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4 year old DS with CMPI getting very anxious(3 Posts)
My 4 and 2 year olds both have CMPI, both identified very early and managed well with very little accidental exposure.
DS has been at the same nursery since he was 10 months, he's now 4.2. He's always loved it and his behaviour has never been a concern.
Equally at home he has never shown any behaviour issues around food, apart from very normal fussiness.
His keyworker emailed me yesterday to say he has started to become really anxious about the food they give him, demanding to see the packet and "check" (he can't read) that it's dairy free. He had a total meltdown yesterday when a new staff member have him some soya cheese because he said he didn't trust her.
I'm really worried that this could start real food issues for him, especially as he starts school in September.
I try to be very relaxed around food at home, even telling him that if he wants to try something with dairy in, he can, and we'll see how he is. His reactions are gastro related so no risk of anything too awful.
I'm vegan but DH and kids aren't and I never push it or go into any detail about why unless he asks which is rarely, so I hope that's not related.
The only other thing I can think of is that a long standing staff member left nursery recently and he says he misses her, but I don't know if there is a link.
I want to get this right because I would hate to set up a long term problem. Any advice greatly appreciated.
It could be a combination of the two issues, as you suggested.
I would give your child more control over the food issue, for instance teaching him the word or letter for milk and showing or perhaps both of you looking at labels in the supermarket. I would also suggest you use this time to ask him to find all the food that doesnt contain milk. Celebrate this by pointing out how much food he can enjoy. I would also do some cooking with him together . Casual conversations on food everyone in family enjoys also underscores that food is for pleasure and not something to worry about.
Does he know what will happen to him if he has milk? Does he remember this or is he over worrying about what 'might' happen. I would wait until he starts talking about it and explain in simple terms what might happen and underscore that he would get better.
This should make him feel that he has more control over his food and increase confidence in this area.
I think a meeting or chat with nursery is needed, ask them how they handle the food/snack issue, are adults talking over his head and causing him to over worry if they are sounding stressed about it?
Can they help with some of this in preschool, shopping with food packets and cookery etc?
Ask about his new key worker, and keep an eye on that relationship, and encourage your son to ask this grown up for help with any play issues.
hope this is helpful.
I have three children between the ages of 7 and 12 with varying degrees of allergies / intolerneces.
Keep talking to him about it in a matter of fact way, give him control and ensure the adults around him allow him control as well. If he is anxious about food, let him say no. With time, and information he will become more relaxed and confident in his ability to choose.
Go though the food he has at nursery with him and his key worker so that he knows what is OK and he sees you checking and telling the key worker that it is OK.
Tell nursery that it is crucial that he feels in control and even if they are right, it is important they recognise his right to disagree with adults in this situation.
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