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Ds and food. The range of food he will eat is shrinking again.

(5 Posts)

Ds(9) is a nightmare to feed.

Won't eat sauces, so spag bol, chilli, pasta and sauce... Won't eat veg. I lie, if in a very good mood he will swallow a whole pea if I ask very nicely. Range of meat he will eat is shrinking. There's always a reason why he can't eat it. He will eat beige food, most of the time, although chips can't have crispy bits. Doesn't like the coating of fishfingers. Dietician wasn't much help when I saw her a year ago, as most of the things she would have suggested I've already tried.

Recent dx of asd and adhd. History of witnessing dv, in this context his father kicking off at the table over dinner, until he was 5. Was found to be seriously anemic last summer, had a course of iron tabs, but stopped as soon as he reached the lowest acceptable level. I'm really worried his iron levels are dropping, and will be booking another gp appt to be referred for a blood test ( which has to be done at the hosp ffs. Thank goodness I live near!)

I've tried cooking his dinner separately, so a risotto isn't contaminated by little bits of onion, for example. He complained he didn't like the chorizo, and so picked at a few pieces of rice. Must have eaten a table spoon of rice tops.

Roast dinner I'll give him a small piece of meat with no fat, no nothing, and he'll pick at it, and maybe eat half. Not a great fan of mash. Will only eat the fluffy inside of roasties.

Lunch time he has a ham sandwich (no butter) yogurt, carton of orange juice ( to help iron absorption, and to provide a portion of fruit) fruit substitute, eg school bar, and a carefully chosen biscuit ( some sugars/ additives send him loopy). He's refusing to eat the sandwiches because the ham has chewy bits. tried alternating the sandwih with crackers/ wraps with varying success.

So at the mo he is eating a full portion of weetabix in the morning. A small packed lunch (not the sandwich, so no nice slow burning carbs) and a toddler portion of dinner. Weetabix and milk at bedtime.

I need ideas! Please, anyone? Don't know what else I can try. Camhs bloody useless, don't even go there. Dietician.. will try again, through gp. But family meals are hard, all the other dc encourage, or ignore, depending whether we're encouraging him, or just ignoring the not eating. I have to consider the impact this has on the others, dd1 is beginning to copy, and with her temperament, and history I am concerned she's vulnerable to an ED when she's older.

Off out to band with ds, so can't reply immedietly!

PolterGoose Fri 14-Mar-14 20:12:14

Has he seen an OT about sensory issues? Sounds like these some texture/sensory stuff going on. Does he have wobbly teeth?

My ds is a food refuser, lives on a basic diet of marmite sandwiches, yoghurts and smoothie, recently reintroduced tomato soup.

I give a good broad spectrum multi-vit and mineral (cheap Sainsbury's Kids one) and feed ds what he will eat. I refuse to battle. I make sure as far as possible he has the most nutrient rich source of whatever food he's willing to eat.

Camhs have done or said nothing before or after dx. To the point where I want nothing to do with them ever.

I will ask gp for referral, thank you for that idea. Can I check that you mean occupational therapy? I'm new to this end of the boards, although have lurked a bit. They might come up with something that may help ds, whether it's to do with food or something else. This last week he has removed the sheet from his bed again because he prefers the feel of the plastic sheet. No wobbly teeth going on.

There seems a large desire to control surrounding food, he seems to feel a need to control what he eats and doesn't eat. I think a lot of it revolves around anxiety, I know he has become stressed about tomorrows contact, as his dad has been a bigger twit than usual, and ds is trying to work out how to 'force' his dad to let his sister do an activity thing she wants to do. (difficult dynamic wrt their natural dad! loooong story, some of which is on mn somewhere)

He has a multi vit- when he will agree to take it. A few compliance issues! I get the same with his inhalers/asthma prevention tabs whose name I've forgotten. I ask and he refuses. I just step back after explaining the consequences, pick your battles, and all that.

PolterGoose Sat 15-Mar-14 08:32:24

Yes, I do mean occupational therapy.

It might be worth trying out some PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) techniques to deal with the demand avoidance and control stuff, Phil Christie's PDA book is a good introduction.

Jorior Sat 22-Mar-14 21:18:04

Hi there. God, I feel for you because not being able to get nourishment into your child triggers such a primative response as a parent. My DS1 has sensory issues and as a result became a very fussy eater. As with your child, the range of foods he was willing to try became narrower and narrower. As a parent it's very stressful to watch.

Every child is different but here's what is working with mine. First off, relax and allow time for change (months). Level with him about his body's need for each nutrient. Eg. It's a good idea to eat chicken because the protein helps your skin to heal when you cut yourself; without carbohydrate you won't have any energy for running around at the park later....but it's up to you. Then back off and give him time to process this.

I also used a technique for kids with OCD in which you suggest the voice in their head is trying to control them by telling them what to eat and not to eat. 'You used to love X. Is the voice telling you not to eat it now? That voice sounds like a bully. You shouldn't let it tell you what to do. Stand up to it because soon it'll tell you that you don't like ice cream. What'll you do then?' Don't force the issue. Just a gentle nudge at mealtimes will hopefully result in your DS regaining control over 'the bully in his head'.

My DS1 now feels more empowered at mealtimes and I regularly hear things like 'I can't believe I didn't try salmon before. It's delicious!' It's still a work in progress and patience is required. You just need to remind him to defy the voice, support him and praise him when he chooses to try something. Once you start making progress, it helps to look back every now and again 'imagine you didn't used to eat X and now you love it! Well done for standing up to that bully!'

Sorry for the long post. I hope it helps. Good luck x

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