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Who can my DS see regarding his relationship with food?

(30 Posts)
airhostess Wed 28-Jan-15 19:16:54

Hello, I have a 3yr old DS and despite introducing him to all foods and cooking everything from scratch since weaning I have the fussiest child.
Has anyone ever been referred or paid privately to see someone that can help. We are at our wits end.
Thank you in advance x

Violettatrump Wed 28-Jan-15 19:22:56

Have you read any books on the subject.

Violettatrump Wed 28-Jan-15 19:25:00

Is it the texture or Taste that's the problem. Is he sensitive about other things? Seems on clothes and socks for example

NanaNina Wed 28-Jan-15 19:37:21

Oh I don't think you need to "see someone" with a 3 year old! I think a lot of children are fussy eaters. My grandson ate wonderfully till he had tonsillitis at 14 months and went off most food after that and it has been a battle to get him to eat......but he's 10 now and is on the light side but is healthy. I think the fact that you are at your "wit's end" might be part of the problem. Maybe DS is picking up your anxiety about whether he will eat or not, or will only eat certain foods.

You could get the HV or GP to check him over to put your mind at rest, and then I think you need to relax about this fussy eating. No child is going to starve to death or even become ill through being a fussy eater.

Is your main concern that he is fussy (in the sense will only eat a few things) or doesn't want to eat very much at all, or maybe it's both. My grandson eats fish fingers, cottage pie, sausage and chips, pasta, chicken.....no fruit or veg, and very little else is on the menu - but as many sweets/chocolates/biscuits/cakes as he can get his hands on (and that's not many!) He is fit and healthy and is very rarely ill, not even coughs and colds. His younger sister eats more or less anything and loves fruit and veg.

I'm sure other parents will be along to re-assure you too.

Violettatrump Wed 28-Jan-15 19:55:15

What's he eaten today? Yesterday?

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 02:14:10

Hello thank you for your responses. He has a texture and temperature issue. Never liked holding fruit, even as a baby, won't drink chilled water, only tap tempersture. Won't try ice cream ( I'm not worried about that). Won't hold carrots for instance if they've been stored in the fridge.
Won't est any fruit or dairy. Refused milk at 6mths and never had it since. Won't eat sandwiches, which is a nightmare for pre school. I make homemade pizza for him but now starting to leave that and just eating the crisps, rice cakes abc chocolate biscuit sent in.
If home from pre school ( he goes 4 days) then I make three hot meals for him.
He will not feed himself at all and is extremely capable. As of February he's been told he will. Meal times are frought as he's bored ( no wonder as he's just opening his mouth). He would and has refused meals rather than feed himself.
As I said I'm really interested in who we can see that can just help as it's home on too long now and he starts school in September.

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 02:18:09

ViolettaTrump
Yes, he mentions the seams on his socks and we have to cut the labels from some of his clothes as they annoy him.
Can I ask why you asked?

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:25:36

Sensory issues v common. Read up on the subject. Can affect all sorts of different areas.

Sometimes some desensitization stuff with OT is useful, but three is pretty little. Lots of books available, try some self help stuff, and then ask GP if you are experiencing a lot of sensory issues that are impacting his life in a big way.

Most three olds are fussy eaters. Not unusual to not eat sandwiches and develop a taste for sweet and salty crap if it is on offer instead of the savory stuff we would prefer they ate ;-) particularly if a three year old is managing their own lunchbox....!

He's a determined little chap if he is refusing to feed himself. He won't have any concept of 'he will in February' though, so don't expect a miracle come next week. Clever boy. He knows if he won't do it, mummy will. Pretty smart.

How are his fine motor skills?

Speech?

Relationships?

Development in general?

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 02:28:37

Today he's eaten
Scrambled egg and baked beans one slice of wholemeal toast.
At Pre school ate, 4 rice cakes ( am snack) bite of pizza, 1/2 bag Hula Hoops, mini chedders and a Penguin bar,
I took him one round of bread with peanut butter on for the journey home as I thought he might me hungry ( first time today)
A little Freddo chocolate bar on our afternoon walk
Dinner bought Fish and Chips as a treat, refused it ( he's always loved that until lately & was asked would he like it tonight prior)
I reheated Sausage and Guiness casserole from night before and refused that too. So he went to bed for the night, it was 6pm and in tears. I asked him why he didn't eat and all he says is "I don't know"
We had the time before to 'Mother' all this but we have a 14 wk old baby now. I want to point out that his relationdhip with food hasn't chsnged with the new sibling. I think it's us that have finally taken off the riose tinted glasses! ��

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:32:55

Seek out your local parenting courses - ask your HV where the nearest toddler parenting program is running.

He may well turn out to be a little different, but in the meantime you can get on with ticking the boxes that will need to be ticked before that's considered, and read up on some self help stuff for the sensory issues. Body brushing etc can be helpful.

My supremely odd DS is widely acknowledged to have various sensory quirks, a huge dose of bloody mindedness, and caused me years and years of grief. He's still well within the bounds of (relatively) normal, and nowhere near ASD dx, although all of his quirks are well documented sensory traits common with AS.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:34:16

14 wk old baby? And he wants you to feed him?
Absolutely 100% bog standard normal kid.

This too shall pass.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:36:29

Lots of reassurance, mummy cuddles, more reassurance, carry on babying him for a bi if that's what he needs, but you need to start making being a big boy much more of a positive thing. Feeding yourself is pretty boring if you can have 100% attention from a mummy if you refuse (esp a mummy that is permanent-attached to new sibling)

He'll be fine. He might have a few wee sensory ishoos, but he sounds pretty standard for a three year old with a new baby in the house.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:36:54

I nearly asked if you had a baby up thread lol.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:38:36

<I know his relationship with food hasn't changed - it doesn't need to - he's getting what he needs with baked beans, Freddo bars, peanut butter and rice cakes>

PragmaticWench Thu 29-Jan-15 02:45:56

It sounds as though he does eat, just not whatever is offered. I'm in a similar situation so understand why you do it, but presenting another meal when they refuse the first is an absolute no-no.

There's a fantastic book called Getting the little blighters to eat that has helped me to come up with an approach and to stick to it. It also made me feel much calmer about it all!

I wouldn't stress about school, he won't be the only child there with strong food opinions by any means. Definitely read up about sensory aversions though.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:54:52

And sometimes with a new baby, when we are tired, and a bit stressed, it's easy to problematise pretty ordinary stuff - we suddenly see the older child as so much bigger, and grown up, and quite shockingly huge in comparison, and everything seems to have so much more significance. We start to sweat the small stuff ;-) and there's ever seems to be enough time to deal with parenting one kid, let alone trying to get to grips with two - add in a healthy dose of guilt about time spent dealing with a newborn and neglect of a toddler, and an urge to get Someone Knowledgeable to look after the big kid to assuage our concerns. Have we terribly let him down? What if something is Really Wrong?

Yup, been there, done that.

Read a few books on sensory stuff and don't sweat the eating thing. Pref with one hand while your are bfing and the toddler is at pre-school happily eating rice cakes and hula hoops ;-)

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 29-Jan-15 02:57:24

<small bit of context - I do have a child with something Really Wrong. I still problematise normal behaviour in the other two out of utterly subconscious guilt about time/ attention discrepancies>

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 05:04:07

Hi, I've just read up on Sensory Aversion and he ticks so many of the boxes. For example, this morning he was helping me make breakfast and some bean juice got on his hand. Totally freaked out as if it was something awful. This reaction and like many things he does are 'normal' to us. Everything can be so intense.
Regarding development when I picked him up today from nursery his key worker said " I've been sitting with a genius today, he's been reading names from a poster" He is an extreamly capable young boy and needs constant stimuli, always has. He only relaxes if he's watching a cartoon but they affect his behaviour badly. Even Fireman Sam which is the latest obsession. On the quirky note, we bought him
A Fireman Dress up for christmas but he will not try it on. I've even taken it to nursery for them to have fun with it but he wouldn't try it on there either. For his birthday last July we bought him his first pedal bike, it's only this week this he has sat on it to ride. Hes a negative approach to trying new things such as writing new lettersif they are not perfect. "you do it, I can't" pen gets thrown.
The thing is he's a very fortunate boy In Terms of love, affection and time we can give him. He goes to nursery for the stimulation he needs not because we need him too. On his days off we go places and see people.
Overall he's a very happy boy, loving if he chooses it to be ( never been cuddly even as a baby, however that's changing especially if a cartoon is on). Has a good sense of humour and we really enjoying his company. His 'quirkiness' and reactions are causing family life to be stressful.

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 05:08:58

Soooo
Do I aproach the GP for referral as he/I/ we need a little help.

MrPop Thu 29-Jan-15 07:05:42

Op - I have a fussy ds too.

As pp says, it sounds like he eats, but not always what you put in from of him?

Eating egg and beans is great - egg is so good for you, and no restrictions on how many you can eat now.

Have a think about the foods he will eat - it might be more than you think once you list them?

Then with my ds, I have always put something he will eat on his plate - eg rice and stew, he will eat the rice. Yes, meals are repetitive but it does take the battle out of them.

As pp says also, I would cut out / reduce crisps / choc - try to move towards healthier snacks.

I agree with pp that most dc would eat crisps / choc preferentially in a lunchbox - heck, I might even do the same some days.

Violettadoesthekondo Thu 29-Jan-15 07:10:28

How's his eye contact? Does he like being touched or cuddled? Does he do get stuck in loops of repeating the same behaviour? I only ask because there are often links between ASD and food sensory issues.

Secondly he could be completely the other way and extremely sensitive to emotions/environments. In which case buy the book 'The highly sensitive child' by Elaine Arun. It doesn't have eating specific recommendations but will help you get to grips with his personality and see his traits as a positive thing.

About the food though. I would chuck out the crisps and chocolate and not have them in the house. Sugar is addictive and it is really bad for our bodies generally.

christinarossetti Thu 29-Jan-15 07:19:11

I'll try and post more later,,but for now...
- stop or severely restrict the crisps, chocolate bars, offer crackers, fruit bars, fruit or dried fruit instead

- read 'the spirited child' re intensity

- some of his behaviour probably is related to new baby. Children often feel the threat of a new baby during pregnancy, rather than changing overnight when baby arrives

- consider speaking to Health Visitor about your concerns

- if you do go to gp or health visitor, make a list beforehand of exactly what concerns you

- do you have a dp? Where are they in this?

airhostess Thu 29-Jan-15 16:15:36

Hi, thank you everyone for your input and advice.
My DS will not eat any fruit fresh or dried. He's always enjoyed the Organix Carrot cake oat bars until they changed the packaging from a gloss to a matte finish and now he doesn't trust it! Grrr!
I have a wonderful DP who is just as frustrated as I am. We are going to give him his meals without any fuss from tonight whether he eats or not. I also going to make a list of concerns and get the n touch with the GP along with reading a few of the books mentioned.
He gaggedon his beans at breakfast this am, which means that might be another off our list of safe foods soon!

christinarossetti Thu 29-Jan-15 16:31:16

I think you're right - not making a fuss or drawing attention to what he eats or doesn't is key.

As is not reinforcing that he 'doesn't like' something by drawing attention to it.

It sounds that he takes a packed lunch to nursery? What about not sending crisps/penguin bars etc, but a variety of healthy alternatives and keeping absolutely poker faced when he refuses to eat them for a few days? And again poker faced when he eventually tries something new?

My dd stopped eating for a few days when she was 5. It's HARD, but I decided to just say 'oh, I think you'd have a bit more energy if you ate your lunch, but there we are' and leave it at that.

She started eating again a few days later (which I deliberately didn't comment on) and all a-okay since.

Violettadoesthekondo Thu 29-Jan-15 17:18:05

Air. Great idea not to fuss. Just tell him the chocolate and crisps are all eaten, so there's non left

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