietician. We saw her within 2 weeks. As previously stated, I did not find it practically helpful but it was good for me to talk about my anxieties re DS (free therapy! )
mawbroon thank you for the information about tied tongue. Interesting, my DS has a lot of those same concerns inc reflux.
What vitamin supplements are people using and why? Dalivit, as its the only he likes. It's an over the counter product but I persuaded the GP to have it on repeat prescription. I am interested about iron though. DS was on iron but he got terrible tummy pain and constipation so we stopped it. Tricot, the iron that you give to DD, does it cause any side effects such as constipation? I have to be honest and say that DS's volume of eating went up on iron. This thread has reminded me that I need to go back to the GP and ask about iron again.
Imnotcute It was just a thumb prick test. DS was very brave!
I have one of these too. <sigh>
He is nearly 5 and mealtimes/feeding have always been difficult.
Reflux, sensitivity, shyness, texture issues-yy to all of those things. He eats foods separately and in order of 'niceness'-ie sausage before pasta (plain) before carrot sticks. He is frightened of trying new foods, although I can see that he wants to
We are just coming to the end of a 2 week half term holiday and it has been a struggle to come up with varied meals. (At school they have to have school dinners, no flexibility, so DS gets through his school day on practically nothing)
I have spoken to paediatricians, health visitors, a specialised childhood eating disorders nurse in the past, but not got anywhere really.
Taking a huuuge step back has helped matters a bit. No pressure
most of the time no comments, making food he will eat.
I was a resistant eater until puberty (then I got fat, then I got it sorted).
My Dad, from what I hear was very 'difficult' too.
My other DS eats like a horse.
If dd ever ate pasta I think I would be...ecstatic!
SYG, I am glad that she is eating more and trying new foods. That's great news. I know what you mean if they would only eat certain foods. I would be happy if DS ate cheese and rice.
One thing that the dietician said which I did find it useful was, just give him whatever he wants, even if its icecream 3 times a day because when children are like this, the main thing is to get whatever nutrients in them. I know its obvious but I guess it gave me validation because actually I was giving him ice cream two times a day every day because of its fat content!
By the way, for reasons unknown to me (maybe using different computers?) I've managed to namechange. I'm PopMusic btw.
Hi - My DD is a healthy 19 month old and is not underweight. However up until she was about 15 months she would only eat baby puree (ie the stuff you give four month olds). Not even the lumpier stuff. Thankfully she will now eat more normal (ie not pureed) food but exists at the moment on bread, cheese spread, bananas, fruit puree (still will not chew some fruits so have to give her the puree), yoghurt, baby crisps and milk (I give her toddler formula as want to give her extra vitamins - I also give her vitamin drops). Very occasionally she will take a bite of something else eg an egg sandwich or a pizza but will only eat a few bites before making a horrible face and refusing the rest!! I haven't been worried up until now because I was a bit fussy myself as a baby my Mum says - but I think she is worse than I was, also she is starting to refuse things she used to eat like her baby porridge. Her speech is fine for her age (over 20 words) and she is bright and active and has no other special needs except is a very late walker (still not walking though the paediatrician can find nothing wrong with her and says not to worry until she is two). Not sure i have been much help to you OP but thought I would share.
<peeks in cautiously>
I've often wanted to ask about eating issues on MN but our fussy eater is 7yr old DSS. I can never quite explain his eating issues without sounding like I'm bashing his Mum but I honestly do think that a lot of his "food fear" as we call it is partially to do with his Mum's eating disorder.
He was a good eater (according to DP) up until he was about 2.5 when they split. DP used to do all the cooking as he is a qualified chef (although he hasn't worked in the field for a very long time).
It wasn't an amicable split and he fought tooth and nail for a year to get access to DSS and didn't see him for the whole if that year, by which point the damage had been done wrt DSS's eating.
He only eats the following:
Breakfast: rice crispies or white toast with Nutella.
Lunch: ham or cheese sandwiches, ready salted or cheese & onion crisps.
Dinner: chicken nuggets, waffles, chips, roast (chicken, broccoli, roast potato, Yorkshire puddings), raw carrot, cucumber or pizza.
Snacks: yoghurt, cheese strings, crisps.
Anything else you put in front of him he will point blank refuse to try, claims he doesn't like it (even if we know he hasn't tried it), will lie about having tried it and if by some miracle we do manage to get him to try it, he will either gag on, spit it out or claim its disgusting without actually having tasted it properly.
Now, the difficult part for me is explaining why he's like this. Please bear with me, I'm not intentionally bashing his Mums parenting skills but even she admits its possibly why he's like this (but refuses to work with us to try and change his diet).
She has been anorexic in the past. She lives on chips, broccoli and gravy for dinner every night. She has stood over him since he was a toddler claiming "you won't like that" before he's tried things. Serves him up chicken nuggets, waffles or pizza for dinner every night (except Sundays when he gets a roast if he's with her).
It's incredibly frustrating because we now have a 10 month old DD and I'd like for us to all eat together when he's with us without the tantrums and drama. I do realise that what we feed her during the week will try and help stop her picking up on his habits.
Please don't flame me, I know MN isn't all that keen on step-parents
I didn't even know there was a name for this but my two DSs are resistant eaters for sure, especially DS1 who has ADHD and Aspergers. I couldn't describe them as fussy eaters because they do enjoy foods, within certain groups but they are difficult to feed, short, skinny and have both been referred to dietitians at some point.
Anyway there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have had great success with desensitisation. It takes time and patience but it is so rewarding when your child voluntarily eats something that would have made him gag and have to spit out.
My DS1 (9) couldn't eat mushrooms (DS2  still can't but we are working on him!) I tackled this by putting one mushroom on his plate. He was encouraged to try it with the reward of one star on his chart for trying everything on his plate - the other foods would all be 'acceptable' ones. Any attempt to try it was praised. Eventually he got to the point where he could choke it down for two stars for eating everything on his plate. In my mind this was problem solved, he could eat it with sufficient motivation. But it didn't stop there, he started to enjoy mushrooms if they were prepared in a certain way in the microwave. Now he is branching out into just liking mushrooms! The other day I put button mushrooms into bolognese (the bolognese must not touch the pasta but that's another battle). He complained because he had picked all the mushrooms out and eaten them and he wanted more!
The process takes years, patience, and making mealtimes pleasant for them but I have to say I'm amazed at how well desensitisation works. My DS1 still has food issues but we are steadily overcoming them. I can give other examples but I just want to illustrate that there is a way out and it really does work.
It's interesting to read the other things that some of these children have in common. My DD, who is 15, hated mother and toddler groups and took a while to settle at school. She was shy and was bullied in primary school, but is now happy in secondary school. We had no problems with speech delay, in fact quite the opposite. She seemed to talk, walk, read, and do everything early, except eat! I think she had reflux as a baby, and suffered from IBS in primary school. I have only recently realised that she must have a tongue tie, as she can't poke her tongue out at all.
MissChristmas I understand your frustration and worry about your DSS and also the influence it may have on your DD.
As a step parent myself, I wouldn't flame you. I don't think there is any point in blaming the mum though. What's done is done, maybe you need to draw a line under it (BTW, as an aside I make it a rule not to criticise the mum to DP at all, no matter how unreasonable she is being - it's their business not mine).
Instead, I would concentrate instead on what you can do for your DSS now. As others have said, it's best to back right off about the eating. Give him what he wants because its important that he eats, no matter what. And if you only generally see him at the weekends, why can't you all eat what he eats for an evening meal eg roast dinner or pizza etc and you just have salad etc as an extra? That should ease the drama straight away. I am going to investigate the desensitising further and maybe it's something you can introduce too? Try to get the mum involved too.
Sorry if I sound a bit abrupt, I have had a long night with a boy who is very ill and wanted to be my duvet by sleeping on me -ugh. I seriously need to go back to bed.
Stuntnun, I'm really interested in the desensitisation / star chart method of introducing new foods. At what age can you start that, do you think? I think, at 21 months, DD is too young, but hopefully it's something we can use when she's a bit older.
Someone said how they'd be ecstatic if their DC would eat pasta. Me too! Why pasta I don't know as it would usually be served with a sauce (which she wouldn't eat) but it seems like such a normal and nutritious food (and one they serve at nursery fairly frequently).
DD's main meals are currently sweet corn (sometimes peas) and either sausage or fish finger (often neither) and has completely gone off her previous favourite of Yorkshire pudding (served to often, I suspect). I've taken to making my own skinless sausages with lamb (for the iron) or turkey but she'll reject them at the meal and just possibly eat them in the buggy when she's a bit bored/distracted. Doesn't always work though.
Thanks Pop, it's nice to hear from another step parent
I think the biggest problem for us is the health issues that his eating is causing - he's overweight, has terrible toileting trouble (to the point his bum bleeds) and yet there really is nothing we can do to help him just 2 nights a week
We had a minor breakthrough last night in that he ate two spoonfuls of rice before exclaiming that it tasted funny.
I honestly think that a lot of his eating issues are texture related and not taste related but I'm not sure how to overcome this. He's adamant it's the taste he exclaims that he doesn't like things before he's properly tasted it, i.e. it has literally just touched his lips when he spits it out or gags.
As I said before, his Mum won't work with us to try and overcome this. I try not to get involved but its difficult when its me who cooks our meals so naturally, DP and I have discussed it. Also when he's at ours and in pain because he can't poo, it's distressing.
We have pre-made Velcro star charts which we use for rewarding all good behaviour, e.g. one star for tidying up their Lego or setting the table. You use them for whichever behaviour you want to encourage but you shouldn't have more than about five things on the go to prevent confusion and they change over time. For example my DS2 use to get one star for getting dressed with help and two stars for getting dressed by himself as a means of encouraging him to dress himself when he started nursery school. Now he doesn't need stars any more, he just gets dressed and he gets the stars for other good behaviour instead. For food we used to have one star for trying a bit of everything, two for eating everything on their plate, three if they eat seconds as well. We have now dropped the one star reward. DS2 gets two stars for having his supplement drink because he wasn't keen on them at first. They don't get rewards for breakfast as we only give them foods they like for breakfast. Rewards are five stars for a go in the lucky dip bag which contains items of approx. 50p value such as kinder eggs, temporary tattoos, sweets, trading cards, stickers. Fifteen stars gets them a big reward such as money, a trip to the ice cream shop, a day at the zoo, a small toy. You don't have to spend money, rewards could be choosing the dinner or the next film you watch, playing a game, staying up ten minutes late, whatever motivates your child.
With a younger child the rewards may need to be more immediate. When my boys were smaller I got a big pack of star stickers and they got a star put on their clothes right away (may need Sellotape on top to keep them on). You can let other people know to praise the child, i.e. 'I see you got a star, what did you do to get that?' to reinforce it. You could remove stickers from their clothes at the end of each day and stick them on a piece of paper to save up for a reward. It is a very effective method of encouraging good behaviour in your children. You just need to work out the behaviours you want to encourage and the reward system. It must be flexible so the behaviours change over time. Also a two-year-old must be rewarded right away, at three they should be getting something almost every day, older children should be able to 'save up' stars for something bigger. Also you don't want to bankrupt yourself, I got a stack of temporary tattoos from eBay so some rewards cost pennies.
I do recommended the desensitisation approach for introducing new foods. It works on the specific foods that you use it on but it also lets them learn to enjoy food and trying different things. I was gobsmacked the other day when DS2 asked for an apple (he likes apples) and DS1 went and got one for him AND ONE FOR HIMSELF! He hasn't eaten an apple in five years but he decided to try one again. That was something we hadn't pushed as he would eat oranges and soft fruits but he is becoming more open to foods again rather than pulling the 'I don't like...' routine all the time.
It is a long-term process to improve your child's eating but now that I'm getting somewhere (DS1 is nine now and has had issues since birth) it really encourages me to keep going. It has been a struggle but I do think that my children will be 'normal' eaters as adults, perhaps even more adventurous than most because they have had to overcome their difficulties with certain foods and textures.
MissChristmas. Poor boy. It's not right that he is so constipated. Has he been to see the GP? I wouldn't rely on the ex to sort it out, get DP to take him to the doctors. Also, do his school know? For example, if the doctor says he needs to take meds (laxatives) so many times a day, perhaps ask the school to make sure that its given at certain times of the day. There was a boy in my class who had toileting problems and we made sure he took his meds (the parents of the child had a letter from the gp sent to the school). I've done something similar with my DS who needs to eat at certain times - the GP wrote a letter saying he must be offered foods at certain times (I send the food in) of the day and the school have been fantastic about it.
Does he get any rewards for trying new foods? Also, even putting it to his lips is a big thing - he should be applauded & rewarded for it. I get mine to kiss new food, which he thinks is hilarious and we make a big song and dance about it when he does it. If he doesn't want to then it's no big deal.
Actually, tricot I have just been reading the recommended book. It's very interesting. I haven't read all of it but I'm enjoying the no nonsense but supportive writing style. It saddened me that some of the things I have done may have contributed but I wont feel too guilty about it and look forwards instead. I will definitely try the desensitising approach and I want to thank you, tricot for starting this thread.
Once I know what I am doing, I'm going to let the school/grandparents/friends/family know of our approach so that we can all sing from the same hymn sheet. As he eats school dinners with his teachers, I think it's important to let them know. What do you think?
Stuntnun Wow, thats a big massive thing that your DS1 did: getting an apple for himself. Super well done to him and to you too. I think the consistency is the key here, whereas I get fed up when the results are seen straight away. I realise now from reading your post that its a long journey.
Not sure if I'm allowed to join in or not. DS2 is 10. He is on meds for his ADHD which suppress his appetite between about 9am and about 4pm. He also has Asperger's and sensory issues, so certain textures are out and v.reluctant to try new foods. He has dropped from 25th centile to below 9th for weight and height.
when the results are not seen straight away!
3b1g welcome aboard
3b1g snap yours is the same as mine only one year older! We switched DS1 to a different medication (from Equasym to Concerta) and his appetite in the evening improved due to the Concerta wearing off earlier in the day. His paediatrician advised us to give an extra meal so now both DSs get 'supper' as part of their bedtime routine which could be strawberries, yoghurt, ice cream, biscuits or toast with as much milk as we can persuade them to eat. For textures you can get them to overcome that with desensitisation. My DS1 now actively seeks out mushrooms so it was definitely the texture not the taste that made him gag on them. He wouldn't eat mashed potato (or any type of potato apart from chips or crisps) unless he sprinkled peas in it. Bizarre but again I think it was a textural issue.
He did get prescribed Lactulose by the GP but his Mum tasted it and decided he wouldn't like it so won't give it to him - she does apply cream when he gets sore but that isn't dealing with the issue, just the resulting discomfort!
Unfortunately we aren't "allowed" to take him to the GP. The last time we did was because he had a horrendous rash which turned out to be slapped cheek. She went mental that we dared to take him to the out of hours doctor and took him to see her own GP the next day anyway. Ditto with school, apparently it's nothing to do with DP.
We do praise him for trying new things and even though he knows we will be pleased with him for trying, we still get the tears and tantrums. Star charts and rewards haven't worked so far because its only at weekends that we get to do this. It seems that all our hard work gets undone during the week and we're back to square one again!
What also doesn't help is that when we're at his grandparents, his GF gets cross with him for not trying things/only eating his favourite things. It's hard to explain to him that it isn't DSS's fault that he's this way with food and punishing him doesn't work! This is when we usually let him have pizza to save the resulting arguments.
Hope your LO is feeling better today!
StuntNun I like the extra meal idea. We've been giving him a build-up type milkshake in the evening but he might be willing to eat a biscuit or cereal bar or some crackers with it. We also started with Equasym but have found Concerta better as there is less rebound in the evenings. We have now got to the point where he will try a small bite or spoonful of the unfamiliar food, unless it is risotto or apple crumble.
MissChristmas my DS1 got an impacted bowel after a case of threadworms and the lactulose was wonderful stuff, sorted him out gently and easily. I keep a bottle of it in the cupboard now just in case.
It did nothing for me during pregnancy Stunt but I think I'll try and get some to keep in the cupboard for him! Can you buy it over the counter?
You can get it over the counter and it can take a long time to work because it's a mild laxative. That's why I like it so much, it doesn't send you running to the loo. Pregnancy might be a different matter because your bowel transit time is increased and if you're on iron tablets all beta are off!
This is a really interesting thread - thank you. DS is 2y9m and although possibly not a resistant eater yet, does seem to be heading that way - with a very limited range of foods - consisting of mainly weetabix, pasta, garlic bread, yoghurt, sausages, crisps and biscuits. He will eat fruit and sometimes tomato and cucumber - but if he eats too much of this he wont eat anything else and loses weight.
At his 2 year review he was about right for his age with everything apart from his speech - which was a year delayed. He has now dropped of the bottom centile charts for his weight (despite being born a whopping 6lb 13 at 8 weeks prem!). We are waiting for our paediatricians appointment and hoping to get a SALT referral soon, so I will be watching this thread with interest (and compiling my questions for the health professionals!).
I have just read this thread nodding all the way through!
My dd is almost 3. Weaning was a non-starter, she relied on bottles of milk almost exclusively until she was 18 months old. Then her weight (never good but steady on 9th centile) started to drop, she picked up every bug going which killed her appetite even more.
Like most of you have said dd only eats a very small range of foods, and only if she feels like it. Foods can fall in and out of favour and nothing on earth could make her eat something she didn't want to.
Last winter her health got so bad she was in hospital for a month with Pneumonia. She stopped eating completely and was NG fed for 5 months (feb-July this year). Finally got referrals to SALT, dietitian, consultant, gastro surgeon.
She just about avoided a gastrostomy in July by accepting Frebrini energy drinks orally. She is still on 2-3 bottles of frebrini a day and eats very small amounts of specific foods. She has improved a lot since being on long term antibiotics and not picking up as many infections. But I have to choose between offering her food with about 30% chance of her even trying, or giving her a bottle of frebrini which I know gives her everything she needs.
She is still underweight and sometimes loses a few lb then puts it back on. She is in 18-24 trousers and even they fall down!
She was classed as having a severe food aversion earlier this year but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
Sorry for the ramble and thanks for reading if you've got this far
We definitely have a food refuser. What is difficult is knowing how often to offer the foods I know he will definitely eat or keep trying 'family' meals (which I know he won't touch a mouthful of) in the hope that one day he might try. So I either end up cooking two meals or a extremely repetitive rota of about five meals! how do the rest of you manage this?
Its really interesting to see that in many cases it seems to be a personality trait (shyness, not liking mess etc), and in some others there is more of a physical cause (tongue tie).
Big hugs to SouthernComforts, it sounds like you and your dd have been through an awful lot. Although my DS is nowhere near as bad, I know what you mean about wondering whether to offer something new or stick with what you know works. For the past month I've been offering a 'normal' lunch alongside his usual food, but it has been a total waste of food. I've ordered the book and really looking forward to seeing what ideas it suggests.
Its good too to hear stories from the other side. From my own experience as a very fussy eater, I didn't start eating normally until I went to university. When everyone else is going out to italians, chinese and curries, it feels very embarrassing to say you won't go because you don't like it but you've never even tried pasta or rice! In the back of my mind, I always remember being told as a young child that my uncle didn't eat properly until he left home, and that kind of reassured me that I could and would get over my own fear when I was ready to, in private and under my own control. I just don't want DS to have to wait that long to enjoy his food.
Thanks for the replies re vitamins. I will have a look for some soluble ones to put in DS's milk, for peace of mind.
p.s. Primrose123 your DD could be me 15 years ago! I only ate apples and potatoes from the "fruit and veg" category. I now love all sorts of fruit and veg. You sound like you are doing a great job
My son has always been incredibly fussy, even as a baby he refused to take powder milk or a bottle. I weaned him to a sippy cup with cows milk when he was 1.
I don t know what the cause of it all is, it is partly his personality ( fastidious, sensitive, cannot cope with noise, crowds ( birthday parties made him cry til he was about 6 or 7), mess, dirty hands or stinky smells. The fact that he had rota virus aged 2 ( nasty stomach disease) and had to be put on a drip made things worse.
When he was 2,5 he still only spoke 3 words ( ma, pa and no), he was borderline underweight, and would only eat pasta, banana, toast, cheerios, scrambled eggs and milk! And that was all.
We stressed ourselves out and had massive rows over it. I noticed that DH putting pressure on him had the opposite effect. I asked everyone kinly to butt out, and let me try it my way.
I would mostly cook what he liked and knew, and occasinally place something new alongside with it, with no pressure to try. I would also just remove the plate after mealtimes without comment. I would later top him up on full fat milk and cream crackers ( why are dry carbs accepted?! ).
Somehow, by taking the pressure off completely, apart from an occasional " why don't you try a bite of this?", and not getting angry if he did not, the whole food situation calmed down.
Gradually he became interested in other foods. he is 10 now, and eats a balanced diet though lts of things are still off limit, mainly to do with mixed or lumpy textures( baked beans or shepherds pie make him gag).
Some things that help:
1. involving him in the preparation of food. This way he learned to eat bolognaise aged 8, massive breakthrough, though he only has one spoon of sauce.
2. Don't take a hardline approach, it does not work
3. Never give up, one step forwards, two steps back is inevitable at times
4. Try to share your love and enjoyment of food, have a nice chat during dinner, make mealtimes a pleasant experience.
Saying all that, today DH had a go at DS for not finishing his plate and I had to remind him we do nt do that anymore. At the time, when I started taking control I told Dh" how would you feel if someone breathed down your neck at every mouthful, telling you to eat more?!"
Good luck, and don't worry. My DS (10) is still very slender but is the tallest in his year! And his speech delay have developed into dyslexia, don't know if that is all connected.
My best friend says my DS is an example of a so called Highly Sensitive child. With those kids, you have to give them space.
Wishing you lots of patience !
chocolatey i dont know about other brands but.the floradix vitamins taste very fruity and are quite syrupy. Not sure you could hide them in milk!
I think the desensitisation techniques depend on the child. The key to all is to back off and place no stress. Rewards must not be food related. Stars sound good but would have no affect on ds. Asking him to try stuff just makes mealtimes worse so we have the food we are eating on his compartment plate alongside what we expect him to eat (not always easy to predict). We tell him about the food so he knows all their names but we no longer ask him to kiss or lick or bite stuff (the last salt we saw said to back off completely on eating things at the table) but if he does he gets heaps of praise while we try to ignore/not draw attention to/reward "bad" behaviour. But he must sit at the table with us. If he is not eating i try to get.him to talk about nursery or his engines so that.food.doesnt take over. But i would prefer it if a star chart had worked. Unfortunately he is.immune to peer pressure so that is no help!
misschristmas i agree with the advice above to back off and give him food he likes. The best thing you can probably do is to.show him what a happy relaxed mealtime is like. He is more likely to join in that way. Also you are never going to be sure whether it was a nature nuture thing with his dm. I wrestle with this a lot about my ds - does he.eat this way because i made.him that way? Or because he wants to be that way? Or a combination of the two? In the end i will never know but i am entirely sure that it is up to ds to change it - if he wants.
So our desensitisation has to start with his head! We will be looking at food and the body and nutrition. I hope that by learning about that and health he might change. Maybe that is the angle to take with your dss. Poor mite must have had a stressful time and now feel physically poor. You can't solve the eating head on so lots of info, suupport and tlc is the way forward imo.
All of you who think maybe you " made" them that way, I very much doubt it.
I think these kids are just born that way, wired differently, it may be accerbated by life events though ( such as in our case having had the drip pushed down his throat which was an ordeal for him).
OP, let us know how you get on
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
tricot. Have you started the process yet? I know you have sorted out his environment in terms of chairs etc. Are you going to start at chapter nine? I have now read the whole book and there are a couple of points that really stood out. My DS definitely suffers from sensory overload. Interestingly, we were out at nandos yesterday eve and we had to wait ages for our food. He got more and more stressed because of the noise levels. At one point he covered his ears and said I don't know where all the noise is coming from. When I asked him what noise, he said the baby crying and the music. I had not even heard the baby, who was the other side of the restaurant! He has always been like this, even as a baby. What confused me was that they seem to be saying its either a sensory issue or its a chewing/physical issue - that it can't be both. Did I read that right?
So, what I wanted to know was, are you going to do the food acceptance exercises whilst you are still offering foods he won't eat? Or are you going to stop offering new foods to eat at meal times whist you do that part?
In terms of food jags (where they eat the same thing over and over and then stop eating it all together), the advice was to carry on offering other foods as well whilst they are on their jags. Also, have some bread on the table so that if they don't like the food, they can fill up on bread.
misschristmas it sounds like your DSS has a lot going on in his life, I agree with tricot about showing him what a happy relaxed meal looks like.
Chandon I'm currently expecting my third DS (overdue actually) and wondering whether he'll have the same eating problems as his brothers. Both of them have slightly different issues but it was obvious from very early on that there were problems. At least I've already been through the mill so I'll be better equipped to deal with it this time as I think the stress to the parents makes up more than half the problem. Like when well meaning
idiots people are telling you your child 'will eat when they're hungry' but all they've eaten that day are two peas and a chip. I think the health visitor assumed I was joking when I told her that.
StuntNun - I SO remember those days. Two peas and a chip... I am sure peope DON'T really believe that is all they have eaten. I recall a day when it was three raisins and half a breadstick...
I agree the stress on parents from this is enormous. You worry for your child so much, for their health now and in the future, and their mental health. Then there are all the outside worries about what other people are thinking about you/your child. The pressure is horrible.
For my DD, I am not sure why it started, or if there was ever one thing that started it, but it was a LOT to do with control. I think backing off was the hardest, yet most effective thing we did. We gave DD the foods she would eat, but there was always others available that the rest of us were eating. Over months and years, she became prepared to try, and as I said upthread, now eats really, really well. She still has fussiness, but it is norrmal levels, and hey, I can be fussy too. What we don't have is hour long mealtimes fuill of cajoling, tears, tantrums and no food being eaten.
Re whoever asked about referrals - the HV was concerned about her weight even before she was weaned as she was skinny always (though average height), but at about 9 months she was weighed and was <0.4 centile, which triggered paed ref who then did a dietician referral. Her weight fell off the charts, and bobbed along around the 0.4th centile till she was about 4 years old, when we were signed off.
As for personality, DD was very early to talk, is very outgoing, active, very bright. She is a perfectionist though, and behind closed doors, can be anxious, although to the rest of the world, she is very confident. I am not sure there is a 'type' of child that gets these issues, and maybe by looking for one, we might miss the specifics of what is going on for our own child?
Fair point, fourtables, maye there is no "type".
For my DS, it has always been less of a control thing, and more an issue of extremely sensitive stomach and throat.
Being " forced" to eat things that make him feel icky, just made him go very quiet, and he would look really panicked rather than defiant, so I never thought it was some control mind game he was playing.
Therefore I have never treated it as a psychological issue. For others it may well be psychological rather than physical though.
Best advice I ever had, from some book, and really it was just the one sentence :" you cannot make a child eat something, but what you can do is to keep offering him a variety of healthy food".
We haven't started as such. We are just gather uping the props. We are planning to start the exercises at the beginning of Chapter 9 as you guessed.
I have ordered this book for him www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Usborne-Beginners-Stephanie-Turnbull/dp/0746074409 and I need to print off a whole load of food pictures off the net, or get a food magazine for him to do some snipping for the scrapbook cover. I also googled for images of the food pyramid and there are quite a few, so I might use one othem instead of the one in the appendix. I shall see how we get on. I also need some sort of small scrap book and a set of joke teeth!? It is not a great time of year for growing seeds so we might do some cress on a face cloth instead for the growing thing. I reckon that the canteen trip is going to be the trickiest to organise.... I will have to think about another way of doing that.....
I have been priming him that the book is coming and showed him the picture of its cover online. He seemed to be keen on finding out more. Fingers crossed. Anyway I reckon we will have enough bits to make a start this Friday/Saturday when we have some time together at home.
We plan to continue as we are in relation to mealtimes. Which is offering him food we are eating alongside the food we know he will eat. We rotate the food he will eat but it is really difficult because he has such a small range and I hate giving him crackers for his tea. I just feel such a failure!! We use non food rewards and incentives to get him to sit at the table with us for the whole meal. Maybe a DVD, a game or a favoured TV programme. I don't usually use "stuff" like stickers or toys as I am not organised to have a stash and in case he will only eat if he gets more posessions. I say that if he doesn't come to the table he will not get anything to eat at all. As he enjoys pudding, whereas suffers the rest, he will normally come up to the table to sit with us, and will probably end up nibbling a bit of first course. We went through a terrible period where he would refuse turn up to the table until pudding arrived. Effectively he was being rewarded for dancing around the front room! So it is a huge improvement (and reduction in stress) that we have got a bit of a handle on him attending the table for the duration of the meal! We try to keep it under 30 minutes. Ideally less if we can. If he does anything good he gets lots of specific praise, like "well done you ate such a lot" or "good eating" and "you are sitting in your seat really well" "aren't you good at using your cutlery?" etc
It might sound funny but have you considered buying your DS some ear defenders? He might look a bit daft but it might help him function better if he can cut down the noise that bothers him? A friend of DM's son has a pair and will go off and fetch them when things get a bit much for him. He is a massively fussy eater too I believe!
Although the book splits the physical from the sensory issues, I just took that to be for expediency/clarity. I didn't get the impression that it had to be one or the other. I imagine that they might be multiple factors and crossover issues for many children.
Fourtables* - I agree that there is probably no "type" or one size fits all, but for those in the psychological group I think that caution and fear play a big part. That does seem to leak out in a dislike of group activities, singing, mess. The SALT I saw seemed to recognise these traits as part of the same picture as the food refusal. Now he is able to vocalise a bit, he has said things like "I am not worried about sausages any more" (still hasn't put one to his lips mind you!!) so anxiety seems to play a big part. Obviously for other sensory issues or physical problems it would be irrelevant tho.
Good luck to all with any "experiments". I will keep watching the thread, and I will pop back after our first session on the scrapbook and new usborne book at the weekend - if I don't appear before.
Chandon, was the book 'My Child Won't Eat'? I have a feeling that's where I read it. It's a good book about not fretting about meal times and it's a great lesson. I'm still looking for a
miracle strategy though.
Right now, DD has an ear infection (again, again, again) so is eating next to nothing (not far off 2 peas and a chip - and yes, I remember those days well). It's so upsetting when you were making some progress.
It seems there's a theme relating to eating something repeatedly and then refusing it. Is it a 'thing' these kids have or is it just absolute boredom with the same old thing do you think?
I think DD's problem is with texture on the tongue. She can bring food (eg, pasta) to her lips but just can't bring herself to put it in. Physiological or psychological? Maybe a bit of both?
I admit that even at age 10 I still rely on "top ups" like a piece of toast and a glass of full fat milk before bed. Sometimes he eats no lunch at all, the dinnerladies tell me...
I still stress about it in my head at times ( he had a stomach bug a year ago, and was back in hospital and on a drip after 2 days due to dehydration, and he was so very very thin it made me cry, just after a few days of sickness, all bones and skin). I always thought that if only he would have a bit more fat on him, I would relax a bit more about his eating. My helpful GP says that in the olden days, say the 70s, most kids were whippet thin but as everyone is a bit bigger now, the thin kids stand out. and that he is a normal weight, despite 2 nd centile. Pfffffff
Deep down I am an Italian Mama who wants to fatten up her kids, haha, but I play it cool, always play it cool...
cantmakecarrotcake with regards to food jags - normally children will have fads where they eat the same thing everyday, then stop eating it for a while but will go back to it. Someone like my DS will eat the same things for months on end and then out of the blue stop eating it and will never go back to it. He ate pasta with mascarpone cheese for literally months, perhaps even for a year and a half and then it just stopped. He won't even try it now. Same with ice cream - apparently he is "not into ice cream any more" (his words). I think it's a common theme.
Today, I asked him what he had at school for lunch. "I had sausages, beans, carrots and potatoes." My son the fantasist! I asked his teacher, she said he had Yorkshire pudding. Actually, I was happy with that because its something new.
tricot I bought that Osborne book to encourage him think about why we eat. He was able to name all the digestive body parts and how they worked and what they were for. Did it make him eat more? No!DS was really into it when we first bought it (about a year ago!) Might encourage him to look it again. Today, he helped me set the table and helped me clear it up. I praised him for eating but did not say oh try more or even, if you eat so many I will give you a sweet (bad mum I know). I was quite proud of myself.
ha ha pop
I expect the book will be like cooking - because that it what all the advice is - get them to participate and cook. Yes, no problem on the stirring, cutting, peeling etc etc. Put it to your mouth? Forget it! I slightly expect the same result with my ds and the book.... but I will give it a try and I can't help hoping that it will beone tiny part of the lots of little things that might loosen him up a bit..... see I can't hep hoping in between bouts of despiar. I think that is what makes it all so hideous!
I know what you mean, tricot. DS will quite happily help me chop up mushrooms and peel garlic etc but not do the eating.
I know too well about the despair, I really really do but I don't think we can ever lose hope as it keeps us going, doesn't it?
Lol, the 'let them help you prepare the food' suggestion. Alongside the 'they won't starve themself' statement. For normal children, that might be true. For the kind of children we are talking about, normal rules do not apply...
Many times I spent cooking with DD2. She loved it. Never ate a bean. Obviously, I wouldn't have expected her to eat something as weird as a bean, but a plain tomato sauce? Nah...
But as I said, she is now so much better. She had broccoli for tea (with other things of course), and then asked for a carrot and prawn crackers! After eating a school dinner (which lets face it, CAN be rather weird...).
Hang in there
This might not be relevant to all but I wanted to mention supplements as a stopgap while your child isn't eating well. My DS2 (6yo) was referred to a dietitian in the Spring by the school nurse because his weight had fallen from between the 2nd and 9th percentile to below the chart. He has been prescribed supplements for the last four months (Pediasure Plus Juce) and they have worked wonders. He gets about 2,500 kcal a week from them and is now back up to the 9th percentile. The dietitian wants to keep him on them through the winter then stop them so I am trying and get him to drink more milk instead. I can't believe the difference in him now, he finally has a bit of 'meat on his bones' and I had to loosen his trousers on the way to school just now because they were getting tight! Obviously it's not an ideal solution but it has given him a boost and hopefully his growth will reflect that as we have concerns about him being stunted by his poor eating.
That's great, Stuntnun. It must be such a relief to see him a bit chubbier. And to be taken seriously by the health profession. I don't know about you but I mentioned to the HV countless times about her poor eating and I just got the same old advice about introducing family foods. I should have gone to the GP sooner really but I guess even they won't take you seriously until they've actually dropped centiles. It's actually quite hard to know/admit when you have something more than a regular fussy eater.
Anyway your comment about the supplement juice (which 21mo DD probably wouldn't drink) made me wonder if any of this thread's DCs also didn't/don't drink much. DD will drink no more than about 50ml water in a day and 250ml milk and nothing I can do will persuade her otherwise. She's not interested in orange juice or smoothies. Perhaps I'll try apple juice and see if that's any more appealing. God only knows how we'll potty train if there's very little being produced.
Carrot DS2 requires bribes to take the supplements: one star for half a bottle, two stars for the whole bottle. They do a lot of different flavours as well.
stuntmum - we have supplements for vitamins and minerals but not for calories. We buy them. DS is around the 50th percentile (having fallen from 75% at birth) so we will not get stuff on prescription. Mind you I haven't pressed. I don't know that he would take anything like that as he only drinks water, smoothies or chocolate milk. Bribes and peer pressure have absolutely no effect on him. The supplements we take have no visible effect but make me feel a lot better. You must be over the moon to be able to see a visible difference. It must be such a relief.
cantmake our DS is not great at drinking but maybe manages a bit more than your DD. We found that having a straw or a bendy straw seems to increase fluids. The SALT also told us that wide bore straws are good for strengthening oral muscles. Might be worth a try.
How do you get past the 'lick it' stage to the actual 'eat it' stage?
DS (2.8 yrs) is now willing to lick some fruit, hooray! But doesn't want to put it in his mouth. I've shown him he can put it in and take it out, but he isn't keen. Just stick with licking it for a few months maybe?
Also what on earth do you do for xmas lunch. PIL will be here and they will be horrified if he only has crackers and butter! They don't really understand at all.
chocolate regards Christmas dinner: what time is the dinner at your house? We usually eat at two, which is way past my DS's lunch time. I give him his normal lunch at normal time and then we all sit down for dinner, but I will give him a snack instead as its his snack time then. He quite happily sits there eating said snack!
No idea chocolate.
That seems to be the million dollar question!
Just popping in to report a (very) minor victory. DD ate some pasta for tea yesterday. Not a plate of pasta and sauce but 1.5 ravioli left over from our dinner the night before. It may never happen again but I'm still celebrating!
We've got our follow-up with the paediatrician this afternoon. I wonder what he'll say...
Oh that's great cantmake. That really is a victory
My DS made me laugh yesterday. As he was eating his lunch (a whole one egg omelette and dry toast - wow!), he said that he was worried about his friend R and when I asked why, he said and, I quote verbatim, "R is going to get ill because he doesn't eat or drink very much." His friend's mum was telling me when we brought the boys together for a playdate that he had only had 2 bites of a sandwich that day.
I have small victory to report. As I was grating cheese, DS said he wanted to try a tiny bit. He has never, ever asked to try anything before. He didn't like it and spat it out and said yuck but it's still a victory.
I don't think you do get from licking to eating until they are good and ready. All you can do is to keep providing opportunities in as non-threatening (and nonchalant!) a way as possible.
Loving the small victory, Pop. Keep trying the cheese (nonchalantly of course). Hopefully he'll be interested enough to eat some more.
We saw the paediatrician this afternoon. DD has gained weight/length and crossed the 0.4th centile. He was pleased with that and has opted for 'masterful inactivity' until she's 2.3 when her growth hormones have a greater influence over her growth. I've come away pleased with the progress but slightly disappointed not to have any more strategy going forward than keep doing what you're doing.
For those not giving supplements, he attributed her good gain on the supplements. Obviously, the don't provide calories in themselves, but the general feeling of good nutrition and well being boosts appetite apparently (the other paediatrician we saw said the same about an iron supplement.
Onwards and hopefully upwards!
cantmake good to hear DD has put on weight and gone up a centile. It's a bit disappointing they won't do anything but there is not a lot they can do though, I guess. I remember watching a programme a few years back about a paediatrician at the children's hospital in Birmingham, who treated extreme resistant eaters and I remember thinking I need to see her about DS. She dealt with toddlers to teens and she seemed to get results. she worked with an eleven year old who only ate chocolate, nothing else! She got her to start eating a tiny piece of toast every day. I just wish there were more doctors like her.
What supplements do you give her? When I was giving junior iron, he definitely ate more but he got terribly constipated and we tried lactoluse but he got tummy ache so we just stopped the iron. I do give him vitamins though. And thinking about giving him Spatone.
Earlier in the thread you mentioned our children not drinking much. When junior was the same age as your DD, he was the same but he does drink now.
Well done carrot and pop. It is those tiny tiny glimmers that keep you going! Well our usborne "why do we eat" book arrived. I dont like it much.but ds is keen. At tea time he ate twice as much potato as normal and told me it was going down his gullet (heavily featured with an xrayed head in the book). I darent hope this will last but tiny steps....
Dh spent this afternoon cutting and sticking food pictures on to ds's scrapbook with him so we are ready for some exercises from the book now. Fingers crossed.
X post - the birmingham paed is called gillian harris. Unfortunately she hasn't thought to write a book so her knowledge could be spread around a bit!
Pop/Tricot, I remember that program. I think I watched it pre-DD and was horrified for those poor children/families. Agree, a book would be good - I'm still waiting for the one Tricot mentioned in her OP to be delivered.
We use a Wellkid supplement. DD hasn't really suffered constipation so we're lucky on that front.
Just looked properly at DD's red book and the height gain is quite considerable in the last few months. If she continues that trajectory she may even catch up
Good luck with the book and scrapbook, Tricot, agree about the glimmers of hope. A few of them are even real so hopefully this will be one of them.
Tricot, really feel for you, it's so difficult trying to get food Into a refuser. My ds3 never enjoyed food from day one, difficult to get milk into him, then solids. He was always on the lowest centile, saw numerous specialists, had lots of different tactics and tricks tried out on him, but absolutely nothing could convince him to try food. He survived for many years on a diet of about 6 items, causing the rest of the family to be anxious and upset for him on many occasions. Eating out, holidays etc were tricky. Another issue was not wanting any food to touch another food on a plate. However, he was rarely ill, grew into a intelligent university student and survived somehow!!!!! I would say that he still has many foods which he still refuses to even consider trying and has a fairly restricted diet. He is now 21 of average weight and height.
I don't suppose any of this will put your mind at rest, I worried daily probably til he was about 17! Just wanted to say you are not alone.
Tricot - joining the party late and not reading 99 posts, so sorry if this has already been said. Are the sensitisation issues only related to food, or are there other ones - like scratchy labels in jumpers and not liking fast moving playground equipment? DD2 had sensory integration disorder, and so was fussy about texture in food, but it wasn't a food issue. Once we treated her for her sensory integration disorder she ate pretty much anything - expect yoghurt with bits in, which is still considered Satan.
DD3 is becoming a right
pain in the arse madam about food. She is refusing anything with sauce, most meat except sausage and ham, potatoes in almost all varieties and is essentially trying to live on fruit, yoghurt, bread and chocolate spread. With her it is definitely control issues rather than anything else though - she is trying to exert her authority over me. It still makes me need at meal times though.
Thnks jenny - just what i needed to hear!
dances we did look into sid about a year back but were not sure it was a great fit based on reading a book! How was your dd diagnosed? What is the "treatment"?
We lived in South Africa where is it the first thing anyone diagnoses in kids with issues, kinda like ASD in the UK these days. She was diagnosed at about 18 months by a neurophysiotherapist we were referred to as she had a lot of issues. She wouldn't wear most clothes as she hated the feel of them on her skin - shoes were also evil. Horizontal movement was a problem - so she desperately wanted to go on swings for example, but cried to get off pretty much as soon as she got on. Bright light, loud noises set her off too. She was generally unhappy all the time, for no reason, and was withdrawing into herself. She was treated with deep pressure stimulation and brushing. I was very skeptical about the whole thing, but within about 2 weeks she was a different child and within 4 months it was completely gone and I had my happy smiley baby back!
Dances, that is so interesting. My DS is the same inc swings. <goes off to search on the net about treatment>. Actually, can it be done at home?
Yes Popmusic - they showed us how to do the compressions, gave us a brush and we were on our way Its just like a massage really
Would it be worth looking on youtube? What search terms would be good?
You would need to get the brush - that's the main thing. Look at www.nationalautismresources.com/sensory-brush.html
Maybe watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=uETDXHrH1io and www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvtV8owbR3o&feature=fvwrel
Don't worry about the use of the word autism a lot on these links. Many autistic children has SID as well, but it is not a form autism!
Thanks for that dances
I'm a bit upset today because last week I went to see GP about DS and his weight and his uncanny ability to catch every bug that is going. Seriously, he's been off from school more often than been in school.
Anyway, doctor looked at growth chart and pointed out that there is pattern to his weight, which is he loses weight in the winter and gains a bit in the summer, so on the chart it looks like an undulating wave. Fair enough. My point was that this year the weight loss is more rapid and it's happening earlier than previous years, we are only at the start of the season, what will he be like by the end of it?
Last week, he was in the 9th centile. He has had a serious bout of sickness and diarrhoea since then. He is down in the 2nd centile (about midway). He looks shocking, all skin and bones. Bearing in mind that his height is in the 75th centile.
I am so stressed about his weight loss and his eating. . It's really hard to stay positive when he just won't eat. He has come out of his illness but he's still not eating much. Today, he accepted ice cream, which he has not done in a while so at least I was able to get a bit of fat into him.
Oh dear pop. Sorry to hear your ds is not doing so well. It must be such a worry. Is he refusing everything or could you break all taboos and feed him chocolate at every meal? <desperate measures emoticon>
Thanks tricot I wish I could give him chocolate but, unfortunately, chocolate is not one of his accepted foods. . He must be the only child on earth who does not like chocolate.
He ate a little yogurt (4 teaspoonfuls), ice cream w/ strawberries and 6 mini breadsticks w/non sugary jam. Might have to put him on the ice cream diet.
Or chips? The rest of his list is not exactly calorie laden
ice cream banana milkshakes with hidden cream?
Oddly our ds seems to get worse in winter too.
Well, I packed his little bag full of Tupperware pots of Cheerios, Special K, ginger biscuits and strawberries to take to school. I know he had a banana and some bread for lunch. His Tupperware pots were all empty!
Thanks for the suggestions, tricot. I'm liking the idea of ice cream milkshake with banana and hidden cream, I'm going to try and make it this weekend and see if he will go for it. Just a bit so as not to overwhelm him.
My DD won't do chips or choc either. She is also refusing fish fingers. Happily baked beans are accepted still and I managed to get her to eat banana and raspberry muffins, which we made. She will not eat banana or raspberry normally.
Quick question - when introducing a new food alongside a safe, accepted one, do you put them on the same plate or a seperate one? Worried the presence of pasta or fish will mean the baked beans will also be rejected...
I bought compartment plates so nothing touches. Ds will tolerate things he will not eat being in a separate compartment but some kids might refuse to be in the same room. So you have to play it by ear and work to your dc's threshold.
I've had some success with putting an empty plate in front of DD and maybe 3 little bowls/pots each with a different food in. It gives her some ownership over choosing what she eats. Putting the new food almost out of reach sometimes sparks a little bit more curiosity about it.
Writing this reminds me that I don't do this when we eat lunch out on a Friday and it's always a nightmare. I'll try it today and see if it's any better.
Sorry about your DS losing weight, pop, it's so worrying when you can see they're out of synch with the growth charts (although sense tells me there will always be some that are just built that way).
The D&V is unfortunate but I'm sure he'll make that up eventually. Sometimes after the symptoms are over you can still be left feeling a bit delicate. It sounds like the pots of cereal were a success - that sort of thing is great for re-introducing food - it's the sort of thing I'd go for. Picky bits but healthy too. Have you tried Shreddies, they're fortified so you can sneak in some extra nutrients.
Re the losing weight in the winter thing, was the doc worried about Vit D? You normally get lots of vit D from sunshine and it's hard to get from regular dietary sources. We were advised to give DD petite filous as it's got extra Vit D. Overall her vitamin supplements have boosted her appetite. Not necessarily the answer for your DS but it's an easy thing to rule out. Good luck!
Thanks - I haven't got a compartment plate so put in three seperate pots as carrotcake suggested. She ate the baked beans and nothing else - but did look at the fish and the cheese - and even touched the cheese, so a good start I think. I am doing absolutely no comments now as i'm finding giving any attention to what she eats - good or bad - makes things worse.
Will try pots of cereal too.
Hope your lunch goes well carrotcake
I can remember watching a programme years ago about a charity sending high calorie biscuits, 800 calories in each, being send to children abroad, and thinking that on most days that exceeded my sons intake!
On the subject of tv progs, I was once interviewed for a tv prog on children with eating disorders and being very surprised that my son actually ate a lot more than some children! A local mum was always interviewed, her daughter had been diagnosed eventually with silver Russell syndrome, one of the problems is that children with this disorder apparently do not have a link ( a nerve I think) between stomach and what ever usually tells them they are hungry. Interestingly my son never ever said he was hungry, but was never given a diagnosis for his food refusal. One consultant did however say he had a quite narrow windpipe.
As Christmas approaches I can also remember that until 2 years ago, at the age of 19, he was still not eating a whole meal, but then seemed to turn a corner and will now even have some gravy on a plate of meat, a few roast potatoes and small amount of carrots and peas!
When you are going through these difficult years it is impossible to relax and not worry about the long term effect of poor eating. Hopefully I can reassure some of you that "normal" or something approaching it , will happen eventually.
Thank you story after another evening meal of only baked beans, no fish or veg, no cheese, no anything else offered i'm slightly desperate so any good news stories are gratefully received!
I can sympathise so much with you. Amazingly baked beans are still on the no-go list for son, despite him now being an impoverished student living away from home, not one bean has ever passed his lips! I remember begging him to try just one as I was aware it was a good source of protein, I even knew the calorie count of a tablespoon of baked beans!
I don't know how others are feeling about the impact of a non eater on the rest of the family? I was rather worried the other day to hear one of my other sons recalling how much hysterical shouting (me) went on sometimes at mealtimes. Sad that is how they remember some of their childhood mealtimes, that must have been the times when I was completely at the end of my tether which I have to admit happened frequently.
My aims were always, enough food for steady growth, to keep in reasonably good health and, as he got older, to be able to eat socially. Eventually as he reached the end of teen years these have been achieved. There were ways round the social eating, eg on a residential school trip in year 5, the school were brilliant, always made sure plain bread and butter were available at every meal, thus making it possible for him to go on the trip.
On a memorable holiday to USA, he announced on the plane "Im not going to eat anything American". True to his word, he lived for 2 weeks on a box of dry rice crispier that I took with me and ice lollies, washed down with milk.
Hope my recollections are helping someone in a similar position to keep sane!
i think i have reached some sort of sense of peace with the idea that ds will only eat dry carbs. we are also bean free. i find the most stressful times are eating out or as others' guests. we have managed collectively to eliminate shouting but i still nag on a bit when i forget not to. dh keeps working out protein and calorie consumption a bit too often and i just feed.him cake or yoghurt if all else fails. aaaargh
Hi - i guess I should be grateful for the beans! Had an awful couple of days where her intake has really dipped but got a bit better today - after one piece of toast for breakfast, we made banana and raspberry muffins and she ate some of the muffin mix and then 2 muffins!! No lunch but a homemade biscuit and raisins at my mum's and then baked beans (!) for supper. I put one cut up fishfinger in a seperate bowl and just put it doen near her and she picked it up and gave me one and then ate one herself! Did it again with the other two pieces so she had half a fish finger. today was a GOOD day!
I avois anything other than tea and cake in public because it is too stressful. I also find not telling people about it (especially other parents) helps as it leads to lots of unsolicited advice about spoiling her, leaving her to it (as she won't starve herself..) or advocating the naughty step...
Yay to the half a fish finger, constantcraving.
I took my own advice about the 3 bowls too and it did make a bit of a difference. Friday lunch was pretty relaxed and DD ate a whole sausage and some peas.
Baked beans are a no-go in our house to. She did once eat 15 (yes, I counted as she ate them 1 at a time) but I think she ended up with tummy ache and never ate them again.
Aside from the nutrient/calorie concerns I have, the social side of things upsets me the most. Toddler groups when they provide snacks, attending nursery, visiting family, eating out, going on holiday are all tricky. We've holidayed in the UK so far because we'd have to take all her (mostly frozen) food with us and self cater. We enjoy food and eating out so much and I just wish we could enjoy it as a family and order her something off the menu rather than packing the same old packed lunch. The packed lunch thing is fine while she's still a toddler but when she's a bit older I doubt any cafe/restaurant would be too impressed.
Don't worry what other people/cafes etc think, you are the expert with your own child, plain bread and butter can always be provided by anyone anywhere. I just used to say, it's medical. For 12 years he had the same school packed lunch every day,2 slices of white bread and butter, few pieces of raw carrot or cucumber, couple of plain(round only!)biscuits and a packet of hula hoops. He was always happy to go to parties etc, I just used to say, he has issues with food that we are dealing with, dont be surprised/worried if he doesn't eat anything.,
At his big brothers wedding he ate chicken nuggets and ,guess what, bread and butter! He was then 15.
Speaking to other mums about older children still having food issues I found that late teens was a common age to"conform" so as to be able to join in socially. Going off to university was the first time my son showed an interest in preparing anything to eat himself, albeit still limited comparatively speaking .
It's very interesting to read here that a common acceptable food is dry carbs, perhaps there is something significant to resistant eaters in that choice?
Ps my first post on this thread was jennyl29 seem to have changed my name somehow!
Can I join please. I desperately need advise. My dd is 16 months, I've been putting up question after question on how to get her to eat. She seems to refuse most meals and its always a battle. I've tried ignoring and saying "that's fine if u r not hungry, don't worry about eating" I've tried making fresh pasta sauces hiding vegetables in it, worked once! I've tried giving her food she might like, chips, tinned spagetti, doesn't work. She even refuses yogurt. She might have a few bites Of a sandwich and never turns her nose up at baby crisps. She likes fruit though. But can they really survive on fruit and baby crisis?! I dread every meal time to the point I'm scared to put her high chair! I'm not very good with fussy eating as neither my dh nor I have ever been fussy or Ben refuse food for that matter lol. I cook fresh healthy meals from scratch every day and she just screams! Help
Welcome, cupcakemummy. You're in the right place. You'll find a lot of empathy here.
I'm trying to think of the advice that I so desperately wanted. DD is only a few months older than yours so we're in roughly the same place (except mine can say 'no'!)
A few questions first. Is she (hope i've remembered DD/DS correctly - i'm posting from an app that doesn't show the post i'm responding to) growing ok? Do you think she has sensory issues? Did she wean ok and this is a new thing, or has she always been this way with food? Do you give a multivitamin?
What I'd suggest doing is accepting (and respecting) her choice of foods. Even if it means feeding her what she will eat for a week or 2 (sandwiches, crisps and fruit isn't so bad). See what you can do with the sandwich fillings-wise to introduce what's missing (protein looks a bit low from your description). What will she accept? This should take the initial stress out of it for both of you. Having home-made food rejected is both heart-breaking and anger-making.
The paediatrician said to us that eating a repetitive diet won't do any damage if a child is getting all their vitamins and micronutrients so variety isn't everything. Supplements and formula milk is a good way of topping up dietary nutrients to help you worry less about food.
The other thing I'd do is cut down snacks for a while or offer part of her meal as a snack. DD ate some of the lunchtime sausage for her snack the other day - as long as it goes in at some point in the day you can ignore the social norms. I often keep leftovers in a snack pot and she comes back to it later (on her terms).
I don't promise any of this will work (we've all had duff and annoying advice, so I apologise if you've heard all this before) but I guess what I'm trying to say I'd relax and accept you have a resistant eater that won't change over night. Lower your expectations and treat eating anything as a victory.
Yes, I was going to say something similar - give yourself a break from the stress and worry by having a couple of days each week without cooking her anything, just give her those few things she will eat and make no comment to her.Obviously this is only my opinion, not based on anything medical, so of course it would depend on the general health of your child. As I have said before you are the expert on your childx
I'm not sure what to do now. She refuses to eat with cutlery now. She was so good at eating with her spoon and fork, so it really baffles me that she just wants to use her hands. Unfortunately I'd love to let her eat whatever she wants but she gets awful constipation and is on movicol. We went to see the doctor today ad he basically said it was my fault she was constipated and I need I make her eat more fibre. All very easy if u have a child that eats anything. How can u get ur child to eat lentil stew or any stew if they won't use a spoon and won't let u feed them either?! Needless to say I left the doctors crying. He won't prescribe any more movicol so I can't let her have banana or bread because thy block her up. Thinking to myself what can she eat. I'm close to mental meltdown I can't reduce her milk because I'm worried that is just taking important nutrients and fluid away. Confused.com!!!!!
Ps I did cut down on snacks and that did work quite well thank you
Cupcakes your doctor is a loon - can you see another one in the practice? Constipation is really common in toddlers, no matter what the diet and can be hereditary. Children are often on movicol for years - my DD 3yrs, has been on it for a about a year. She also has feeding issues (see above) but actually she does have enough fibre - my doctor thinks she takes after me (poor thing!) and has a sluggish bowel. Seriously do try and get a second opinion - I think that he is seriously out of order to refuse a medication that she needs. Good luck.
Hi Cupcake and welcome
You don't mention whether or not your DD is losing weight, but presumably the GP has checked out her growth etc compared to the charts?
When we first sought help (I am ashamed to say that he was over 2 before we realised that we had a problem that we were not going to be able to fix) we were given this booklet here
We then graduated on to this one here
You can get hard copies of these through your HV or dietician at the baby clinic or children's centre or your local health NHS trust's dietician service.
The main messages are that you have to remain completely calm and nonchalant at mealtimes PLUS the idea that calories are king. Variety is a secondary issue. There are lots of good tips in those leaflets and I think that most children will respond to the techniques. The key is staying calm and with hindsight I really do wonder whether our stressing at mealtimes in the first few years didn't just consolidate the problem. So take the chance of using our collective experience and try to get into a calm state about it now. Yes - I know it is easier said than done, but it does get easier with practice.
I think that many children start developing fussy eating habits about 18 onths. The fact that she previously ate well and was using cutlery does make me wonder whether she is just in a phase which she will grow out of if you can back off. I was still having to spoon feed DS at 2, so I am well impressed if your DD was keen enough to eat independently before that, never mind use cutlery!! Anyway if you ignore "bad" behaviour and praise the good stuff, you might find that she comes back to the cutlery in time.
You are also already ahead of us if your DD likes fruit. That is great as if you can get plenty of that into her you are less likely to need to use vitamins and supplements. (see up thread for our list of liquid supplements and fish oils that we hide in a daily smoothie for our DS). If she likes crunchy/crispy things then try to think of high calorie foods in that vein. So you could try giving her Salt n Shake crisps (without the salt) alongside the preferred baby crisps, maybe? Or dry fruit & fibre breakfast cereal without the milk in it? (my DC will only eat it dry as a sort of crunchy snack!) Think about the "acceptable" foods that she likes and then try to get similar stuff so that you can rotate things so that the meals are not always the same. We don't have a great deal of rotation but I do my best. The main thing is that you have to put aside any expectations of variety or homemade stuff or all the things that you think that a "good mum" would do. Nobody has told our DCs about this, so they are not aware that they are expected to appreciate it!
It never worked for us, but do you think that she might go for food if it was cut into interesting shapes? Or there was a picture on the plate that she had to eat to see?
Try keeping a food diary over a month. You can then try to see if there are sufficient calories going in over a day or a group of days, rather than at a meal. That can be a bit reassuring. DH spends a lot of time looking at calories and protein contents of what we feed DS. It is amazin how much protein is actually in bread, which is lucky as that is mainly what he lives on!
If you try all of that and document what you have done with diaries, if your DD is still difficult after 2, then you will probably be able to convince your GP to get you a referral to see a dietician. If she is constipated he might send you earlier tho? I assume from his comment about it being "your fault" that he might not have realised that she is a resistant eater?
Sorry you are having a hard time. I hope it gets easier for you soon.
Hi, only just discovered this thread, and so haven't been able to take it all in but thought i would chip in.
My DS is nearly 4, i don't know if he is defined as a "resistant eater", but he was not at all keen on solid food from the word go (always loved milk). At about 15 months went to HV in despair as he wasn't sleeping and only ate bananas, fruit puree, ready brek, yoghurt and rice cakes. She gave me leaflets that sound similar to what are described above, I do remember them saying "carbohydrates are not usually a problem, toddlers will usually eat pasta or bread or potatoes" and feeling like crying as he wouldn't touch any of them. The somewhere he started gradually eating more and we had the pesto pasta (he started eating this randomly when I bought a pack of those pasta salads from tesco and he just picked it up, I was so amazed and delighted) and houmous (known as "thomas") sandwich phase (bread he started eating one day when I put it in front of him for the millionth time), which lasted til about 2.5. During this phase DH and I had many blazing rows as he thought we should starve DS until he ate new foods, I thought we should keep offering but not stress (easy to do when you are having blazing rows) - MIL helpfully repeatedly told me her smug opinions about how we were just giving him what he wanted too.
I should point out that at no point has he been skinny (but he is very very short) so I haven't been worried on that count. Nor is he particularly anxious or socially shy or anything, nor worried about mess, etc. He is definitely very sensitive to textures or anything strange being mixed into his food though.
Anyway around this time we weaned DD and she ate EVERYTHING and I realised that it was nothing we had done and just the way he was. I think this made us both chill out a bit. Now he is still very fussy but he eats fish (preferably fish fingers or battered fish but also salmon with pesto or other fish at a push), chicken (preferably breaded but normal at a push), chips (if smothered in ketchup), pasta with creamy, or cheesy sauce as well as the pesto, mini sweetcorn (if smothered in ketchup), and most fruits. Occasionally omelette, the very tops of broccoli, the whites only of eggs. I am kind of happy with it as at least now can take him to a restuarant and usually find something he will eat! If I am cooking for him and DD only, I cook something he will at least like part of - if I am cooking for all of us I will cook things I know he won't like. I then tell him (usually to great tantrum) that he has to try it, and if he doesn't like it I will get him some toast or something. He now will usually take a proper bite of something I know he won't like in order to get something else (this is a major major develompent as I am sure you will appreciate) - I am happy with this (as it is through finally agreeing to taste things he didn't like that he has gradually added the odd new thing to what he eats)
Anyway I realise that he probably doesn't qualify and is no-where near as bad as many on this thread and the lack of health problems means it is less worrying - but I thought I would post anyway as may be interesting or help in some way.
hi summer. lots of points in your post struck a cord with me - rows at mealtimes and dh opting for starvation, weaning a second child and the daily grind of selecting acceptable foods. it does sound like your ds is better than some but he definitely is on the resistant side of fussy! thanks for posting
well we have read the "why do we eat" book, decorated ds' scrapbook, learned about food pyramids and teeth. no noticeable difference to his eating but he has some new vocabulary! dh and i seem to feel better being able to "do" something.
think we will try to do some messy play (driving a toy car around a tray of different foods) later.
Have you got the Charlie and Lola one (I will never not ever eat a tomato or something). I quite like it (doesn't work though!)
yup! didnt work for us either!
I'm marking my place to read later. I'm so happy to find this thread -am almost in tears with such happiness!! You are not alone. Will come back later x
Things not going well here - DD had the total of two homemade banana and raspberry muffins, some milk and three spoons of baked beans today. She has a mouth ulcer - which is making a bad situation worse .
Poor girl, that reminded me that my son got very frequent mouth ulcers and I often wondered if they were diet related, due to a deficiency of a particular food group or vitamin.
As Christmas approaches, as I have already described on this thread, my 21 year old can now just about join in with a modified Christmas dinner, however, I'm very aware that eating is still not a particularly pleasant or sociable event for him, he just seems to be mature enough now to " go through the motions"I have been discussing this thread with him and he can come up with absolutely no reasons for not eating, he does take the very blasé view however, that it doesn't seem to have done him any harm! He hasn't got the recollections as I have of all the pleading and bribing and tricks that went on. That's probably very good as there were many many many hysterical mealtimes over the years.
One of his older brothers was so distressed at one time and convinced that little brother would die of starvation that we were offered family therapy to talk things through. It helped big son but needless to say did nothing to convince little son to eat as he was perfectly happy and content with his list of permitted foods.
I will keep reading this thread as it is all so familiar and fresh in my mind still, hope I can help you a little bit with my reassurances.
Just quickly on the mouth ulcer front - my DS got hand foot and mouth disease when he was about 10 months, and I actually suspect that this might have been what started off his fussiness. In particular me stressing about him not eating and trying to make him eat after his mouth was hurting. I caught it off him and it bloody hurts and lasts ages and is a total pain! Just thought I would mention it as I am sure he has had it since (you can get it more than once) - the mouth ulcers are the worst part of it but it also gives them spots on their hands feet and bum.
Incidentally DD has had it as well, but it didn't stop the gannet eating. Nor the time when she just learnt to cruise and fell and nearly bit her tongue right through. Funny how different they can be.
Not sure if any of you have experienced this with your resistant eaters - my son did not get any teeth till about 15 months and then went to secondary school at 11 still with all his baby teeth intact! I was convinced it was diet related , although he did drink loads of milk, but was reassured by medical staff and dentists that it was unlikely.
Hi tricot39, I just wanted to post and say that as a child I had exactly the same diet as your DS and there is light at the end of the tunnel as I now eat a very varied, balanced and healthy diet.... But it took a long time!
My list of acceptable foods was almost the same at your DS's age, and I really would rather (and did) go hungry than eat. At that time no-one knew about food phobias (I am almost 32 now) but looking back I realise now that was what I had. I would involuntarily gag whenever I ate food I couldn't cope with. It was not anything to do with the parenting - I am a middle child of 5 and my parents did nothing different with me than the others and they all ate normally. My mum thinks it was linked to the ENT problems I had as a child.
My main issue was textures more than flavours (although that was a bit of an issue). The fact that he will still have smoothies is really positive - I possibly would have but they weren't really around (I would have apple juice though). Its hard to remember what worked but try working out/talking to your DS about what it is about the foods that he dislikes, then try to emulate a food/texture that he is comfortable with e.g if he likes roasted potatoes try roasting carrots or other veg. If he likes mashed potato try carrot and swede mash. Keep trying different ways of preparing food, and only try one item that he is uncomfortable with at each sitting. Also do keep going out for meals from time to time even though it might be daunting - a lot of the time I would try something new when in a different social setting.
It is a long haul but just wanted to offer my sympathy and that negative food associations are not necessarily lifelong (although some of mine persisted through most if childhood). I love my food now, have run a marathon, exercise regularly and eat almost any kind and style of food. The book sounds good too. It is such an upsetting problem for everyone involved (I hated it and found mealtimes so stressful). Good luck to you x
Have just read a few other posts on here and just wanted to add to what others have said - keeping on offering things in a non
Bribery works better than punishment or threats (as I'm sure you've already found), I simply felt even more upset and under pressure about something I felt I couldn't control.
I was underweight and short for my family (who are all very tall) but actually of average height. Most of my calories came from milk through my whole childhood! Just want to reiterate it is not your fault (any of you) and you are doing a great job. I am only just starting to wean my DD and live in fear of her having the same problem but so far no issues thank goodness.
Sorry didn't finish a sentence: offerings things in a non-jusgemental and relaxed (as much as possible!) way is probably the most likely to work. This post makes me emotional just reading about it! It is such a hard thing and everyone thinks its the parents being too "soft"!
sorry to hear that constant. i seem to remember rinstead gel being good for ulcers. i also agree thatlots of ulcers can be a sign of some sort of vitamin defficiency. i just do not know what one!
thanks for posting tolly
Thanks all - and please keep posting Tolly and story, it does really help knowing there will be an end to this - I mean I know there will be, but when you're in the middle of it its hard to stay positive. DD ate some hummous and breadstick today - so a better day.
Story, DD got her first tooth at 12 months and at 23 months only has 10.
DD has just had Norvirus (oh great!). So since last Thursday has pretty much only eaten rich tea and Belvita breakfast biscuits. She's a bit brighter today so I'm hoping I can reintroduce some of the few foods she did eat. But now she knows there are biscuits on offer I suspect it'll be a hard task with much wasted food.
Hi all, been reading through posts and trying to rack my brains for what helped with to break the cycle of my fears over food.
I also know how stressful it all is and disheartening as the things I might suggest you may have tried dozens of times before - none of them worked for me and my parents first time but they did help in the long run. I also have a lot of emotion reading this post as I had an awful pregnancy with hyperemesis and vomited through my whole pregnancy. Went back to hating food for the first time since childhood - horrible.
So as others have said
As others have said, ditch the guilt about variety and home-cooking straight off. In order to have success in introducing new foods, they always need "safe" foods to retreat to.
Keep eating normal food around them. They will still be curious about other food. I did really want to eat normally but felt I couldnt - but my parents example of normal healthy diets I'm sure helped in the long-run.
Talk about food and food textures. Encourage them to touch food while reassuring them that they do not have to eat it.
Keep experimenting with different textures.
Don't avoid social situations where DCs will have to eat around others - it was actually one of the things that forced me to try more normal foods.
Sauces are a great idea (if you can get DCs to eat them). I would eat gravy and someone else mentioned ketchup (salt is a necessary evil here). They can also try sauces by dipping a little finger in.
Only offer microscopic amounts of new foods - large amounts just seem so daunting.
If you are going to try bargaining only do it with food that they will accept as otherwise it just heaps on the pressure and can make them hate food even more as it is food standing in the way of them and what they want to do.
Don't do what my parents did - made me sit at the table in front of my cold Sunday dinner all afternoon while everyone else had gone and my brothers and sister were playing without me while I slowly sneaked tiny morsels to the dog!!!
Stay positive - hardest bit I think but you will most likely get to a point where DC will eat an acceptable diet. It's a hard process along the way though. Good luck again. Any more thoughts and I'll let you know x
I'm nearly at my whits end with my dd's eating. I dread every meal and she has been refusing dinner again. So I just took the plate away when she was done, offered her a yogurt and said no more about it. I even made the hidden vegetable pasta sauce that she normally loves. The only way to get vegetables into her is if I juice them apples and other fruits, helps with her constipation too (just another problem on the list
My son suffered dreadfully with constipation for about the first 7 years of the non eating, had lactulose by the litre bottle, but oddly enough it seemed to sort itself out by about 8 years despite the variety of food still totalling about 7 items.
When hummus was mentioned it reminded me that he went through a phase one particular year of eating breadsticks dipped in garlic dip for 2 of his "meals" a day. I used to take it to cafes and restaurants, holiday chalets, airplanes with me and he was happy! It seemed to me that once he found a safe food he was happy to have it day in day out sometimes for a year.
When he goes out with his friends now eg for a pizza, nobody bats an eye when he asks for his with no tomato, just cheese, basically grated cheese on bread! Chinese and curries, student favourites, are not on his radar, he just has a dish of chips alongside them. What Im trying to say is as he has grown into a young adult, he has adapted his food repertoire sufficiently to join in socially, although I have said before on this thread, it's not a favourite activity.
Going back to the health concerns, although I reported he seemed to thrive and rarely be ill, I do recall that on the odd occasion he was unwell, he seemed to take forever to get back to normal, maybe because he didn't have a great deal of reserve or fat on him.
Cupcakes sorry things aren't going well - all I can do is empathise. My DD used to eat pasta and pesto, it was a fail safe - then she just stopped. Fishfingers have gone recently which has really stressed me out. I keep cooking them and offering, but she just wil not have them. Its baked bloody beans every night... but i guess that's better than nothing! My DD is on movicol for constipation too.
Tolly thanks for the sauces tip - as she does (sometimes) like hummous as a dip i might try tomato ketchup and see if that'll help with the fish fingers.
sorry that things are not great cupcakes. you sound like you are doing well on appearing stress free though! keep going.
I'm trying to stay strong but it's not like my dd will even eat crap food lol. I think she's eaten ok but meal times are so stressful because she won't use cutlery so I have to come up with meals she can eat with her hands. I'm starting to feel worn out and run down. All I get from my mother and mother in law is unwanted suggestions of what to do about her eating and constpation and I'm close to a breakdown lol
Sorry your relatives aren't being supportive cupcakes. We had a fun visit from MIL yesterday, she attempted to get DS to eat a scotch egg by standing over him saying 'go on go on go on go on go on'. I had to turn away so she couldn't see me snorting with laughter...
For the last 2 weeks, DS has eaten: breakfast cereal for breakfast, crackers & butter, yoghurt and fruit puree for lunch, breakfast cereal for dinner. No meat, no veg, nothing cooked.
The book tricot recommended finally arrived a few days ago and I've been enjoying reading it. Starting to think about making a plan to try expand his eating in the new year. Its certainly a lot more helpful than Annabel Karmel's fussy eater cookbook which just had me laughing, I couldn't find a single thing in there that DS would eat!
I'm feeling quite relaxed about it all as a few days ago we accidentally set fire to our living room curtains. We managed to put it out with a fire extinguisher but it was the scariest 5 minutes of my life by such a long way. The fact that we're all ok and the house didn't burn down means that DS can just eat whatever he wants for a few weeks before I start to worry about little things like diet again!!
Rereading all the posts I can see a definite pattern and common list of foods emerging with many of your resistant eaters. We could write a book or blog about our experiences and experiments!
As you know if you have read my posts, all will be ok in the end (19years possibly as in my sons case to become anywhere near "normal") give yourselves a break over the Christmas week and try not to worry about the intake for that period. I've already posted that I've been discussing this thread with my son, his latest contribution is " let them eat what they want, it didn't do me any harm"!!!!!!!
Looking back, I don't think there is anything at all I could have done differently except not shout so much when I was really at the end of my tether. Fortunately none of my friends and family interfered after I said please don't make any comments in my hearing, it's medical and I'm dealing with it the best I can.
Just keep reminding yourself that it a unique part of your child's personality, development, character etc and that one day you will be able to look back and think that you did your utmost best as a mum for your child xxxxxx
Ps Xmas dinner was a joke until age 19!!!!! Don't worry about it though its only another yuk dinner as far as your child is concerned.
Think chocolateygoo's post is true - it is such a stressful thing it's so easy to get down about it but important to keep it in perspective. Agree with story - have some time off over Xmas and try again in the New Year. Thought as well that I would sometimes nibble a little bit of bubble and squeak even though it contained the dreaded veg - I think again it was a textural thing but depends if your dcs will eat mashed potato - if not unlikely to work. Anyway hope you're l doing well x
It's my ds' birthday on Xmas day. He's still getting Xmas dinner though even though he won't eat it <evil cackle>. He will make up for it with mince pies and chocolate I'm sure the poor dear won't starve.
Cupcakes my DD won't use cutlery either and will no doubt be having baked beans for xmas dinner! We are still on toast , banana and raspberry muffins, raisins, hot cross buns, occasional hummous and breadstick, very occassional plain pizza (no hope of hiding veg) and the beans.
She is also not potty trained yet and is shy in social situations - and even with close family like my Mum who she sees twice a week. This thread helps so much because i don't know anyone else with a child quite like her.
And it does take over your whole life! In fact reading this thread has brought back so many memories. I'm on holiday for a couple of days with my husband and I find myself thinking what son would have eaten out of the meal we had in our hotel tonight And actually even now at 21 it wouldn't have been much.
Starter veg soup and bread, only would eat the bread as too many bits in soup. Pork chops (no, never touched pork in his life) mash, no never, peas, yes, carrots, yes, dessert, posh ice cream, no, it had fruit bits in it. Of course the difference now at 21 instead of 0-18 is that he would be able to go to the bar and get a snack of his choice and a pint! Not terribly healthy I'm afraid, but as I've said before he seems ok, just hope he isn't storing up problems in later life.
Keep smiling over christmas and just feed them anything they likexxxxx
Having a resistant eater takes over your life I meant, not reading a thread!
LOL a thread will do that too!!
I have a question - toddler related.
How do you deal with bad behaviour at mealtimes?
We know it's best to keep everything calm and not to make mealtimes an unpleasant experience but things like refusing to sit down, throwing cutlery and tipping plates off the side of the highchair/table. But do you let it go or treat it as you would with any other child? (Although threatening no more food obviously won't be a threat at all).
So far we've been sitting DD (nearly 2) in her high chair facing the back door as a kind if timeout and if we're out she gets strapped in the buggy - neither of which really seems to bother her or result in a "sorry mummy/daddy" but she's probably a little young to get the cause/consequence yet.
Any thoughts/experiences you can share would be much appreciated.
Good advice to not stress about eating for Christmas week. I shall take that on board and chill if she'll only eat cheese sandwiches and biscuits.
Re christmas dinner, at the height of resistance eating (about 2-9) we decided not to make son sit at the table on Christmas day with the family so everyone else could concentrate on enjoying their meal for once. From 9 onwards we expected him to be old enough to sit at the table for the duration of the meal and he just had his modified version, ie whatever was on his list! Fortunately none of his grandparents made a fuss.
Keep calm and carry on!!!!
I am so pleased to have found this thread because although I can talk to friends in rl about this issue, none of them really understand how difficult it is too live with.
I haven't had time to read all the posts here but I will come back when I can to catch up with the thread.
My ds has just turned 3 and is resistant. For main meals we are down to porridge and one brand of cereal. He is sick with an ongoing chest infection so I don't know when I'll be back to read and post again but I found this article which some of you may find of interest. It certainly made me feel less alone and better armed for a doctor's appointment I have tomorrow to discuss with GP.
One of our main concerns is getting some vitamins in. But how on earth can you get a resistant eater to take them? If Iput them in cereal he rejects it. Only drinks water so rejects that too if I put them in there. I can't even get calpol or antibiotics into him FFS
Here it is - https://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=a9fbda7a-8d4c-4faf-8cd5-2764796f81f6&groupId=11803
I finally come back to this thread to post properly! My DS is 22 months and a resistant eater. He had acid reflux in his first year (he has come off the meds now and I think the reflux has gone although sometimes I'm not so sure ).
He didn't wean well and was never interested in food. By 8 or so months he became frightened of food, stopped taking a spoon, stopped eating solids for 2 months and tube feeding was talked about. We managed to avoid that and now he eats a very limited diet.
We have seen SALTs, dietitians and a child psychologist. The latter wasn't much help as, despite not eating for 2 months, he ate a meal in front of her! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. We currently see a SALT weekly for speaking and feeding issues but this is because he has a hearing impairment. We pay for this privately as we are not in the UK.
For anyone considering SALT I would definitely say it is a good idea. For us it has helped us eliminate potential issues and also the therapist has made observations of things which I hadn't realised (eg she realised that the foods he eats - tofu, avocado, peas - are foods which melt in the mouth or can be swallowed whole which probably means he struggles with chewing). She is also doing mouth sensitivity exercises with him.
I dread meals with extended family and sometimes feel like breezily asking PIL to look after him one dinner time so they experience it. I don't as I worry that whatever craziness they'd unleash would set him back.
I have so much else to write but I have a question for you experienced ones: how do you feel about feeding in front of distractions such as TV? I seem to have got myself into a situation where DS will watch things on my iPhone (and now he generally refuses to eat without it). The good thing is that I can sometimes feed him things with a spoon which I would never be able to do otherwise, especially mixed up things like stew. I start with something he is not suspicious of such as rice and slowly mix in stew. These are things he wouldn't touch himself. Despite this his list of foods is still limited and amount eaten small. Should I keep doing this for as long as I can thus ensuring he gets food down? SALT is not that keen as she says he is not learning about the food, which is true.
Piggybank I syringe vitamins and meds into DS. After vitamins being part of the routine for so long I can generally get them into him ok and sometimes he opens his mouth for them. Although he is a little guy and I can put him on my knee and wrap one arm around his body and across his arms. I've learnt to syringe a tiny bit at a time into his inside cheek or he will vomit. takes about 5 or 6 squirts to get 5 ml down. i don't know what we'll do when he's too big for this.
Definitely go with distraction therapy!!!!!!! I managed to get a few mouthfuls in here and there whilst playing dominoes, card games, doing puzzles, building Lego, fun workbooksetc in the high chair, in his little chair in front of the tv, anything goes anywhere! As a result of so many activities intense 1:1 time my son was an expert mathematician by 5 years and could read before he went to school! There is an up side, keep going and stay calm, you know best, ignore the family and their "advice"
Thanks - will keep on with the distractions but go back to some interactive ones rather than using music videos...
Am also keen to hear people's views of dealing with bad table behavior as another poster asked...
Ps re salt saying he is not learning about food - he is, but at the moment he is learning that he hates it. He will learn what he can tolerate when he is grown up.
Son home from university today, will be showing him all the latest posts on this thread! It's taken 22 Christmases to get him to partake in a nearly normal Christmas meal, with , GRAVY!!!!!!!! I think he finds meals easier now he can wash it all down with beer!
Hi ladies, I just wanted to offer you some hope.
MY DS ate nothing but HIPP stage one baby chocolate pudding until he was 2. He became anaemic and I had to syringe various supplements into him whilst he screamed and tried to fight me off. Every meal time was an absolute trial and I thought about nothing else for the first years of his life.
Like others have said, he had bad acid reflux as a baby and our Drs think that he developed an association between food and pain. His phobia became so severe that he'd projectile vomit if you just put food in front of him. He wouldn't even touch it.
We were about to have to take him into the hospital for tube feeding when we found an amazing SALT. She came to our house and played with him 3 times a week for an hour at a time. He was too young to reason with so she just played with food with him. They started out painting with the chocolate goop he would eat and gradually included more foods and different textures until he was happy touching a wide range - she made it all great fun. Then they played feeding the foods to a range of dolls and toys. Next she moved on to trying to get him to smell the foods, then to just touch them to his mouth and then finally to eat them. It took about a year but it worked!
Once he was actually willing to put something in his mouth things moved very quickly. We were advised only to try and feed him perennial kids favourites to start with - sweets, chocolate, ice cream, McDonald's chips! Pom Bears etc... to help reinforce the idea that food could be a pleasure. Within a couple of months he was eating sandwiches, veg, fruit, pasta, fish fingers etc...
It was a genuinely amazing turnaround.
He is 4 now and eats more or less normally. He can still be a bit picky about mixed textures but eats a balanced diet and all our lives are so much better.
I never imagined DS would ever eat even vaguely normally so, just wanted you all to know that no matter how bad it seems now there is hope.
Agree about the distraction techniques. I always start a meal in the highchair as I do believe in DD learning to sit and eat 'nicely' and this is also expected of her at nursery. Invariably she'll eat only a few mouthfuls of her savoury meal then starts throwing stuff on the floor. I move on to yoghurt and take her down.
Her calorie intake at this point is pretty poor so I bring her into the sitting room with what's left of her meal in a snack pot or tub and let her watch tv. Some more usually goes in.
The throwing and generally behaving badly does my head in though. I know it's part of the resisting but I can feel my face turning to thunder which really isn't productive, I know.
Vitamins... The syringe has to be the way forward if a spoon/mixing with food/drink won't work.
Wow, Wandymum, that's an amazing story. What a transformation. It's great to hear about success stories.
Perhaps I need to do more messy play with food and see how that goes. I've seen DD contemplating eating pasta so perhaps I'll start with spaghetti.
First thing said by son on getting home from uni today - I'm starving , what is there to eat, and proceeded to open all the cupboards to find things to munch on. How I cried and sobbed over the years that this would never be something I would witness.
Just dropped him off at the pub to meet his friends, they might even go for a pizza afterwards ( just basic cheese and tomato for him) this will be you young mums in 15 years time!!!!!!!
Hope you all managed to enjoy your Christmas dinner, with or without your little ones joining inxx
I understand how you feel, I have a four yr old son whom is very fussy. He wont eat anything with a sharp edge like roast potatoes, or any meat as it requires too much chewing, he has a fear of food being hot even when it is barely warm, he wont try anything and sometimes cries with his mouth open and the food sitting on his tongue not sure what to do with it! He only likes to eat smooth food like pasta, tinned spaghetti, yogurt, mashed potato. I have served him up a lovely meal many times and he would say that he doesnt like it even though he has eaten it before. I tell him countless times to eat his dinner and he sulks and shouts and refuses which makes it very difficult as I am wasting perfectly good food making meal times very stressful. Whether he eats his dinner or not he still expects a pudding which I dont know where this is coming from! He will eat little snacks during the day but wont sit down to a proper meal unless its something soft and I am almost at my witts end as I dont know how to help him enjoy food?
Electra have a look at this: https://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=a9fbda7a-8d4c-4faf-8cd5-2764796f81f6&groupId=11803
Story had a lovely xmas and DD sat at the table for the entire meal and ate ALL .. of her hot cross bun .
Today I made pasta and pesto (an old favourite - but now rejected) for lunch and got DD to help. She then licked her fingers!! and didn't start screaming!! I'm seeing this as a breakthrough but was very cool and didn't comment or push her to eat any.
Extremely good link, describes my son exactly, especially the hatred of a sticky face, the refusal of a previously favourite(only) yoghurt because of a stray lump of fruit in it. He also could have been the toddler in the article saying this toast is too brown!
Re heing your 4 year old to enjoy food, you may have to accept at this stage that there is no way he is going to enjoy any eating experience and just get the calories in him the best you can.
Really interesting link. It feels like the only 'official guidance' that's out there. DD is definitely an innate selective eater. I was reassured by the fact that we should just concentrate on quantity not quality to ensure good growth. I may need to discuss that with nursery and print off that article.
We had a good Christmas. After trying (unsuccessfully) earlier in the week to eat a roast lunch with DD at the table we opted to eat Christmas lunch while DD napped. I've realised that DD will never enjoy sitting with us for celebratory meals so we've made peace (with thanks to this thread) with the fact that she may not join in with us. Hey ho.
Good for you carrot, celebration mealtimes are best done without trying to involve the resistant eaters til they are 18+! I'm being serious by the way x
Ps just made mistake of putting onion (as normal recipe) in spaghetti Bol, 21 yr old recovering resistant eater only ate the spaghetti and picked around a bit of the meat, as onion is to yet to be on the list. At least it's progress from when the whole meal would be rejected. As I'm following this thread with him I asked why he couldn't eat it. He had no other reason except "I don't like onion" , however I did point out to him that he has never even tried it, there was no further discussion!
Storynanny, your posts fill me with hope and sadness in equal measure. Things are better for you and your son (huge progress, in fact) but they're still difficult, aren't they?
Apparently my husband and MiL were both fussy/resistant as children and both are complete foodies and excellent cooks now so I'm hoping DD follows in their footsteps.
My NY resolution will be to try regular messy play and to get her involved in cooking - maybe assembling a pizza or something.
Be forever hopeful, it might not take your child as long xxx my son is happy and healthy, in fact always has been healthy and only unhappy when I was on the food warpath!
I am so pleased you find the article helpful. It does feel like the only advice out there and I have't found much else aside from pithy crap about how a healthy child won't starve itself etc etc.
It describes my son to a T and his father as well - so at least I know he comes by this behaviour naturally. My son looks nothing like his father so my dh has joked that at least the rest of the family knows he's the father when they sit down at the dinner table with our food resistant child!
Thankfully my husband eventually grew out if it and now loves a huge range of food :-)
As others have said, I really appreciate reading everybody's experiences especially the successes which give me hope!
Thank you as well for advice on getting vitamins in. Syringe is out at the moment unless I want to physically hold him down :-( What I have found is this - that the NHS Healthy Start children's vitamin drops only require 5 drops to get a full dose. I am very annoyed they haven't been offered to me already so I'll be ringing my hv on Monday. They are supposed to be for children until they are 4 and I guess some of your children will be older but hopefully that link might be of use to someone.
I hope getting some vitamins in will help my ds who is always sick at the moment.
All the best. Hope you all had a good Christmas.
Anyone else struggling with the Christmas holidays? I know I said I'd try and chill about food this week but I miss nursery!! They give me the break from mealtimes that I so desperately need.
DD is not only resisting foods but food in general (unless it's biscuits or chocolate or, thankfully, cheese). And now she's nearly 2 there's the added behavioural element. It's just so tiring! I feel awful but I can't wait until Wednesday!
Piggybank, did you speak to the HV?
We have had mixed mealtime experiences over Christmas. Christmas lunch (bread, cheese, cucumber, beetroot) and Boxing Day lunch (pasta with a small amount of sauce) were fine as he had something on his plate that he could manage, but since then it's gone downhill a bit and we've had several meals with nothing passing his lips except water.
The paediatrician has asked for him to be weighed monthly for the time being but has said that we don't need to see him again for a year, which is encouraging.
tricot thank you so much for this thread. I can relate to everything I have just read on this thread. Have you had any luck with Just Take a Bite? I give anything to have normal mealtimes
We've got DS's 2.5 yr development check with HV next week. I can't decide whether to tell her about the eating or not. On the one hand it would be good to get some support. On the other, I don't want an earful of 'no child will starve themselves' style advice. What do you think?
Just wanted to say also: thanks to everyone for the leaflet links posted above, they're really really good. I've printed them off to show to family members...
I'm trying to make some little steps in widening DS's diet by introducing more 'bad' food. I'd been avoiding it before but from what I've read its important firstly to teach him that trying new food is ok, then worry about its nutritional content.
We've had a few successes: Rice Krispie bars are now acceptable (took 3 offerings for him to taste a bit and like it). He will also now eat bread with chocolate spread on it! Hoping to move onto other types of sandwich filling now that bread is accepted, but taking it nice and slowly and sticking with chocolate for a few weeks. Sometimes I think: 'I'm getting excited because DS ate bread - WTF is going on here?!'. Its so reassuring to know that its not just us going through this.
Hi chocolatey bread sounds amazing!! Well done! With regards to HV you could tell her - AND show her the leaflet to stave off any unhelpful advice...
Thank you for asking cantmakecarrotcake - I did speak with HV and ended up sobbing over the phone. How embarrassing! Must be my pregnancy hormones. I got the vitamin drops and a lot of reassurance that although it could take months or years, if I keep feeding him the calories he needs and eating food with him that eventually things will improve. It gave me hope.
Christmas has been very tough. I know exactly what you mean about the toddler attitude and a hungry toddler is even worse :-(
Since moving from a very restricted but healthy diet of home made sheherd's pie at both lunch and dinner plus porridge or oatibix bites for breakfast to just porridge or oatibix at ALL meals, his behaviour has become very negative. He feels happy for a short while after eating his cereal but the energy doesn't last very long and he then becomes irritable.
He's been poorly on/off for 3 months and he gave up his shepherd's pie mid Nov after a vomiting bug and chest infection. After about 6 weeks we tried to starve him of the oatibix, telling him they were no longer selling it -- Well, it failed! He starved himself by eating only his breakfast and a few crisps every day. After a week, he stopped eating at nursery too, so we gave in and gave the cereal back. We just couldn't afford for him to regress in the only place where he actually eats normal food (nursery).
Today was his first day back at nursery after Christmas break and thankfully he started eating there again - YAY! It was as though they send home a different child - a happy one.
We are so SO lucky that ds has somewhere he feels safe to try food - thank goodness for nursery! It might sound crazy but we are thinking of moving from 2 mornings a week at nursery to 5 mornings a week. This would give him 5/7 days where he was eating breakfast and lunch as a normal child. Maybe he would reach a tipping point where he would trust food enough to eat at home?
Enough about me and my ds! Please tell me more about what has and hasn't worked for your children. Do many of you have other kids and how do they eat? We are expecting DS2 in March so I wonder if things will be the same again (oh joy).
Thank you all again for sharing and Tricot for starting this thread!
chocolateygoo Well done - rice crispy bars and bread = big success!
Definitely talk to your hv about it. Print out the article and if you get the old 'children won't starve them selves' crap then ask the hv to refer you to someone with more experience in this type of problem. And get some of the Healthy Start vitamins - just 5 droplets for a full dose - amazing!
Let us know how it goes...
My dd has gone back to her fussy ways. I thought we had made some progress as she started eating cereal and soup and drinking fruit and veg juices. I was ecstatic! Now she refuses to eat and pretty much drink anything I give her. I'm fed up of crying after mealtimes. My dh just acts like a parrot and says the same things over and over again I feel like strangling him right now. My baby is due in four weeks I don't know if I can handle the stress! She ate nothing last night and I mean nothing and isn't drink anything. I don't know whether to try a new tactic or just let her dictate what and how much she wants.
Sounds like good progress from chocolateygoo and piggyback.
I had minor victory with chocolatey milk froth from my mocha the other day. Sounds weird but when I've offered it on a spoon before DD would just refuse. It's a little thing but it'll keep her from running around the coffee shop long enough for me to drink a coffee now.
But otherwise we're still battling the behaviour (terrible 2s) at mealtimes. I've been letting her wander round and eat just to get food in her. Nursery noticed today when she wouldn't sit nicely and have a carpet picnic at tea time.
It's her birthday next week. I wonder if she'll actually eat any of her lovingly-made birthday cake...
Well we saw the HV and even after I had said 'we tried starvation and it didn't work, he just ate nothing, cried all night from hunger, then filled up on breakfast', she still said 'no child will starve themselves'!. Not sure what she was implying - I should offer last night's dinner at breakfast, lunch, etc until he eats it?!
Anyway - the good thing is that she is sending a colleague with more experience out to see us next month. Apparently she has lots of really good stickers.
piggybank its really interesting that your DS will eat at nursery normally. I was wondering whether starting school would help sort things out, but now thinking maybe I'll leave him for lunches at preschool (starts sept) and see if that helps at all.
Also re. child 2. DD is 13 months old and was a great eater. Now she is noticing that her brother gets cereal for dinner and refuses her carrot etc as she wants cereal too! ARGH!
cupcakemummy the best advice seems to be get the calories in, in any way you can, then start worrying about healthiness. Definitely take a step back and stop worrying with your baby due so soon (congrats!), its too much to tackle all at once. (1) get DD eating something every meal and snack, even if it is unhealthy. Maybe give her 2 or 3 choices of things you know she likes. (2) when she is happy eating, and you are ready, start introducing new food alongside what she is comfortable with.
One the useful things the HV did give me was a portion size guide, which made me realise I'd been expecting DS to eat far too much for his age. E.g. for a 2 year old, a portion is a tablespoon, so just one tablespoon of yoghurt is great. Half a slice of toast is right (I'd been trying for a whole or even 2 slices!).
I've also had some success getting DS to drink more fruit smoothies by telling him they are yoghurt, which he loves. i.e. DS do you want this drink? No. DS do you want this yoghurt? Yes! Drinks 3 glasses of it!
Chocolateygoo, grr to the HV! They really have no idea about anything outside of 'average'. I thought they were supposed to catch those with 'issues'. I went numerous times with weaning issues and they had no useful advice at all (have you tried finger food being the classic at 10 months - what the %^*+ do you think I've been doing for the last 4 months?)
Also, not to kill your hope (seriously, hang on to every bit you have), but DD is equally picky at nursery. For the first 6 months I took all her food in, then decided to see what would happen if I stopped. She's ok with tea (sandwiches etc) unless it's beans on toast, but never even picks at the hot lunch. They try her every day but she ends up just eating sandwiches or toast.
Mealtimes continue to be stressful her compounded with DD not being able to sit still long enough to actually eat anything. I'm reassured by my friends with kids the same age (2) being in the same boat though. It just makes getting the calories in her even more difficult. I'm going to get her weighed and measured next week and see how she's doing.
I'm afraid that I don't have a high opinion of HVs. They were hopeless when I asked for advice about DS's eating during the the first year and a half of his life. They need more training re: outside of the norm.
We've had a couple of successes with DS (4). On the whole, we have backed right off in terms of getting him to eat. No more "just one more bite". Now when he says "may I be excused please" I say "of course" with a smile. Occasionally, I will tell him he can finish his dinner later because I don't want him to get grumpy. So, if he has hardly touched his fish fingers and chips, I put it on a new plate and offer it about an hour later. Sometimes he eats it, sometimes he doesn't and sometimes he asks for something else (cereal). Today he ate a tiny piece of fried fish that I had cooked for the adults. The other day he ate a tiny piece of cucumber. Not a great deal but it's his first piece of veg since puréed food!
In a way, it is easier now because he can understand better. He talks the talk about healthy food at least . He knows he has to eat otherwise he gets grumpy but he normally asks for ginger biscuits (it's his fad atm) when he is hungry. But at least he is telling me he is hungry which is a vast improvement. I try to give him protein at lunch and dinner with his heavily carb based food, either in the form of eggs, fish fingers or chicken or ice cream (lots of fat!). The other thing I have done is leave it a little bit longer before I give him food and that seems to have made a difference in terms of how much he eats too.
Yes I totally understand. Daughter will only eat carbs, smoothies, milk based stuff and crap. I'm really trying to get her to start trying new foods - just basically asked for any tips on another thread. Dieticians say they are not worried as she is growing and developing normally - but I feel like there is no help out there!!
Just wanted to post what for us is a huge step forward! As you know DD (3yrs) is highly resistant to anything but limited carbs. I have been eating her old favourite (from pre-resistant days, about 14 months old) of pasta and pesto with grated carrot for lunch in front of her at weekends after she has helped me mix it all up. We don't use a fork and she has been helping me eat it by picking it up and feeding me. A few weeks ago I suggested she lick her fingers as they were sticky and luckily she did - and liked it. Wouldn't eat it though. We carried on until last week she ate the grated carrot and said she liked it, then she gradually progressed to licking the pasta - but no more.
Well today we did the usual, her feeding me and licking her fingers and the pasta while i told her she used to eat it a long time ago and she said 'DD used to like it', and then put a bit in her mouth and ate it!!! Restrained myself - no comments,. no over the top praise, didn't even look at her and she proceeded to eat the lot - followed by 'DD likes pasta the best'!! I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am . So - it was long and torturous (especially watching her scrunch the pasta up in her fingers, lick it and then having to eat it!) but it worked!! Came at just the right time as she ate nothing but toast yesterday.
Constant, I could cry for you! I know how exciting it is when a mouthful is swallowed! Hope it all continues to improve
Thanks story. I have tried to follow your and tolly's advice re: staying calm, not pushing foods, not doing rewards / sanctions etc and it really has worked!!! I know its still a long journey and DD may well need lots of help for years before she feels confident with food - but at least i can see that this approach (which i am much more comfortable with) can work. So thank you again - and to everyone else on this thread .
Hi guys, I came across this and I thought it might be of interest. If you look down through the comments it has links to very picky eaters, problem feeders and different blogs iwth other perspectives.
I hope it helps.
I am so relieved to have found this thread I could cry! Ds is 4yo and as a baby he suffered severe reflux, to the point that he refused to drink milk and besides the 10 hours a day I spent trying to persuade him to take pitiful volumes while he screamed like I was torturing him, he had 10 hospital admissions before he was one and tube feeds on occasion. He didn't start weaning till he was 15 months and that was only after 5 months of 2 finger food meals a day where we just played with the food and he spat it all out. Eventually we had a breakthrough with meringue and trifle sponge fingers - which dissolve before they can be fully spat out - he swallowed a little, realised that it wasn't the complete disaster he'd been expecting, and started to try a few other things.
3 years on, he eats a few foods quite well - sausages, chicken nuggets, Munch Bunch yoghurts and limited plain carbs. He won't eat any fruit apart from 2 flavours of baby fruit puree (must be same brand, eaten from jar) and no veg whatsoever. He is reluctant to feed himself but recently I have managed to bribe him with a choc mousse to eat the yoghurts and jars himself. He does love chocolate.
He won't try anything new and seems actually scared of other foods. If I put 2 peas on his plate he'd cry and get anxious until they were removed. I have been trying to put something 'scary' on his plate which he doesn't have to try but has to tolerate it sitting there. We managed a segment of clementine on his plate and after days of this he agreed to give it a lick.
It's just so hard to know what to offer him. Anything I make specially goes to waste which is demoralising, and hard to find time when I have 12 week old dd too. Thank you for the tips and experiences I have been reading on this thread and hi to you all
Glad you have us to support you, your little one is still very young and probably will still be hating food for a while yet, but try not to let it overtake your life. Try your best to enjoy everything else about being a mum and just aim for getting enough in for growth and health.
Glad o have found this thread!
I have DS2, 2.9 yo, who is a difficult eater. He was NG tube fed until 15 months due to severe hypotonia, reflux and a minor heart and kidney problem. He had a gastrostomy at 15 months which came out last summer so we've had a lot of feeding issues!
He eats ok now, a limited range of food but it does include carbs, protein, dairy, fruit and veg so we know he's getting everything he needs.
We go to a group feeding session run by our local dieticians and SALTs which has helped so so much. They do a lot of playing with food, chatting about why the body needs food, what happens when you swallow etc
He had certain textures he won't entertain (mashed potato!!) and doesn't like food to touch on his plate. He has also recently started eating a tiny bit at other people's houses and in cafes, for ages he would only eat at home.
I have found any progress is incredibly slow and each stage f weaning has taken so much longer than a normal child. Getting DS2 from purees to lumps took well over a year whereas DS1 it was a few weeks!
It can get disheartening and nobody really 'gets' how sensitive their issues can be and how you can't just 'leave him til he's hungry, he won't starve'!!
But things do improve - we've gone from 100% tube feeds to 3 meals a day and its been hard but so worth it. I still need to tackle the night feeds but I don't want to refuse him milk/food ever as I'm so careful not to cause issues!
Re: nobody really 'gets' how sensitive their issues can be and how you can't just 'leave him til he's hungry, he won't starve'!!
Oh my goodness those were the words that utterly incensed me when ds was a baby and kept getting admitted to hospital because he refused to drink milk. Uh no, he won't drink! He had learned that starving himself was better than the pain of feeding, so he just wouldn't feed. They just didn't understand in our local hospital (Chester) as they weren't used to babies just refusing to feed. They sent him to Alder Hey who were slightly more helpful but it was only when we moved down to Cardiff and saw a consultant paediatrician who specialises in feeding problems in babies that we finally found someone who understood and didn't think we were mad parents exaggerating things. It was such a huge relief to find someone who 'got it' - up until then we'd been made to feel like our baby was the only baby in the world who wouldn't drink milk.
I have to say that the dieticians we saw when ds was a bit older were useless - they kindly pointed out how poor his diet was and suggested lots of foods to give him which would give him a more balanced diet. Great, if they'd also given me a magic way of getting him to try anything new. Which unfortunately they didn't. Ds cried his way through our messy play sessions with Sure Start and making him play with cold spaghetti and tomato sauce appeared to be his own personal form of torture.
But, having read about some people on this thread who have had good advice and support from dieticians, we are going to give them another go and have a referral to our local hospital this time (different to previous). The problem is all behavioural and related to a phobia of food and eating, so I hope they can give us help with this. Anyone else any good experiences with dieticians for this kind of issue? x
Mummy2benji, interesting what you said about him hating messy play. In theory it's supposed to be good therapy for picky/resistant eaters but DD hates it too. I set up messy play with jelly and hid interesting things in it. She wouldn't go near it. She was happy to guide my hand so that I'd pick things out but there wasn't a chance of her doing it herself.
We had DD's diet analysed by a dietician but it only highlighted what she was deficient in (after supplements). I'm hoping to get to see a child psychologist eventually. There's nothing physically wrong so it's just a behavioural/psychological thing. I'm hoping it would help sort MY issues with her not eating well too!
hi, can i join... not had a min to read entire thread to see if anyone has this prob, but my 2.5 yo DS simply refuses to eat meals at the childminders..he's not brill at home, but there it's become a serious issue. he'll eat snacks but when it comes to tea time he refuses, even food we know he likes, e.g boiled egg.. it's been going on for 4 months now - thought it was an initial problem when he started there but 4 months!!! any advice welcome ;-)
Im so happy there are other people out there with the same issues! DD has milk allergy and reflux as a baby, couldn't get her weight above 0.4th centile... This led to a fear of solid food and lumps. HV insisted i had to feed more, weigh ins at my house every 2-3 days and force feeding led to vomiting which led to weight loss- cycle repeated and repeated until she just stopped eating! We would both cry every meal time. Now at 2 she has finally been weaned but only for the last 6 months. Unfortunately the only foods are red meat, white bread, crackers, chips and houmous. That list is exhaustive, no pasta, cereal, baked beans, rice, fruit, veg, cheese, chicken... She makes herself vomit if anything different is offered. It may help some of you to know we use benefibre from asda; its a fibre supplement that has no taste or texture when mixed into drinks or soft food like yogurt its really good for preventing constipation. We are just muddling through with the rest of it xx
Hi everyone! Glad you have found us - but sorry you are all having the same issues with food. Hidden thanks for the fibre supplement tip - DD suffers awful constipation and is on medication, but it has been particularly bad this week - mainly because we are trying to potty train and DD is as resistant to the potty as she is to food!!
Hidden your dd sounds just like my ds, although he is now 4. Same history of reflux and milk allergy as a baby, which led to a fear of eating. Yes, looking back now I can see that there were times when I tried to force him to eat, and that made the problem worse. He also makes himself vomit if a piece of food happens to be a tiny bit too big or if he is eating something he doesn't particularly like - not that he will usually eat anything he doesn't like, but with perseverence I have sometimes managed to get him to eat a bit of a fishcake. I will look for the benefibre - ds is on lots of meds for constipation too so anything which helps bowels is helpful.
Constant good luck with the potty training! Ds wasn't potty trained until quite late - he was almost 3 - but then he just suddenly got it. He never got on with a potty, but he took to using the toilet with a child seat on it.
Well attempts at feeding have gone particularly badly this week as ds, dd (12 weeks) and myself have all had norovirus and been puking our guts up! Ds is better now but all I managed to prepare for him for supper yesterday was chips. Next week is another week!
Oh i had a question, did anyone else's terrible eater take a long time to give up night feeds?
Not mine as ds refused to drink milk - he kept getting admitted to hospital and had tube feeds because he wouldn't drink anything. He decided that starving himself was better than the pain of the oesophagitis that the reflux caused him. I had to set alarms to wake up and try to feed him overnight as I was more likely to get some milk down him with 'dream feeds'. He never really responded to hunger until he was over 2. It sounds logical that if your dd is bad at eating during the day that she'd wake at night hungry though. And if she's not scared of milk she'll keep wanting that for longer. Ds eventually started to try milk voluntarily when he was about 18 months and still has a big bottle of formula morning and night. I haven't tried to change that as at least he's getting vitamins and calories from it.
I did a night feed with DD until 1yr. At that point I stopped breast feeding and refused to do nighttime bottles. Tbh, I don't think she really needed the milk, it was just a comfort thing
and easy way for me to get her back off to sleep
You seem to be further down a road that I'm convinced we are on with our daughter. She will eat mainly crunchy things e.g toast, some chips as long as they aren't too big and anything with chocolate is great. Virtually no wet food in meal form e.g. Fish pie, pasta soup etc are all no no s.
She has vitamin drops in her milk and we have seen a dietician but that Was through the sure start centre not our gp who thinks its normal. Yeh right, this is not jus t a phase, she has been like it from at least 12 months and would even refuse feeds as a baby.
Like you the list of acceptable foods diminishes e.g. Pizza now is totally off. She has made herself sick rather than eat and will concoct all sorts of stories rather than sit at the table, e.g. I need the loo, I'm tired can I go to bed etc. she is a bright child with an extensive vocabulary and can negotiate well on top of being extremely strong willed, you can't trick her! To the health visitor that told us she would eat when she was hungry well that's rubbish. We got to day four when she hadn't eaten anything and then we cracked. I felt like I could get done for child abuse if it went on any longer-so I let her have toast.
She also had other issues, flatulence, constipation, sleepless nights, stomach pains no doubt caused by not eating enough. She will never come to me and say, I'm hungry mummy. I've lost count of the number of times her nursery called us in and said she hasn't eaten all day, we are worried.
But now we are turning the corner. We started playing a game called sniff and lick, basically to desensitise her and try to conquer what i am convinced is a fear of food. We have had some success and nursery as well as my mum do the same. MIL doesn't tow the line though but that's another story. Last week she ate a thumbnail of carrot. I nearly cried. If she is ill, it all goes out the window and we are virtually back to square one. She got chicken pox on Boxing Day and her appetite is just beginning to return to what is normal for her.
So, I sympathise massively, and if you have any tips pass them on!
Am v worried about my DD 3. She barely eats to say the least. Unfortunately she has an egg and nut allergy which rules quite a few things out. I have always tried to feed her a balanced diet and when she was weaning she ate brilliantly. Ever since the age of 2 it has took a lot of coaxing and over the course of the past 6 months things have got even worse. This weekend for example has had a cold and eaten 2 mouthfuls of bagel and 5 grapes. Thankfully today is drinking but I feel like crying I can't get her to eat anything and for a 3 year old who is small anyway she doesn't have weight to lose!! She is still in 18-24 month trousers!! Please help I don't know what to do. I am trying as of 2 days ago the "tell me when your hungry" tact but her intake is still pitiful. Have seen a doctor and done a food diary who advised I was doing the right thing by what I was putting in front of her, but it still clearly is not right! HELP!!!!
I can definitely relate to this thread! My dd is 5 and has always been a dreadful eater although I followed all the guide books for weaning when she was a baby. Her diet at the moment consists of toast, omelette, chocolate and ice cream. She will eat the same foods day in and day out for weeks on end then will suddenly decide she doesn't like them any more (usually after an illness) and will refuse to eat them. Her diet can sometimes include yoghurt, cheese, plain pasta (no sauce) and chips. She will sometimes eat a slice of apple.
All of her eating problems have got worse since starting school last September and she is now getting upset every day at going to school and the main issue seems to be that she hates lunch times.
I feel a complete failure (I'm a single Mum) and I worry endlessly about her health and her eating. I have no idea how, but bizarrely she is in the 91st centile for both height and weight! It is so nice to find others who can relate to this as most people do not understand and also nice to hear that it has improved for some!
One thing we were advised to do is put out one thing every meal you know they will eat. With my daughter that's toast or bread and butter. I thought it would mean she just filled up on that but it meant she ate every meal time, then I can sometimes convince her to sniff and lick something else ( see post above!)
Fluffy is there something she loves, like chocolate mousse for example? Or some kind of biscuit that she'll eat reliably? I am of the opinion that when they are sick all attempts at trying to get them to eat 'good' foods should be put on hold and anything you can get down is fine. Ds will eat cheddar biscuits - like mini cheddars, but bigger - despite not being too fussed about mini cheddars. We all had norovirus last week and he lived on those for a few days.
Mimis your dd sounds very much like my 4yo ds. We are also trying the "just give it a lick" route at the moment. That has been quite a breakthrough as previously he has cried and got upset and anxious just having something new put on the side of his plate. Two peas on his plate could reduce him to a state of anxiety and upset. Now he will tolerate their presence and occasionally can be persuaded to lick something - the latest was a clementine segment. It hasn't resulted in him actually tasting or biting into anything yet, but it's a start. Every supper consists of sausage or chicken nuggets with potato waffles. He doesn't eat any veg but I can get him to eat two flavours of fruit baby jar (has to be only those flavours, out of those jars).
Can I suggest a good book, 'Just Take a Bite', for help and ideas on how to understand resistant eaters and strategies to help them. I've not had it long and with 12 week old dd having been ill and in hospital I haven't had the chance to try to implement it yet, but I found it helpful and also good just to know ds wasn't the only child in the universe who won't eat.
My lg only eats about about 5 foods will only eat noodles egg whites and green veg is 2 years old under 2nd centile peidrietician dietician have tried alot but nothing helps she also has a portage worker who comes to the house once a week to try through play but won't try anything its hard to sit at table at mealtimes watching her brothers and sisters eat and she just plays with it won't try it unless its what she will eat
Ah that's hard leeanna. If they will only eat a few food items, all you can do is try to make sure they eat as much volume of them as possible. At least the noodles are carbs, from the point of view of calories. I don't mean to suggest in any way that such limited eating shouldn't be a worry to you - of course it will be, we all worry about our children's limited food intake and rubbish diets - but I would take a little heart in the fact that she is eating varied food groups - carbs from the noodles, protein from the egg and vitamins from the veg. Will she eat biscuits? Or chocolate? I don't think it matters if foods aren't healthy, you just want to get the calories in.
A Q for everyone - just wondering if anyone else's children have suffered with brittle nails that split longitudinally up into the quick? I cut ds's nails as short as possible but they are ridged and pitted and the ends are split up into the quick, so he frequently has a couple of plasters on each hand. He takes vitamin drops in his milk as he eats no veg whatsoever and limited fruit in the form of two flavours of Hipp fruit baby jars. He is on a trial of iron medicine which he has been on for two months now with no improvement as yet. Just wondered if anyone else had experience of similar? Thanks.
Well the HV came round this afternoon with her "amazing" stickers. i.e. lots of stickers showing fruit and veg. Her idea was that DS had to choose one sticker each day and then eat what was on the sticker. Hahahahahahahaha.
She also said I should stop offering him alternatives as he would never eat a "proper" meal if he could whatever he wanted instead. Children would never starve themselves so he'd start eating proper food in the end.
I pointed out that the alternatives being offered were bread or crackers and butter, so not whatever he wanted and not a 'treat' of crisps / cake / chocolate whatever. I did not think starvation or forced feeding was an acceptable way of treating a child. I also value my and his sleep and his happy mood and good behaviour a lot more than I value him eating a good meal, and wasn't prepared to subject us all to an evening and night of crying hungry child until breakfast at 5 am.
She backtracked a bit and said that you should do whatever worked for your family. However I should atleast hide the crackers until he has had a taste of whatever the evening meal on offer was. I.e. food as a reward / bribe.
But, everything I have read so far suggests that food should not be a reward / bribe, and trying new food should be in a non-stressful, non-reward based situation, you should always provide something you know they will eat and always provide a pudding. Is that right? At the moment mealtimes are quite happy and calm, sometimes he'll lick something new, sometimes not, we don't make a big deal out of it anymore.
Anyway, she is coming back in a month to see how we are getting on, at which point I'm going to whip out my copy of 'just take a bite' and quote relevant sections at her!
Mummy2benji DS hasn't had any problems with nails, although I used to get it myself a lot from wearing too much nail varnish, suspect that's not your DS's problem though!
tricot39 just wondering how you were getting on?
I want to add my bit here, not least so I can find this thread and return to it when I have more time! DS2 (age 6) is a fussy eater - won't entertain anything 'wet' and has a limited selection of dry foods that he will eat. The plus side is that he does like things from all food groups (protein, carbs, fruit/veg, dairy) so I feel that he gets a balanced intake, but it makes for stressful times, particularly if we are eating away from home. We're about to go on holiday for two weeks and I am looking forward to it in every respect except wondering what on earth DS2 will actually eat . I think there may be glimmers of hope, as DS2 will ask about other foods, but still refuses to eat them, and will curl up in a ball on his chair if faced with unfamiliar foods on his plate. Having said that, we did put baked beans on his plate the other week, and he stayed at the table - maybe we're getting somewhere! Like others, it is the presence of DS1 who will eat pretty much anything that reminds me this is DS2's issue, rather than some monumental error on my part.
OP not sure if I meet your criteria as I had never considered my DS would starve himself to death. I have always presumed that children could survive on very little.
I have a brother who has never eaten any fruit or vegetables and as a child only ate 3 or 4 different foods and never any part of any family meal. Even now he only eats a very limited food range but is the fittest, strongest and healthiest adult I know. Perhaps because of this experience I have never got stressed at meal times much as I would love my DS to eat. The main difference is my brother always grew whereas DS weighs under 16kg at age 8 (and has been this far below the 0.04 percentage line for years).
DS, age 8, eats very little, far less than 3 year old siblings. He is under GOS, dietitian, paeditrician, gastroenterologist etc etc. He only eats a few different foods and always in tiny quantities. I think being constantly hungry makes him continually on edge and generally less happy than his contented siblings who eat normally. I agree that lack of food can impact on both health and happiness and it certainly takes DS longer to fight off any illness due to the lack of intake and body fat.
We tried all the different calorie supplement drinks such as pediasure plus on recommendation of the professionals but he sicked them up at school and told school I was making him drink awful things so we stopped.
I would suggest not worrying unless a child is constantly ill or not growing to the extent that the health professionals are concerned. Children will pick up on parents concern and use it for control. Very few older children seem to be mentioned on this post, would be interesting to hear more experiences beyond school age.
I mind some resistant eaters and find the parent food list hard to stick to. I have decided to put one thing on then plate they like, then put the other things on too. At first they freaked out, but now are happy for the other foods to sit there. They are now at the stage of trying a little nibble ... Getting there - it has taken 6 months
Hi all, just wanted to post a link for those of you who might be able to persuade your dc to eat a bit of burger.
I have just made 3 portions of the 'purple puree' which is pureed spinach, blueberries and a dash of lemon juice, which you can sneakily add to the burgers to provide some extra vitamins. The puree tastes surprisingly yum. The burgers also contain tomato puree and oat bran. Burgers are one of the few foods that ds (4) will eat, so I'm really hoping that he'll be happy to eat these and in a small way I'll feel like I've achieved something by getting some goodness into him. He doesn't eat vegetables of any form, shape or size.
Hope some of you find this helpful, at least!
Those of you on this thread who have read my posts might be interested to hear about my conversation on the phone with my resistant eater son ( now aged 21 and in last year of university)
"Did you have a good evening out last night?"
"Yep, ended up having a curry"
"What, with rice and everything?"
"Yep, it was ok"
It has taken 21 years and 4 months to reach this point, I'm so excited.
He actually has tried rice and curry!
I think I might be,I've he is (almost) a normal eater.
Take heart all of you.
I actually am going to ring my parents and my best friends to tell them!
I hope this thread is still active enough for seeking advice. My 3 year old has been viewed eating a meal by the HV and we are now to have a full developmental assessment, the start of a World of pain I fear. I don't think we are in phobia territory and instead control is the issue, but he has only gained 2lbs in 15 months. realistically what can the HV do next? We have been following the low stress no snacks approach for about 6 weeks on HV advice and ds now eating less than ever, he is definitely "starving himself" and is getting thinner by the day (as I get fatter from all the stress) . Any thoughts advice, help would be very gratefully received.
Hi jussey, I'm sorry that I don't have any help to offer, but I worry about my son's eating too. Bumping for someone more knowledgeable.
Hi Jussey, it may be best to reinstate snacks. if you have a truly resistant eater its important to avoid battles about food and get them to enjoy eating - even if that is 'junk' food. Your DS sounds like he needs the calories, so go for whatever he will eat to get past this inital impasse. This site is really good and the fact sheet may help you HV understand the difference between fussy eaters and children who have a real resistance here. My DD is a resistant eater and has been since around 18 months. Prior to that she ate brilliantly. She is slowly improving - but it is very stressful and a very slow process. Good luck.
Thank feck I found this thread! Have only managed to read half of it but will be back for the rest tomorrow.
Waiting for paediatric appointment, after my insistence that the gp referred DD, just turned 4. If I hear children will not starve themselves one more time I may possibly explode!! No my child wouldn't starve because I believe it would be neglectful of me not to provide her with enough calories. DH and I disagree on a few points as well which is not useful considering I do all but 3 meals a week without him there.
It is affecting every aspect of our family life, and now DD2 has just hit 6 months and starting weaning, I am worried history may repeat itself
Interesting to see a lot of you mention problems from around 18 months of age, and also issues with sauces, wet foods and textures.
DD catches every virus going, sleep and general behaviour are terrible, purple under her eyes, dry skin, on 50th for weight, 9th for height, caused bad toileting issues, yet I've been told by gp and health visitor for nearly 2 years that this is all fine. Desperate. She starts school in September.
18 months is when human beings develop an understanding of what is poisonous and what is safe to eat. This is the reason things can get very out of hand at this age and confusion can arise which may then turn into a bigger problem. They need to be able to touch, smell and taste foods and feel safe about it at the same time. The sense of smell is almost MORE important than what they taste and feel in their mouths so I would recommend providing foods that they can smell when they're cooking. Try to get them to smell the food first as it will give them an appetite.
Always eat with them to demonstrate that the food is safe and stay relaxed. Your tension will be picked up and then misinterpreted that the food is a problem or 'not safe'. Trust that if they don't like something there is a very big reason in their minds why they don't like it and it's probably because they don't think the food is safe to eat. Don't force it on them - you have to get them to like it by themselves and that's where the smell thing comes into it.
Toileting issues are often connected with eating problems when a child develops with an unclear association of clean and dirty. This is where messy play comes into good use. They need to get their hands dirty and learn that their hands can get dirty but they will be safe. It is difficult for them to be able to distinguish between safe dirt and dirty dirt, so that's where I advocate using cutlery. Apart from being sensible it ensures they know that what is going in their mouths is not associated with the mucky stuff they get on their hands when they play in the mud and that's where the toileting connection comes in. Children need to know that they can get dirty but can get clean again.
Just dipping in to say I'm glad this thread is still going - because i still need it. DD 3.5, is still resistant as ever. Finding the tantrums when her blood sugar drops hard to deal with, and keeping calm is a challenge. The only thing she reliably eats is fromage frais - wouldn't even eat an easter egg!!
mummy2benji is he getting enough calcium and vitamin d/sunlight? That is a common cause of brittle nails.
I know very little about infant food refusal, but adult anorexia as an aspect of mental illness seems pretty similar - from just reading this thread and looking at DD (13m), who looks like she may be heading down this route...
Hello.....can I join.....DD is 2.3 and it feels like all I know she'll eat is yoghurt, baked beans , toast and chocolate. She usually eats fish pie but most other things just get pushed aside..... she's still under the care if our local sick kids hospital, as she had surgery just after birth. They're now referring her to a dietician cos she's so small (0.4th centile for weight and just below it for height)
She eats ok at nursery, just not for me. Feel like I'm failing to feed her, but trying hard not to show her how stressed I am about it.
VikingLady sorry I only just saw your post - ds1 saw the dietician recently and we now have a very helpful chart telling me how much calcium is in everything and how much he needs to be having a day. With a combination of milk and yoghurt I think we are achieving that now. Thanks for commenting.
Welcome Closed! Dietician is a good idea, I hope they are helpful. The first dietician I saw with ds1 years ago was a bit useless - she pointed out lots of good foods that would improve his diet. That would have been great if I'd been able to get him to allow any near his mouth, which was the problem in the first place with his food phobia. Recently we saw a dietician who was much more helpful though.
Ds1 is making slow but significant progress - he is now 4 1/2. Until a few months ago and starting school he hadn't made any progress for a long time and pretty much lived off sausages, chicken nuggets and yoghurt. And chocolate. I tried a 'just give it a lick' approach to new foods and didn't try to make him eat them. Initially he wouldn't even tolerate a new food on his plate and had hysterics, then he got used to peas for eg. sitting on his plate and although he would announce "I'm not eating those" he would at least allow their presence. I made him laugh by pretending to make them talk. After a while he agreed to lick one, although he wouldn't eat it. I praised him and left it at that. Very recently though he has started to eat raw carrot sticks with this same approach - as in, a VEGETABLE. I cannot tell you what a miracle this is! Wherever you are at with your dc's eating please don't lose hope - if my ds1 will eat carrot, ANYTHING is possible, given time, internal stress and a LOT of patience....
Hello mummy2benji..... Good to know there is hope if you have got DS to eat carrot sticks. And also nice to feel a little less alone, every other child I know seems to happily eat whatever is put in front of them.
And yes part of me thinks a dietician could be helpful.....part of me fears they will just tell me to give DD more meat and veg. I guess we will see.
There is a good book called "Just take a bite" that you might find helpful - covers everything from fussy eaters to food phobias and how to deal with it. I found it good - they sell it on Amazon.
I'm back . Glad things are improving with your DS mummy2Benji - I'll be buying that book. DD has regressed since her pasta improvement - it is back off the menu and she is down to fromage frais, toast (good, multi-seed bread), occasional hummous and bread stick, occasional fishfingers and sweetcon, oatibix, croissants - and (thank god) my home made carrot, banana and honey muffins.
Still following this thread and feeling for you allxxxx you will get through it and come out the other end with experience to pass on to others in need. As you will know, my resistant eater is now approaching 22 and as well as the curry night out a couple of months ago, he has been abroad with uni friends for the first time without family and managed to eat some Spanish food, a true miracle.
Will check out that book, thanks for the tip. A mixed day today.....lunch was, by DDs standards relatively successful.....a rare meal out and she ate most of an individual garlic bread, dairylea Dunkers and half a small box of raisins. Dinner not good though....she refused point blank to eat chicken pie, baked beans toast and then cereal. After an hour or so she ate 5 little fromage frais. I know I probably shouldn't keep offering her alternatives, but she's so tiny I don't feel I can just let her have nothing. Still has boundless energy though!!
Off to HV for 2 yr check up tomorrow so will see if they have any bright ideas
Oh my giddy aunt! I can't believe this thread is still going. I have been off mumsnet for ages but have thought of this one often! We have had interesting times but little real progress. I will be ba k tomorrow with an update.
Hi Tricot, I just posted on another thread about fussy eaters, quoting some wisdom gained on here. Will link them to this one. Will be interested to see how you're getting on. I've been up and down - 1 step forward, 3 back and am in roughly the same place I was at the beginning of the thread! Have been hugely cheered by the wisdom of those on here who have been through similar and come out the other end.
Oh yes look forward to an update tricot
Sorry I didn't see your last post closed or I would have replied. Hope you have had some improvement. Constant I also find it a case of progression and regression. Ds1 will now nibble on a small carrot stick though, which really is enormous progress. I have never been able to get any vegetable down his neck in any form up until this. I am struggling to find time and motivation to work at ds1's diet and try new things, as I am now weaning dd2. I really am desperate for her to be a good eater but she is currently up and down (she's just over 7mo). She doesn't have a medical reason to be a resistant eater, like ds1, so I have to keep reminding myself there is no reason why she shouldn't be fine with eating. I just have to appear calm and relaxed about it all!
Mummy sorry to say my DD had no medical reason - although she did have silent reflux which persisted for a long time. Carrot sticks is progress - a vegetable! DD will only have sweetcorn. Will try carrot sticks again - haven't offered them for a while. I fall into serving the same old meals that I know she'll eat and forget to offer new stuff. Must try again.
Hi - I'm back!
Half term has been hectic - so sorry for the delay.
Not long after I last posted we were finally offered a place on a course with our local Speech & Language Service for resistant eaters. Everyone invited had children who had no intention of complying with the parents' wishes that they should eat "normally". I found the first session very emotional - just being the same room as people as desperate as me was a bit much TBH! Anyway I discovered that many had resorted to force feeding and sadly not everyone had tried a dining table. Anyway it was a meeting once per week for 6 weeks.
The first week was an induction. The SALT did a great job of explaining the process by which we all consider what we eat:
Can we be in the same room as the food?
Can we have it on a plate on the table near us?
Can we have it on our plate?
Can we touch it with a tool/fork?
Can we touch it with a finger?
Can we bring it close enough to smell it?
Can we bring a finger-full to our lips?
Can we lick it?
Can we nibble a bit?
Can we chew a bit between our teeth? (and spit out)
Can we chew and swallow the food?
Once someone has explained that sequence, it just made so much sense to us. There is no point hoping he will eat something that he will not touch etc!
Weeks 2 to 5 we used a medical room where they had laid out toys on mats and put items of food around the toys. Parents were asked to "model" desired behaviour of touching and eating the foods but were told NOT to urge the children to do anything about eating. It was all play with the aim of desensitising. Each week we moved through a different type of food: dry/crunch, soft/cakey, wet and then (the devil's work) mixed textures!
Week 6 was a one-to-one where they helped propose an individual plan for each client and promised a 3 month follow-up phone call (which we are probably overdue for).
We have had no major leap fowards, but some interesting progressions which I will have to come back and post about next time! Sorry for the teaser but apparently DH has run me a nice bath, so I am off to languish! Possibly be back on Tuesday when I have another chance to grab the computer.
Thanks tricot that is helpful regarding the sequence of 'events' - we have had some progress with ds1 tolerating some veg on his plate, and although he won't eat it I should remind myself that this is progress nonetheless. He used to get hysterical about a few peas just being on his plate, even when reassured he didn't have to eat them. After much encouragement
involving me putting on silly 'pea' voices he actually gave one a lick. So your post was a good reminder that this is all small steps forward, thank you. :-)
Hello! Thanks to a link from piggybank I've come to join you all if I may
DS is 3 (4 in August) and really driving us crazy!
He does eat some fruit and veg so I know it could be a lot worse. But his diet is very limited. He's always been one to declare "don't like" after trying things but for the last few months he's been refusing to try anything at all. He will just walk away from dinner unless it is pasta or beige food! I don't know if it is fear, or texture or what.
I feel like we've brought this on ourselves really, due to health problems with both of us we have been really repetitive in what we are cooking/using convenience food etc - especially as DD (nearly 6) was a little fussy as well, though she has come out of it now and is pretty adventurous.
DS also has a severe speech delay.
Looking forward to reading the thread and getting some advice
Hello fuzzpig and welcome! I often recommend a book called 'Just take a bite' - it helps you identify what is going on with your dc, if they are fussy or have a genune food phobia, and gives some tips on how to approach it. I have found the step-wise approach the most helpful way - just tolerate it on the plate (a few peas perhaps), to taking a lick, to taking a bite - tricot sums it up best above. It isn't magic, but ds1 now eats carrot sticks after using that approach - which given that he has previously never eaten a vegetable, is nothing short of a miracle. He will now tolerate peas on his plate, although he won't lick one. The only attitude to have is that it will be a loong slow process, and tiny steps forward, such as not having hysterics at the sight of a vegetable, are progress nonetheless. If you compare your child to other children of their age it will just upset and depress you. Climbing a mountain starts with one step at a time!
Hi fuzzpig. Good to see you - but sorry that you have to join in with all this trouble our darling DC are giving us! I know that it is rather long but do try to read the thread from the start. Hearing others' stories is really helpful and will help you to realise that it is very unlikely that you have brought this on yourself. Part of the process is accepting that it is their choice and that you only try to help them. You can't make them do what they do not want to do!
I second the Just Take a Bite book. It hasn't been a magic wand but it gives great insight. It also helps you put the structures in place to help success: family meals at table, set snack times, calories are king (variety comes second) etc etc. Then is moves on to physical issues - eg making sure that your DC has a footrest on their high chair (if they have weak posture, no footrest makes them slump and it is difficult to swallow as their head flops forward) through other sensory issues (some children can't eat in a noisy environment) etc etc. The one problem is that there are sooooo many subtle factors that it can seem like an impossible task working out which bit of the book applies to you! However it is still better having the book as some sort of guide, rather than staggering about blind, or listening to ill informed advice (which is what we did until we discovered it!)
OK so my last installment was about the process of the workshops that we went to. Here is a brief update on what happened.
The first week was the induction. The SALT explained that progress would probably be slow, very slow, very very slow, and that we had to think of it as a marathon, rather than a magic wand. She asked people to set a realistic target of what they might like to achieve at the end of the 6 weeks. Realising that miracles would be in short supply, I opted for DS touching a vegetable to his lips, but not necessarily having to eat it. The woman next to me (clearly had not listened nor understood) said she would like her DD to eat normal family meals! Oops - yes we all would, but pay attention in class!
Week 2 was Dry/Crunchy texture. We all sat in a circle and sang a Hello song. DS hates that sort of thing and tried to hide/lay his head on the floor to avoid any attention. They then got on to playing with the toyd: trains, garages, cooker/kitchen etc all laid out with crisps, crackers, dry pasta, ice ceram cones, digestivev biscuits, breakfst cereal etc as toys. There were cocktail sticks for skewering foods on, train carraiges and cars for driving foods about. Also a ramp on the garage for rolling stuff down. The aim was to be as messy as possible with the food and toys. Parents and staff munched the foods, said yum and talked about the food but were not meant to encourage the children to eat anything. If kids didn't want to touch with their hands, they were encouraged to use a "tool" like a stick, car, bulldozer etc to build up exposure to the food in a non threatening way. Some kids snacked on things, but DS didn't even though he would have eaten some of the items in a "food" setting. They finished the session with bubbles being blown to each child. In order to have the bubbles they had to sit on a mat provided in the circle on the floor and put their hand to their chest and sign & say "me please" to the SALT. That was really interesting as it clearly encouraged the children to engage with the professionals if they had be reticent. Also it finished off the session on a high note, so that the children were keen to come back for more. Probably a good idea for sessions done at home - keep it fun!
Week 3 was Cakey/soft. Same set up as Week 2 with mainly the same toys and added to the dry foods from the week before were breads and cakes (fairly plain) Again adults modelled good behaviour without comment and the children were encouraged to play with foods to explore their texture/feel. Songs and bubbles were the same each week.
Week 4 things started to get tough for us. Wet foods clearly our Achilles Heel! They added tinned potatoes, large peas out of a jar, some tinned fruit and peeled bananas. They also had some yoghurt, honey and chocolate spread with paint brushes for artful daubing. DS was fairly horrified but was prepared to be close - another little boy spent the entire session desperately hanging off the door handle trying to get away from the stuff. He was absolutely terrified - his parents were at their wits' end. DS initially tried to avoid having anything to do with the wet things until I rolled a couple of potatoes down the garage ramp - apparently this was hilarious so he started to try to move the potatoes himself using sticks or in the back of a dumper truck car - ie touching with a tool. In the same session, the potatoes got a bit drier and he began to tolerate touching them with his hand. It was really informative to watch that progression. He then got the bit between his teeth and daubed yoghurt across the rest of the garage with a brush and might have poured a pot down the ramp had I not intervened! One of the SALTs seemed to have reached HER threshold for mess as her face was a picture! However it was interesting to see that none of the adults cared for the mess on their hands and everyone was clearly resisting the urge to say "bleughh"and wipe their hands clean. So again that was enlightening to see where other people reached a limit to what they were happy with.
Week 5 would have been mixed textures, except it was cancelled due to staff illness - or maybe the idea of DS with a pot of trifle on the garage was too much! Anyway apparently mixed textures are the most difficult for most children.
Week 6 was a one-to-one session where we reviewed the sessions. The staff said that we were doing all the right things and that they wished all their clients had a dining table, and used it! Sadly they had to agree that DS was a stubborn little mite who was a tough nut that would be slow to crack. They would normally only suggest this for slightly older children but they said he might be up for a "food preferences book".
Basically we have pages with the progression headings as I posted above with pictures to match (Bleugh, finger to lips, plate, smiley face etc) and we printed off food pictures from the internet. It has taken quite a long time but we filled up the book with pictures so that we have some on every page. The idea is then that you get your child to choose which food they want to move up a page by doing the next step on. They are meant to do the next step 4 or 5 times before the picture moves. I think that you can use a star chart if you want to record that. We haven't managed to use this system terribly formally yet as I think he is too young for it, but we can see that having the discussion about it all with DS has been helpful for him and that he can now understand the steps and decide to make some himself.
Victories since the course ended a few months back have been few and far between, but suddenly in the last couple of weeks he has started to "surprise us" and he likes to say that when he tries something new. We obviously praise him a lot when he does good things to help things along. So the main things are that he had been happy to cut sweetcorn off the cob and then a few weeks on licked a corn on the cob. Also he put his finger on an egg yolk and put a microscopic piece of egg on to his tongue - and said it was tasty!!! Both of those foods are ones which he has shown interest in in the past, so it is probably worth working on stuff based on their preferences.
Right I am signing off again after that mammoth post. I look forward to hearing news from others.
That's great tricot thank you for taking the time to write all that out. I almost feel like I went to the course too! The food preferences book sounds interesting. How old is your ds now?
Ds1 had feeding tubes as a baby and didn't start weaning until 15 months, and then we ended up (under advice from SALT) having to give him things like meringue and trifle sponge fingers because they dissolve in the mouth and he wasn't swallowing anything - just chewing a little and spitting it out. It was a breakthrough to get him swallowing, but not surprisingly that his diet has always been so limited, and that he has a sweet tooth! The only fruit he eats is two flavours of baby fruit jars - must be the same make, and eaten from the jar, and until recently he had never eaten a vegetable. Unless you count Asda potato and carrot waffles (very slightly more orange than potato waffles, carrot content probably not much at all). Eating carrot sticks recently was a huge breakthrough! As you said, carrot was something he had shown an interest in for a while, so I persevered with it. I think he minds it less than other veg because it isn't slimy and doesn't look entirely dissimilar to a chip. Very skinny chips as I have to cut them soo thin! At school they now have to take a snack in which has to be a fruit or a vegetable - thank goodness for the carrot eating or he'd have nothing. Rather narrow-minded school - what's wrong with breadsticks? A child that won't eat fruit and veg is not always being 'naughty'. Found that a bit irritating but am happily sending him in with some carrot sticks - today he ate 3.
Sorry long waffle and not much said. Hope everyone else is hanging on in there. x
Hi, still hanging in there. DD (3.6) still on pasta and pesto with sweetcorn for suppers - and variety of bread /cereal for the rest of the day. Not great - but has been worse. Am going to get that book and try the carrots and some of the techniques Tricot mentions.
DD not just food resistant but also resistant to any kind of change - uses a sippy cup with lid still, uses hands not cutlery, won't poo on loo, only goes in pull-up at night, won't speak in front of strangers ... BUT is imaginative, articulate, can play alone for over an hour, spells words well, loves 'reading', excellent memory... not sure what to think, but hoping it'll all settle as she grows up.
hhm i am a bit worried about what ds'school might make of his packed lunch.i think i will try to get a letter from the SALT just in case we run into trouble when he start in sept.
will be heading off to asda to trial their waffles though! this might be our chance to break into carrot consumption!
glad the description of the course was good. i thought it might help people do.stuff at home. it is all very simple but not completely obvious iyswim
well a couple of interesting developments. for some reason ds is getting more happy to smell and taste (small bits off his finger dip). i think it may be because i stopped asking him to eat things and concentrated on asking him to sniff a few months back.if he likes the smell i suggest he could taste a little off.his finger. he did this with egg yolk (has been interested in eggs for years) and i think it gave him confidence with other things. we call our messy play/desensitisation exercises "science ecperiments" amdd this also seems to encourage.experimentation. on friday he was tasked with finding seeds in various fruit & veg and was prepared to taste juice from strawberries and.raspberries. he also put a sliver of carrot between his teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
progress may be glacial but we are feeling jubilant! wishing you all some progress soon
Anyone have any news?
Had a good week away on holiday and have returned to increased resistance and the same old games. Feeling
I'm so glad I've stumbled across this thread. My DS was born very prematurely at 29 weeks & had IUGR. After 3 months on the neonatal unit he came home on oxygen & had severe reflux until age 3, which was treated with adult-dose omeprazole & domperidone.
He has always had high calorie milks to promote weight gain & attempt to "catch up" a bit. He's been very behind with weaning & textures. We attend a dietitian & SALT.
It's just a constant struggle. He has almost no interest in food, and has become dependant on his prescription milk. He eats from a narrow range of foods, which I bulk-cook & freeze.
He's now 4.5 & I've also got a 4 month old DD, so I don't have as much time & energy to devote to his eating.
I'm looking forward to sharing experiences with people who understand. It's beyond most people's comprehension to have a child who has so little interest in food & such a crap eater.
Sorry to hear that you are in the same boat.
It is not the fastest thread in the world and there are no magic answers nut welcome on board.
Have you managed to read much of the thread? nanny has some positive stories about her (now grown up ) son
Hi lots and welcome . I've changed my name btw peeps - I was mummy2benji Now I have dd2 I thought I'd better include her in my name too!
Lots I sympathise - my ds1 is 4.9yo and developed a feeding phobia as a baby due to severe reflux, which has also led to extremely delayed weaning and resistant eating. But.... I am almost hesitant to say it.... we have started to make some significant progress in the past few months. He was also fiercely dependent on his Neocate milk - which is ironic given the fact that he used to scream at the mere sight of it, and the numerous hospital admissions required before he was 1 for point-blank refusing to drink anything. But a few months ago we managed to get him off it and onto cow's milk. Nursery helped enormously in that, as he started to take a few sips at school. At first it had to be in a baby bottle still at home, but a couple of weeks ago I persuaded him to try it in a slightly more grown up cup / sippy bottle with robots on it. Finally the Avent bottle is in the bin!!
Another development is pizza!! Sausages was one of the few foods he would eat, and a few months ago I managed to get him to nibble a bit of pizza that I'd totally covered in chopped up sausage (pizza base barely visible!) - this required an elaborate role-play whereby sausage pizza was the favourite food of his Lewis Hamilton toy car (from Cars 2), and we had a sausage pizza party for him as he had been away and returned (aka lost, and a new identical Lewis Hamilton hastily purchased and presented to ds1 in its place). All the toy cars came to the party and ds1 entered into the spirit of it so much that he nibbled some pizza, and decided it was tasty! I then started substituting a bit of the sausage for ham, and have since managed to get him to eat ham pizza. I know it's not fruit or veg, but still - it's great progress for ds1.
Hope that gives a little encouragement! tricot I am also wondering what the school will think of ds1's packed lunches. Think I will have a word with his teacher on Day 1.
Thanks for the welcome. DS has started being sick again over the last few weeks. Only 4-5 times & I initially thought it was a bug, so I kept him off nursery & cancelled play dates. But I'm now wondering if it's the return of the reflux , which of late was worse Sept-Feb & associated with winter illnesses. Really frustrated with it, as we've had no sickness for months.
On the other hand, he did ASK to try one of his daddy's noodles last night. A minor miracle!
His dietitian appointment is next month & I'd like to discuss reducing his prescription milk. Finding an alternative will be a challenge though: We've tried homemade smoothies, Frijj etc but he only takes small amounts. And considering his milk gives him up to 600kcals daily, it's a huge gap to fill. Last time we tried he lost 5% of his body weight in 3 weeks so had to abandon it.
Here's to finding solutions to our challenges!
It's a big relief to find this thread - my first post on MN so bear with me.
My son (sorry: 'ds') is just coming up to 7. He had a normal birth, weaning etc all went well - by 18 months old he was eating everything we gave him, and was doing fine. Then one day at nursery when he was about 18-19m old, he was spectacularly sick, and not surprisingly didn't want to eat much else that day.
To cut a long story short, he's hardly eaten anything since then, 5.5 years ago. We've tried everything we can think of, but his eating pattern has never recovered.
He eats: Pasta (totally plain - no sauce whatsoever), toast with margarine (nothing else on it), Cheerios (no other cereals will do), fruit (strawberries, apple, banana, grapes), crisps (plain only), and chocolate (as much as he's allowed). He drinks milk. That's literally it. He's not eaten any meat, any vegetables, anything hot, or anything not on the list above, since he was 18-19 months old.
We've tried all the normal things: reward charts, bribery and corruption, etc. Sometimes there'll be a breakthrough (he'll eat one pea, for example), but the next day it's back to square one.
It's not obviously a flavours problem, or a textures problem. He gags and retches(sp?) when he gets anything different in his mouth - when it's something "new" like a pea, he might manage to swallow it, but it's obviously a major psychological effort for him. We've done the "try this 20 times on 20 days" thing, but it doesn't seem to get any easier for him even after all that time. We've just realised he can't even stand the smell of some foods, and he won't even touch most foods with his fingers. It's as if he's just repulsed by food.
In all other ways, he's a "normal" kid - loads of energy, loves biking, karate, running, etc, and is bright for his age. No actual physical problems, or allergies. He's thin, but not worryingly so, and he's tall. We've been to and fro between GPs, health visitors, dieticians, etc, but nothing's working.
So it's good to find this thread! I've only had time to read the first 2 and last 2 pages so far, but I'll read back. Meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! Sorry for the long post.
Hello there everyone, especially tricot who started this thread nearly a year ago. I hope you are all managing to cope okay with the daily worries that having a resistant eater brings.
My grown up resistant eater continues to make steady progress, he is home from university now and makes himself some reasonably healthy meals, still quite a limited choice but vastly improved from the childhood days. At the age of 22 he has still to experience quite a lot of " food activities" and doesnt regard eating out as a pleasant social experience but will join in reluctantly.
Its been a long worrying slog, but hes healthy and happy with no longterm bad effects physically so your children will get there in the end. Best wishes to you all.
Dad72 hope you can take encourage and get support from this thread. Your sons diet sounds a bit like my sons was for the first 16 years, and yes, I think he too was repulsed by food. Its still not that important in his life. Its as if the hunger trigger was never activated. Keep going with the fruit and pasta and toast, its probably giving him enough energy at the moment for his sporting activities.
Hi Story just popping back to say no change here with DD. But change for me - despite a diet that still consists mainly of bread, pasta (if we're lucky!) and yogurt I am no longer so stressed. This thread - and your experiences - have helped me to let go of my need to control her eating, and to go with the flow. Also helped by the fact that DD seems to have some other issues going on (nursery suspect aspergers -though I still tend to think she's quirky and highly sensitive). But anyway, hearing about your experiences have helped. Thank you .
Ah constant, glad you can step back a bit, I wish Id had this thread to keep me sane when son was younger. In years to come you will be able to look back and use your experience to support someone else.
On Sunday we had a perfectly normal roast dinner with meat (chicken of course as most others are still barely tolerated) roast pots, veg and ..... Gravy! All on the same plate touching each other. This was followed by home made lemon meringue pie which he claims he has always liked, not in my memory though. Everything was eaten and despite him now being 22 I breathed a sigh of relief!
Oddly he doesnt seem to recall much about the years of refusing, maybe he is blocking the memories as they were so fraught. My other older children have bad memories of it all though particularly the times when I completely lost the plot and screeched like a banshee, but we can also laugh about it.
Keep smiling or gritting your teeth
MisstRee you are not alone. BM to our 3 DSD's doesn't eat any fruit or veg. You can figure out the rest....
storynanny: Thanks for your reply, which I've only just found (sorry).
I've just cancelled our latest dietician's appointment. After the first one, which was really useful and full of ideas about how to help widen out his "range" of foods, we had a second one with a different dietician, who basically said he's fine as he is and doesn't ever need to eat anything else. I'm sure he doesn't physically need any more than he's getting, but I strongly disagree from the psychological point of view. He's already feeling left out at the "food" part of parties, and now doesn't want to go to parties at all, for that reason - that's just one example.
Anyway, thanks for the support. We'll keep trying.